Frontier Airlines (Nasdaq: FRNT ) announced it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) today to purchase 11 new Airbus aircraft, with options for an additional nine new Airbus aircraft. The airline`s order contemplates a fleet replacement plan by which it will phase out its Boeing 737 aircraft and will replace them with Airbus aircraft. Further terms of the LOI were not disclosed. In addition, the company is in negotiations to lease additional Airbus aircraft that would be used as growth aircraft over a ten-year period.
“The people of Frontier are focused on the continued growth, prosperity and success of our airline,” said Frontier President Sam Addoms. “Our focus has always encompassed several key stakeholder groups: Our customers, our employees and our shareholders. We believe that choosing Airbus will provide a superior product for our customers, long-term stability for our employees and a better rate of return for our shareholders.”
The A319, equipped International Aero Engines V2500 engines, will be configured with 132 seats with a 32-inch pitch. The A318, equipped with Pratt and Whitney PW6000 engines, will be configured with 114 seats with a 32-inch pitch. The Airbus product was chosen by the airline for its superior economic return, fleet flexibility and commonality features. In addition, both aircraft feature fly-by-wire flight controls and lightweight composite materials, which bring substantial operating cost benefits.
“From a marketing perspective, the Airbus product offers several enhancements that will improve customer comfort, including wider seats and a wider aisle. This will allow us to increase the amount of legroom to a standard 32-inch pitch, which is greater than the current industry average. In addition, the Airbus fleet will present standardized galleys and service equipment so that our flight attendants are able to offer their legendary ‘Spirit of the West` service and have more opportunities to interact with our customers,” said Frontier Vice President of Marketing Jeff Potter.