Subject to court approval, Frontier Airlines will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc., after Frontier completes its Chapter 11 restructuring later this year. An email to EarlyReturns members stated, “Your travel plans and your EarlyReturns miles are secure. … Our EarlyReturns program is unaffected, and you can continue to enjoy the program’s benefits. You can also continue to earn miles using the Frontier World MasterCard.”
And Midwest Airlines is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings. The Midwest Web site reads, “Midwest Airlines will continue to operate as a branded carrier with its current route network. Our customers can book and fly on us with continuing confidence.” (But what’s going to happen to the chocolate chip cookies? See our 60 Seconds Interview with Midwest Miles in this issue.)
Not long after news reports surfaced about the two airlines being bought out by Republic Airways, further announcements were made that Frontier and Midwest will become codeshare partners from Aug. 30, 2009, and will also become frequent flyer program partners in the third quarter of this year allowing Midwest Miles and Frontier EarlyReturns members to earn and redeem miles on either airline.
Republic Airways is a regional jet provider for American Connection, US Airways Express, Delta Connection, United Express and Continental Express.
Bottom line: The ink is not dry on this new development. As FlyerTalk member codejocky points out, “So imagine you’re United Airlines. You pay Republic suitcases of money to fly as United Express. Oil prices skyrocket and you still have to pay Republic those suitcases of money. Then they go and use that cash to buy two of your competitors and compete with you!”