Frontier Airlines Again Expands Las Vegas Operations, Adds Seven Weekly Routes
Posted on: March 14, 2022, 09:41h.
Last updated on: March 14, 2022, 12:51h.
Frontier Airlines is further expanding its weekly operations in and out of Harry Reid International, which is Las Vegas’ primary commercial air hub.
The ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) announced last week that it’s adding three routes through Las Vegas. Beginning in May, Frontier will begin running twice weekly direct flights to and from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Guadalajara, Mexico. In early June, Frontier will begin servicing Monterrey, Mexico with Harry Reid three times a week.
We are thrilled to announce the start of service from Harry Reid International to Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico, further expanding our international offering as the only US carrier providing nonstop international service from LAS,” said Tyri Squyres, Frontier’s vice president of marketing.
The year 2021 was a rebound for LAS in terms of passenger facilitation. More than 38.1 million people traveled through Harry Reid International last year. While that figure represented a 72% year-over-year improvement, the total passenger number remained 18% below 2019’s total arriving and departing passenger haul of more than 51.5 million travelers.
COVID-19 hurt Las Vegas as bad as any other major US city. The tourism and convention-dependent casino town saw its visitor volume crash from 42.5 million guests in 2019 to just 19 million guests in 2020. Last year was much better, with 32.2 million visitors arriving in town.
Despite the greatly reduced visitor demand over the past 24 months, Frontier has remained bullish on Las Vegas and in several other US markets. Unlike the “big four” airlines that heavily rely on business and international travel, Frontier’s ULCC model has prospered during the pandemic by offering no-frills low-cost fares.
Frontier Airlines was the only airliner serving Harry Reid International to report passenger growth since 2019. The recent announcement of the airline expanding its LAS service comes just a year after Frontier debuted six new nonstop routes to Las Vegas in March of 2021.
Southwest Airlines is responsible for bringing more people to the United States’ primary casino hub than any other airliner. The low-cost carrier last year counted approximately 14 million passengers on its jets coming and going through Las Vegas.
Spirit Airlines was a distant second at 4.7 million travelers, and Frontier third at 3.9 million passengers. However, the second-and third-place finishers are amidst a merger that would create the nation’s fifth-largest airline.
Frontier and Spirit — both dominant in the ULCC segment — did not detail a new airline identity, should their $6.6 billion merger be approved by shareholders and regulators. Under the terms agreed to by the two airlines’ board of directors, Frontier would have a 51.5% controlling stake in the combined group.
The Frontier and Spirit unification poses to create Southwest’s primary competitor. But numerous groups have voiced opposition to allowing the two ULCC airliners to unite. The US Justice and Transportation departments both need to approve the airlines’ merger.
Frontier and Spirit say aligning would create synergies of $500 million annually, and much of the savings would be passed along to consumers.
“Two complementary businesses that together will create America’s most competitive ultra-low fare airline for the benefit of consumers,” is how Frontier Chair William Franke summarized the proposal.
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