Milwaukee in Running for Airline Jobs

With Frontier Airlines ready to exit bankruptcy in the hands of Midwest Airlines owner Republic Airways Holdings Inc., Republic is now pitting the three airlines' hometowns in a bidding war for at least 400 jobs.

Frontier CEO Sean Menke, who told The Denver Business Journal in an exclusive interview that he will oversee both Frontier and Midwest operations, is deeply involved in those talks, looking for cost savings and incentives on where to locate heavy maintenance and parts warehousing jobs now at Denver International Airport (DIA). Frontier’s 150-person reservations center in Las Cruces, N.M., which is being closed according to a Monday announcement, is being shopped to the cities as well.

In Monday's statement, Frontier chief operating officer Chris Collins said the Las Cruces shutdown also "will eliminate an operational duplication that exists with our Midwest Airlines partnership." Republic recently acquired Oak Creek-based Midwest, and it and Frontier already have entered into a code-sharing arrangement under which the two airlines can book seats on each other's flights.

Frontier and its soon-to-be owner Indianapolis-based Republic are now deciding whether to relocate 400 or more positions, some 250 of which are based in Denver, as part of their consolidation. Those jobs include the Las Cruces positions.

Denver, Indianapolis and Milwaukee all are competing for the jobs.

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