Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) will seasonally return to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood on December 17 (through April 19) from Milwaukee. The reinstated route will be flown as a Midwest Connect flight with Embraer ERJ 170s operated by sister airline Republic Airlines (2nd) (Indianapolis). Midwest will also have Republic operate the Kansas City-Fort Myers route also from December 17 through April 19, 2010.
Chautauqua Airlines (Midwest Connect) (Indianapolis) has now painted its first 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135 (EMB-135LR) (N836RP, msn 145713) in full Midwest Connect colors. The company will operate both ERJ 135s and ERJ 145s for new sister airline Midwest Airlines, replacing the CRJ200s of SkyWest Airlines. N836RP went into service on July 7 between Milwaukee and both Indianapolis and Columbus, OH.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has announced it will acquire the remaining shares of Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) from TPG Capital. When completed in about four to six weeks, Republic will control 100 percent of Midwest’s stock just like Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) announced yesterday, subject to bankruptcy court approval. For now, Midwest will retain its brand. Republic is planning to replace the remaining Midwest Boeing 717s with more Embraer ERJ 190s. Subsidiary Republic Airlines (2nd) currently operates 12 ERJ 170s and soon two ERJ 190s for Midwest as a Midwest Connect carrier. Will Midwest be eventually merged into Frontier?
Here are the full details on the transaction:
Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) has decided to phase out SkyWest Airlines (St. George) from its Midwest Connect operation. This decision comes after a new $12 million debt refinancing injection by owner TPG Capital and Republic Airways ($6 million each). As a result Republic Airways will increase its Midwest Connect operation to now include 12 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135s and 50-seat ERJ 145s (probably to be operated by subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines) starting in July to replace the 12 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets operated by SkyWest. SkyWest started operating for Midwest on June 1, 2007 and their operation should be phased out by January 2010. Republic Airways subsidiary Republic Airlines (2nd) currently operates 12 Embraer ERJ 170-100s and is due to add two ERJ 190-100ARs for long range routes.
Republic Airlines (2nd) (subsidiary of Republic Airways) (Indianapolis) will operate two longer-range 100-seat Embraer ERJ 190-100ARs as a Midwest Connect carrier starting in August. Republic already operates 12 smaller 76-seat Embraer ERJ 170 jets for Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee). The move is expected to permit Midwest to restore West Coast nonstop flying from MKE. Midwest is coming under increased competitive pressure from AirTran Airways and soon Southwest Airlines.
Meanwhile Republic is investing another $2 million in partner Mokulele Airlines. Republic has now invested $13 million in the Hawaiian inter-island carrier while it holds a deposit of $2 million.