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Frontier Opening Two More Crew Bases
The ultra-low-cost carrier is adding to its growing list of crew bases.
Frontier is adding two more crew bases as it pivots to a more ‘out-and-back’ network strategy. After announcing a new Cleveland (CLE) base, the Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) is planning to add a new crew base at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) along with re-establishing the carrier’s Chicago pilot base.
New Cincinnati Base
Expected to employ approximately 80 pilots and 160 flight attendants within its first year of operation, Frontier expects to open its new Cincinnati crew base in May 2024. The airline says the new crew base could generate upwards of $27 million annually in local wages.
Frontier has 12 nonstop routes from Cincinnati, including several domestic destinations and a single international service to Cancun. In a press release, Frontier’s CEO Barry Biffle said, “Opening a crew base is also a win for customers who are able to take advantage of our ultra-low fares as we continue to grow at CVG and add new service over time.”
Reopening Chicago Pilot Base
Having previously maintained a Chicago base until April 2022, Frontier is now planning to reopen it. Also opening in May 2024, Frontier’s Chicago pilot base will serve both O’Hare and Midway airports. Within its first year of operation, the carrier expects to employ 110 pilots in Chicago.
Frontier currently maintains a flight attendant base in Chicago, which currently has 190 positions. The new combined base will have 300 crew members.
The airline has 13 nonstop routes from Midway and five nonstop routes from O’Hare, according to a press release.
After shaky Q3 earnings for some ULCCs, Frontier is rethinking its operating strategy. According to Travel Weekly, the airline’s CEO said that Frontier is hoping to improve operational reliability and reduce costs with an ‘out-and-back’ strategy. In theory, this reduces the number of complex point-to-point routings for aircraft and crew. Instead, the carrier’s aircraft and crew will start from a base, complete a turn in an out-station, and return back to the base, typically on the same day.
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