Denver-based Frontier Airlines debuted its newest aircraft to join its fleet on Tuesday. During a celebration at Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the ultra-low-cost carrier unveiled the Airbus A321neo plane, featuring an animal native to the Caribbean island.
Frontier has a tradition of featuring different animals on every tail of its aircraft. Last year, the airline took to social media to hold the Tropical Tails contest, featuring endangered species from six tropical destinations. The carrier’s newest plane showcases the winning animal and its name.
Revealed to the world
The aircraft, N611FR, is a brand-new A321neo to Frontier, featuring Bori the Coquí Llanero on its tail. Tyri Squyres, Frontier’s Vice President of Marketing, spoke about the significance of the new plane.
“We’re thrilled to be in Puerto Rico to reveal Bori to the world. The introduction of this very special Puerto Rico-dedicated plane tail and our continued growth in service to the island is indicative of our strong commitment to the people of Puerto Rico. We’re excited this plane tail will help raise further awareness for the endangered and treasured Puerto Rican lowland coquí.”
Frontier Airlines new Airbus A321neo
Photo: Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport
The llanero is a tiny tree frog found in Puerto Rico. Known as one of the smallest tree frogs in the world, adult llaneros grow to a size that is no wider than a dime and are generally yellowish in color. Their small size raises their vocal range to the highest pitch of almost any frog, which is just barely audible to human ears. The frog makes a sound that it is famously known for and named after — “Ko-Kee.” The coquí llanero is listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act.
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How did the aircraft get its name?
With its endangered animals initiative, Frontier said it is dedicated to bringing awareness to endangered animals. N611FR is the 41st aircraft in the carrier’s fleet to feature endangered species. The aircraft’s name came after the animal won the airline’s Tropical Tails contest.
“Consumers were then invited to vote on a name for the coquí llanero via social media,” the airline said. “‘Bori’ was the resulting winner and is short for Boricua, which is derived from “Borikén” (the Taino Indian name for the island) and used to describe a person from Puerto Rico by birth or descent.”
Anaís Rodríguez, the Secretary of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico, spoke about the importance of Frontier’s initiative.
“I appreciate and congratulate Frontier Airlines for the initiative to highlight the importance of the conservation of our endemic fauna,” said Rodríguez. “The inclusion of the image of the coquí llanero on their planes not only helps to raise awareness about this unique and endangered species, but also promotes the protection of our natural ecosystems and biodiversity in Puerto Rico.”
The coquí llanero also has the smallest geographical distribution of all the coquís in Puerto Rico, according to Rodríguez. The frog’s only known population is reportedly located on the grounds of the former Naval Base at Sabana Seca in Toa Baja.
Rodríguez also mentioned that the island hopes the carrier’s initiative will inspire other companies to work to preserve endangered animals.
“We hope this initiative will inspire other companies to join our efforts to conserve fauna and biodiversity in Puerto Rico, to ensure the preservation of our natural heritage for future generations,” the secretary said.
While expanding its operations across the island, Frontier serves Puerto Rico from San Juan, Aguadilla, and Ponce. The airline recently announced a significant increase in service, growing the 11 routes it operates from Puerto Rico to 20.F