Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced that it has selected the $108.75 million Republic Airways auction bid over the larger $170+ million Southwest Airlines bid. The differences were labor issues and Republic also agreed to waive the $150 million claim it has against Republic in the bankruptcy court. Republic has previously stated it would retain Frontier’s unique brand while Southwest planned to eventually merge the two airlines and replace the Airbus fleet with Boeing 737s.
Meanwhile Southwest pledged to remain in the Denver market (and will probably now add more routes). Southwest also was unwilling to proceed without a labor agreement between its SWAPA pilots union and Frontier’s FAPA pilots union. The two unions were unable to reach a tentative agreement before the August 13 auction.