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U.S. Airlines’ Big Debt May Soon Mean Higher Fares, Frontier CEO Says

  • U.S. airlines borrowed $60 billion last year as trips plunged
  • Travel experts project ticket prices will rise 3.3% next year
Barry Biffle
Barry Biffle Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

Large U.S. airlines are carrying about $20 more debt per passenger than before the pandemic, according to the chief executive officer of Frontier Group Holdings Inc., who predicts the carriers will start addressing those obligations with higher fares.

“How long can that last?” asked Barry Biffle, CEO of ultra-low-cost Frontier Airlines. “They either have to raise their leisure fares or you reduce capacity so you can raise prices.”