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Air Fare Warfare: United Criticizes Frontier's Expansion Plans

Image: Air Fare Warfare: United Criticizes Frontier's Expansion Plans

Top: A long line of Frontier Airlines Airbus 319s sit at the gates on concourse A at Denver International Airport on Wednesday, May 24, 2006. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo, file) Bottom: United Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport on July 8, 2015. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 09:08 AM

Air fare warfare has begun now that Frontier Airlines announced a limited time offer for $39 tickets — an announcement that received criticism from United Airlines President Scott Kirby.

Frontier not only dropped the price of its tickets, but the airline plans to also "double the number of its routes and return to a network business model," according to the Business Insider.

Kirby had some words for Frontier after hearing about their plans.

While Frontier looks at their plans for expansion as a positive thing, Kirby said it proves that the airline's current point-to-point business model — flying planes directly from point A to point B — has failed.

"I've believed for many years that the ultra-low-cost carrier business model can't work when a network carrier decides to compete on price," Kirby said on Wednesday, according to Business Insider. "This is the first public validation that one of the ULCCs has thrown in the towel on the point-to-point business model."

Frontier Airlines didn't hesitate to express opposition to Kirby's remarks.

"Kirby's statement simply isn't true," the airline said, according to Business Insider. "Frontier currently offers connections over Denver, and always has, so this isn't a change in the business."

According to USA Today, Frontier plans to add 21 cities and 85 routes to its airline by next summer, which means their route map will eventually consist of 82 total cities.

The airline also plans to add more nonstop flights to its schedule.

Frontier's biggest expansion will be in its hometown of Denver where the airline plans to add over 20 new destinations to its flight schedule.

Kirby welcomes this "battle," claiming that in the end "United will win," the Business Insider noted.

"I can promise you that they are now competing on our turf as a network carrier in Denver," Kirby said. "That is a battle I guarantee United will win."

All of this expansion would increase the number of Frontiers' flight routes to "well over 1,000 by summer 2018," USA Today noted.

“Customers will benefit not only from the broad new selection of nonstop routes, but our growing network will provide more than 1,000 new connecting route options,” Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said in a statement. “By taking advantage of our natural share of connecting passengers, we can offer our low fares to even more of America. This is particularly important through our largest hub and our home in Denver.”

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Air fare warfare has begun now that Frontier Airlines announced a limited time offer for $39 tickets - an announcement that received criticism from United Airlines President Scott Kirby.
air fare, warfare, united, frontier
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2017-08-20
Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 09:08 AM
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