Budget airline Frontier Airlines files for an IPO … again

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

The revived plans to go public comes as 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 that have similar models to Frontier 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 $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 on Monday.

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

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

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