Frontier Airlines officially unveiled its first ultra-fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo aircraft at an event at Tampa International Airport (TPA). The 240-seat A321neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney’s groundbreaking GTF engines, will be the most fuel-efficient commercial aircraft among any U.S. airline. Frontier’s A321neo’s will generate significantly lower carbon emissions and engine noise, furthering the efforts of America’s Greenest Airline to reduce its environmental footprint.
The aircraft is the first of 158 A321neo’s to be delivered to the ultra-low-cost carrier by leading airplane manufacturer Airbus between now and 2029. Frontier currently has 226 aircraft in total on order which will nearly triple its fleet size by the end of the decade.
“The addition of these new A321neo’s to our fleet will make the greenest airline in the U.S. even greener with these aircraft able to achieve 120 miles per gallon per seat,” said Barry Biffle, president and CEO of Frontier Airlines. “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 continues to lead the way in reducing fuel consumption and lessening our environmental footprint, and the addition of the A321neo to our fleet is another step in that journey,” Biffle added.
The debut event in Tampa also included the unveiling of a highly striking special-edition aircraft livery, along with the animal featured on the aircraft’s tail – Frederick the Bald Eagle, inspired by Pratt & Whitney and named for its founder Frederick B. Rentschler. Rentschler was a trailblazer in aviation, designing engines that were dramatically lighter and more fuel efficient than their predecessors. All Frontier aircraft feature an animal on their tail, many of them endangered and threatened species.
“Frederick Rentschler transformed aviation with the most efficient, dependable engines of their time. Our employees, who voted to name this plane in his honor, carry on his vision with new technologies like the revolutionary geared fan at the heart of our GTF engines,” said Rick Deurloo, president of Commercial Engines at Pratt & Whitney. “With up to 20 percent in savings, GTF engines are the most fuel-efficient with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions for the Airbus A320neo family. These GTF-powered aircraft fly more passengers, farther, more sustainably, and with lower operating costs — helping Frontier add new routes and keep fares low.”
“Frontier has the largest A321neo backlog in North America – a concrete example of their core focus on efficiency and the environment,” said Jeff Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas. “With its lower fuel burn, emissions, and noise footprint, the A321neo will fly Frontier deep into the ‘green’ future, pleasing passengers while concentrating on sustainability, priorities we at Airbus admire and share.”
The unveiling event took place at the Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services facility at TPA. Frontier operates a crew base at TPA and is the airport’s third-largest carrier based on destinations served. The event included a large contingent of team members from Frontier, Airbus, Pratt & Whitney, and TPA, who gathered to celebrate the special milestone.
“The introduction of the A321neo into our fleet is an important step in our company’s sustainability goals and continued growth,” said Biffle. “The fuel efficiency offered by this aircraft also provides savings that can be passed on to our customers, helping us continue to deliver on our mission of providing ‘Low Fares Done Right’ across America and beyond.”