Frontier Airlines to expand in Atlanta this summer

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04/14/2020 - Atlanta, Georgia - The Frontier Airlines self check-in kiosks at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

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Frontier Airlines is adding seasonal flights for the summer from Atlanta to six cities amid signs travel is poised to rebound as more Americans get vaccinated.

The additions will bring the total number of routes the Denver-based, ultra-low cost carrier flies from Atlanta to 22 for the summer, with about 20 flights a day.

Frontier, which charges extra for checked and carry-on baggage as well as for in-flight snacks and beverages, is adding summer flights from Atlanta to Dallas/Fort Worth; Hartford, Conn.; Portland, Maine; and Providence, R.I.. It also is restoring service to Cleveland and Phoenix.

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In past years, Frontier was more focused on growth in the western United States, but is now further expanding in other parts of the country. Later this year, the airline plans to open an Atlanta crew base.

Josh Flyr, Frontier’s vice president of network, called it “a significant growth milestone” for the airline at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week said fully vaccinated people can safely travel. More than 1.5 million people a day passed through the nation’s airport security checkpoints on several days over the last week, and some parking lots at Hartsfield-Jackson have been reaching capacity during busy periods.

Other airlines have also announced plans for more flights as travel recovers, including Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines.

While some are developing vaccine passports to verify inoculation status for travel and other activities, Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted Tuesday that he does not “and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport,” adding that “the decision to receive the vaccine should be left up to each individual.”

Michael Smith, Hartfield-Jackson’s senior deputy general manager, said the airport expects to see passenger numbers increase in the coming weeks and months. He noted that travelers will still need to wear masks and take other precautions.

“We are not out of the COVID crisis shadow just yet,” Smith said.

From Atlanta, Frontier will launch two flights a week to Phoenix starting June 10; four weekly flights each to Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth and Hartford starting June 11; three flights a week to Providence starting July 12; and four flights a week to Portland starting July 13.

Frontier’s discount model attracts leisure travelers lured by bargains. The airline flies Airbus A320 jets and often operates seasonal routes with a few flights a week to attract vacationers. The summer flights will operate until Labor Day.

Before the pandemic, Frontier had about 12 flights a day from Atlanta, though its schedule fluctuated seasonally. It cut back to as little as two Atlanta flights a day due to COVID-19 last May.

Frontier has three gates on Concourse D at Hartsfield-Jackson and for the expansion will use available space in Concourse E, which has international gates that can also be used for domestic flights.

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