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Frontier announces 8 new routes from Philadelphia

by Staff

Frontier Airlines is out with the latest in what’s been a flurry of recent route announcements.

The Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier on Wednesday announced it’s adding eight new routes to its schedule at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

All of those, along with two others the airline previously announced from Philadelphia, begin in May — just before the peak summer travel season gets underway.

For Frontier, some of these routes will be entirely new nonstop offerings out of Philadelphia. In other cases, the airline will resume routes it flew in recent years or even pick back up with service it hasn’t offered since before the pandemic.

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Once flying this scaled-up schedule out of Philadelphia, Frontier will offer 47% more flights out of the major East Coast airport than it does currently, according to Atif Saeed, CEO of the Philadelphia Department of Aviation.

“The expansion shows that our post-coronavirus pandemic recovery continues and these ultra-low-cost fares will expand market reach and help make travel possible for many more travelers,” Saeed said in a statement announcing the news.

Frontier’s network shakeup continues

ARTUR WIDAK/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Frontier’s announcement on Wednesday is just the latest example of the company’s attempt to double down on operations at — and in some cases between — some of the busiest hubs of the biggest U.S. airlines.

Just last month, for instance, Frontier announced 54 new routes that significantly bolstered its presence at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) — American Airlines’ home base and biggest hub.

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Now, the airline is likewise expanding its footprint at American’s hub in Philadelphia, including offering a new nonstop between Philadelphia and another American (not to mention United Airlines) hub, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

As part of its Philadelphia expansion, Frontier will also resume flying to Kansas City International Airport (MCI) and Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Maine. It served both airports from Philadelphia as recently as 2023, according to data from Cirium.

Speaking on the company’s earnings call Wednesday, Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said the airline is focusing on trying to grow its presence away from highly competitive leisure markets, such as Orlando and Las Vegas. In those markets, a glut of service from numerous airlines has driven down fares — good news for customers but less so for airlines trying to make a profit.

“Our network growth in 2024 is focused on exploiting hire fare, ‘visiting friends and relative’ markets,” Biffle told analysts.

To that end, the carrier has also stepped up its efforts to lure business travelers, unveiling a new business travel program just last week.

This Philadelphia expansion would certainly fit the mold of the company’s recent network moves.

Expanded Philadelphia footprint

Here’s the full list of new or resumed routes out of Philadelphia unveiled by Frontier Wednesday:

  • PHL to McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville, Tennessee — begins May 16; operates three times weekly
  • PHL to PWM — begins May 16; operates three times weekly
  • PHL to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) — begins May 16; operates three time weekly (last offered in 2020, per Cirium)
  • PHL to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) — begins May 16; operates daily
  • PHL to ORD — begins May 21; operates daily
  • PHL to Indianapolis International Airport (IND) — begins May 21; operates three times weekly (last offered in 2019, per Cirium)
  • PHL to John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) — begins May 22; operates three times weekly
  • PHL to St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) — begins May 22; operates three times weekly
  • PHL to MCI — begins May 22; operates three times weekly (last offered in 2023, per Cirium)

These route announcements are in addition to previous flights the airline announced from PHL to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) in recent weeks.

$19 fares available

If you’re thinking of booking one of these routes, you may want to check Frontier’s website in the next day or two.

The airline is offering a sale it calls “Frontier Loves Philly,” which includes $19 one-way fares on these flights (depending on the day, at least).

To take advantage of this deal, you’ll need to book by 11:59 p.m. EST on Feb. 9 for travel by June 19.

There are many exclusions, though. The deal doesn’t apply to travel on Fridays or Sundays, and there are other blackout dates and exclusions, such as travel to Florida or Las Vegas.

As always with an ultra-low-cost carrier, plan on paying extra for everything from a full-size carry-on bag to a seat or snack.

Bottom line

Frontier is adding eight more routes out of Philadelphia this May, on top of two the carrier already revealed.

In concert with dozens more new routes announced in recent weeks, it’s just the latest sign the carrier is shifting its focus in 2024; it is looking to cater to travelers beyond those flying to Florida, Las Vegas or another vacation destination.

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