Evolving US carrier Frontier Airlines anticipates hitting its unit cost targets by the end of 2015, faster than executives had previously anticipated.

The Denver-based carrier is on track to complete to achieve unit costs excluding fuel and special items “in-line” with the level at other US ultra low-cost carriers this year, says its president Barry Biffle at the Routes Americas conference in Denver today.

Frontier is targeting costs per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and special items of about six cents.

Bill Franke, managing director of Frontier’s parent Indigo Partners, said in September that it hoped to achieve its unit cost goals by the first or second quarter of 2016.

Biffle does not comment on the recent announcement that Frontier will outsource 1,300 jobs, many of which are at its Denver International airport base, as part of its cost cuts.

Even as Frontier works towards costs comparable to those at Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines, Biffle distances the carrier from Spirit, which was previously owned by Indigo and where he worked for eight years until 2013.

“There’s no ‘Spiritisation’ of Frontier,” he says. “We’re a lot different brand. We’ve come out with a lot of things that will bring costs in line – or perhaps better – than Spirit. We believe that you can smile and deliver a low price.”

Frontier has implemented a new fare structure and is in the process of removing in-flight entertainment and installing slimline seats on its fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft as part of the larger remaking of the airline.

Source: Cirium Dashboard