Denver, U.S.-based Frontier Airlines and Volaris, a Mexican ULCC, have announced a codeshare agreement which, subject to regulatory approval, will result in the world’s first code-share between two (ultra) low-cost carriers. The airlines plan to launch sales of tickets under the codeshare deal in Spring 2018, with the scheme extending to the entire network of each airline.
“Once the codeshare is in place, passengers will enjoy a seamless low-fare travel experience traveling on Frontier and Volaris,” the carriers said in a joint statement. The statement also established that “A natural fit between the carriers’ networks already exists with each serving more than 20 of the same markets. In addition, both carriers fly Airbus A320 aircraft.”
“We estimate that our partnership will add around 20 new destinations to our network and 80 new routes between […] Mexico and the United States,” said Enrique Beltranena, Volaris CEO. Barry Biffle, President, and CEO of Frontier Airlines added “Many customers traveling between the U.S. and Mexico are forced to pay high fares to fly, and this agreement will provide lower fares to a vast majority of the U.S. and Mexico population. As the leading ultra-low-cost carrier in Mexico, Volaris is an ideal partner with which to align and we look forward to work together to deliver low fares to millions of people.”
Frontier, which adopted the ultra-LCC model in 2014, is wholly owned by Indigo Partners, which is also a shareholder in publicly traded Volaris. In recent months, there has been more talk of cooperation among Indigo Partners affiliated airlines.
Indigo Partners managing partner Bill Franke announced a massive order at the Dubai Air Show in November for 430 Airbus A320NEO family aircraft to be split among four ULCCs in which Indigo Partners has holdings: Frontier, Volaris, Chile-based JetSMART and Hungary-based Wizz Air. Indigo Partners has stated Frontier will receive 100 A320NEOs and 34 A321NEOs from the order while Volaris will get 46 A320NEOs and 34 A321NEOs.
Featured image from nycplanespotting.com