Frontier Airlines will establish a crew base in Cleveland

Frontier Airlines will open a crew base at Cleveland Hopkins Airport in March. 

Cleveland will join the discount carrier’s existing bases in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, Tampa and Trenton, N.J. 

Currently, Frontier flies 17 routes from Cleveland, having more than doubled its passenger capacity there over the past year. 

The carrier expects to employ up to 110 pilots, 250 flight attendants and 50 aircraft maintenance personnel in Cleveland within a year of the base opening. 

Adding a new base will help with Frontier’s plans to increase it’s out-and-back flying to nearly 90% of its network by the spring, up from the current 50%. Frontier spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz said a Cleveland base had been in consideration before that plan evolved.

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By flying more out-and-back routes as opposed to sending aircraft on more complex point-to-point itineraries, Frontier is hoping to improve operational reliability and cut costs, CEO Barry Biffle said on the carrier’s Q3 earnings call on Oct. 26. 

Point-to-point routings are more exposed to weather-related disruptions than out-and-back schedules that stay confined to one or two regions. And when disruptions occur on out-and-back routes, they don’t reverberate as much across an airline’s network. 

However, running an out-and-back network requires more bases than a point-to-point one, since aircraft are returned to the same base nightly. 

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