Frontier Airlines said Tuesday it is soliciting proposals from nearby cities interested in the carrier's new regional and turboprop service.
The homegrown airline has taken the unusual step of sending out proposal requests to more than 50 cities within 1,200 miles of its Denver hub - the planned radius for its new service.
The requests outline Frontier's expansion plans and ask interested cities to submit a host of information, including airport data, market analysis and details on how the community would support the service.
Also Tuesday, Frontier announced new nonstop service between San Francisco and Las Vegas and said it is looking for federal approval to start two new routes between California and Mexico.
The moves highlight Frontier's efforts to broaden its business as it faces new competitive pressures in Denver from Southwest Airlines and a recently restructured United Airlines.
Frontier recently announced plans to buy 10, 74-seat turboprop planes, which it will fly to roughly 15 small and midsize cities and mountain towns in the region starting next summer. It's also adding up to 20 new regional aircraft for additional flights to nearby states.
Frontier, Denver's second-largest airline, has identified a handful of cities for both the turboprop and regional service. But it wanted to cast a wide net.
Issuing proposal requests "is a way for us to evaluate markets we want to fly to and markets that we maybe didn't even think to consider," said Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas.
Numerous communities have expressed interest in the service, although several said they still need to review Frontier's request.
"We'll definitely be putting together a package," said Dave Ruppel, manager of Yampa Valley Regional Airport near Steamboat Springs. "We've had some general discussions around here about maybe getting some service from Denver and even seasonal flights from other areas in the country."
Frontier has been focusing on expanding outside Denver and has added nonstop service from other U.S. cities to Mexico. On Tuesday, the carrier said it's looking for federal approval to fly from both Sacramento and San Jose, Calif., to Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos starting in March. It also will start new flights between San Francisco and Las Vegas beginning Dec. 14. The added service makes California Frontier's second-largest market behind Denver.
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