April 8, 2008 was a sad day for commerce in the Mile High City. On that infamous date, locally-based airline Frontier, (non-accredited business, A+ Rating,) filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. In the aftermath of the filing, Frontier was acquired by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways. Republic slashed 140 jobs and re-headquartered Frontier in Naptown. Peyton Manning led the Indianapolis Colts to Super Bowl XLIV. A headstrong Josh McDaniels traded Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton.
Don’t despair Denver; in the beginning of 2012 it would appear the tides have shifted. Peyton Manning spent the 2011 football season in Europe, disappointedly watching his Colts stumble to a two-win season as doctors struggled to screw his head back onto his neck (thanks to Carl from ATHF, I wish I was this clever). Tim Tebow, John Fox and the Triple Wishbone Option led the Broncos to a huge playoff victory against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. Most importantly, Republic Airways moved Frontier back to the 303’s largest metropolis.
And that’s not all; it would appear that under former US Airways CEO David Siegel, Frontier Airlines is making moves. The Associated Press reported that despite eliminating 120 million dollars from Frontier Airline’s operating budget, Republic has already lost more money than it spent on the acquisition. Republic Airways plans to sell or spin off Frontier buy the start of this year’s third quarter. Big things have happened in preparation for the breakup; things that could be very beneficial for the Queen City of the West.
- Nonstop service to five new destinations. USA Today reported that beginning this summer, Frontier will fly to Bellingham Washington, Bloomington Illinois, Cedar Rapids Iowa, Great Falls Montana and Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
- Wi-Fi capabilities on all of Frontier’s Enabler 190 fleet. PC Magazine reported that beginning February, 13 2012, Frontier patrons will be able to surf the web from the clouds.
- New nonstop flights from Colorado Springs to Phoenix, Los Angles, Seattle and Portland; with introductory fares starting from just $49 (reported by the Denver Business Journal).
Without a doubt, regional airline service has been revolutionized since Frontier sold its assets in 2008. The sweeping changes made by Frontier show that the airline is willing to restructure, a well-known prerequisite for success. As for the move, Colorado’s fresh mountain air could turn Frontier into a whole different animal. As always, the BBB of Denver/Boulder wishes Frontier, and all Denver-based business a prosperous future.