While some legacy carriers are regrouping and shutting down routes – like American Airlines, which is in the middle of bankruptcy – some discount carriers are busy expanding, notably Spirit and Frontier.
Spirit Adds Non-stop Flights to Denver
Starting May 3, Spirit launches daily non-stops to Denver from its home-hub in Ft. Lauderdale to compete against other daily Denver service providers: Frontier, Southwest and United.
As The Miami Herald reports, 2011 was a very good year for the ultra-discount airline (which used to be famous for its $9 airfares); in the fourth quarter of the year, “Spirit said its profit more than doubled to $23.9 million, partly from higher non-ticket revenue from such fees as baggage.” These baggage fees include Spirit’s controversial carryon bag fee – it is the only airline to charge for onboard totes.
Frontier Adds Six New Destinations
On May 17, Frontier Airlines begins five weekly non-stops from Denver to Bismarck, ND. This is in addition to five other new non-stops added this month: Bloomington/Normal (BMI) and Cedar Rapids (CID), plus seasonal service to Bellingham (BLI), Great Falls (GTF) and Harrisburg (MDT). With these new additions, Frontier now flies to 67 cities.