Frontier, by many measures the largest local service airline, was formed by a merger of Challenger and Arizona Airways into Monarch in 1950. At that time it flew to 40 cities with 12 DC-3s. Growth at Frontier in destinations and fleet was phenomenal. Fleet expansion included Convair 580s 727s 737s and ultimately MD-80s. However, in 1986 it was acquired by People Express in the midst of financial struggles, and was finally acquired by Continental at the end of the year.
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