The Arizona Republic

Frontier to put the brakes on 3 Sky Harbor routes

- Michael Salerno Arizona Republic USA TODAY NETWORK

Just as the 2023 summer vacation season begins, Frontier Airlines plans to stop flying three of its 12 newly introduced routes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Internatio­nal Airport.

Flight scheduling data from Cirium, an aviation data firm, revealed these cuts. One route will stop flying in May, while the other two will end in June.

Cirium spokesman Mike Arnot thinks the cuts are not a reflection on metro Phoenix or Sky Harbor Airport, but rather airlines’ ongoing battles with staffing shortages and the high cost of operating flights.

Frontier will continue serving metro Phoenix with nonstop routes to more than 20 destinatio­ns. The airline transporte­d 1.3 million passengers to and from Sky Harbor in 2022, the sixth-most of the airport’s carriers.

What Phoenix flights is Frontier Airlines cutting?

Frontier’s nonstop service between Phoenix and Minneapoli­s, Philadelph­ia and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is ending, according to Cirium data.

Frontier’s website shows its last nonstop Phoenix-Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix-Minneapoli­s flights are scheduled for May 10. The last nonstop to Philadelph­ia, which the website stated is a seasonal route, is scheduled for April 18.

These route cuts are happening just months after their introducti­on. Frontier launched service to Philadelph­ia and Fort Lauderdale in November 2022; the Minneapoli­s flights began in January.

Frontier began service to these cities as part of a major expansion of its operations at Sky Harbor. The airline opened a new crew base for pilots and flight attendants in November, coinciding with its debut of 12 new routes over a threemonth period.

Can you still fly Frontier to these cities?

Yes, but they will require a connecting flight in another city.

What other airlines fly nonstop to these cities?

Southwest Airlines has nonstop flights between Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale on Saturdays.

American Airlines has nonstop service to Philadelph­ia.

American, Southwest, Delta and Sun Country airlines have nonstops to Minneapoli­s.

Why is Frontier cutting these Phoenix flights?

It’s not certain why. Frontier Airlines did not answer a request from The Arizona Republic to comment for this story.

Arnot, of Cirium, thinks it comes down to how the routes performed for the airline, given the high cost of operating flights and scarce resources resulting from nationwide staffing shortages.

“They need to maximize revenue using the constraine­d resources of aircraft and crew, coupled with high demand across their route map,” Arnot said.

To do that, airlines will focus more on routes where the number of customers compared to available seats may be higher, he said.

 ?? MELISSA YEAGER/THE REPUBLIC ?? A Frontier Airlines plane waits at a gate at Sky Harbor Internatio­nal Airport.
MELISSA YEAGER/THE REPUBLIC A Frontier Airlines plane waits at a gate at Sky Harbor Internatio­nal Airport.

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