Frontier Airlines emerged from bankruptcy protection on Thursday, under new ownership but still facing a tough competitive
situation at its Denver base.
Frontier is now a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc.,
which beat out a bid from Southwest Airlines Co. Republic now owns all of Frontier through its $108.8 million bid in bankruptcy
court. The plan called for Frontier’s old shares to be canceled.
Denver-based Frontier filed for bankruptcy protection
in April 2008. It shrank while in bankruptcy and has been turning an operating profit for the past several months.
all of Frontier’s flights come or go from Denver. That’s a competitive market, where Frontier is up against much larger United
Airlines as well as discounter Southwest Airlines Co.
Republic has said it will keep the Frontier name for its new subsidiary
and there’s no change to its frequent-flier program, so passengers are unlikely to see any difference in the airline now that
it’s out of Chapter 11 protection. Republic is looking for ways to make the operation more efficient, though, possibly including
moving Frontier’s maintenance operation out of Denver.
"This is the end of a long, difficult journey and the beginning
of a new, exciting one," said Sean Menke, Frontier’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. He’s staying as Frontier
CEO as well as becoming a Republic executive vice president and its chief marketing officer.