Frontier seeks approval to use smaller jets for Mexican routes

Washington DC
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Republic Airlines and Frontier Airlines, both subsidiaries of Republic Airways Holdings, have jointly applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for the authority to fly Republic Embraer E-190 aircraft to Mexico under the Frontier brand name.

Republic has applied to fly the E-Jets on four existing routes currently flown by Frontier with Airbus narrowbodies -- Denver to San Jose del Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, and from Kansas City to Puerto Vallarta.

"We are considering our options and would like to have some fleet flexibility on some of our Mexico routes so we can right-size capacity to meet demand," says a Frontier spokeswoman.

The airlines are not divulging much in terms of potential schedules for the existing routes, though in the filing they indicate that service flown by Republic between Kansas City and Puerto Vallarta "will supplement Frontier's current seasonal Airbus service on the route". Currently Frontier is scheduled to operate the service on Saturdays from 23 October through 16 April.

Flights from Denver to Cabo and Puerto Vallarta are scheduled to be year-round, with the remaining routes operated on a seasonal basis.

In addition to the existing routes, Frontier and Republic also applied for authority to fly from Denver to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and from Kansas City to San Jose del Cabo. Both routes were previously flown by Frontier but service was eliminated in 2008.

Both routes will operate on Saturdays this winter. Denver to Ixtapa will run from 15 January to 26 March, and Kansas City to Cabo will operate from 18 December to 16 April, according to a Frontier press release.

In addition to Denver and Kansas City, Frontier also offers flights from Mexico to Indianapolis and St. Louis, including seasonal service in both markets.

Both Frontier and AirTran recently applied to the DOT for the authority to fly to Cancún from Milwaukee.