Republic Airways Holdings says it has completed its acquisition of privately held Midwest Airlines for $31 million in cash and debt according to the Associated Press.
Midwest, based in suburban Milwaukee, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings and will continue to operate as a branded carrier, Republic Airways said Friday. Midwest Airlines is based in Milwaukee and was previously owned by the private equity firm TPG Capital based in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’re excited about the opportunities this merger creates for our Midwest employees and our customers,” Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Republic Airways, said. “We respect and admire the unique brand and service legacy that Midwest has built over the past 25 years and appreciate the special bond Midwest has with its customers and the communities it has faithfully served.”
A number of senior-level Midwest Air executives will be leaving, including Midwest Air Group Inc. Chairman Tim Hoeksema. Bryan Bedford, chairman and CEO of Republic Airways, will serve as CEO of Midwest after the close of the transaction.
There also will be a change in aircraft, with Midwest dropping its nine 99-seat Boeing 717 jets, to be replaced by nine 99-seat Embraer 190 jets. Under Republic’s ownership, Midwest’s fleet will include a dozen 76-seat Embraer 170 aircraft, and 12 regional jets with 37 to 50 seats.
Republic Airways Holdings is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America and Mokulele Airlines. The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,200 flights daily to 101 cities in 37 states, Canada and Mexico through airline services agreements with seven U.S. airlines, including Midwest.
Republic Airways Holdings also has made a bid to buy the parent of Frontier Airlines, which is operating under bankruptcy protection. While a court has approved that deal, Southwest Airlines recently made a rival bid for Frontier. An auction is expected to be held in August.