Frontier Airlines will begin flights from Chicago Midway (MDW) and Houston Hobby (HOU) airports this spring as it looks to strengthen its position in the two huge metro areas.
The carrier pulled out of Chicago Midway seven years ago to focus its efforts on Chicago O’Hare (ORD) but will return to the city’s secondary airport in late April with the launch of eight routes. A further two services have been earmarked to start in October.
At Houston Hobby, Frontier plans to restore service in May, almost a decade after opting to switch operations to the city’s larger Houston George Bush (IAH). Three routes are being launched to Cancun (CUN), Las Vegas (LAS) and Orlando (MCO).
“We’re excited to strengthen our position in two of the five largest metro areas in the country with 13 new routes and two additional airport options for our customers flying to or from Chicago or Houston,” SVP of commercial Daniel Shurz said.
“This strategic announcement situates Frontier to capture strong existing demand and stimulate new traffic with affordable fares and convenient service.”
Frontier’s expansion from Chicago Midway and Houston Hobby will heighten competition with Southwest Airlines—the largest operator at each airport by some distance. According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, Southwest has a 93% share of all departure seats from MDW in January 2022 and a 94.4% share at HOU.
Of the 10 routes being launched from Chicago Midway—to Atlanta (ATL), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas, Ontario (ONT), Orlando, Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX), Tampa (TPA) and Trenton (TTN)—Frontier will face direct competition from Southwest on eight of them, OAG data shows. Only DFW and TTN are currently unserved. Additionally, Delta Air Lines also serves the Chicago Midway-Atlanta market.
From Houston Hobby, Frontier will go head-to-head with Southwest on all three of its new routes. Southwest serves Cancun and Las Vegas three times per day, while 5X-daily flights are offered to Orlando.