Frontier Airlines parent Republic Airways Holdings has placed an aircraft place holder deposit with Airbus for the re-engined A320neo, according to a company executive.

Speaking during a 3 May earnings call Republic controller Joe Allman explained of the $19.9 million investment activities conducted by the company during the first quarter, $8 million entailed "a place holder deposit on Airbus neo aircraft".

A spokesperson from Republic was not immediately able to expand on Allman's comments. Currently, Frontier operates 54 Airbus A320 family aircraft, and has nine of the type on order according to Flightglobal's ACAS database.

Republic also ordered 40 Bombardier CSeries CS300s in February 2010 powered by the Pratt & Whitney 1524G geared turbofan, supplying a much needed boost to Bombardier's narrowbody aircraft programme.

P&W is also one of the engine suppliers for the A320neo, and so far the 1100G has secured all the firm engine orders from customers that have made engine selections.

Previously, Republic has said it planned to align CSeries delivery dates with expiration dates on A319s exiting Frontier's fleet. Currently, Republic is scheduled to receive its first CSeries aircraft in the second quarter of 2015.

Airbus, meanwhile, has recently advanced the A320neo's service entry to October 2015, and has accelerated introduction of the A319neo ahead of the re-engined A321 variant.

In the short term Frontier says it is in the midst of a "low cost project" to add two seats to its A319 fleet for a total of 138, and expects to complete the programme by the end of the current quarter.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news