Frontier has celebrated a new milestone that few airlines reach, accepting delivery of its 100th aircraft. Yesterday the airline received its new Airbus A320neo, painted with a very distinct ‘Chinook the Gray Wolf’ livery.
Reaching 100 aircraft
Few airlines grow to reach a hundred airframes, let alone one hundred of the same family aircraft (which in Frontier’s case is the Airbus A320 family).
“Taking delivery of the 100th Airbus aircraft in our fleet marks a tremendous milestone for our company,” said Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier Airlines in a press statement. “We have significantly expanded our fleet in recent years as Frontier has continued to grow both domestically and internationally,”
Frontiers’ order book with Airbus is staggering, with another 88 Airbus A320s, 30 A321neos, and 18 A321XLRs set to be delivered over the next half a decade.
“Airbus is pleased to reach this significant 100th aircraft milestone with Frontier Airlines, and to be a part of the airline’s continuing growth and success,” said C. Jeffrey Knittel, Chairman, and CEO, Airbus Americas, Inc. “With 160 more aircraft on order, we look forward to many more of these milestones.”
Looking at these numbers, while getting to a hundred aircraft was a long journey in the making, the next hundred will pass by very soon. It is more likely the carrier will run out of animals to paint on its tails than aircraft.
This 100th aircraft has a livery of a famous wolf called Chinook. Chinook was a wolf-dog hybrid set to be put down in 1993 for fear of her wolf genes, but she was saved at the last minute. Rescuing this animal had far-reaching consequences, such as dismantling the dangerous label of wolf-dogs and creating the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, hence why she deserves her spot on the tail.
Why has Frontier been so successful?
Many ask why Frontier has been able to reach 100 aircraft in a market with peers like United, Delta, American, and Southwest (all of whom have over 100 short-haul planes). This is because of its unique business model – ultra-low-cost flights.
Onboard a Frontier aircraft, everything is for sale, and nothing is provided with your airfare. While its typical for you to pay for luggage or seat selection onboard United or American Airlines, onboard Frontier, you need to pay for cabin bags, and a table tray isn’t always included.
Thus, while the fares may at first be cheap, when you add in luggage and other fees (like paying with a credit card), the cost can skyrocket. But since customers are already committed to the ‘cheap fare’, they push onwards and book.
This business model has rewarded the airline and today it wizzes across the country and to select international destinations. With new aircraft on the way with extreme range (like the Airbus A321XLR), Frontier might turn its hungry eyes to the lucrative transatlantic trade and offer destinations to Europe. A win for passengers indeed.