Southwest Airlines makes bid for Denver-based Frontier

Southwest Airlines Co., the largest discount carrier, said it offered at least $113.6 million to buy Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. in a bankruptcy court auction.

The nonbinding bid would compete with a pending offer of $108.8 million from Republic Airways Holdings Inc. That purchase accord, approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge this month, allows Denver-based Frontier to accept a better offer if one emerges.

Buying Frontier would give Dallas-based Southwest a bigger foothold in the Rocky Mountain region and a chance to operate its first flights outside the U.S. to leisure markets including Cancun, Mexico, and San Jose, Costa Rica. Southwest also would get access to Atlanta, the world’s busiest airport.

“Taking the Denver gates and equipment from Frontier would give them a large presence there, and the cities that aren’t on Southwest’s route map now could easily be integrated,” said Dave Swierenga, president of AeroEcon, an aviation consulting firm in Round Rock, Texas.

Southwest also would be forced to adapt its strategy for curbing training and maintenance costs by flying only Boeing Co. 737s, because Frontier uses Airbus SAS jets.

Frontier filed for bankruptcy on April 10, 2008, squeezed by competition in Denver from UAL Corp.’s United Airlines and Southwest, which resumed service there in January 2006 after a 20-year hiatus. Southwest’s other airports in the region include Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“We have the cash, access to capital and collateral that allows us to take advantage of this existing opportunity and synergies between Southwest and Frontier,” Southwest Executive Vice President Ron Ricks told employees in a blog posting today. “This is an opportunity to expand our network.”

The final form of the bid hasn’t been set, Ricks said. Frontier would operate for an undetermined period as a subsidiary. Ricks also said in the posting that Southwest hasn’t decided what to do with Frontier’s Lynx unit, which operates Bombardier Inc. turboprops on regional routes.

Steve Snyder, a Frontier spokesman, declined to comment on whether any other parties beyond Republic and Southwest have expressed interest in making a bid.

“If there are multiple bids, we would conduct an auction with unsecured creditors on Aug. 11,” Snyder said. Messages left for comment with Tim Dooley, a spokesman for Indianapolis- based Republic, weren’t immediately returned.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in New York has set an Aug. 3 deadline for nonbinding bids for Frontier, with binding offers from qualified bidders due Aug. 10.

Southwest gained 16 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $7.83 at 2:42 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares reached $7.89 earlier, the highest in intraday trading since Jan. 27. Republic fell 2 cents to $5.20 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

A successful purchase would be the first by a major U.S. carrier since Delta Air Lines Inc. bought Northwest Airlines Corp. in October 2008. Southwest is the fifth-biggest U.S. airline, based on miles flown by paying passengers.

Southwest’s last acquisition was in 1993, when it paid $130 million for Morris Air, a low-fare carrier based in Salt Lake City.

In 2004, Southwest outbid AirTran Holdings Corp., parent of AirTran Airways, in a bankruptcy court auction to acquire Chicago gate leases held by ATA Holdings Corp. Southwest used the gates to build its service at Midway Airport, now the second-busiest airport in Southwest’s system.

Southwest serves 66 cities in 33 states with about 3,300 daily departures, and will begin flights to Boston on Aug. 16 and Milwaukee on Nov. 1. It has more than 35,000 employees.

Frontier operates 51 Airbus jets and flies to more than 50 cities. It has about 5,000 employees. Lynx flies 11 Bombardier Q400 planes to 15 destinations with a 600-mile radius of Denver.

“We’ve been considering a bid for some time, independent of any action Republic took with its bid proposal,” Ricks said. “In the past month, we began an intensive study of the airline and expressed that interest to Frontier.”

Mojave Poppy Bees
Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list. (Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology)
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive Remembrance Wall
(Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October Blood Drive
Vitalent hosts a blood drive at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shootings. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1October sunrise remembrance ceremony in Las Vegas
Myanda Smith, sister of Las Vegas shooting victim Neysa Tonks, speaks at the sunrise remembrance ceremony at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
‪Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to crowd at Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬
‪Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval speaks to the crowd at the Oct. 1 sunrise remembrance ceremony ‬at the Clark County Government Center in downtown Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father of Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim talks about college scholarship in his daughter's memory
Chris Davis, father of a Route 91 Harvest festival shooting victim, Neysa Tonks, talks about a college scholarship in his daughter's memory to assist the children of those who died in the shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Oct. 1 survivor Malinda Baldridge talks about life after the shooting
Malinda Baldridge of Reno attended the Route 91 Harvest festival with her daughter, Breanna, 17, and was shot twice in the leg when the gunman fired on the crowd.
Route 91 survivor talks about lack of progress in gun legislation
Heather Gooze, a Route 91 survivor, talks about lack of progress in gun legislation since the Oct 1. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas/Review-Journal) @reviewjournal
Review held in death of man after encounter with Las Vegas police
The mother of Tashii Brown, who died after an encounter with Las Vegas police on the Strip, not satisfied after public review of evidence. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County Museum opening "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials"
The Clark County Museum is opening an exhibit "How We Mourned: Selected Artifacts from the October 1 Memorials" of items left to honor the victims killed in the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Memorial service for former RJ lawyer Mark Hinueber
Mark Hinueber, the Review-Journal's former lawyer and defender of the First Amendment, died in Las Vegas on Aug. 23. Hinueber, who was 66, worked at the RJ and other newspapers for 42 years. On Saturday, his friends and family gathered for a memorial service.
Army veteran honored in Henderson event
Army Sgt. Adam Poppenhouse was honored by fellow veterans in an event hosted by a One Hero at a Time at the Henderson Events Center.
Michelle Obama and Keegan-Michael Key urge Nevadans to vote
Former first lady Michelle Obama and comedian Keegan-Michael Key urged Nevadans to vote at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas Sunday, Sep. 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like