Frontier Heads for the Hills, er, Mountains

Frontier really is putting a lot of effort into Denver these days. Its new startup regional airline Lynx came out with its next eight cities, and every one will be served from Denver. Not surprising, of course. These new routes are interesting ones, and they’re a departure from the airline’s traditional path made possible by the introduction of the 70 seat Q400 turboprop. I’d say we can divide these routes into two parts, the Rockies and the Heartland.

In the Rockies, you’ll see flights from Denver to Colorado Springs, Aspen, Durango, and Grand Junction. My guess is that you won’t see too many local passengers on these flights. No, these are designed for people who want to connect in Denver to get some skiing done. Actually, they start in the summer, so skiing will have to wait.

The other ones are Fargo, Bozeman, Missoula, and Jackson Hole. These will probably have some more local traffic, but they’ll take strong connecting traffic as well. These are all part of the Heartland that Northwest has ruled over for so many years. Though to be fair, this is probably going to take more away from United and Delta which fly to these cities from Denver and Salt Lake, respectively.

In addition to the Lynx flying, the airline is beefing up the number of mainline flights to several destinations. Yup, keep strengthening that Denver hub . . . . It looks like these new flights will come at the expense of flights to West Palm Beach and Baton Rouge as well as Fort Myers and Jacksonville during the summer months.

Overall, I think these are pretty good moves. The airline is trying to hide from Southwest, and this will help. Until Southwest picks up some smaller aircraft, you won’t see them going to these cities. So for now, Frontier can bring down “really high” fares in most of these cities more toward the “marginally high” fare levels that will still make them money. If there are enough passengers to go around, this will probably work out well for them.

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