1993 - 1998: our (re)birth years!
A huge hole was to be left in 1993 when Continental Airlines decided to scale back its Denver hub to just a handful of flights. So, in August of that year a few executives of the former Frontier Airlines and other company founders got together to think about filling in those holes. In November they finished the business plan to create a "new" airline called Frontier. On February 8, 1994 the new company was incorporated as Frontier Airlines. As we recall, it was a sunny, yet chilly day in the Denver metro area, and we celebrated with a nice juicy steak. By March 15, our headquarters office opened with a staff of 22.
Over the next few years, we grew to serve both coasts, earning a spot as one of the "national" airlines. Read on for the specific highlights.
Executives of the former Frontier Airlines and other company founders begin studying market opportunities expected to follow wide scale flight terminations at Denver planned by Continental Airlines.
Continental begins the first phase of its Denver cutback.
Founding group completes business plan calling for creation of a new airline to fill flight voids on a number of routes formerly served by Continental.
We incorporate in Colorado as Frontier Airlines. Our founders subsequently put up $516,000 in "seed money."
We file an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a Part 121 Operating Certificate.
Our headquarter office opens with a staff of 22 people.
We file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Section 401 Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.
Our private stock placement nets $1.3 million. The May 20 initial public offering brings in net proceeds totaling $7.6 million, completing startup financing.
We book our very first passenger reservation. Woo hoo!
We receive our Part 121 Operating Certificate from the FAA.
We receive our Section 401 certificate from the DOT, completing the government approval process.
Continental concludes the first phase of its flight cutbacks having vacated 25 Denver routes between October 1993 and July 1994.
We take off! We launch our first flights. Our operations begin with two Boeing 737-200s on routes linking Denver to Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot, N.D. Company has 180 employees at startup. Champagne was served.
We carry 5,922 passengers during our first month of service.
We inaugurate new route from Denver to Bozeman and Missoula, MT.
We debut flights from Denver to Billings and Great Falls, MT.
We begin service to Albuquerque, El Paso and Tucson, and expand our line maintenance by establishing an overnight maintenance base at El Paso Airport.
Continental exits 23 more Denver markets, bringing to 48 the number of local routes it's abandoned since October 1993.
We complete our first six months of service having carried a total of 145,412 passengers. We have 330 employees at year-end and a fleet of five Boeing 737- 200 aircraft.
We inaugurate service from Denver to Omaha while discontinuing flights on our lesser-traveled routes to Minot and Grand Forks.
We introduce flights to Las Vegas.
We end our service to Tucson and add more flights to Las Vegas. It seems a lot of people like to go gambling.
Our very first year of flight operations is concluded with a total of 398,767 passengers having been carried since July 1994. Employees: 390.
We begin to shift our marketing priorities to more heavily traveled routes with service startups at Chicago/Midway and Phoenix; concurrently, we end our service to Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls and Missoula.
We welcome our first Boeing 737-300 to the fleet to introduce service between Denver and Los Angeles.
We inaugurate flights from Denver to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Salt Lake City.
We open golden gates as we launch Denver-to-San Francisco flights.
We conclude our first full calendar year of operations. Fleet size: seven 737s; employees: 430; traffic: 613,878 boardings in 1995 and 759,290 boardings since 1994.
We board our one-millionth passenger - with lots of confetti and fanfare.
We launch new flights to Seattle/Tacoma.
We introduce service to San Diego and St. Louis.
Our second anniversary of operations is concluded with a total of 1,297,488 passengers having been carried since July 1994. Employees: 675.
We end flights to Fargo and Bismarck, N.D., the last two of our eight original destinations in Montana and North Dakota.
Year-end figures: Fleet size: 10 737s; employees: 725; traffic: 1,118,082 boardings in 1996 and 1,877,372 boardings since July 1994.
Bloomington-Normal, IL, is added to our route system as an extension of one of our Denver- Omaha flights.
For the first time we record revenues of over $100 million during our fiscal year ended March 31, 1997, which qualifies us among America's dozen or so "national" carriers.
We announce plans to merge with Western Pacific Airlines by the end of the year, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.
Our third year of flight operations is concluded with a total of 2,545,409 passengers having been carried since July 1994. Employees: 800.
Our new route to Boston is introduced, marking our debut as a coast-to-coast airline (via Denver). We're bi-coastal, baby!
The merger plan with Western Pacific is called off.
We inaugurate service from Denver to Baltimore/Washington, DC; at the same time, flights to St. Louis and San Diego are terminated.
New York-LaGuardia is added to our route system just in time for holiday shopping.
Year-end figures: Fleet size: 13 737s; employees: 900; traffic: 1,315,728 boardings in 1997 and 3,193,100 boardings since July 1994.
Western Pacific shuts down and we emerge as the principal low-fare carrier at Denver International Airport.
Our fourth year of flight operations is concluded with a total of 3,931,089 passengers having been carried since July 1994. Employees: 935.
Our service to San Diego is resumed. People really like visiting that zoo.
We switch to our own ground-handling operations at Denver International Airport, creating 100 additional jobs.
Our Frontier station opens at Boulder, CO., offering complimentary ground shuttle service to and from Denver International Airport.
Our flights to Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth are inaugurated, and service is reinstated to Las Vegas, bringing to 18 the number of cities linked to Denver on our route system.
Year-end figures: Fleet size; 17 737s; employees: 1,200; traffic: 1,530,873 boardings in 1998 and 4,724,246 boardings since July 1994.
Keep reading our history: 1999-2004
Keep reading our history: 2005