It’s a new-(engine) Frontier out there.
Frontier Airlines officially unveiled its first Airbus A321neo on Tuesday during a splashy event at its maintenance hanger at Tampa International Airport (TPA) in Florida.
The 240-seat jet is Frontier’s first neo, or “new engine option,” which features greater fuel efficiency and more range than the previous generation of Airbus narrow-body aircraft.
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Frontier expects to add 158 of the A321neo to its fleet by the end of the decade. Frontier’s parent company, Indigo Partners — which also owns Volaris in Mexico, JetSMART in Chile and Argentina, and Wizz Air in Europe — has a total of 743 outstanding orders from Airbus, according to the Toulouse-based planemaker.
The low-cost airline has another 68 aircraft on order, or a total of 226 if the neos are included. This includes 18 orders for the A321XLR, an even longer-range version of the aircraft that Frontier could use to fly to Alaska, Hawaii, or even across the Atlantic from the East Coast.
In addition to the extended range, the neo family of jets offers roughly 20% better efficiency than the previous generation.
With Frontier’s dense passenger configuration, the A321neo can achieve roughly 120 miles per gallon per seat, assuming a full flight, airline CEO and president Barry Biffle said.
“The introduction of the A321neo into our fleet is an important step in our company’s sustainability goals and continued growth,” Biffle said in a statement. “They are the most fuel-efficient aircraft in operation among major U.S. airlines and are capable of delivering immediate, tangible reductions in fuel consumption, carbon emissions and engine noise.”
Frontier’s first A321neo features a special livery with a bald eagle on its tail — a nod to the logo used by engine designer Pratt & Whitney, the airline said.
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