After a round trip that took him to Air Canada and back, president and CEO Sean Menke is Frontier Airlines' NEW FLYING ACE

Sean Menke, who is returning to Frontier Airlines to become president and chief executive, was greeted by employees Tuesday with applause and questions about the airline's future. Though he officially takes the helm at Frontier on Sept. 7, Menke...

Air Canada, Canada's largest airline, is "one of the most successful turnarounds of any legacy carrier," largely as a result of some American executives like Menke, Abbey said.

"More analytical"

Potter called Menke "a little bit more analytical" than he is.

Flight-operations-technologies pilot Janet Elliott recalled a project she worked on at Frontier under Menke in the past.

"I had to push some people pretty hard," she said. Menke came into Elliott's office and said, "'I hear you're ruffling a couple of feathers. Let me know if there's anything I need to do to help."'

"Some people may see that as a rough and gruff approach, but he also understands that you need to keep the business moving," Elliott said.

"The company has a very family-oriented corporate culture, and that's one of the reasons everybody likes it," she said, "but in this competitive world there needs to be a balance between dealing with that very competitive, rough and tough industry and the family corporate culture."

Staff writer Kelly Yamanouchi can be reached at 303-954-1488 or kyamanouchi@


What he'll make

Sean Menke will be paid an annual salary of $325,000, with initial grants of 100,000 stock- option stock-appreciation rights and 30,000 restricted stock units under an executive bonus plan and equity-incentive plan.

Outgoing CEO Jeff Potter received total compensation of $622,829 in Frontier's fiscal year ended March 31, including a salary of $311,250.

At Air Canada in 2006, Menke received total compensation of $855,649, including $364,375 in salary and a $491,274 bonus. His long-term compensation included 194,198 options and 13,393 Air Canada performance share units.


Menke on rapid arc

Name: Sean Menke

Age: 38

Employment background: Worked in the airline industry for more than 15 years, including stints in marketing and operations at United Airlines, Colorado Springs-based Western Pacific Airlines and America West Airlines.

Joined Frontier in January 1999, led the development and launch in 2003 of Frontier's "A Whole Different Animal" campaign.

Served as Frontier's senior vice president and chief operating officer until June 2005.

Left Frontier to become executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Air Canada and was recently named Air Canada's executive vice president of commercial strategy. Oversaw marketing; sales; scheduling; brand, research and product development; international affairs; alliances; and Jetz, the carrier's specialty charter service.

Education: Executive MBA from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. Dual bachelor's degrees in economics and aviation management from Ohio State University.

Personal: Married with three children, including a newborn. His family recently moved back to Denver from Montreal.

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