Republic Holdings To Buy Frontier Airlines? Yowsa — Wonder What United Airlines Thinks of This?


Just never know what news is going to come across the wires these days.

Hi guys.

It’s good to be back.

Yes, moi has been a bit offline over the last month or so. No, I still love you. It was not because of anything you said. Or did. Or didn’t do. Stop it.

Without going into detail, maybe this analogy will help explain. If someone is a pilot, then it’s pretty hard to also work the back of the plane, sell the tickets at the counter and make sure the engine is functioning properly.

Moving, new website drama and delays, exhaustion. I just had to step back and concentrate on our flagship operation — PlaneBusiness Banter for a bit.

But hey — as I told PBB subscribers today — it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

And what fortuitous timing for our coming out party!

This afternoon the newswires were literally abuzz with the news that Republic Holdings is buying Frontier Airlines.

As we all know, Frontier has been trying to put together a financing deal that would allow it to exit bankruptcy protection.

We also all know that Republic had already stepped up its financial involvement with Frontier as part of its current bankruptcy process.

Yes, well — this afternoon Frontier announced that it has entered into an agreement under which Republic will serve as the equity sponsor for Frontier’s reorganization plan.

But the big newsmaking kicker is this: Republic will then purchase 100% of Frontier’s equity for $108.75 million

Under the agreement, Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic.

Frontier Airlines and its short-haul unit, Lynx Aviation, will keep their current names and operate as they do now.

A hearing on the proposed deal is now scheduled in bankruptcy court for July 13.

Frontier’s reorganization plan calls for general unsecured creditors to get $28.75 million.

It said an additional $40 million of the sale proceeds would repay outstanding “debtor-in-possession” financing from Republic Airways Holdings.

If approved by the bankruptcy court, Frontier’s current equity “would be extinguished and holders of that equity would not receive any recovery,” the airline’s statement said.

Okay, so while this is great news for Frontier Airlines — I think a very real question is this one — what happens when Republic, which does a chunk of regional flying for United Airlines, essentially becomes the new owner of Frontier — a major thorn in the side of United?

Stay tuned. This one should be fun to watch.