Republic Airlines Takes Off On Midwest Expansion

Republic Airlines, Midwest Airlines Inc.’s new owner, is promising to restore many of the routes that were cut over the past two years, now that it has completed its acquisition of the Oak Creek airline.


Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings plans to return Midwest’s network of cities served from its main hub at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport back to the level it was before Midwest implemented massive cuts as it battled record-high fuel costs and a faltering economy.

“This allows us to officially open the pages to a new chapter in the Midwest story, a positive chapter,” Republic spokesman Carlo Bertolini said.

Republic’s acquisition will allow Midwest to grow instead of focusing on cost-cutting aimed at keeping the airline alive, he said.

“Midwest had tried to shrink itself back to profitability,” Bertolini said.

Republic Airways Holdings announced July 31 that it completed its acquisition of Midwest Airlines from TPG Capital, a Fort Worth, Texas-based private equity firm.

Midwest is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings and will continue to operate as a branded carrier.

Republic acquired 100 percent of the equity of Midwest for $6 million in cash and a $25 million, five-year note, which may be converted to Republic stock at $10 per share.

A number of senior-level Midwest Air executives have left the organization, including Midwest Air Group Inc. chairman, president and chief executive officer Tim Hoeksema. Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways, is now serving as chief executive officer of Midwest.

Making Midwest a part of Republic’s larger network will save money and allow Midwest to rebuild service to early 2008 levels, Bertolini said.