Budget carrier Frontier Airlines files for an IPO again

Key Points
  • Frontier Airlines filed for an IPO on Monday, its second attempt to go public. Last summer it withdrew its IPO plan as the industry struggled through the pandemic.
  • The budget carrier had a $225 million loss in 2020 on revenue of $1.25 billion.
  • Airline shares have climbed sharply in recent weeks as Congress gets closer to a third round of federal aid and more vaccines are rolled out.
Frontier Airlines planes stand at gates on the A Concourse at Denver International Airport in Denver.
David Zalubowski | AP

Frontier Airlines filed for an IPO on Monday, a second attempt to go public that comes as the industry positions itself for a rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline is owned by private equity firm Indigo Partners, whose managing partner is airline industry veteran and low-cost pioneer Bill Franke, Frontier Airlines' chairman.

Airlines are gearing up for a rebound in travel demand after U.S. passenger levels last year fell more than 60% to the lowest point since 1984.

Budget airlines with models similar to Frontier's have been among the most optimistic about the recovery. Rival Spirit Airlines, for example, is beginning to resume hiring pilots and flight attendants this month. Domestic leisure travel, which those airlines already focused on before the pandemic, is bouncing back faster than business and international trips.

Frontier had a $225 million loss in 2020 on revenue of $1.25 billion, compared with net income of $251 million on sales of $2.5 billion a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

The company dropped plans for an IPO last summer after filing in 2017.

The Denver-based airline plans to list on Nasdaq under the ticker FRNT.