Travel notes: Frontier’s stock offering, Phily airport gets $115 million from federal rescue program, Southwest to the Max, BWI reopens shuttered parking lot

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Airline company Frontier Group Holdings, Inc. announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 30 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $19.00 per share.

Frontier operates three-times-a-week nonstop service from New Castle Airport to Orlando.

Shares closed at $18.85 on Thursday

The offering consists of 15 million shares of common stock offered by Frontier and 15 million shares of common stock to be sold by certain of Frontier’s existing stockholders. The company is owned by Indigo Partners, an investor in airlines.

Frontier will receive net proceeds of approximately $266 million after deducting the underwriting discount and commissions and estimated offering expenses. That roughly matches the airline’s loss during the pandemic year of 2020.

The shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, as of April 1, under the ticker symbol “ULCC.”

Frontier Airlines operates more than 100 A320 family aircraft.

Philly airports getmore than $115 million in federal relief funding

Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE) will receive approximately $115.15 million in relief funding from the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress today. PHL will receive $115 million and PNE will receive $148,000.

There was no immediate word on funding for airports operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority. The DRBA operates airports in New Jersey and Delaware, including New Castle Airport.

“We are so grateful to Congress for supporting the inclusion of additional COVID-19 relief funding for airports in this package,” said PHL and PNE CEO Chellie Cameron.

American airports will receive $8 billion, with an additional $800 million carveout for airport concessionaires. Of that amount, $6.492 billion would be reserved for primary airports and certain cargo airports to use for “costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, combating the spread of pathogens at the airport, and debt service payments.”

The American Rescue Plan funding will be used to support airport operations, including covering payroll, paying vendors and paying debt service.

Typically, the airport covers its operating costs and generates revenue through tenant leases, parking, concessions, and other fees. The Covid-19 pandemic created a sharp decline in these revenue streams.

Philadelphia International served 11.9 million passengers in 2020, a 64 percent decrease from the 33 million passengers it recorded in 2019. Current travel industry projections predict that a return to 2019 travel volume will take three to five years.

“The next stage of PHL’s recovery relies on the safe and speedy distribution of vaccines across the region, and the world,” said Cameron. “When passengers feel confident about booking air travel, we will be ready to serve them with a safe and clean airport experience.”

BWI opens popular parking lot

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport reopened its Long Term A Parking lot on April 1.
The lot and several other parking operations at the airport were temporarily closed last March as travel slowed to a crawl.
The $8 a day open-air lot was popular with Delaware travelers taking longer vacations or business trips.
Passenger traffic has increased steadily at BWI Marshall Airport in recent weeks. Friday, March 26, was the busiest day since the start of Maryland’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.
BWI Marshall remains the busiest airport in the Capital Region.
The airport’s Long Term B lot, Express Parking, and valet service will remain temporarily closed.
The parking rate for the BWI Marshall Airport Long Term A lot will be $8 per day.
“As Maryland continues its COVID-19 recovery, the increased numbers at BWI Marshall reflect air travelers’ confidence that our workers and our airport partners are providing a clean, healthy environment and the region’s most convenient and efficient service,” Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Greg Slater said. “With passengers returning in greater numbers, it’s crucial that everyone continue the practices that will aid Maryland’s recovery, including use of face coverings, maintaining social distance and taking other precautions that protect the health of ourselves and others.”
The entire BWI Marshall Airport team is focused on safe and healthy travel. Customers are reminded that masks or face coverings are required in the terminal. Only ticketed passengers and employees are permitted in the airport terminal at this time. Other health and safety initiatives at BWI Marshall include enhanced cleaning and sanitation; hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the terminal; protective barriers at security checkpoints, ticket counters and information desks; and physical distance markers in high-traffic areas. Health information is provided on information displays and overhead announcements.

Southwest buying more 747 Max jets

Southwest Airlines Co. announced the completion of its previously disclosed discussions with The Boeing Company (Boeing) regarding the restructuring of its delivery schedule for MAX aircraft.

The company has completed a multi-year evaluation of the successor aircraft to its Boeing 737-700 model, with the selection of the Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft. Southwest and Boeing reached an agreement on 100 firm orders for MAX 7 aircraft, with the first 30 scheduled to be delivered in 2022.

This agreement underscores Southwest’s commitment to continued modernization of its fleet with more fuel-efficient and climate-friendly aircraft. It also positions Southwest to capitalize on growth opportunities, when they arise, a release stated.

As part of the agreement, the Company also converted 70 MAX 8 firm orders to MAX 7 firm orders and added 155 MAX options for MAX 7 or MAX 8 aircraft for years 2022 through 2029.

The company was the launch Customer of the MAX 8 and is scheduled to be the launch Customer of the MAX 7 after also launching prior 737 generations, including the -300, -500, and -700 series.

The airline has always flown 737s and there had been speculation it might add Airbus jets after the Max was grounded after two overseas.

The Company expects more than half of the lower emission 737 MAX aircraft in its firm order book will replace a significant number of its 462 737-700 aircraft over the next 10 to 15 years.

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