Frontier Airlines keeping all 70 planes in fleet


NEW YORK – Frontier Airlines said Wednesday it will keep all 70 planes in its fleet and is making payments to stay current on leases and financing agreements.

Denver-based Frontier Airlines Holding Inc., which owns the carrier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April. The carrier was allowed to suspend payments on its aircraft for 60 days after the filing but then had to decide whether to maintain the leases and contracts.

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Frontier spokesman Steve Snyder says the airline had to make the payments or the lender could have taken the planes. He declined to say how much the carrier paid to get up to date.

Frontier owns 22 of the Airbus jets in its fleet and leases 38. The airline also has 10 Bombardier Q-400 turboprop regional aircraft. Five are owned by Frontier and five are leased.

Last week, Frontier said Teamsters Union members had approved temporary wage and benefit concessions designed to help the company emerge from bankruptcy protection. The Denver-based carrier said the union represents about 430 mechanics, tool room employees and others.

Unions representing Frontier’s pilots and dispatchers approved concessions last month. The airline says Chief Executive Officer Sean Menke and other executives have agreed to cuts of up to 20 percent.

In seeking bankruptcy protection, Frontier said credit card processor First Data Corp. sought to hold up to 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales until flights were completed. First Data previously withheld 50 percent.

Frontier and First Data have since reached a new agreement on the handling of proceeds from ticket sales but have not released details.

The carrier also has been struggling with fuel costs and aggressive competition in Denver.