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mandrws1

Frontier Airlines is coming to Memphis International

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According to Frontier's website, they will have two nonstops from MEM-DEN and one nonstop each MEM-LAS and MEM-MCO (Orlando). The additional nonstops are unusual (in a good way) because practically all other markets served by Frontier have service through DEN only.

My take:

1) NWA serves MCO from MEM with lots of capacity, so why the add? By adding an MCO nonstop, Frontier may be seeking to enhance its partnership with AirTran which has a secondary hub in MCO. Frontier is also trying to head off new competition in the guise of Delta Connection point-to-point service to MCO. Finally, if and when Southwest shows up here, they will almost certainly have MEM-MCO service as SWA is the largest carrier at MCO. Frontier (and AirTran) want to get an early start on this route before a very strong competitor arrives.

2) NWA only serves LAS with one evening nonstop. That's pathetic as they could fill at least 3 A320s or 757s to LAS from MEM. LAS sells well from every market, but for some reason, NWA chooses to underserve it from here. USAirways/America West has a secondary hub at LAS, yet no direct service from MEM. Frontier's additional service is another shot at those companies. As with the previous point, SWA will more than likely serve LAS from MEM when that day comes and Frontier wants to get ahead of the game.

3) I'm surprised it's only 2 flights starting out to DEN, but if the price is right, the service is good, and NWA and UAL don't cut them off at the knees with a price war, they should be able to add more flights. For now, NWA and UAL both have 150 seats/day from MEM to DEN, while Frontier will have 228. With 45% of the daily seats to DEN, Frontier will have immediate pricing power. If they have success, that will force NWA and UAL to add more flights or bigger aircraft or both. NWA used to have great passenger loads on 4 Airbuses/day between DEN and MEM, but for some reason downgraded to 3 CRJ200s/day. Maybe this will force a much-needed upgrade in service.

4) An A319 (Frontier's aircraft) is a far more comfortable ride to DEN than a CRJ200 (NWA and UAL) and is a far more capable aircraft. The CRJ200 is not a good aircraft to operate in DEN for serveral reasons. When the weather is bad in DEN and an alternate airport is required, the additional fuel required displaces passengers and baggage, so a 50-seat capacity is reduced to 42-45 seats. The CRJ200 wing does not have slats, and therefore requires a very high speed for takeoff. At heavy loads on a hot day, the CRJ200 can easily take 9000' of DEN's 12000' runways for takeoff. 3000' is decent room to abort a takeoff, but not without some very hot brakes or melted tire fuse plugs. CRJ700/900s and larger aircraft are just better choices for DEN operations as they have better low-speed performance, higher-thrust engines, and fewer weight restrictions.

As for other airlines setting up shop here, Southwest is probably the next likely choice, but that's a long-term deal and much probably rides on NWA's health. Midwest would be a decent small carrier with a few 717-200 flights to MCI and MKE. Air Canada Jazz to YYZ in a CRJ is a long shot as long as NWA still has 2x/daily service. Aeromexico or Mexicana service to Mexico City would fill a need, but as long as NWA has the DOT approval in its back pocket, it probably won't happen. Other than that, it's probably just the current carriers adding frequencies, establishing point-to-point service, or upgrading to larger aircraft.

Edited this after I forgot about JetBlue and Clobber jogged my memory. Probably a long-run deal as they are pulling back their rapid growth plans. Still, with the Embraer 190s in the fleet, they could start service to JFK and FLL and then upgrade to the A320s later on. Would love to see them here.

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Not that I'm complaining (because it's great news) but the non-stop to Vegas/LAS is strange to me as well. A Denver connection on that route would seem to have little impact on passengers. I wonder if it has something to do with connecting gambling destinations. The Orlando non-stop is great--Memphis and Denver (of course) will be the only non-stop services to/from Orlando for Frontier Airlines. Perhaps Frontier is looking to establish some min-hubs or focus cities. MEM, LAX, SFO, LAS, and MCO are the only airports outside of DEN with Frontier non-stop services to anywhere but DEN's hub.

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MEM, LAX, SFO, LAS, and MCO are the only airports outside of DEN with Frontier non-stop services to anywhere but DEN's hub.

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I wonder if anyone has look at the schedules of these MEM flight? Maybe Frontier is testing setting up some flights for connecting at MEM? such as for Passengers from vegas to Orlando? Just a speculation... But location wise, MEM can work well for Frontier to expand its market in the east.

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According to Frontier's website, they will have two nonstops from MEM-DEN and one nonstop each MEM-LAS and MEM-MCO (Orlando). The additional nonstops are unusual (in a good way) because practically all other markets served by Frontier have service through DEN only.

My take:

1) NWA serves MCO from MEM with lots of capacity, so why the add? By adding an MCO nonstop, Frontier may be seeking to enhance its partnership with AirTran which has a secondary hub in MCO. Frontier is also trying to head off new competition in the guise of Delta Connection point-to-point service to MCO. Finally, if and when Southwest shows up here, they will almost certainly have MEM-MCO service as SWA is the largest carrier at MCO. Frontier (and AirTran) want to get an early start on this route before a very strong competitor arrives.

2) NWA only serves LAS with one evening nonstop. That's pathetic as they could fill at least 3 A320s or 757s to LAS from MEM. LAS sells well from every market, but for some reason, NWA chooses to underserve it from here. USAirways/America West has a secondary hub at LAS, yet no direct service from MEM. Frontier's additional service is another shot at those companies. As with the previous point, SWA will more than likely serve LAS from MEM when that day comes and Frontier wants to get ahead of the game.

3) I'm surprised it's only 2 flights starting out to DEN, but if the price is right, the service is good, and NWA and UAL don't cut them off at the knees with a price war, they should be able to add more flights. For now, NWA and UAL both have 150 seats/day from MEM to DEN, while Frontier will have 228. With 45% of the daily seats to DEN, Frontier will have immediate pricing power. If they have success, that will force NWA and UAL to add more flights or bigger aircraft or both. NWA used to have great passenger loads on 4 Airbuses/day between DEN and MEM, but for some reason downgraded to 3 CRJ200s/day. Maybe this will force a much-needed upgrade in service.

4) An A319 (Frontier's aircraft) is a far more comfortable ride to DEN than a CRJ200 (NWA and UAL) and is a far more capable aircraft. The CRJ200 is not a good aircraft to operate in DEN for serveral reasons. When the weather is bad in DEN and an alternate airport is required, the additional fuel required displaces passengers and baggage, so a 50-seat capacity is reduced to 42-45 seats. The CRJ200 wing does not have slats, and therefore requires a very high speed for takeoff. At heavy loads on a hot day, the CRJ200 can easily take 9000' of DEN's 12000' runways for takeoff. 3000' is decent room to abort a takeoff, but not without some very hot brakes or melted tire fuse plugs. CRJ700/900s and larger aircraft are just better choices for DEN operations as they have better low-speed performance, higher-thrust engines, and fewer weight restrictions.

As for other airlines setting up shop here, Southwest is probably the next likely choice, but that's a long-term deal and much probably rides on NWA's health. Midwest would be a decent small carrier with a few 717-200 flights to MCI and MKE. Air Canada Jazz to YYZ in a CRJ is a long shot as long as NWA still has 2x/daily service. Aeromexico or Mexicana service to Mexico City would fill a need, but as long as NWA has the DOT approval in its back pocket, it probably won't happen. Other than that, it's probably just the current carriers adding frequencies, establishing point-to-point service, or upgrading to larger aircraft.

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I am not sure that statement is entirely true. Nashville has non-stop service to Cancun on Frontier as well as a couple of other markets (but I can't remember which ones off the top of my head). These Cancun services may only be seasonal though. Interesting news though because anytime we get a new carrier at MEM. Choices are good.

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I am not sure that statement is entirely true. Nashville has non-stop service to Cancun on Frontier as well as a couple of other markets (but I can't remember which ones off the top of my head). These Cancun services may only be seasonal though. Interesting news though because anytime we get a new carrier at MEM. Choices are good.

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Not that I'm complaining (because it's great news) but the non-stop to Vegas/LAS is strange to me as well. A Denver connection on that route would seem to have little impact on passengers. I wonder if it has something to do with connecting gambling destinations.

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I'm surprised by the timing of the flights...the Vegas flight is pretty late. It's a red-eye from LAS to MEM and I think the flight from here to vegas leaves at around 9 or 10 at night. Pretty nice that we'll have an airline using the airport into the later hours. Not sure how FedEx will appreciate this haha

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Does anybody remember when the old Frontier Airlines used to fly into MEM? They went bankrupt in 1986, but I remember they had frequent service into MEM in the 70s and 80s. I flew on them three times as a child. They used 737s and turboprop Convair 580s. When I was 6, we flew to Tulsa and made three stops....Little Rock, Hot Springs and Fort Smith. It was almost like taking the bus :lol:

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This is exciting news. I've never understood why NWA only has one daily flight to LAS. The flight is always full, and the tickets are always ridiculously expensive. Everytime I've flown to Vegas, the flight has been $500-$1000 and frequently completely booked. I've had to connect every time as a result. Serves NWA right for underserving the market.

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This is exciting news. I've never understood why NWA only has one daily flight to LAS. The flight is always full, and the tickets are always ridiculously expensive. Everytime I've flown to Vegas, the flight has been $500-$1000 and frequently completely booked. I've had to connect every time as a result. Serves NWA right for underserving the market.

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Cdarr...wow, now that's old-school! I recall flying Frontier out of Wichita back in the late 70s. I think we could get from ICT to MEM on Frontier via Kansas City. Ah, the glorious point-to-point days of pre-regulation.

Old Frontier was a pretty good airline. They did finally succumb to bankruptcy, but operationally, they were top-notch considering the difficulty of their intra-mountain routes. In 40 years of operation, old Frontier had no hull-loss accidents, and only one passenger death during flight from a heart attack...a very good safety record. New Frontier does a great job and has nice-looking aircraft as well (see the animal-style tails).

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Congrats and welcome to the "Animal Tails" club!!! You'll love these guys more than any other carrier at MEM.

A318's are neat to spot, if any of you do that sort of thing. I may be down that way around that time of the year. I'll see if I can get a pic or two of them there at MEM.

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New Frontier does a great job and has nice-looking aircraft as well (see the animal-style tails).

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From the Memphis International Airport Forum:

Memphis is getting another addition:

AirTran Beefs Up Memphis Service With Orlando Flight

According to this

the MEM-MCO route is extremely popular, so maybe we can handle the extra capacity with two additional airlines flying the route. The article says "Northwest, the largest carrier by far here, would not comment on Frontier but did say it is currently reviewing new service opportunities from Memphis."...this could be corporate BS from Northwest; however, if there is some depth to it, maybe Northwest will beef up service here...*cough*AirFrance to Paris *cough*...

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Nashville just has flights to DEN and CUN. It should be interesting to see how this works out. I think the statement goes that MEM will be one of the few cities with service to additional American cities outside of Denver. There are several with service to Mexico; that market is already served well by Northwest

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A frontier exec. in route planning told me that Frontier is about to expand the service here to two more Mexican destinations and possibly a Canadian by the end of the year. All of this hinges on when they get their A320's from Airbus. BNA service on F9 will be increasing dramatically int he next three years without a doubt.

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A frontier exec. in route planning told me that Frontier is about to expand the service here to two more Mexican destinations and possibly a Canadian by the end of the year. All of this hinges on when they get their A320's from Airbus. BNA service on F9 will be increasing dramatically int he next three years without a doubt.

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NB, the new Mexican routes are almost a definate from what I am hearing, but the Canadian flight is up in the air. So it could go either way on that you know. The thing that strikes me odd is BNA has given F9 some of the best O&D numbers for a new station they have seen to date. I know expansion here in Nashville does hinge on the delivery of their new A320's though. Their 319's that they fly into here are almost always full, especially this time of the year. The 318's are slightly smaller, and offer less range than the 319's.

If you take a look at the new mainline stations they have opened in the last 6 months, all have started with either a Denver flight or a Denver and "some place else" flight. F9 is trying to do more point-to-point flights, so what is happening in MEM may not be totally unique. They only have so many a/c to go around and when they get more, some of their exsisting stations will start up more P2P flights. At least that is what I, and some others, have been told. LOL!! It's a airline, so I take everything with a small grain of salt. You know what I mean? LOL!!!! It's still good for MEM though. More choices means less loss of marketshare.

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I think Frontier had to have some P2P flights for it to work out of MEM. They couldn't justify staffing a station with flights only to DEN where there is already tons of capacity on that route. Since there are already six flights a day to DEN, they couldn't add six more.

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NB, the new Mexican routes are almost a definate from what I am hearing, but the Canadian flight is up in the air. So it could go either way on that you know. The thing that strikes me odd is BNA has given F9 some of the best O&D numbers for a new station they have seen to date. I know expansion here in Nashville does hinge on the delivery of their new A320's though. Their 319's that they fly into here are almost always full, especially this time of the year. The 318's are slightly smaller, and offer less range than the 319's.

If you take a look at the new mainline stations they have opened in the last 6 months, all have started with either a Denver flight or a Denver and "some place else" flight. F9 is trying to do more point-to-point flights, so what is happening in MEM may not be totally unique. They only have so many a/c to go around and when they get more, some of their exsisting stations will start up more P2P flights. At least that is what I, and some others, have been told. LOL!! It's a airline, so I take everything with a small grain of salt. You know what I mean? LOL!!!! It's still good for MEM though. More choices means less loss of marketshare.

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Where do you get your O&D numbers? I heard BNA was good (obviously since they have three times a week service to CUN as well as three flights a day to DEN); however, I also heard that Frontier still butts heads with Southwest which is why they are reluctant to grow tremendously out of BNA. I seriously doubt the A320s will see BNA, MEM, or any other place apart from LGA, LAX, and a slew of florida cities...those are the prize routes for Frontier or the ones with limited capacity but high demand (LGA). If anything, the A319s would increase in frequency.

What other new mainline stations that have opened in the past 6 months come up with a Denver and "someplace else" flight? Right now, the only places that have that (excluding Mexico) are Vegas, LA, San Francisco, and Memphis. The first three have been open well over 6 months. I'm sure Frontier plans on adding P2P, but don't quite discount this news. I mean, no offense, but if BNA or other airports were doing as excellent as some people say, why didn't they just use the extra aircraft that will be used at MEM to increase frequencies elsewhere?

In all honesty, I think this winter is serving as a catalyst for Frontier's plans to open a southern hub...they can't handle many more shutterings to their prize hub. I've heard Saint Louis frequently mentioned as an option for a hub, so maybe that's where it will go. Honestly, I could see them follow the way of Southwest and have a slew of focus-city operations across the country.

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