Frontier Airlines not recession-proof in August

Frontier Airlines has been the object of affection this summer from two major players in the airline biz: Southwest Airlines, which made a big-money bid for the carrier, and Republic Airways Holdings, which eventually won the Denver firm at auction. But just because Frontier is more coveted than most of its peer firms doesn't mean it's immune to fiscal turbulence. Witness the airline's just-released preliminary traffic report for August, which shows a 10.3 percent decline in revenue passenger miles and a 13.8 percent dip in capacity. At the same time, Frontier's load factor actually increased 2.7 points, which suggests that the company is economizing as wisely as it can. Nevertheless, the latest numbers are unlikely to make the hearts of Republic execs soar.

Look below for all the digits about Frontier and its subsidiary, Lynx Aviation:

Frontier Airlines Reports Preliminary Traffic for August 2009

DENVER, September 08, 2009 -- Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: FRNTQ) today announced preliminary traffic results for August 2009 for both Frontier's mainline operation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lynx Aviation.

Mainline Results for August 2009:

• Revenue passenger miles decreased 10.3 percent to 826,752,000, and capacity (as measured by available seat miles) was down 13.8 percent to 932,579,000 from the same period last year. This resulted in a load factor of 88.7 percent, an increase of 2.7 points from August 2008.

• The airline carried 915,970 passengers, a 9.5 percent decrease from the same period last year.

• The airline's average length of haul decreased 0.8 percent to 903 miles.

Lynx Aviation Results for August 2009:

• Revenue passenger miles increased 21.2 percent to 42,493,000 and capacity was up 6.8 percent to 54,746,000. This resulted in a load factor for August 2009 of 77.6 percent, an increase of 9.2 points over August 2008.

• Lynx carried 125,934 passengers, a 22.0 percent increase from August 2008.

• The airline's average length of haul decreased 0.9 percent to 337 miles.

Frontier estimates that mainline passenger unit revenue decreased year-over-year by 11 percent to 13 percent in the month of August 2009.

The following tables represent comparisons for the month of August year-over-year, fiscal year-to-date and calendar year-to-date traffic results for Frontier's mainline operations and for Lynx.

Frontier's fiscal year begins April 1 and ends March 31.

About Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.

Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of Denver-based Frontier Airlines. Currently in its 16th year of operations, Frontier Airlines is the second-largest jet service carrier at Denver International Airport, employing approximately 5,000 aviation professionals. Frontier Airlines' mainline operation is made up of one of the youngest Airbus fleets in North America offering 24 channels of DIRECTV® service in every seatback along with a comfortable all-coach configuration. In conjunction with a fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft operated by Lynx Aviation (a subsidiary of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.), Frontier offers routes to more than 50 destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica. In addition, Frontier and Midwest Airlines have a codeshare partnership that allows passengers of both airlines access to 70 destinations in the U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica. Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET) expects to close on its purchase of Frontier Airlines on or before October 1, 2009, after which Frontier will become a subsidiary of Republic, alongside Midwest Airlines and Republic's other wholly owned subsidiaries.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts may be forward-looking statements as that item is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could result in actual results differing materially from expected results and represent the Company's expectations and beliefs concerning future events based on information available to the Company as of the date of this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release. Additional information regarding risk factors that may affect future performance at the Company are contained in the Company's SEC filings, including without limitation, the Company's Form 10-K for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts