Category Archives: Midwest Airlines

Plans are underway to bring back Midwest Express Airlines

Curt Drumm of Manitowoc, WI is leading an effort to bring back Midwest Express Airlines. A website has been established and a small group is looking for investors. If it happens, the second version of Midwest Express would also be based in Milwaukee.

The website has made this statement:

The Return of a Legend:

Plans are underway to bring back the iconic Midwest Express Airlines. Remember the great service, comfortable seating and chocolate cookies? So much of that went away, and hasn’t come back.

With fewer flights out of Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport (MKE), and even fewer non-stop destinations, travel has become more of a hassle. Add long connections, service fees and crowded planes, it’s just not fun anymore. Many other mid-size airports face the same problem, too.

That’s why we’re working hard to bring back Midwest Express. With convenient destinations for business travelers, roomy seats, WiFi and friendly people who care about you, it’s going to help you plan your travel more efficiently. Flights to many of our destinations will allow you to travel out and back on the same day, getting you back home at night, instead of being away.

We are currently finalizing our plans. If you’d like to be part of it, either as an investor or a member of our team, let us know. There’s a contact form below. Or just follow our progress right here. We’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for your interest in the new Midwest Express. More details will be coming soon. We can’t wait to get in the air!

(Oh, and by the way, we haven’t forgotten the cookies!)

Midwest Express Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 N302ME (msn 47102) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 103360.

Above Copyright Photo: Midwest Express Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32 N302ME (msn 47102) MIA (Bruce Drum). Image: 103360.

Note: The original Midwest Express Airlines (above) commenced scheduled passenger flights on June 11, 1984. In March 2003 it became Midwest Airlines (below). On June 23, 2009, Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. announced they would acquire Midwest Airlines for $31 million. The purchase was finalized on July 30, 2009. On November 2, 2009 the last flight was operated and the brand was retired.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2003

Above Copyright Photo: Midwest Airlines (USA) Boeing 717-2BL N924ME (msn 55190) DCA (Bruce Drum). Image: 100801.

Midwest Airlines’ former pilots union sues Republic Airways Holdings

Midwest Airlines’ (Milwaukee) former (now furloughed) pilots, represented by ALPA, filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee on April 14 asking a federal judge to resolve disputes over their job losses and discontinuation of retiree health insurance coverage.

Read the full story from the Journal Sentinel: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Midwest Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Frontier Airlines launches four new markets

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) yesterday (May 14) launched new nonstop service between the carrier’s Denver hub and Fairbanks (FAI); Grand Rapids (GRR) and Long Beach (LGB). The carrier also launched new nonstop service between its Milwaukee hub and Seattle/Tacoma (SEA). The service is part of a 17-market expansion taking place this spring and summer, making Frontier the fastest-growing major carrier in the United States. Services will be operated by Frontier’s Airbus A318s and A319s and Republic Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 190s.

In the coming weeks, Frontier Airlines will launch service between Denver and both New Orleans and Santa Barbara, Calif. The carrier will also launch service from Kansas City, Mo. to New Orleans.

Copyright Photo: Republic Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N162HL (msn 19000231), dressed in Midwest’s retiring livery, arrives at Los Angeles while operating a Frontier flight.

Frontier Airlines to add the Gogo system to the 32 Embraer ERJ 170s and ERJ 190s

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. (Indianapolis), has announced it will add the Gogo® inflight internet service on its Embraer fleet. Frontier plans to have the service installed on its fleet of 32 ERJ 170 and ERJ 190 aircraft by the end of 2010.

Gogo internet access will be available for purchase starting at $4.95, based on length of flight and type of device used to access Gogo. Once connected, customers can use Gogo to check e-mail, log into a corporate VPN, watch their favorite Frontier commercials and more.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman. Republic Airlines’ (2nd) (Indianapolis) Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N818MD (msn 17000039) pushes back from the gate at the Denver hub when it was operated under contract with Frontier. The Republic Embraer fleet, now painted in the Midwest Airlines brand, is now expected to be repainted back in the Frontier livery due to the recent announcement the Midwest brand would be retired.

Republic keeps the Frontier name, will phase out the Midwest brand

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. The Midwest brand will now be retired.

Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has done the right thing with the selection of the Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) name for its consolidated branded network. According to the holding group, “The retention of the Frontier Airlines name includes its iconic animal trademarks that have garnered more than 80 awards for groundbreaking communications and advertising and will now be leveraged across an even larger customer base.”

According to Republic, “The decision was announced after analyzing extensive data from customers and employees that underscored the importance of maintaining the best practices of both brands and will also help determine additional enhancements as the two networks transition to one consistent brand.”

This decision will retire the Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) brand. Midwest is no longer an airline anyway. Midwest surrendered its AOC when the last Boeing 717 was phased out. Republic expects the integration process will take 12-18 months to repaint the aircraft still in Midwest colors. In addition to brand consolidation, the process will focus on developing and implementing attributes that will set Frontier Airlines apart in the industry. A dedicated Web site where details about the integration process will be posted has been established at

The Frontier employees who rallied to save their unique brand can now rest! Well done Republic.

Frontier and Midwest to become one airline

Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis), the owner of Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) and the Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) will announce on April 13 the fate of these airline names. Republic is expected to announce it will decide on one name for both entities. Republic has announced the results of its polling and both the Denver and Milwaukee markets cherish their individual brands.

Here is a newspaper article from the Milwaukee perspective:

Here is a newspaper article from the Denver perspective:

Our guess, since “Midwest Airlines” is no longer an airline (the AOC was surrendered when the 717s were retired) and the brand has been weakened with smaller aircraft, Republic will decide the Frontier name is best for both markets. However Frontier will now start to serve cookies!

“Midwest Airlines” launches flights from Milwaukee to Raleigh/Durham and St. Louis

Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) launched today (April 1) branded twice-daily Raleigh/Durham service on 76-seat Embraer ERJ 170 aircraft operated by Republic Airlines (2nd). The St. Louis service, which will include two daily roundtrip flights, will be provided on 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135 regional jet aircraft operated by Chautauqua Airlines.

Midwest Airlines is no longer an airline, only a brand in which Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Frontier Airlines (2nd) operate the flights. Parent Republic Airways Holdings is expected to soon make a decision on which brands it wants to operate under.

Midwest Airlines to add both Columbus, OH and New Orleans from Kansas City

Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) today (February 25) announced the launch of nonstop service between Kansas City and both Columbus, OH and New Orleans.

Nonstop service to Columbus begins on May 3, 2010. New nonstops to New Orleans begins on May 20.

The branded service to Columbus will be provided by 99-seat Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft and service to New Orleans will be provided by 76-seat Embraer ERJ 170 aircraft both operated by Republic Airlines (2nd). Midwest Airlines is no longer an airline, only a brand.

Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N162HL (msn 19000231) arrives at Seattle/Tacoma in Midwest Airlines colors while operating a Frontier Airlines (2nd) flight!

Republic Airways Holdings reports 4Q and 2009 financial results

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) yesterday (February 24) reported net income of $20.1 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, compared to $19.0 million of net income, for the same period last year. The fourth quarter results for 2009 include $109.2 million of goodwill and other impairment charges and a $203.7 million gain on bargain purchase related to the acquisition of Frontier Airlines. These two non-recurring items increased pre-tax income by $94.5 million and net income by $17.1 million for the quarter. Additionally, the Company recorded a year-end tax adjustment, which increased net income by $2.1 million for the quarter. Excluding these non-recurring items, income before taxes was $1.5 million and net income was $0.9 million.

For the full year ended December 31, 2009, net income for the year was $39.7 million, compared to $84.6 million of net income.

During the quarter the Company acquired Frontier Airlines and its 62 operational aircraft. The Company also took delivery of six of the ten Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft purchased from US Airways during the quarter and removed the final six Boeing 717-200 aircraft from its fleet, bringing the total operational fleet from 228 aircraft at September 30, 2009 to 290 aircraft at December 31, 2009.

Copyright Photo: Operated by subsidiary Republic Airlines (2nd) as a spare aircraft but carrying Republic Airways titles, Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N821MD (msn 17000042) climbs away from runway 27R at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

Midwest to add new seasonal service from Milwaukee to both San Diego and Seattle/Tacoma

Please click on the AG icon for a direct link to the Midwest photo gallery.

Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) announced the launch of nonstop seasonal service between its Milwaukee hub and both San Diego and Seattle/Tacoma.

The new San Diego service takes off on April 19 and the new Seattle/Tacoma service begins May 14. Midwest does not currently serve San Diego, though one-stop service is available via Denver on Frontier. The nonstop seasonal service to Seattle/Tacoma is in addition to one-stop service already offered by Midwest and Frontier. The new nonstop San Diego and Seattle/Tacoma flights join Midwest’s existing nonstop service to Los Angeles and nonstop seasonal service to San Francisco beginning April 19.

Since Midwest Airlines is no longer an airline (only a brand), service to San Diego will be provided by 136-seat Airbus A319 aircraft operated by Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) and service to Seattle/Tacoma will be provided by 99-seat Embraer ERJ 190 aircraft operated by Republic Airlines (2nd).

With the gutting of Midwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines now flying “Midwest” routes, Republic Airways Holdings is facing a “brand confusion” situation with its customers, especially in Milwaukee and Denver. The holding company is now admitting it has a problem and is doing some customer polling. In our opinion the Midwest brand is nearly worthless these days and our prediction is all non-contract flying will become “Frontier Airlines”. Therefore anything still around with “Midwest” could become rare.

Here is a good article by The Denver Post on this subject: