Hundreds Of Frontier Jobs Leaving For Wisc.

Jobs In Denver, N.M., Will Be Consolidated In Milwaukee

The corporate parent of Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines announced Tuesday it plans to move hundreds of jobs to Wisconsin -- most of them from Denver and Las Cruces, N.M..

The announcement was made in an 11 a.m. conference call in Milwaukee.

Frontier spokesman Steve Snyder confirmed to 7NEWS the move would impact around 200 to 220 jobs in Denver -- all from the heavy maintenance section of Frontier.

"We're a little over 4,000 employees that are based in Colorado, so you're still talking a large percentage of jobs that will stay here," Snyder said.

"Denver will still remain a major hub (of Frontier)," he told 7NEWS.

About 150 jobs at Frontier Airlines' reservations center in Las Cruces, N.M. will be moved to Milwaukee as well.

In a news release, Republic Airways Holdings said it will add up to 800 full-time positions in Milwaukee, while preserving 700 jobs already there.

"These additional jobs reaffirm the commitment we've made to the local Milwaukee community since we welcomed Midwest Airlines to the Republic Airways family," said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways. "Our expansion in Milwaukee sends an important message to our current and future frequent fliers and to the local and state communities about our dedication to remain Milwaukee's hometown airline."

Republic Airways Holdings won a bid on Aug. 13 to buy Denver-based Frontier for $108.8 million. The deal was finalized on Oct. 1. Republic also acquired Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines on July 31.

"Since Republic closed on its acquisition of Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines and Denver-based Frontier Airlines earlier this year, it has been working to create the most efficient operations possible in every facility by streamlining work processes among the companies. This announcement is an important development toward the completion of the integration process, which is expected to be completed during 2010," a news release from Republic Airways Holdings stated.

"Milwaukee has something we don't: free hangar space. We offered every incentive conceivable to Republic Airways, but we can't pay their rent for them. We understand this was a necessary business decision for Republic, and in no way reflects on Frontier's continued commitment to Denver and Colorado or its outstanding workforce. We remain determined to help in any way we can as Republic continues to realign its operations," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in a prepared news release.

"The City of Denver and State of Colorado worked closely with Republic over the past few months in an effort to keep as many jobs as possible here locally. However, as competitive as our package was, Milwaukee offered incentives we simply didn't have available to us," Gov. Bill Ritter said in a statement. "While we respect Republic's business decision, it's still disappointing. But we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Frontier Airlines remains Colorado's homegrown, low-fare airline and is helping to keep our economy strong."

Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Ind., is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Lynx Aviation, Midwest Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.

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