August 14, 2009

Frontier pilots derail Southwest bid

Southwest Airlines lost its $170 million bid for Denver's Frontier Airlines on a negative show of support from Frontier's pilots union, the carrier said.

Republic Airways Holding Inc., was awarded the bid in a bankruptcy auction in New York, The Dallas Morning News reported Friday. Republic will pay $108.8 million for the airline that it said it would operate as it is.

In a statement, Southwest's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said the budget carrier would only move forward on this deal if it proved to be the right decision for our employees and financially prudent for our company.

Frontier's pilots balked at the Southwest deal, which included higher wages, but no seniority, the newspaper said.

Southwest Airline Pilots Association President Carl Kuwitzky said the union was willing to keep negotiating with Frontier's pilots. We thought it was a fair offer, he said.