Last week, on Monday, March 23, 2020, Frontier Airlines had removed their 5 remaining Airbus A319s (N910FR, N939FR, N941FR, N943FR, N949FR) from commercial service indefinitely. I was able to confirm with @den.aviation, who officially confirmed this with a Frontier flight attendant. These aircraft were due to retire next month anyway, which would have given me more time to fly one more time on one of these. Due to recent events, that never happened. The question has to be asked, “Luke, why are you paying tribute to an aircraft that you haven’t been on in 5 years and that not many people have been able to experience, especially in recent years?” or: “Why should we care about these when there are other aircraft such as the Qantas and KLM 747’s and AA 767’s are retiring?”
Well, it’s not that simple.
This aircraft, I would say, sparked my interest in aviation, among with many people, especially people like me today, when they traveled through Denver’s A Concourse, or Denver based people (like me, again), after passing bridge security here at DEN, by taking the pedestrian bridge that passes over the south side of Concourse A. I mean, when you are just a little child, imagine yourself just looking out the window of the bridge, and seeing dozens of creative animals on airplanes? Who wouldn’t like to see a shot like this?
I mean, there is no other aircraft in this photo, except Frontier A319s. These 7 aircraft have most likely transported millions of passengers under the Frontier flag to destinations from Albequerque to Cancún, Boston to Calgary, Des Moines to San Jose, and more.
Sure, the heyday of these majestic aircraft has come and gone. Each one featured a unique aircraft on the tail, and it gave them personality and character. There once used to be DirectTV in the aircraft, with comfortable seats, and a lot more. Here’s a picture of an older Frontier aircraft, before 2014.
Yes, I know the IFE was small, but it was cheap to get (only like $2 or something), it had multiple channels. Frontier also extensively used their products to help their advertisement, shown on T.V. especially close to home. Here’s my favorite collection of those said advertisements.
These, along with the ads, gave Frontier animals, along with Frontier, more popularity.
Then 2014 came.
Massive, drastic changes happened. Frontier became an Ultra-Low-Cost-Carrier (ULCC) and made multiple changes, effectively ordering newer A320s, A321s and A320 NEOS to replace the aging fleet. Frontier removed the cabin with the IFE and started to remove some older A319s from the fleet. I was, fortunately, able to have the older cabin on the last of my Frontier flights. It was on an A319.
These changes scared my family away from Frontier and I haven’t flown on a Frontier flight since. They used to shuttle me and my family over to Detroit and back to see family I had over there. I’ve had some great memories with them. I’ve been on 4 of these birds (technically 5, but I’ve gone on the same aircraft twice.)
Frontier then had 3 paths for its A319s. Sell them, keep them, or scrap them. The A319 had made up a huge chunk of their fleet and once all the new aircraft started to be delivered, and the A319 wasn’t needed, they made these choices. Some aircraft were sold and are flying for multiple airlines now, such as; Brussels Airlines, Volotea, and American, just to name a few. Some were sent to Marana and Goodyear and never flew again while meeting the scrapper to end their lives and to be sold as parts. Some were kept and were slowly retired and sent either to American or scrapped.
This is actually quite sad to me, which leads me to thank these wonderful aircraft for their nearly two decades of service to Frontier, and I hope that these aircraft have bright futures to serve other airlines.
The four A319s I flew on have all had different outcomes. None of them have flown with Frontier since 2017. Here they are, in the order I flew them.
N918FR-“Jake the White-Tailed Deer” Livery - Scrapped in Orlando-Sanford (SFB/KSFB) in 2017
N925FR-“Dale the Dall Sheep” Livery - Scrapped in Marana, Arizona (MZJ/KMZJ) in 2016
N936FR-“Earl the Walrus” Livery - Flying for Brussels Airlines as OO-SSA
N929FR-“Larry the Lynx” Livery - Flying for Volotea as EC-MUT
To Jake, Dale, Earl, Larry, and numerous other A319s in Frontier’s fleet, I thank you for all the great service you provided!
Let me know if you’ve ever flown on a Frontier A319 before and if you enjoyed it and have any memories about it!
Thank you all for reading and have a great rest of your morning/afternoon/evening/night.