The company was founded in 1980 and service was launched on April 30, 1981 with service from Newark to Buffalo, Columbus, and Norfolk. PeopleExpress grew rapidly, adding flights to Florida by the end of the year and on May 26, 1983, PeopleExpress began non-stop service from Newark to London's Gatwick Airport.The airline used a simplified fare structure. All seats on a given route were offered at the same price, with slight differences between "peak" and "off-peak" fares. All seats were in economy class, with the exception of overseas flights. Fares were paid in cash aboard the aircraft early in the flight. PeopleExpress was the first United States airline to charge a fee for each checked bag. In 1985 PeopleExpress bought out Frontier Airlines. In 1986, PeopleExpress also purchased Britt Airways and Provincetown-Boston Airlines (PBA). The change to a low-fare, no-frills mentality alienated Frontier's passengers. Debt pressure on the carrier forced a change in philosophy. PeopleExpress management ceased Frontier's operations and filed the subsidiary for bankruptcy protection. Texas Air purchased the assets of Frontier on November 1, 1986. On December 30, 1986, PeopleExpress was forced to sell entirely to Texas Air Corporation. PeopleExpress ceased to exist as a carrier on February 1, 1987, when its operations were merged into Continental Airlines.