By Chase Hagl
Frontier Opens New Crew Base in Phoenix
On Tuesday, Frontier — one of the U.S. major ultra-low-cost carriers — announced plans to open a new crew base at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport. The crew base is set to open in November, later this year and is expected to be a base for 180 pilots and 275 flight attendants during the first year of operation.
Tuesday’s announcement comes just four weeks after Frontier and Spirit Airlines announced their $6.6 billion merger — creating the country’s largest low-cost carrier and the fifth-largest airline.
Currently, the Denver-based carrier operates 14 nonstop routes from the airport, with additional flight connection opportunities through the company’s broad network. The already large presence in Phoenix and the addition of a crew base give the carrier that much more potential to expand its network outward from this location.
Another indicator of Frontiers’ extensive growth is their fleet size. The carrier currently operates 110 Airbus A320 family aircraft, with that number set to triple by the year 2029 — thanks to the addition of 230 Airbus aircraft that are on order.
“We are currently the third largest airline at PHX based on a number of destinations served and we anticipate continued growth as our fleet and route network further expand,” President and CEO of Frontier Airlines, Barry Biffle, said. “Phoenix is a highly desirable place to live and our crew has been asking for a base at PHX for some time. Whenever we add a new crew base to our network, it creates more flexibility for our team members and greater opportunities for career growth.”
The crew base in Phoenix will be the airline’s eighth pilot base within the U.S. and its ninth flight attendant base. The move will not only benefit the carrier, but it will also be of great economic benefit for the city of Phoenix through the creation and addition of jobs — adding to the already 57,432 jobs supported by the airport. The crew base will also increase Sky Harbor’s $12.3 billion contributions in economic activity
“With our ultra-low fare business model that caters to leisure travelers, Phoenix is well poised to benefit from our continued growth at PHX as well as the economic gain derived from additional jobs and residents contributing to the local economy,” Biffle said. “We are extremely pleased to become an even stronger part of the greater Phoenix community and we thank our partners at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport for their continued support and collaboration, which has made today’s announcement possible.”
In addition to Phoenix, Frontier’s focus cities also include Trenton, N.J.; Tampa, Fla.; Orlando, Fla., Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami and Philadelphia.
“We look forward to welcoming the new crew base members and sharing the vibrant quality of life these new residents will enjoy in this community, “Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, said, in a news release. “This is a great advancement in Frontier’s continued growth and success in Phoenix.”