Spirit Airlines moves into Denver, what is the future of Frontier Airlines?

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced that it will start nonstop service from Denver International Airport (DEN) to the carrier’s four largest bases. On May 3, 2012, Spirit will begin offering nonstop service from Denver to Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood and Las Vegas, with connections available to 29 additional cities throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America.

Spirit’s new service includes:

1. Daily service between Denver and Chicago O’Hare.

2. Daily service between Denver and Dallas/Fort Worth with a second daily flight starting on May 17, 2012.

3. Daily service between Denver and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

4. Twice daily service between Denver and Las Vegas.

Is this a strategic move by Spirit in preparation of a potential bid for Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver)? Frontier’s parent Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) still has not made up its mind on what it will do with Frontier. However their hand may be forced by this move. The ultra low-cost carrier’s move into the DEN market will further lower air fares and also further erode Frontier’s yield in its largest hub. It is already suffering at the Milwaukee hub.

What is the future of Frontier?

Copyright Photo: Dave Campbell.

Spirit Photo Gallery: CLICK HERE

The updated Spirit Route Map. The Frontier Route Map would mess well with Spirit’s. Spirit’s recent moves have been mainly in the West setting the stage for this announcement.

Please click on the map to expand.