Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. has tapped Republic Airways Holdings Inc. to provide regional jet service as Frontier seeks to expand its regional flights.
Terms weren't disclosed. Republic, a regional carrier for several major airlines, will fly 17 Embraer 170 jets on behalf of Denver-based Frontier.
Republic replaces Alaska Air Group Inc.'s Horizon Air, which now operates nine Bombardier Inc. CRJ-700 jets for Frontier. Horizon's contract expires at the end of 2007, Frontier said in a news release.
Horizon has served such cities as Boise, Tucson and El Paso, Texas.
Frontier will control the routing, scheduling and ticketing. Republic is scheduled to deliver the first of the 76-seat jets in March.
The deal follows Frontier's decision in September to buy 10 Bombardier Q400 turboprops to ferry more passengers from the Rocky Mountain region to its Denver hub, where it faces growing competition from discounters Southwest Airlines and United Airlines' Ted.
The contract with Indianapolis-based Republic is "another component of our strategy to pursue major regional expansion," Frontier CEO Jeff Potter said in the release.
The agreement is slated to last 11 years once Republic delivers the last of its jets in December 2008.
Frontier can extend the pact for up to six more years.
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Republic, which will fly 17 of its own Embraer 170 jets, replaces Horizon Air, which now operates nine Bombardier CRJ-700 jets. Horizon's contract expires at the end of the year.
Frontier Airlines had signed a long-term airline services agreement in January with Republic Airlines, and has now received the two E-170 aircraft and put them into service.
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Frontier has plans to use the planes in a new service targeted at mid-sized cities in the Rockies.