In the span of two days Frontier’s new owner Republic has expressed a direct interest in the CSeries while United has reportedly invited Bombardier and Embraer to chat about its potential narrowbody order next year according to the Airline Business Blog.
It’s well known that United and Frontier have long competed in Denver, and Southwest joined the fray in 2006. But things got more interesting late this year when United’s regional partner Republic bought Frontier upon its exit from Chapter 11.
While United characterizes Republic as a competitor, the two still seem to have a copasetic relationship, and contracts that run through 2014 and 2019.
Republic says it is evaluating re-fleeting options for its new branded operations that include Frontier and Midwest, and it’s very interested in the CSeries. Its management is also talking to Airbus and Boeing.
A key manufacturer notably absent from the list of companies Republic CFO Hal Cooper supplied during a 9 December investor presentation was Embraer.
Republic is an E-Jet pioneer, and is the only US regional operating E-170s/175s. Its only involvement with Bombardier aircraft were some CRJ200s it operated for Continental that are presently cycling out of operation.