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Nov 2, 2007|
Frontier to Build New Heavy Maintenance Facility in Colorado Springs
Frontier to add new commercial service between Denver and Colorado Springs by spring 2008
DENVER, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- After more than a year of intensive research and in-depth financial analysis, Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRNT) today announced that it will build a new base maintenance facility for Frontier Airlines' heavy maintenance program at Colorado Springs Airport. Although final designs have not been completed, Frontier estimates the facility will be approximately 100,000 square feet, with about 30,000 square feet of hangar floor space and 45,000 square feet of offices and support shops, as well as 25,000 square feet of warehouse and tool room space. Including parking facilities, the Company believes the project will require a site of approximately 11 acres.
Frontier and Colorado Springs Airport are expected to begin the $25 million construction project in late spring 2008 and estimate it will take 12 to 18 months to complete. Frontier anticipates financing the construction project and related equipment and tooling purchases through a tax exempt special facility bond offered through the City of Colorado Springs. Frontier will then lease the facility from the City for an initial 30-year period. The new facility will be a base for approximately 225 airline professionals, including mechanics, supervisors, quality control inspectors, and purchasing and material handling staff.
"This is a historic day for Frontier Airlines and one that has been in the making for many years," said Sean Menke, Frontier President and CEO. "We began the latest search for a site in earnest well over a year ago, with many considerations such as the impact the location would have on our employees, as well as a critical review of the financials associated with such a large scale project and potential move from our current leased facility at DIA. In the end, we feel that we have found a great fit in Colorado Springs, both for our employees as well as for our balance sheet. The City of Colorado Springs has proven throughout the review process that they understand the sensitivities our employees have with relocating and they recognized early on that any offer they made would have to be very financially compelling for us to consider it.
"I commend all of the Colorado sites from whom we received proposals. I have no doubt they all put forward their very best packages and we greatly appreciate the time, coordination and sacrifices those proposals represent. Specifically I want to thank DIA and the City of Denver for their efforts. They worked very aggressively to keep our maintenance base in Denver but at the end of the day, the Colorado Springs opportunity was simply a better financial fit for our needs.
"While we anxiously await the start, and ultimately completion of this new state-of-the-art maintenance facility, we are happy to add that we will be able to easily transport our new friends in Colorado Springs to and from our hub in Denver. While we are still analyzing the appropriate aircraft and frequencies for this service, we are committed to linking Colorado Springs to our DIA hub by late spring of 2008, offering Colorado Springs a one-stop connection to over 60 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Central America via Frontier's mainline Airbus service.
"Most importantly, on behalf of the board and the entire leadership team of Frontier, I want to thank our employees for their input and patience as we engaged in a process that we understood could have a very direct impact on their lives and their families with the potential for relocation. We did not make this decision lightly, and we plan to work very closely with the City of Colorado Springs to ensure that our employees have every possible benefit offered to a new company moving into their community. There will be extensive relocation programs developed specifically for Frontier and of course, Colorado Springs offers an excellent quality of life. We are hopeful that all of our current employees will be able to make the move to the new facility upon completion of the construction project."
"This is a day to celebrate," said Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera. "This announcement is one that we have worked on diligently to make a reality. It is with enthusiasm and pride that we warmly welcoming Frontier and the families of Frontier to the Colorado Springs community. City Council had an important role in landing the maintenance hangar, and I am happy to see a public goal of mine come to fruition as plans for low cost air service begin to take off from the Colorado Spring Airport. This has been a team effort and is a team success. It has been about creativity and collaboration. It is about a professional, dedicated airport staff listening to a customer, a partner, and thinking outside the box. The City of Colorado Springs has a strategic goal of economic vitality. This is a huge step forward toward successfully setting the pace for that goal. We will see new jobs, a new facility and new families joining our community. We can't wait to show you what Colorado Springs is all about. Welcome aboard."
"The new Frontier service is a great addition for Colorado Springs," said Colorado Springs Airport Aviation Director Mark Earle. "This will give our customers more choices, making it easier for them to enjoy the convenience of flying out of their hometown airport. We're also excited about the new base maintenance facility and look forward to welcoming the Frontier maintenance team and their families to our community."
About Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.
Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of Denver-based Frontier Airlines. Currently in its 14th year of operations, Frontier Airlines is the second-largest jet service carrier at Denver International Airport, employing approximately 6,000 aviation professionals. With 60 aircraft and one of the youngest Airbus fleets in North America, Frontier offers 24 channels of DIRECTV® service in every seatback along with 33 inches of legroom in an all coach configuration. In conjunction with its regional jet fleet, operated by Horizon and Republic Airlines, Frontier offers routes linking its Denver hub to 61 destinations, including 53 U.S. cities in 32 states spanning the nation from coast to coast, seven cities in Mexico, two cities in Canada and one in Costa Rica. In November 2006, Frontier and AirTran announced a first-of-its-kind integrated marketing partnership that offers travelers the ability to reach more than 80 destinations across four countries with low fares, aboard two of the youngest fleets in the industry. In December 2006, Frontier was designated "Best Low Cost Carrier" in the U.S. by the readers of Business Traveler magazine. Frontier's maintenance department has received the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Diamond Award recognizing its advanced training standards for eight consecutive years, from 1999 to 2006. For more in-depth information on Frontier Airlines, please visit its Web site at http://www.frontierairlines.com/.
SOURCE: Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.
CONTACT: Joe Hodas of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc., +1-720-374-4504,
Web site: http://www.frontierairlines.com/