Cincinnati Business Courier / Chris Wetterich / February 7, 2022
Frontier and Spirit Airlines announced Monday that they are planning to merge, creating the country's largest ultra-low cost carrier with expanded service. Frontier currently serves Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Pending approval by regulators, the merger would create the nation's fifth-largest airline, according to the New York Times. At CVG, Frontier is the fourth-largest airline in terms of passengers carried behind Delta, American and Allegiant.
Denver-based Frontier was key to the drastic lowering of CVG's fares over the past nine years. It was the first low-cost carrier to give CVG a chance in decades, starting a flight to Denver in 2013. Since then, Allegiant and Southwest have entered the market, helping drive the average fare downward.
Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit does not currently offer service from CVG.
In a release, the company said it expects to offer more low fares to more travelers in more U.S., Latin American and Caribbean destinations. The companies claimed the merger will deliver $1 billion in annual consumer savings. The two companies offer more than 1,000 daily flights to 145 destinations in 19 countries. It's unclear exactly how the merger will affect CVG, but Frontier has lagged behind Allegiant in passengers and non-stop destinations for years. If the merger does result in the combined company offering more flights, it could be a boon for CVG and shore up Frontier as it competes against Allegiant.
Ultra-low cost carriers offer an unbundled, basic fare and then charge fees for everything else, including seat assignments, checked and carry-on baggage, snacks and other amenities.
At CVG, Frontier is listed as offering direct flights to Atlanta, Cancun, Dallas, Denver, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Sarasota and Tampa.
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