From 1946 to 1986, the original Frontier Airlines, Denver’s hometown carrier for 40 years, carried 87 million passengers.
In 1986, Frontier Airlines was incorporated into Continental Airlines, marking the end of the first Frontier Airlines.
In 1994, the new Frontier Airlines was founded in response to the void left by Continental Airlines’ (now United Airlines) 1993 shutdown of its Denver (Stapleton) hub. The new airline took off in July 1994 utilizing Boeing 737 jetliners.
By 2001, the new Frontier Airlines was on Fortune magazine’s list of fastest-growing companies.
In 2003, Frontier Airlines was the launch customer of the Airbus A318.
In April 2005, Frontier Airlines officially became an all-Airbus fleet, retiring its last Boeing 737.
In 2008, TPG Capital purchased Midwest Airlines and returned it to being a privately held entity, and Frontier Airlines filed for bankruptcy.
One year later, Republic Airways Holdings, a publicly held company, acquired both airlines, Midwest for $31 million and Frontier for $109 million, plus the assumption of $1 billion in debt and aircraft lease obligations.
Midwest and Frontier became wholly owned subsidiaries of Republic Airways, but each continued to operate under its own branding.
In the Spring of 2010, Republic Airways Holdings announced that the Frontier and Midwest Airlines brands would merge under the Frontier Airlines name, with the iconic Midwest cookie and the slogan of Midwest Airlines, “The Best Care In The Air”, incorporated into the Frontier brand.
In the fall of 2010, Frontier and Midwest officially became one airline when the Midwest’s website, midwestairlines.com, was shut down, and Midwest’s YX code was retired.
In 2011, World Travel Awards, the travel industry awards program that has been described by the Wall Street Journal as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry”, named Frontier Airlines “North America’s Leading Low-Cost Airline”.
In 2012, Frontier Airlines introduced onboard Wi-Fi on the airline’s Embraer 190 fleet.
In July 2013, Frontier Airlines announced new nonstop seasonal service between Denver and Montego Bay, Jamaica, with weekly nonstop flights beginning on December 22, 2013.
In April 2014, Frontier Airlines simplified its fare structure by offering only two types of fare options – Economy and Classic Plus. Frontier has simplified its fee structure for baggage and seat assignments. As a result, the Economy fare was lowered by an average of 12 percent on every nonstop route Frontier flies.
In June 2015, Frontier Airlines announced a firm order for 10 Airbus A321 and 2 A320 aircraft that, added to the existing orders for 89 aircraft in the A320 family, brings the total number of aircraft on order to 101. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2016, and the new aircraft, part of the ongoing fleet renewal program that will replace older aircraft with newer and more fuel-efficient ones, will allow Frontier to reduce its operating and fuel costs and grow in new markets. With this new order, Frontier, an exclusive Airbus customer, will have one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the US.
Starting December 1, 2016, Frontier Airlines launched new service to Havana, Cuba, non-stop from Miami and with one-stop connections from Las Vegas and Denver. However, because of heavy competition and higher-than-expected costs, Frontier Airlines canceled its daily flight between Miami and Havana in June 2017.
In July 2017, Frontier Airlines announced the largest network expansion in its history – 21 new cities, about a 30% increase in cities served, and 84 new routes, thus doubling the number of total routes. With this nationwide expansion, the airline is serving more than 90% of the US population.
In August 2018, Frontier and Volaris, the Mexican low-cost carrier, began their codeshare agreement. The agreement allows Frontier to place its F9 code on Volaris operated flights, adding around 50 new routes to its network.
In April 2019, Frontier Airlines announced Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) as its 100th destination from its hub at Denver International Airport (DEN).
Frontier Airlines, operating from its hub at Denver International Airport, offers service to more than 100 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. Frontier flies one of the youngest fleet in the industry, composed of over 85 Airbus aircraft and, with 175 new planes on order, will continue to grow.
No deadly incidents involving Frontier Airlines aircraft have been recorded so far.