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Southwest Bids for Frontier Airlines

pberg
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Q&A with Ron Ricks, Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary 

Today, Southwest Airlines confirmed that it is preparing a bid to acquire Denver-based Frontier Airlines, which will be sold at auction in bankruptcy court next month.  We sat down with Ron Ricks, our Executive Vice President Corporate Services and Corporate Secretary, to discuss the bid and what this news means for Southwest Airlines.

 

Q:  Ron, what’s the news today?

Southwest Airlines is preparing a bid to acquire Denver-based Frontier Airlines, which will be sold at auction in bankruptcy court later this month.  The bid is worth a minimum of $113.6 million, and is a nonbinding proposal in accordance with the bidding procedures established in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. 

 

Q: What does that mean exactly?  What’s in proposal?

A:  Southwest is still preparing the proposal, so it's premature to comment on the specifics at this time.  What we can say is that we are interested in a substantial investment in Frontier and to operate Frontier as a wholly-owned subsidiary, independently and separately from Southwest Airlines, for a period of time until the carrier could be combined into Southwest.  

 

Q. When will we know if Southwest’s bid has been accepted?

A. A nonbinding submission of interest must be provided by August 3, 2009.  Assuming that Southwest is determined to be a qualified bidder, Southwest has until August 10, 2009, to submit a binding offer.  If there is more than one qualified bidder, an auction will be held beginning August 11. Southwest believes our bid ultimately will be seen as the strongest bid by all interested parties, including Frontier Employees, management, and its creditors.  

 

Q. Who approached whom?  Is this a response to Republic’s bid?

A. Frontier has been in bankruptcy since April 2008, and we’ve been considering a bid for some time, independent of any action Republic took with its bid proposal.  In the past month, we began an intensive study of the airline and expressed that interest to Frontier.  

 

Q. Obviously, we are in a tough economic environment.  What makes this the right time for Southwest to seek to acquire Frontier?

A. We have always prepared in good times to weather the bad times and to be able to take advantage of a good opportunity, like this one, when presented to us. We have the cash, access to capital, and collateral that allows us to take advantage of this existing opportunity and synergies between Southwest and Frontier.  We believe this is an opportunity to expand our network with legendary low fares, add jobs into Southwest, and boost competition in Denver as well as other cities with our low fares and high quality Customer Service.

 

Q. Is this a cash offer, or a combination of some sort? And, will Southwest accept all of Frontier’s debt?

A. We are still exploring what a final bid would be – it’s really too early to say.  

  

Q: What would a possible acquisition by Southwest Airlines mean for the employees of Frontier?

A: We believe our bid proposal will allow Frontier to emerge from bankruptcy.  Frontier would continue to operate independently and separately for a period of time with its Airbus aircraft and personnel.  Over time, Frontier Employees would be hired into Southwest as needed to support our fleet growth and expanded operations.  We believe the acquisition will boost low-fare competition across the country and certainly in the Denver market.  And, again, we believes our bid will be seen as the strongest bid by all interested parties, including Frontier Employees, management, and its creditors.    

 

Q: What about Lynx (the regional carrier operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frontier)?

A. As part of our overall due diligence, Southwest Airlines will study Lynx.  Until a bid is finalized, it’s too early to say.     

 

Q. Do Southwest’s most recent Union agreements include language that would allow for acquiring another airline and its Employees?

A. All of our collective bargaining agreements have provisions for the acquisition of or merger with another carrier. This is not new to Southwest, as it has in its recent history purchased assets of ATA Airlines (2008) and acquired Morris Air (1993). 

 

Q:  Final thoughts?

A: From a Customer perspective, nothing today changes at either carrier.  This is merely a preliminary step in the process.  There are many details to be worked through, but we are excited about the opportunity to submit a bid. We see a strong fit between our Company cultures, a mutual commitment to high quality Customer Service, and our similar entrepreneurial roots. We are confident that our bid, if successful, will boost low-fare competition and benefit consumers in Denver and other cities our expanded network will serve.

 

269 Comments
Anonymous487
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Worst idea I've heard in a long time. Anyone think Southwest will keep routes like Aspen, Anchorage, and Rapid City? When this forces United to substantially reduce its presence in Denver, will Southwest step in fly to Maui and London? Denver will get to be the poster child for the "new" Southwest effect... slightly lower fares to significantly fewer destinations and frequencies. Glad I don't live in Denver; good luck y'all.
Anonymous2311
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What a bunch of blowhards your employees are! You're worried about Frontier employees not fitting into your "cullture?" What kind of culture is that, anyway? A snobby, exclusionary culture?
Anonymous2152
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Yes, please explain how fewer airlines will boost competion. History has shown that Southwest lowers fares and drives competitors out of a market and then fares go up. Having Frontier and Southwest compete keeps fares low. Southwest buying Frontier would mean no competition.
jared_e
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Frontier is by far my favorite airline. And I agree that Southwest is one of the best in the business when it comes to customer service. Both are great low cost carriers, but there is one thing that Frontier has that Southwest doesn't, class. Southwest flights are like the Greyhound bus of the skies. Get them in, get them out. No frills, no amenities, no fun. I avoid flying SW as much as possible. Once I'm at the gate, I'm only a number not a passenger. As a passenger on Frontier, I enjoy my DirecTV and movies. I think Frontiers Airbus fleet is far nicer than any of the 737 fleet operated by SW. Quieter, more comfortable and more leg room. Plus I get a reserved seat when I book instead of having to check-in online 24 hours before to guarantee an "A" boarding group. I also don't see how SW buying Frontier will increase competition in Denver. SW would become the only low cost carrier in DEN. This will give SW the freedom to increase fares out of DEN as they see fit. Competition by definition requires more than one player in the field. I truly hope that Republic will come back with a counter bid to avoid a SW take over of Frontier.
Anonymous597
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Seems like a very bad move which will be proven down the road. The goal of Southwest seems to be to eventually merge the two operators. Southwest's financial performance has always been directly linked to its low cost structure. They have been a Boeing only airline forever and to even consider folding in Airbus aircraft (all of which are very young and not being replaced anytime soon), Airbus pilots, Airbus maintenance etc... changes their entire business model to now match those of the "legacy carriers". Oh yeah, don't those Airbus aircraft also have InFlight Entertainment/Satellite TV? So down the road I buy a ticket on "Southwest" at one price but I may or may not get TV? I think if Herb will still around and literally calling all the shots that he once had this would never be considered. Southwest is trying to be everything to everyone now under Kelly and the original business model (one of the most successfull in the airline industry world-wide) that has been proven for decades will soon fall.
Anonymous4415
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Let's be honest here. This is an amazing opportunity for Southwest to eliminate a competitor in a market they want to control. This is no different than what they did to ATA at MDW, no different than what American did to Reno Air. If you are feeling pricing pressure and your own low costs, aren't the lowest and you can't dictate market fares anymore - you find out ways to do it. Taking out Frontier is the easiest way to make it happen. The two products are totally different. Frontier provides a much superior product to its customers than Southwest has ever done, similar to the way JetBlue does. Frontier also typically, in markets I price, beats Southwest every day of the week in fares. Don't give me this "we are always bringing new low fares to cities"...stop drinking the kool-aid. There are MANY markets you can price out and Southwest is in the middle to higher level of fares...usually never near the bottom anymore. Yes on walk up fares they still hold pricing advantages, but they are NO WHERE near where they were of years past. To sum it up, Paula can be here telling us how great this is for people and for new competition and lower fares - but it is just flat out lying. Don't take your customers and the customers of Frontier to be mindless morons who can't think and use common sense. This will eliminate competition, just as if AirTran or JetBlue make an offer, and it will likely end up resulting in job losses and and several cities to be cut that don't fit the Southwest route structure. Do we honestly believe they are going to keep flying to places like Akron-Canton when in WN's mind...they serve it just fine through Cleveland? Hardly. Then you just need to take a look at routes where F9 and WN overlap...and if you think they are going to take their flights, plus F9s and keep the same frequency...sorry try again. If we want to keep fares low and offer more competition, the acquisition of F9 by WN should be rejected as it won't do those two things. This is just competition elimination and nothing more. Anything else being fed by the propaganda machine of the Southwest PR department is just them thinking the public is too stupid to use common sense and think for themselves.
c152driver
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For Frontier employees' and Denver's sake, I hope Republic wins this bidding war. It is quite clear Southwest's intention here is to simply eliminate a competitor. That leaves Frontier customers, Denver, Frontier employees and pretty much everyone except Southwest the losers. Do you think Southwest will do anything but raise fares if it eliminates Frontier in Denver?
Anonymous433
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Ms. Berg As a SWA management spokesperson, I can tell you are very enthusiastic about this acquisition. As a Frontier pilot, with quite a few years of service and longevity with Frontier I am not sure that I share that same enthusiasm. SWA has stated that the Airbus aircraft that I operate is going to be "phased out". Could you provide some reasons for me to be enthusiastic about this possible acquisition and the potential loss of my job. SWA's stated plan that "Frontier Employees would be hired into Southwest as needed...." does not seem like any type of commitment, nor does it address how my seniority would be honored. How does SWA envision my longevity, position, seniority, and future career are going to be secured by this acquisition? The currently proposed Republic transaction states they plan to continue employing me as a pilot and operating the Airbus. I do not sense the same level of security from the SWA transaction. Thank you in advance for you reply.
Anonymous3226
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I would be more concerned if I worked for Frontier. No where does Southwest say they will KEEP Frontier employees it says "Over time Frontier employees would be hired at Southwest AS NEEDED" which means just like Morris Air SWA can make everyone re-interview for there jobs -or- as in the case of ATA make Frontier cease all flights that they currently compete with Southwest on and instead codeshare them onto a SWA plane and slowly tank the company but keep the gates and assets while giving "preferential hiring" to the Frontier people. I think they are better off with Republic. FYI I do not work for any of the 3 airlines I work for a larger company, however I am a former SWA FA
Anonymous336
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As a Frontier employee with more than a decade at F9, I have to wonder about WN's real motives here. We'll buy out the competition and only have to fight UA for market share ? Where's the loser here ? The passengers, of course ! Our passengers support us because they love our airline ! We work for F9 because WE LOVE our airline ! I can't say I'd work for a company that came into DEN day one and stated their main objective was to drive F9 out of business ! As far as why F9 is in Chapter 11, may I point you squarely in the direction of First Data ? First Data sought to keep 100% of F9's credit card transactions, leaving F9 with little choice to file Chapter 11 or lose all liquidity, close our doors and force 6,000 hard working employees out of jobs. Good for WN ? Sure Good for F9 ? I don't think so. Good for the passengers of Denver ? I can't possibly see how. One more comment before I go... this will increase competition ? Seriously ? Taking over a competitor increases competition ? That's hasn't happened in all my time in the airline industry. Besides which, have you even considered DOJ Anti-Trust rules when it comes to airline mergers and acquisitions ? Too many overlaps between WN and F9 should get their attention.
Anonymous3032
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This is GREAT news for the City of Denver! I LUV SWA ... great customer service and employees who really love their jobs and their customers!
Anonymous808
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As stated above, nothing more than competition elimination in DEN nothing more. I feel sorry for all the Frontier employees who lose they're jobs if this happens. But what's the consequences of losing 4500 jobs in DEN, to WN nothing!
Anonymous4147
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What a fantastic opportunity for SWA! With the Dallas braintrust aways on top..surprises abound. Lots of work ahead before the celebration begins. Hopefully Herb and Colleen can contribute their wisdom and guidance. It's really neat to hear some uplifting news and focus that the SWA leadership seems to bring to the table on countless occassions. Knowing that group ... can't wait to hear what's next?
Anonymous3268
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Ask the employees of Morris Air and TranStar just how well it went for them when Southwest bought their companies out to eliminate competition. Oh ya...reinterview for their own jobs, if they were lucky, but most got put out on the street. Sorry no thanks. Don't treat us like idiots.
Anonymous2140
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Let's hope that Republic counters with a higher bid, and that the judge and creditors committee find Republic's offer and intent to be in the best interests of Frontier. Frontier Airlines is a wonderful, customer-friendly airline with clean, comfortable aircraft, lots of Denver history and significant community ties. Southwest just wants to eliminate Frontier as their competition to control the Denver market, because so far Frontier is beating them. Frontier passengers are very loyal and have stayed with the company through the thick and thin of this bankruptcy process. This is just a hostile takeover disguised as a "buyout opportunity".
Alaska_Resident
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All the A319s coming to Anchorage Alaska at night and put Alaska Airlines to shame! ITS $700 FOR A 3 HOUR FLIGHT TO SEATTLE We need the Southwest effect in ALASKA!
Nathan6
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Ms. Berg, as I live in Denver and fly Frontier Airlines I have also become a shareholder of a company I believe in. Can you tell me if the offer by Southwest has any provisions for the current shareholders of Frontier through either a cash distribution or some sort of equivalence of Southwest shares? Or will Southwest leave us high and dry? I used to fly SWA before moving to Denver and was satisfied with my experience but the response to this question will have an impact of whether I will fly them again after the acquisition. Thank you.
Anonymous4150
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I have worked at F9 for 7 years and I am afraid. I do LOVE F9, but I can honestly say that in the last 2 years the company has made some changes that have made me cringe. Growing too quickly too soon ultimately placed us in the position we are in at this time and I can certainly say without a doubt that the front line employees are the ones who have had to pay for that mistake. I admire Southwest Airlines and I believe their employees are some of the best in the industry, usually always smiling and very energetic. That's how I think all employees in our industry need to be. I am encouraged by this news and I hope Southwest is committed to ensuring that the front line employees of F9 are not left behind, as we have committed so much of ourselves to our beloved Frontier and if need be I do think most of us will provide that same level of commitment to Southwest.
Kathleen_Hanove
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As a public relations consultant, I'd like to say that Paula's responses to the posters in this thread really exemplify Southwest's spirit. She's helpful, factual, professional, and she's being as transparent as one could hope for, given the SEC regulations and PR issues that must be involved. Kudos, Paula...you're the kind of PR team member I'd love to have working for me if I ran a big company. As a very loyal and enthusiastic Southwest customer, I have to say I'm surprised by the negativity I see from some of the anonymous posters in this thread. Every time I fly another airline I'm reminded why I love Southwest! Yes, it's no frills...but if I remember correctly, it's one of only two profitable airlines right now. So I have faith that if I buy a ticket on Southwest, they're going to be in business long enough for me to use that ticket! I like that Southwest doesn't constantly try to shake down its passengers for baggage fees, food, headphones, etc. like other airlines. I love Southwest's team spirit and the flight crews are friendly and (usually) pretty funny, too. I'm sure it's a scary time for Frontier employees, but that would be the case no matter what company might buy them out. Change is scary, but not making it out of bankruptcy at all would be worse, I imagine. Anyway, if you don't like Southwest, fly some other overpriced airline...there are several to choose from!
Mickey_Scruggs
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I hope Southwest looks into the Lynx Q400's, inter-california, intra-texas routes....I understand the benifits of having an all 737 fleet, however the q400's could be used to southwest's advantage in certain markets.............be flexible southwest, you can do it!
HP_reject
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It looks like a win for WN. I imagine that the airbuses will go away as quick as possible. My initial reaction was what in the world is Southwest doing. But after I looked at route maps I saw a couple of things that make it worth while. Congratulations.
ACD
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This is wonderful news, if it does come into fruition. We are faced with an airline industry that has literally taken the "fun out of flying". Sadly people are greatly depressed at the thought of flying these days due to all of the hassles, fees, and poor customer service. I think that the idea of Southwest Airlines purchasing Frontier Airlines is a great win for the economy of Colorado, and existing Southwest Airlines flyers across the nation. Sometimes even the best of airlines cannot survive on their own, and stronger airlines come into and revive whatever life there may be left. I commend Southwest Airlines for seeking to acquire Frontier Airlines. As can be made more than clear, Denver has been very good to Southwest Airlines. It would be only natural that Southwest Airlines would want to further their foothold in the market to maximize their market share in Denver. For too many years Denver has suffered under the oppressive umbrella known as United Airlines. Yes, United Airlines was once a great airline, however today it is a terrible airline from top to bottom. Denver needs a stable airline to call it home. Denver cannot continue to bank the expansion of the airport on an airline such as United, who frankly can’t get their act together, even after bankruptcy. I am more than happy to see Southwest Airlines acquire Frontier Airlines, and further erode the United Airlines Denver market share. Bravo Southwest Airlines! Bravo!
Anonymous4140
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I'm sorry but didnt swa just have a early out program that got 1400 employees to accept, and now there talking job oppurtunities for frontier employees. Sounds like their talking out of both sides of their mouths.
ACD
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This is wonderful news, if it does come into fruition. We are faced with an airline industry that has literally taken the "fun out of flying". Sadly people are greatly depressed at the thought of flying these days due to all of the hassles, fees, and poor customer service. I think that the idea of Southwest Airlines purchasing Frontier Airlines is a great win for the economy of Colorado, and existing Southwest Airlines flyers across the nation. Sometimes even the best of airlines cannot survive on their own, and stronger airlines come into and revive whatever life there may be left. I commend Southwest Airlines for seeking to acquire Frontier Airlines. As can be made more than clear, Denver has been very good to Southwest Airlines. It would be only natural that Southwest Airlines would want to further their foothold in the market to maximize their market share in Denver. For too many years Denver has suffered under the oppressive umbrella known as United Airlines. Yes, United Airlines was once a great airline, however today it is a terrible airline from top to bottom. Denver needs a stable airline to call it home. Denver cannot continue to bank the expansion of the airport on an airline such as United, who frankly can’t get their act together, even after bankruptcy. I am more than happy to see Southwest Airlines acquire Frontier Airlines, and further erode the United Airlines Denver market share. Bravo Southwest Airlines! Bravo!
Anonymous373
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Kathleen Hanover, Have you ever been on a Frontier flight? Frontier offers many things that SWA does not, including a personal TV, many times of which is turned on for free if your flight is delayed ect... This agreement would most likely eliminate my ability to fly on Frontier unless I drive the 1 and half north and pay the toll road and pay a large amount of money to park. Being in Colorado Springs I rely on the shuttle flights to the Denver airport for convenience and price, it generally only costs a few extra dollars to catch a flight in COS and connect in Denver than it does to fly straight out of Denver but with a lot less hassle. Frontier and United are the only airlines that make that flight and about hourly too, the flights are usually full. This is the same story for quite a few airports in the West, while yes, some have much higher prices but Frontier and United are the only airlines on those routes, and they are routes that Southwest cannot serve with their business model. This deal would mean higher prices for everyone in the Denver airport service region as well as loss of quite a few jobs. Colorado as a whole would lose a lot of competition, United would be the only airline left on quite a few routes within the region, and the state loses one of its most loyal and loved companies. To the residence of Colorado, this is personal.
Anonymous4140
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Didnt swa just buy out 1400 of their employees now their talking job opputunities for frontier, is just me or is that a slap in the face to the 1400 who took it.
Anonymous1951
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Please JetBlue or Airtran make an offer, both could keep the corporate culture alive. Southwest told the employees of ATA there would be jobs for them... but in the end the carrier who lost the bidding war (AirTran) hired more of ATA's former employees. This whole bid is to eliminate a carrier. So sad.. my heart goes out to the employees of Frontier.
Anonymous4505
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Frontier is also a profitable airline. If I remember correctly even during a period of time when SWA was not in 2009.
Anonymous3737
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I used to work for QX here in GEG, and we had to work F9 flights. I must tell you this, the people that fly WN and F9 are completely different people. Someone mentioned that F9 has class and that they are just get in get out and no fun? F9 is a low cost carrier as well, that has a single-class cabin, just like WN does. Being get in and get out? That is what makes WN unique. Look how fast they turn their planes, unloaded and loaded back again in 20 minutes. Not many airlines can say that, not even Horizon, which took almost 35 minutes to turn a Q400. And no fun? WN employees are some of the nicest in the airline industry. There was an instance in PDX where some F9 people were not very nice to me. I was on my way to LAS and had to take F9 through PDX. There was a delay, and I wanted to ask if they had a rough estimate of how long the delay was. Well, in response I got a snobby lady that basically told me she didn't know. In regards to the F9 employees, if your company gets sold to WN, and they have the ownership rights, why would they hire a bunch more people, when they don't need them. Everyone can have their own opinion about how this is not fair, the employees are at a loss, as well as passengers, or whatever else they want to complain about. In the end, this is business. WN is going to do what it needs to do to stay profitable, and ahead in the airline industry.
Anonymous4140
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To the person who said they wished U.S. air took over southwest, I say are you serious us scare cant even pay there own bills much less anybody elses if wasnt for general electric they would have been out of buisness years ago. Unfortunately someone to needs to go under theirs to many seats and not enough passengers. Think before you speak.
Dennis8
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Paula: I think it is a good acquisition, given the slots in Denver, NYC and the access to Mexico. I do not like the idea of an airbus addition, however, even if for a short time, flying under a SW name, or flight schedule. The airbus is simply not the 73, is not as comfortable, and appears to have some undiagnosed problems. At least with the 73, we know about some of the problems, and the FAR's to address them. I really don't want SW stellar safety record to take a hit because of an airbus contingent. Plus, the costs associated with adding another aircraft, from maintenance, training, scheduling, crewing, parts, etc. would only tend to increase the ticket costs, and possible effect times for minor repairs on turnarounds. I like your ideas that the airbus will be phased out, but, please do it before you brand the new airline SW.
JAndy
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F9 is done. They are in bankrupcy. Southwest would be foolish to pass up an opportunity like this and I am glad we are not! Southwest did not put Frontier out of business...did not drive them into bankruptcy. If someone wants to spend more money just to avoid Southwest then they are just as foolish as the decision makers in Frontier and may, in today's economy, find themselves in bankruptcy as well.....throwing away good money to avoid an OUTSTANDING airline. Idiots.
Anonymous4140
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Who cares, its just big buisness and nothing else, if frontier flew where the buisness man needs to go other than aspen or rapid city they just might be in the black. Its bad buisness that got them in trouble and its a good buisness that will get them out.
Anonymous2444
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I commend Southwest for posting opinions both positive and negative. You're taking a pretty good bashing! (If I were Southwest, I'd try to buy Frontier. But I'd try for AirTran first. They have the latest 737s, and the 717s might work at least for a while. Not sure what I'd do with Lynx). BUT HOW ARE YOU GONNA HANDLE THIS ONE: Frontier has managed to build a loyal following on its Denver to DFW route, as evidenced by the number of NONSTOP flights. Will Southwest try to move that traffic to its one-stops that go to Love Field via stops in Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Tulsa (and Albuquerque?) Or will you swallow hard and start landing some of those 737s at the great aviation sprawl known as Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport? As a native son of the Great City of Fort Worth, I deserve an explanation!
Trust_in_my_lea
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This is EXACTLY what Southwest Culture is! This is the type of move that has made us successful in the past and will again in the future. I LUV the idea. Frontier is small and worth the gamble just to test the Mexico routes out for us.
Anonymous2007
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Bottom line WN aquires F9 most of the 4000 employees are out of work. Bad for DEN, bad for employees, and bad for the economy.
Cancun_here_I_c
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To the F9 employees, someone is going to be taking you over, might as well go with the leader. I would think the Airbus pilots could be trained to fly the B737? I love how everyone is complaining about the TV's! Seriously bring your laptop and pop in a DVD! Your still getting there hours ahead of driving. Have all the Coloradans and F9 employees thought about what if no one bids? Where does that leave all of you? When they open your books can Republic really risk the future of their company? I think the only reason Republic is involved is they think they can steal this deal and it compliments Midwest, it is a lot for one company to take on. My bet is hearing WN is involved, Republic will walk away.
Anonymous4505
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What happens to Larry and the other animal tails that are so much a part of the Frontier? The funny commercials, the well maintained aircraft and the staff that maintains them? Recently SWA has been far from golden on their maintance... Is SWA going to simply throw away Frontier's very unique culture? Hopefuly the Republic wins this war for the sake of employees, culture, and Frontier. It is not just another airline, it is a whole different animal.
Anonymous3315
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SWA needs an attitude adjustment. F9 does not treat their customers like cattle and herd them onto the planes. If SWA's work ethic is my way or the highway or don't rock the boat, than perhaps they can learn from F9. F9 is consistently looking forward and down every path presented to them for the best opportunities for a very bright and happy future! F9 is not blind to these endless opportunities and they welcome customer feedback in order to improve their services. F9 will prevail with their winning reputation and awesome employees! GO F9!!
T-Bird
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The languge used in this release is classic...lets break this down. "We believe our bid proposal will allow Frontier to emerge from bankruptcy. Frontier would continue to operate independently and separately for a period of time with its Airbus aircraft and personnel." Meaning WN will dump the Airbus fleet in time. "Over time, Frontier Employees would be hired into Southwest as needed to support our fleet growth and expanded operations." They won't be guaranteed a job and will have to apply just like the guy off the street, and if you’re not needed you’re going to lose your job. "We believe the acquisition will boost low-fare competition across the country and certainly in the Denver market. And, again, we believes our bid will be seen as the strongest bid by all interested parties, including Frontier Employees, management, and its creditors." Basic math tells us this...right now DEN has three major carriers that have a hub or focus on DEN, UAL, Frontier and Southwest...take away Frontier and replace it with an expanded Southwest seems to me we now only have two carriers with a large presence at DEN, not sure how anyone can call that more competition. Its less choice in the consumer market. "A. As part of our overall due diligence, Southwest Airlines will study Lynx. Until a bid is finalized, it’s too early to say." Much like the Airbuses Lynx will go away as well...along with service to cities that will never see the light of day from WN. If anyone believes a word of what WN is saying there's a bridge I can sell you in Brooklyn. WN had no intent of looking at Frontier until Republic decided to bid on them, they want Frontier gone plain and simple. A Frontier backed by Republic is a real threat to WN at Denver and much like WN's reasons for propping up ATA was so that AirTran didn't establish a foothold in MDW like they wanted to. Its business and it's perfectly legal but WN needs to drop the facade that they are somehow different then any other large corporation in the U.S.
jones36
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The employees who took the buyout did that by choice. Nothing wrong with letting some higher paid employees walk to open up the same positions at lower pay.
Christian_Corbe
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I really want to see another airline take out the lowlife sharks known as Southwest one day.
Harold2
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I personally think this a Great & Timely Idea! I have flown Southwest Airlines since they first arrived at LAX in 1982.I will go out of my way to book a SWA Flight whenever it is possible.No Airline comes close to their Customer Care and up front low fare "no hidden fees" pricing.I believe this is a perfect fit for Southwest ,Denver and the US as a whole.If and hopefully when this aquisition takes place it will open up new possibilities for SWA while retaining alot of Frontier's employee talent which would have been terminated.As far as SWA's all B737 fleet ,I am sure SWA's all Boeing 737 policy will continue after the full integration of Frontier.The Frontier Airbus Fleet would subsequently be sold or returned the Leasing Companies as per the asset purchasing agreement.Money obtained from sold Airbuses owned could be applied to purchases of New and Used Boeing 737-NG's including 737-800's.Wouldn't that be special!! There are plenty of pre-owned 737-NG's on the market ready to purchase or lease today. The Best of Luck with this Southwest!!! We are "ROUTEing for YA" !!!!! Harold Appleman Fort Worth, Texas
blusk
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I know mergers/acquisitions are emotional times, and I lived through two of them at another airline. I am surprized by the tone of some here. I have yet to hear a negative word about Frontier or it's employees during all of this, yet there has been a lot of SWA bashing. Bottomline is that Frontier will be sold at auction. Republic obviously has business decisions that led them to place a bid, and we do too. If we win, it will bew exciting to have new Coworkers with us.
Anonymous2153
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T-Bird hit the nail on the head!
Anonymous336
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Um, hello folks ? Frontier has been profitable for eight consecutive months and three consecutive quarters. How many airlines can say that ? By my count - less than half a dozen; and WN is not one of them. Sorry everyone - I'll keep my faith in Frontier Airlines. We all know this is to keep competition OUT of Denver. For those of you that don't - may I point out that F9 has SUCCESSFULLY competed against WN ? F9 also competed SUCCESSFULLY against UA - even while UA was in Chapter 11. The only true losers here will be the employees of Frontier and the passengers of Denver and all of Colorado and the other markets F9 serves that WN doesn't -- if WN is allowed to gobble up F9 and L4.
Anonymous1493
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Frontier employees are amazing, every single one of them. SWA will have a hard time determing which not to hire. Frontier has posted a profit for 8 straight months, of which the last was upwards of $7million. Frontier's employees have willingly taken paycuts so that others may retain their jobs within the system. We may not have a Golden Rule, but our willingness to weather the storm and make personal sacrifices for our company speaks loudly. It is difficult not to take personally the possibility that all of our hard work, belief in our leaders and personal sacrifices will go unanswered if we are acquired by SWA. I am and will continue to be an asset to Frontier. If allowed, I will be an asset to Southwest.
A_Frontier_empl1
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I can think of nothing worse for Frontier than to be associated with Southwest and it's shoddy maintenance program and poor regard for passenger saferty.
RevGuy
Not applicable
Say what you want about culture, boosting low fare competition, but bottom line is that WN has not been doing all that well in DEN and F9 has had 8 consecutive profitable quarters with an incredible loyal following. Therefore, if you can't lick them, you buy them. I'd be surprised if WN actually waits 2 years to combine the OPS of the 2 carriers. They'll do it a lot sooner, let most of the F9 employees go, sell off the Airbus fleet and take over the coveted A concourse at DIA. It isn't a good deal for DEN or the F9 employees, but is a sign of the times. We'll definitely miss you Frontier & your great employees. I'm a frequent flyer with F9 and have flown WN and their cultures are not the same.
epopik
Not applicable
i am currently an employee for southwest working in iad. i'll be interested to see if wn keeps dca open, my thoughts are no since we already have operations in iad and bwi. as to all the people who are bashing this. i see this as a great opportunity. bottom line is frontier is a bankrupt airline. regardless of how they got there, first data keeping credit card transactions. frontier should have never allowed itself to be put in that posistion in the first place. like i said, bottom line, frontier is a bankrupt airline and will be auctioned off. yes, some people will loose jobs, and i agree, that is sad, but at least some won't.