Republic cutting up to 180 jobs in Milwaukee

February 14, 2012

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. expects to transfer 230 crew members to other cities as it cuts flights by its Frontier Airlines unit in Milwaukee, where it will eliminate as many as 180 jobs.

The carrier may cut an additional 40 positions in Kansas City, Mo., as it ends nonstop flights to five destinations and reduces daily departures to 13 from 21, Lindsey Carpenter, a Frontier spokeswoman, said Tuesday in an e-mail detailing the changes in both cities.

Republic, based in Indianapolis, has said it’s close to naming an adviser to help divest Frontier, which it bought out of bankruptcy in 2009. Milwaukee had served as a Frontier hub since Republic bought Midwest Airlines in 2009 and combined the two carriers under the Frontier name.

Frontier said last week it would end nonstop service to six cities from Milwaukee, eliminating unprofitable flights and reducing daily departures there by 44 percent, to 21. The changes in Milwaukee and Kansas City are effective in mid-April.

Republic is seeking a buyer or investor for Frontier, or may spin off the carrier to shareholders, Chief Executive Bryan Bedford has said. It is trying to reposition Frontier as an ultra-low-cost carrier.

The Denver-based airline was required by Wisconsin law to notify 446 Milwaukee workers that they may be laid off, Carpenter said. That included the crew members the company hopes to relocate. The carrier won’t have a final number of furloughs in either city “until all transfers and other options have been exercised by our employees,” she said.

In other changes last week, Frontier added flights from Denver to five new cities and from Kansas City to four new destinations.

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