Frontier Airlines will add five new routes from Philadelphia International Airport later this spring, in a continued bid for budget-conscious flyers -- whether they’re traveling for fun or on business.
Beginning either April 30 or May 1 (depending on the route), Frontier will fly from Philly to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, as well as Atlanta, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Pensacola, Fla.
With the moves, the low-cost airline will further cement its rank as PHL’s second-largest carrier by the number of nonstop destinations, next to the region’s dominant carrier, American Airlines.
Five years ago, Frontier operated fewer than one flight a day out of Philadelphia. It was ferrying passengers to just two spots in February 2014: Cancun and Punta Cana. Since then, the airline has added 29 new destinations at PHL, including the five announced this week.
On its busiest day of the week, it will have 19 departures from PHL.
“We think we’ve found a significant population here who otherwise have very poor travel options,” Josh Flyr, Frontier’s vice president of network and revenue, said in an interview. Those “poor” options, he added, “can mean very expensive ticket prices. It can also mean flying regional jets,” and having to connect in another city.
Frontier doesn’t cater to the type of corporate traveler who’s looking for amenities. But for people seeking “nonstop service on a modern Airbus, with fares they can customize ... we’ve found that to work extremely well in Philadelphia,” Flyr said.
And budget fares do appeal to a certain kind of business traveler, Flyr said, notably the ones who are paying for flights with their own credit card. "We expect there are a whole range of customers – business and leisure – who are going to find fares of that type extremely motivating.”
Frontier is selling one-way tickets on the five new routes for as low as $29 until 11:59 pm on Wednesday. The priciest of these special-offer fares is $59 to fly to Las Vegas.
“Frontier’s growing network here gives more affordable options to folks who want to travel by air,” PHL’s CEO, Chellie Cameron, said in a statement, adding: "We are very pleased by Frontier’s focus on Philadelphia and are eager for more service to more cities.”