August 14. 2009 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 12:31PM

Republic Airways to acquire Frontier Airlines


Republic Airways Holdings Inc., which recently acquired Oak Creek-based Midwest Airlines, also has been declared the winning bidder in the auction to acquire Frontier Airlines.
The auction was conducted under procedures established in Frontier's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
"I look forward to welcoming Frontier to our Republic family," said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based Republic. "Frontier has made impressive strides in returning to sustained profitability in a challenging and uncertain economic environment. We congratulate the employees of Frontier. Their commitment and perseverance during the bankruptcy process has allowed the Frontier brand to survive and thrive. Now, we have to turn our attention to the important work of integrating two great brands: Frontier and Midwest Airlines, which enjoy strong loyalty in Denver and Milwaukee."
"We are pleased to have Republic as a plan sponsor," said Sean Menke, Frontier president and CEO. "Today's announcement is the beginning of a wonderful new chapter for this proud organization."
Pursuant to its investment agreement, Republic has agreed to purchase 100 percent of the stock of Frontier Holdings upon its emergence from bankruptcy for $108.75 million, so long as certain conditions are met. Republic also agreed to waive any right to recovery on its $150 million general unsecured claim.
Republic Airways Holdings, now owns Chautauqua Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
Southwest Airlines' bid to acquire Frontier was rejected.
One of the contingencies in Southwest's proposal was that labor groups from the two airlines would need to reach an agreement on how the two Pilot Unions (SWAPA and FAPA) would work together. The two unions could not reach an agreement.