Denver, CO (Nov. 11, 2003) - On Sunday, November 9, 2003, Frontier Airlines
(Nasdaq: FRNT) participated in a press conference in which Denver Mayor Hickenlooper
and United Airlines announced settlement of disputes related to United's leases
at Denver International Airport (DIA).
As part of the agreement reached between the City and County of Denver and
United, Frontier was advised that United has agreed to relinquish one gate on
Concourse A for immediate lease to Frontier on a permanent basis. In addition,
United would make available two gates for use by Frontier until completion of
the construction of additional gates for Frontier on the west end of Concourse
A, or October 31, 2005. The agreement between the City and United remains subject
to approval under bankruptcy court procedures.
Frontier has been working closely with DIA, Frontier's primary hub of operations,
and the offices of the Mayor of the City and County of Denver, in which DIA
is located, for several months. The goal of the meetings was to develop strategies
to accommodate Frontier's anticipated growth over the next several years, including
plans for expanding Concourse A where Frontier's aircraft gates are located,
and also to improve the efficient use of existing gates.
"We want to thank Mayor Hickenlooper and his staff for their perseverance,
which, in principal, allows us to reach a tentative agreement," said Frontier
President and CEO Jeff Potter.
Plans for Frontier's expansion on Concourse A are still in development and
the final scope of the project and a firm estimate of the project costs and
the financing structure are yet to be determined. Current plan options call
for the addition of two to six mainline gates and four to five regional jet
In concept, here are brief details relating to how this proposed expansion would
impact Frontier's growth plans:
- Currently, construction has already begun on two "tube" gates
at the west end of Concourse A and Frontier will lease those gates upon their
completion in the Spring of 2004.
- Assuming the addition of these two tube gates to Frontier's current 11 gates
and the three United gates, Frontier would operate a total of 16 gates by
Spring 2004, all located in Concourse A.
- In addition to the two tube gates, the proposed expansion on the west end
of Concourse A will provide Frontier with two to six additional mainline gates,
plus a pad to accommodate Frontier's four to five regional jets. The construction
for this expansion is estimated to take 18-24 months.
- Following the completion of the proposed west side expansions, Frontier
is required to give two of the three east side gates back to United, meaning
that Frontier will have a total of 16-20 permanent mainline gates, depending
on the final design of the expansion, and parking positions that will accommodate
the airline's planned regional jet operation.
- The City's agreement with United also provides new gate utilization and
occupancy standards that will be applied to all airlines at DIA as their leases
come up for renewal. The gate standards narrow the period of scheduled gate
occupancy for United's flights on Concourse A, giving airport managers the
flexibility to accommodate Frontier or other carriers' flights on United gates
when they are not being used by United. The new gate utilization standards
also require that all airlines meet a weighted average of four departures
per day per gate on Concourses A and C.
Currently in its tenth year of operations, Denver-based Frontier Airlines is
the second largest jet service carrier at Denver International Airport with
a fleet of 39 aircraft and employing approximately 3,700 aviation professionals.
Frontier, in conjunction with Frontier JetExpress operated by Mesa Air Group
("Mesa"), operates routes linking our Denver hub to 37 cities in 22
states spanning the nation from coast-to-coast and to three cities in Mexico.
Frontier's maintenance and engineering department has received the Federal Aviation
Administration's highest award, the Diamond Certificate of Excellence, in recognition
of 100 percent of its maintenance and engineering employees completing advanced
aircraft maintenance training programs, for four consecutive years. In August
2003, Frontier ranked as one of the "Top 10 Domestic Airlines" as
determined by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. Frontier provides
capacity information and other operating statistics on its Web site, which may
be viewed at www.frontierairlines.com.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Frontier notes that this press release contains forward-looking statements and
that certain information contained in this press release involves risks and
uncertainties that could result in actual results differing materially from
expected results. These statements include, but are not limited to, the details
of United's agreement with the City and the future gates that will be available
to Frontier for its operations. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject
to risks and uncertainties, many of which cannot be predicted with accuracy
and some of which might not even be anticipated. Some of the factors that could
significantly impact the forward-looking statements in this press release include,
but are not limited to: United's ability to obtain the necessary approvals of
its agreement with the City and to emerge from bankruptcy with the ability to
meet its obligations under the restructured lease agreement with the City, the
inability of Frontier and the City to reach agreement as to the final design
of the Concourse A West expansion, and the inability of the City to find the
financing necessary to complete the Concourse A West expansion project. 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 these and other factors
may be contained in the Company's SEC filings, including without limitation,
the Company's form 10-K for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2003, and the Company's
Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2003 and the Company's form 8-K filed
September 19, 2003.