Some excellent questions. Here are my replies:
why on earth we are getting Frontier?
Frontier was selected to boost our service in the Western U.S. To illustrate this weakness, here's a breakdown of our major domestic U.S. hubs, by time zone:
-Eastern: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Newark, Raleigh/Durham
-Central: Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul
-Mountain: Salt Lake City
To support your case, we do have designated secondary hubs in Billings, Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco (future), but it's apparent that our domestic service in the western half of the country is weak compared to the eastern.
Second, there have been concerns by numerous pilots that we are not an LCC-friendly organization. I disagree with this notion, offering the following examples: Air Berlin, Air Canada, Icelandair, Jet Airways, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Blue, Virgin Express. LCC proponents still pointed out that that leaves only Virgin America, which hasn't even begun operations, for the U.S., where LCCs carry over 30% of the capacity.
it seems like a waste of time to add another US based airline*. I personally feel like the time and effort could be used to include an airline that is in an area less served.
We have tried very hard over the last few years to avoid becoming a Amerocentric organization. In fact, none of the last fifteen virtual airlines we've added are U.S.-based. Is two more (Pan American was sometimes called "the only airline without a country of its own") so bad? In fact, recognizing the figures below, we've long held the vision that one-third of our VAs should be North American, one-third European, and one-third from the rest of the world.
2005 Passengers Carried, by Region
Africa/Middle East: 4.8%
Latin America/Caribbean: 5.0%
North America: 36.6%
Source: Air Transport World
Multiplying these numbers by 31 (I exclude Virgin because of its worldwide presence) should give an approximate number of airlines to offer, by region:
Africa/Middle East: 1.5 expected vs. 2 actual
Asia/Pacific: 7.1 expected vs. 7 actual
Europe: 9.5 expected vs. 10 actual
Latin America/Caribbean: 1.6 expected vs. 3 actual
North America: 11.3 expected vs. 9 actual
So in actuality, comparing passenger numbers to airline numbers shows that the U.S. will actually be somewhat underserved by SimAirline.net. However, this is made up for by the larger sizes of these airlines.
A map showing all of our current destinations is available upon request.
My personal choice would be El Al
A note on this: this is arguably the most difficult airline on which to base a good VA on. El Al's schedule is constantly changing and is very messy compared to other airlines.