Frontier Airlines plans to open a crew base in Phoenix later this year as it expands its reach ahead of a planned merger with US ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) rival Spirit Airlines.
The Denver-based airline says on 1 March that it plans to station up to 180 pilots and 275 flight attendants in Phoenix in the first year, “with additional growth anticipated in the future”.
“We are currently the third largest airline [in Phoenix] based on number of destinations served and we anticipate continued growth as our fleet and route network further expand,” says chief executive Barry Biffle. “Phoenix is a highly desirable place to live and our crew have been asking for a base at PHX for some time.”
Frontier currently operates 14 non-stop routes from Phoenix, and the city will be the carrier’s eighth US pilot base and its ninth flight attendant base.
Frontier last month announced plans to acquire and merge with Florida-based Spirit in a $6.6 billion deal.
The combined company would have annual revenues of $5.3 billion based on the airline’s respective 2021 financial results and offer more than 1,000 daily flights to over 145 destinations in 19 countries.
The companies said at the time they expect the merger to lead to the creation of 10,000 direct jobs by 2026, and to deliver annual run-rate operating synergies of $500 million once fully integrated.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to regulatory review and shareholder approval.
Cirium fleets data shows Frontier currently has 110 aircraft – a mix of A320neo and A320/A321s – in service, and a further 233 A320neo-family jets on order.