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Apr 01, 2021
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Frontier Airlines bets that the budding recovery in leisure travel is for real.

Shares of the discount carrier began public trading Thursday, edging lower at midday. The Denver-based airline and its private owners hope to raise $570 million before costs from the IPO after pricing 30 million shares at $19, the low end of a $19 to $21 target. The stock opened at $18.61, then bumped up to $19.06 before dipping back down to $18.54.

CEO Barry Biffle said Frontier will remain focused on the leisure-travel market, unlike bigger airlines that depend on high-paying business travelers.

“It's not going to change how we run the business,” Biffle said in an interview. “The strategy is the same.”

Americans are starting to fly in numbers not seen since the coronavirus pandemic hit. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said this week that demand for domestic leisure travel “has almost entirely recovered," though business and international travel remain deeply depressed.

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