IBJNews

NEWSMAKER: Republic's Bedford keeps low profile, makes big impact

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Year In Review

For the head of an 11,000-employee company, Bryan Bedford has all the profile around these parts as a participant in the federal witness protection program.

In recent years, the CEO of Republic Airways Holdings has infrequently granted interviews in his airlines’ hometown. He’s not a prominent figure in business circles, either, as was George Mikelsons, CEO of the former ATA Airlines.

Bryan Bedford

Bedford has had lots to say lately in Denver and Milwaukee, where Republic acquired Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines. Mostly he’s been fielding obligatory questions as to what Republic has in mind for those major employers.

In a recent interview with The Denver Post, however, Bedford opened up about, of all things, his religious beliefs. The devout Catholic with eight children and a nearly 20-year marriage has frequently mentioned God in company newsletters.

“I pray for God’s continued blessings on our families and our airline,” he told the Post.

“This tells you where I come from, what makes me tick, and this is what I believe and what the company value system is,” he added.

Secularists went apoplectic. A Denver professor of ethics said he was worried by such talk. Bedford seemed amused by such criticism.

“Gasp … He talks about God in public and to his employees,” he told the newspaper, in response.

While Bedford’s unapologetic infusion of the Deity into the workplace has some wringing hands, they’re hard-pressed to fault his business sense. Republic, now a branded carrier holding company, has posted consistent profits and growth during his tenure.

Bedford came to Indianapolis in 1999 and has been credited for turning around what had been a money-losing regional carrier with a fleet of propeller-driven aircraft.

One of the first things the former Mesaba Holdings CEO and his team did was to renegotiate Republic’s compensation agreements with major airlines. Previously, the regional carrier was paid under a prorated formula, getting a portion of the dollar amount of fares. That was fine until fare prices fell.

Instead, they secured fixed-fee contracts that insulated Republic’s Chautauqua Airlines from falling fares.

Bedford also led the re-fleeting of the company—ditching propeller planes for Embraer jets that resembled shrunken versions of big airliners.•

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. "This was a very localized, Indiana issue," he said. As in, Indiana failed to expand Medicaid to cover its poor citizens resulting in the loss of essential medical services, including this EMS company. Well done, Indiana GOP. Here are the real death panels: GOP state governments who refuse to expand Medicaid for political reasons.

  2. In the "one for all, all for none" socialist doctrine the sick die...this plus obama"care" equates to caucasian genocide plus pushed flight to cities thus further eroding the conservative base and the continualed spiral toward complete liberal/progressive/marxist America.

  3. There is a simple reason why WISH is not reporting on this story. LIN has others stations in different markets that are affiliated with CBS. Reporting about CBS blindsiding WISH/LIN due to CBS's greed and bullying tatics would risk any future negoations LIN will have with CBS in other markets.

  4. My best always! Dave Wilson

  5. How did Columbus, Ohio pull off a car share service without a single dollar of public subsidies? They must not have a mayor who is on the take like Indianapolis. Daimler Benz offers Columbus residents their Smart Cars on a market-driven basis: "This has some neat features. Cars don’t have to be picked up and dropped off at fixed points. You find one with your smart phone based on GPS, and drop it off anywhere in the service area you can find a spot – even at a meter. These cars aren’t required to feed the meter so you get free on street parking while using them. I was told this system was put in place on a market basis without subsidies – and that the vendor actually pays the city for the use of the meters." http://www.urbanophile.com/2014/05/26/checking-in-on-columbus/

ADVERTISEMENT