The crew base is expected to open in March and will employ up to 110 pilots, 250 flight attendants and 50 aircraft maintenance personnel within the first year of operation, the airline announced Wednesday morning. The new positions are expected to generate nearly $80 million annually in local wages, according to the airline.
Additional jobs will be added in future years as the carrier continues to grow in Cleveland and throughout the United States, said Frontier CEO Barry Biffle.
Airport director Bryant Francis said he was thrilled with the news.
“We look forward to continuing to partner with Frontier and to support them as they increase their presence at Cleveland Hopkins,” he said.
He noted that Frontier’s strong growth in 2023 – which included new routes to San Juan, San Diego, and San Francisco — contributed to the airport’s return to pre-pandemic travel demand.
Cleveland will be one of 11 Frontier crew bases, which are also located in Denver, Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta, Phoenix and Miami.
In addition to new routes, Cleveland travelers should also see an improvement in reliability from the airline, as Hopkins will become a home base for seven aircraft, said Biffle.
The new Cleveland base is part of a wider corporate strategy focused on increasing the number of aircraft that start and end their day in the same location. “This enables us to run more reliably,” he said. “The chances for us having cancellations or major disruptions are much lower with base aircraft.”
In Cleveland, its growth has been even more remarkable. The carrier increased seat capacity by 53% in the past year, making it the fastest-growing carrier at Hopkins.
“Frontier is making a big bet on Cleveland,” said Mayor Justin Bibb, at a celebratory press conference at the airport Wednesday morning.
“They see there’s a lot of good things in the pipeline,” he added, noting upcoming plans to rebuild the aging airport terminal starting in 2025.
Frontier is one of several airlines that entered or expanded in the Cleveland market in the years after United Airlines closed its hub at Hopkins in 2014. United still maintains a crew base in Cleveland, with more than 500 pilots and flight attendants in Northeast Ohio.
Biffle said most of the Cleveland-based Frontier employees would be new employees, although existing workers would be given the opportunity to relocate to Northeast Ohio.
“We expect to start taking applications as soon as tomorrow,” he said on Tuesday.