"What is the quickest way for a company to boost their stock price??? LAYOFFS!! ...doesn't matter when greed gets in the way. "— Anonymous — Wed, 08/12/2009 - 14:50
In 38 years, Southwest has never had an involuntary layoff. I am glad you love Frontier and Southwest. Your comments about layoffs, greed and Frontier's People being at the "BOTTOM OF THE LIST" are misguided. The People of Frontier are deeply concerned and should not be worried unnecessarily during this difficult time.
The more the everyone learns about the Leadership of Southwest Airlines, the more comfortable they will feel. Southwest Airlines and their Leadership are studied as examples of excellence in many, many college business departments because their reputation is centered around putting its People first. I know this is true because Southwest has been putting me and my family first for many years.
I hope to meet my new friends from Frontier soon.
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Let's look at the positive side of Southwest's possible acquisition of Frontier.
If you listened to the press conference yesterday, you know that Southwest has big plans and they include the People of Frontier. The "big picture" presents an amazing amount of opportunity and it will be a tremendous amount of work. The People of Frontier will be needed.
When Southwest finishes connecting the dots between Frontier's existing service and Southwest's national network, the resulting airline will be a powerhouse. For the most part, cities served by Frontier offer service to Denver. Most F9 routes originate or terminate in Denver. I expect there are many fans of Frontier in Los Angeles, but if they want to fly to a destination in California, they are out of luck. There is no service between the F9 cities in California. The same is true between most other F9 cities. The nationwide network that Southwest offers is a huge advantage and there will be many opportunities to expand service at many of the current Frontier cities.
Southwest and Frontier only overlap service in about twelve cities. I would expect most of the other airports Frontier serves have been asking Southwest to bring service to their airport for years. Each year, hundreds of airports ask Southwest to initiate service at their location. Those airports are probably very excited about the possibilities.
And don't get too hung up on the fact that Southwest's proposal initially includes 20% fewer Airbus aircraft. Southwest has a history of covering a larger schedule using fewer aircraft.
It is still too early to tell and nobody knows all the details. I simply urge everyone to keep an open mind and look for the opportunities. Change is difficult, but it can be exciting.
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I see a lot of speculation and inaccurate information in the posts here. I think the employees of F9 would appreciate the answers that Southwest provided to some very tough questions from the media today at the press conference. http://www.blogsouthwest.com/files/F9BobRonConfCall.mp3 —This is lengthy, but it answers questions that I would want to know if I was an employee of F9.
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It's time for a reality-check. A surprising number of posters are under the impression that a Knight on a white horse can ride into bankruptcy court, purchase Frontier Airlines, invest large sums of money and continue to operate Frontier in the same-old way. That plan would simply be a round-trip ticket to bankruptcy court.
Frontier has been on bankruptcy life-support since April of last year. Frontier cannot save itself. Nobody is destroying Frontier. Bidders at the bankruptcy auction will simply purchase the component assets they feel can be revived—they cannot save the airline as we know it. They can save part of it. Regardless of who purchases what assets at the bankruptcy auction, Frontier's life as we know it is over and it is always painful to lose a beloved friend.
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I have always know Frontier to offer a great product delivered by great People. I feel bad for the employees of Frontier because in spite of their dedication and hard work, the airline is on the action block in bankruptcy court. Yes, they have been profitable over the past months, but Frontier's costs were simply too high and their balance sheet was not strong enough to sustain their operations. Frontier stock has not traded above one dollar in about 16 months. Times are dire in the airline business and even more dismal for the people of Frontier. F9 has few options.
Republic Airways has an offer on the table for F9, but there is a serious problem with it. Republic Airways operates commuter airlines for American, Continental, Delta, United and U.S. Airways. Are these airlines going to tolerate Republic becoming a direct competitor? I seriously doubt it. Republic may be able to keep Frontier in the air and salvage the Frontier Brand for a while, but I don't think they are in a position to offer a long-term solution.
If Southwest is able to move forward on their bid to purchase all or part of Fontier out of bankruptcy, I hope the best and brightest People of Frontier and the People of Southwest are able to work together to build a stronger airline that can offer low fares AND maintain a balance sheet strong enough to sustain operations while returning a reasonable profit for investors.
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