Frontier Airlines was the launch customer of the Airbus A318. Between 2003 and 2007, they took delivery of 11 of the type. However, retirement of the type already began in 2010 and was completed by autumn 2013. All of Frontier's A318 were not resold, but parted out for scrap. At the time of scrapping, the five youngest examples had spent less than two and a half years in active service, while the oldest two were just over ten years old.
Also in 2010, JetBlue entered into interline booking agreements with South African Airways and American Airlines to facilitate luggage transfers between airlines for passengers with connecting flights on a different carrier. The agreement with American included JetBlue's 18 destinations not served by American and American's 12 international flights out of New York–JFK and Boston Logan. In addition, American gave JetBlue 8 round trips slots out of Washington National in D.C. and 2 out of Westchester, New York. In return, JetBlue gave American 6 round trips out of New York–JFK. The agreement with American Airlines has since ended according to JetBlue's website.
In 2008, jetBlue partnered with Irish flagship carrier Aer Lingus to allow passengers to switch between airlines on a single ticket for flights with connections in New York–JFK or Boston Logan. Unlike traditional codeshare agreements, the companies cannot sell seats on each other's flights, so customers initiate the purchase on one airline's website and then are transferred to the other site to complete the transaction.
In February 2015, Frontier announced that they will begin service to several destinations from Atlanta adding the airport as a focus city. In July, Frontier also began decreasing service from Washington Dulles International Airport removing the airport as a focus city. In early 2016 Frontier announced major route expansion from airports nationwide including Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Orlando, and Philadelphia. In June 2016, Frontier re-established service to Port Columbus International Airport. In May 2017, the airline announced opening a new crew base in Las Vegas in the fall 2017 to improve operational reliability and potentially create new jobs in Las Vegas. In December 2017, Frontier began service to Buffalo, New York, with service to Denver, Colorado, and Florida, including Miami, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa.
Frontier Airlines was incorporated on February 8, 1994, by a group that included executives of the original incarnation of Frontier Airlines in response to the void left by Continental Airlines' 1993 shutdown of its Denver (Stapleton) hub. Scheduled flights began five months later in July 1994 using Boeing 737-200 jetliners on routes between Denver and four destinations in North Dakota: Bismarck, Minot, Fargo and Grand Forks. By January 1995, Frontier had expanded its route network from Denver and was serving Albuquerque, New Mexico; Billings, Montana; Bismarck, N.D.; Bozeman, Montana; El Paso, Texas; Fargo, N.D.; Great Falls, Montana; Las Vegas, Nevada; Missoula, Montana; Omaha, Nebraska; and Tucson, Arizona with 737's. Like the original airline of the same name, the new Frontier operated a hub at Denver (DEN) and for the first nine years used the slogan "The Spirit of the West" which was displayed above the windows and just behind the cursive letters "Frontier" on the fuselage of their aircraft. In 1999, Frontier signed agreements to begin purchasing and leasing Airbus A318 and A319 jet aircraft and had also added Boeing 737-300 jetliners to its fleet as well. Also by September 1999, the airline was serving destinations from coast to coast in the U.S., having expanded its route network to include Atlanta (ATL); Baltimore (BWI); Bloomington/Normal, Illinois (BMI); Boston (BOS); Chicago (MDW, Midway Airport); Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW); Phoenix (PHX); Los Angeles (LAX); Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP); New York City (LGA, LaGuardia Airport); Orlando (MCO); Portland, Oregon (PDX); Salt Lake City (SLC); San Diego (SAN); San Francisco (SFO); and Seattle (SEA), all served from its Denver hub.
In December 2006, jetBlue, as part of their RTP plan, removed a row of seats from their A320s to lighten the aircraft by 904 lb (410 kg) and reduce the cabin crew size from four to three (per FAA regulation requiring one flight attendant per 50 seats), thus offsetting the lost revenue from the removal of seats, and further lightening the aircraft, resulting in less fuel burned.
jetBlue experienced its first-ever quarterly loss during the fourth quarter of 2005 when the airline lost $42.4 million, enough to make them unprofitable for the entire year of 2005. The loss was the airline's first since going public in 2002. JetBlue also reported a loss in the first quarter of 2006. In addition to that, jetBlue forecasted a loss for 2006, citing high fuel prices, operating inefficiency, and fleet costs. During the first quarter report, CEO David Neeleman, President Dave Barger, and then-CFO John Owen released JetBlue's "Return to Profitability" ("RTP") plan, stating in detail how they would curtail costs and improve revenue to regain profitability. The plan called for $50 million in annual cost cuts and a push to boost revenue by $30 million. jetBlue Airways moved out of the red during the second quarter of 2006, beating Wall Street expectations by announcing a net profit of $14 million. That result was flat when compared to jetBlue's results from the same quarter a year before ($13 million), but it was double Wall Street forecasts of a $7 million profit, Reuters reports. The carrier said cost-cutting and stronger revenue helped it offset higher jet fuel costs. In October 2006, jetBlue announced a net loss of $500,000 for Quarter 3, and a plan to regain that loss by deferring some of their E190 deliveries and by selling 5 of their A320s.
On June 22, 2009, Frontier Airlines announced that pending bankruptcy court approval, Republic Airways Holdings, the Indianapolis-based parent company of Republic Airlines, would acquire all assets of Frontier Airlines for the amount of $108 million. Thus, Frontier Airlines would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic. However, 5 weeks later on July 30, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announced that it would be making a competing bid of $113.6 million for Frontier with intentions to also operate Frontier as a wholly owned subsidiary, but that it would gradually fold Frontier resources into current Southwest operating assets.
In 2009, jetBlue announced that it was looking for a new headquarters location, and was considering moving either within the New York City metropolitan area or to the Orlando, Florida area. In April 2009, Helen Marshall, the president of the Borough of Queens, said that the City of New York was trying to keep JetBlue in the city; in January 2010, the CEO of JetBlue, Dave Barger, and Governor of Florida Charlie Crist met in Tallahassee, Florida to discuss a possible move to Orlando. A decision was expected by March 2010, although a move would not happen until 2012, when its lease in the Forest Hills Tower expired.
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Beginning in 2001, a new livery was introduced on the airline's new Airbus A319s, with large silver "FRONTIER" titles on the sides of the aircraft, and the airline's "Spirit of the West" slogan, later changed to "A whole different animal." The animal tails were retained, although only one image per aircraft was now used. Though the airline's Boeing 737s remained in the fleet until 2005, none were repainted into this livery.
As of 2018 it ranked No. 402 financially on the Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. JetBlue Airways operates over 1,000 flights daily and serves 102 domestic and international network destinations in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America. JetBlue is not a member of any of the three major airline alliances, but it has codeshare agreements with 21 airlines, including member airlines of oneworld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and unaffiliated airlines.
On January 11, 2007, Frontier Airlines signed an 11-year service agreement with Republic Airlines. Under the agreement, Republic was to operate 17, 76-seat Embraer 170 aircraft for the former Frontier JetExpress operations. At the time the contract was canceled in April 2008, Republic Airlines operated 11 aircraft for Frontier Airlines, with the remaining six aircraft expected to join the fleet by December 2008. With the integration of Republic aircraft, the 'JetExpress' denotation was removed. Subsequent to the cessation of Horizon's services for Frontier in December 2007, all flights operated by Republic were sold and marketed as "Frontier Airlines, operated by Republic Airlines." The first market created specifically for the Embraer 170 was Louisville, Kentucky, which began on April 1, 2007. Service to Louisville was suspended in August 2008 but restarted in April 2010.
In March 2002, Travelocity acquired last minute travel specialist Site59.com. The CEO and founder of Site59, Michelle Peluso, joined Travelocity with the acquisition as senior vice president, product strategy and distribution. Peluso became Travelocity's COO in April 2003 and was then named president and chief executive officer of Travelocity in December 2003. Many members of Peluso's former management team at Site59 were appointed to senior management positions at Travelocity including Jeffrey Glueck (Chief Marketing Officer), Tracey Weber (President, North America), Josh Hartmann (Chief Technology Officer) and Jonathan Perkel (Senior Vice President and General Counsel).
After making a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa that went into effect in 2010, jetBlue transitioned to the Sabre reservation system used by Lufthansa, enabling the airlines to sell tickets on each other's flights, transfer luggage and passengers between the two carriers, and combine frequent flyer programs,. By making use of JetBlue's North America routes as a feeder network, the agreement put Lufthansa in a position to operate quasi-hubs in New York–JFK and Boston Logan.
In October 2013, jetBlue introduced Mint, a premium cabin service on transcontinental and select Caribbean flights. The service began in 2014, using the Airbus A321-231 aircraft ordered by jetBlue. These planes are outfitted with winglets, as well as with "lie flat" seats, and moveable partitions that can create small suites on the airplane. Called "Mint" by jetBlue, these planes are configured with 16 business-class seats and 143 economy seats, instead of an all-economy configuration of 190 seats.