Frontier announces new international routes from Atlanta

Frontier Airlines is expanding its international flying from Atlanta with five new routes to the Caribbean and Central America.

The ultra low-cost carrier announced Tuesday it will begin flying from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Nassau, Bahamas; Kingston, Jamaica; San Salvador, El Salvador; and San Jose and Liberia, Costa Rica.

The airline began flying internationally from Atlanta last year, with flights to Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The launch of the five routes this November and December will more than double the number of international routes Frontier flies from Atlanta.

Denver-based Frontier targets budget travelers and charges extra for carry-on and checked baggage and in-flight food and beverages. It has expanded at Hartsfield-Jackson over the last decade and operates flights from Atlanta to destinations around the United States, some of them with just one or two flights a week, or on seasonal schedules.

Frontier last month lost out on a bid to merge with Spirit Airlines when Spirit decided to combine with JetBlue instead.

When the cancellation of the Frontier-Spirit merger was announced at the end of July, Frontier issued a statement saying it was disappointed but that it is “well positioned to grow rapidly.” It added that its ultra low-cost model “continues to provide the foundation for Frontier’s growth strategy.”

With the new routes, Frontier will become the carrier with the second-highest number of international routes from Atlanta.

That’s because Delta dominates Hartsfield-Jackson and operates the lion’s share of flights with dozens of international routes, while Southwest as the second-largest carrier here no longer flies internationally from Atlanta.

Foreign carriers often operate only one or two routes from Atlanta to their major hubs. American and United are large global carriers, but typically connect passengers through their hubs in other cities to reach international destinations.

Frontier wants to grow further in Atlanta — if it can get the gates to do so, said Jake Filene, the airline’s senior vice president of customers. The carrier has two gates on Concourse D and uses space on other “common-use” gates at the airport.

“We would really like to get more gates,” Filene said. “There’s a lot of demand here” in Atlanta.

“Everybody wants more gates,” said Jai Ferrell, chief commercial officer at Hartsfield-Jackson. She said the airport’s Concourse T extension under construction would open up several additional gates at the airport next year, to be allocated among airlines that have asked for more gate space.

Frontier’s new international routes from Atlanta

Destination: start date, frequency

Nassau, Bahamas: Nov. 5, 1x/week

San Salvador, El Salvador: Nov. 6, 2x/week

Kingston, Jamaica: Nov. 7, 2x/week

San Jose, Costa Rica: Nov. 17, 2x/week

Liberia, Costa Rica: Dec. 17, 1x/week

Source: Frontier