Frontier "Scaling Back" Denver Operation, Returns Six Gates at DIA

It's been a rough few months for Frontier — and the changes the carrier is making in an attempt to right its operation stand a good chance of undermining its longstanding claim to be Denver's hometown airline.

Example: Frontier is giving back six of the gates assigned to it at Denver International Airport.

Frontier is spinning the move as an attempt to "right-size" its DIA service. But the Denver City Council document that requested permission for such a move (it was granted yesterday) puts the situation much more bluntly.

"Frontier is scaling back their operation in Denver," states the doc, on view below.

This move, which will reduce Frontier's leased space by 10,950 square feet at a savings of $3 million per annum, follows a slew of sketchy developments for the airline.

In May, the Air Travel Consumer Report, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, ranked Frontier dead last among thirteen carriers analyzed.

Here are some key stats from that report, which we've also included here.

Complaints, March 2014: 22
Systemwide Enplanements, March 2014: 871,570
Complaints per 100,000 Enplanements, March 2014: 2.52
Complaints, March 2015: 162
Systemwide Enplanements, March 2015: 1,022,979
Complaints per 100,000 Enplanements, March 2015: 15.84

The same week this report was made public, Frontier CEO Dave Siegel resigned — and while the move was allegedly unrelated to the terrible report, the confluence of these two developments didn't reflect well on the airline.

Neither did the collection of nasty tales collected on a website called Frontier Airlines Horror Stories, many of which took place at DIA.

The gate reduction will reportedly be completed in January, with Delta Airlines expected to pick up the slack.

Frontier execs are no doubt hoping the change will help keep the airline aloft, albeit with a lower profile in its own home town.

Here's the aforementioned city council document, followed by the Air Travel Consumer Report.

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