Southwest Airlines bid for Frontier has fallen through, according to a statement released by the airline.
Southwest had stipulated that the purchase would not be closed until its pilots association had reached a labor agreement with Frontier airlines pilots.
After talks stalled over the issue of pilot seniority, Southwest released a statement, counting itself out of the process, stating that its “culture and relationships with its employees are too important to compromise.”
Southwest’s decision to keep its labor agreement intact led to Republic Airways winning the bid for Denver-based Frontier, despite the fact that its offer of $108.75 million was significantly less than what Southwest’s bid of more than $170 million.
We have a mission to preserve and protect our culture and the best interests of our employees, customers, and shareholders,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly in a statement. “This was a great opportunity that required us to act fast. A lot of people worked very hard with every intention of making this work. We were fortunate to be in a position to examine the acquisition to see if it was the right decision for Southwest Airlines.”
“We chose not to amend our bid to remove the labor requirement, a key reason our bid was not selected,” Kelly said. “Our congratulations to Republic Airways and Frontier Airlines.”
Indianapolis-based Republic is an airline holding company that owns Midwest Airlines, Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines, Mokulele Airlines and Shuttle America.