“Republic Airways Holdings’ bid to buy bankrupt Frontier Airlines won out over a higher bid by Southwest Airlines after pilots leaders for Southwest and Frontier could not agree on how to combine their two groups, according the USA Today. The paper adds “Republic’s $108.8 million bid for all of Denver-based Frontier was selected by a federal bankruptcy judge in New York late Thursday over Southwest’s $170 million bid for 80% of Frontier and its Lynx regional subsidiary.”
The Associated Press adds “Denver travelers may see little change, but the deal is huge for Republic. Combined with its recent purchase of Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines, the Frontier deal transforms Republic from a strictly for-hire operator of airplanes for big-name carriers to being in the business of competing for passengers.
The end result is that Frontier — which would have been absorbed by Southwest within two years of purchase had the Dallas airline won — will continue to operate as is, and the airline does not expect to lose any of its more than 5,000 employees. Republic, which largely flies regional commuter jets for larger airlines, completed a $31 million purchase of Midwest Airlines on July 31. It has said it plans for Midwest Airlines and Frontier to continue operating under those names.”