Pratt & Whitney and Frontier Airlines have revealed “Maria the Bald Eagle,” the airline’s second A321neo aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines featuring a signature bald eagle livery. The plane was named by Pratt & Whitney employees in honor of sustainable aviation pioneer Maria Della Posta, president of Pratt & Whitney Canada and the first female to lead a Pratt & Whitney business unit.
“Frontier and Pratt & Whitney share a common mission towards evermore sustainable aviation,” said Della Posta. “At Pratt & Whitney, we seek not just to be the best engine supplier in the world, but also the best for the world. I’m honored to represent the people of Pratt & Whitney, and I’d like to thank them and the thousands of Frontier employees who are doing their part to move aviation toward net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Della Posta joined Pratt & Whitney Canada in 1985 and has been instrumental in driving a significant business model transformation, customer-centric culture and focus on sustainability. Based in Montréal, Pratt & Whitney Canada has been leading the charge in sustainable aircraft propulsion, including hybrid-electric systems and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). The unit supplies engines and auxiliary power units (APU) for aircraft and helicopters of all sizes and missions, with more than 15,000 customers around the world.
“Frontier is proud to take delivery of our second A321neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engines,” said Barry Biffle, president and CEO, Frontier Airlines. “As America’s Greenest Airline, these revolutionary engines are helping us to achieve our very important sustainability goals. We also commend Pratt & Whitney employees for honoring a groundbreaking female leader through their aircraft naming choice and for recognizing the importance of shining a light on women trailblazers in aviation.”
This aircraft marks the second of 144 A320neo family aircraft – 134 purchased and 10 leased – for which Frontier has selected the GTF engine. The first, “Frederick the Bald Eagle,” was added to the Frontier fleet in October 2022 in tribute to Pratt & Whitney founder Frederick B. Rentschler. Frontier will soon reveal the story behind a third aircraft, also named after a Pratt & Whitney aviation pioneer in recognition of the companies’ relationship.
Prior to GTF-powered A320neo family aircraft, Frontier and Pratt & Whitney share a history going back to the airline’s launch in 1994, when it commenced operations with a Boeing 737-200 aircraft with JT8D engines. The airline later operated Embraer E170 and E190 aircraft, each equipped with an APS2300 APU from Pratt & Whitney Canada.
The Pratt & Whitney GTF engine is the only geared propulsion system delivering industry-leading sustainability benefits and dependable, world-class operating costs. It offers the greatest fuel efficiency and lowest greenhouse gas emissions for the Airbus A320neo family. GTF-powered aircraft reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 16% to 20%, NOx emissions by 50% and noise footprint by 75%.* Certified for operation on 50% SAF and successfully tested on 100% SAF, the engines are capable of further reductions in carbon emissions, which will help the aviation industry meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The engine’s revolutionary geared fan architecture is the foundation for more sustainable aviation technologies in the decades ahead, with advancements like the Pratt & Whitney GTF Advantage engine and beyond.
*Reductions vs. prior-generation aircraft, based on 75 dB noise contour and ICAO CAEP/6 emissions regulations.