What Southwest Airlines Is Telling Their Employees About the Deal For Frontier Airlines

One of our PlaneBusiness Banter subscribers just passed along this information to us. It was communicated to employees via a Southwest Airlines’ Today@SWA email.

The airline has a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. CT to talk about the airline’s bid.

Southwest Submits Nonbinding Proposal to Acquire Frontier Airlines

On Thursday, July 30, Southwest Airlines submitted a nonbinding proposal to acquire Frontier Airlines in accordance with the bidding procedures in the bankruptcy court.  We view this as an exciting opportunity for the Employees and Customers of both Southwest and Frontier. It represents an opportunity for Southwest to grow our Denver Customers; grow our revenues; and grow our profits. We must caution, however, that this is merely a preliminary step in the bidding process.

We must submit a binding proposal by August 10.  If there is more than one qualified investor, and at this time Republic Airways has also submitted a bid, an auction will be held beginning August 11.  Frontier will determine, in consultation with the unsecured creditors committee, which bid to accept and present to the bankruptcy court for approval.   

Although our plans may vary as we work our way through this process, we wanted to share with you our present plan as we envision it.  Frontier would continue to operate independently and separately for a period of time with its Airbus aircraft and personnel.  We do not intend to integrate the Airbus into our Boeing 737 fleet. As we are able to retire Airbus aircraft, we will add Boeing 737 aircraft. Over time, Frontier employees would be hired into Southwest as needed to support our fleet growth and expanded operations.  There are many details to be worked through, but we are confident that the effort will be worthwhile. We are also confident that our bid, if successful, will boost low-fare competition and benefit consumers in Denver and other cities our expanded network will serve.

Even if our bid is accepted and approved by the bankruptcy court, our closing on this transaction will be subject to several contingencies. These will include the negotiation of acceptable labor agreements dealing with the interim period of separate operation and seniority; and the appropriate regulatory review.  Absent the negotiation of these labor agreements, we will not go forward with this transaction.  However, we are confident that the benefits of such a transaction for Employees of both Southwest and Frontier will become self-evident and that we will be able to obtain such agreements.