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Frontier Slows Pilot Hiring Pipeline

The ULCC is pulling back on hiring from its various pipeline programs.

A Frontier A320neo landing in Las Vegas. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) Frontier is slowing down hiring from its pilot pipeline programs, according to a report by Aero Crew News. The report states that the pipeline programs exceeded demand expectations and are subsequently at capacity.

Citing a January 19 memo from Frontier’s Vice President of Flight Operations Brad Lambert, the Aero Crew News report goes on to add that lengthy wait times for a training slot prompted the decision. The airline has a variety of pipelines for new aviators, including rotor transition and cadet programs.

A Frontier spokesperson confirmed the updated report in a statement to AirlineGeeks, adding that the airline is “slowing [its] hiring pipeline due to a full pool of pilots and smaller class sizes.” No specific timeline was provided on how long the slowdown will last.

According to one Reddit post, Frontier will also suspend its $50,000 pilot new hire bonus indefinitely.

Last year, fellow ULCC Spirit announced that it would be pressing the brakes on pilot hiring indefinitely following a net loss of $157.6 million in the third quarter of 2023. According to data from Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA), major U.S. airlines hired 6% fewer pilots year-over-year in 2023.

New Bases and Routes

Frontier’s pilot hiring pull-down comes on the heels of the airline’s effort to pivot its network design to an ‘out-and-back’ model. As part of this effort, the airline has opened several new crew bases in recent months, including Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and most recently San Juan, Puerto Rico.

With the new San Juan base, Frontier has a total of 13 crew bases with over 2,000 pilots in its ranks. On Tuesday, the airline announced over 40 new and resuming routes.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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