Southwest Airlines’ Bid for Frontier: Did They Really Think It Was Going to Be Easy?


Today is the big day. Or it’s supposed to be the big day.

After all the preliminary table setting over the last several days, today was or is supposed to be the day that Frontier Airlines is actually auctioned off.

But, as I wrote about this week in PBB — I think the assumption that this thing was a done deal for Southwest was a bit premature. In addition, yes, I think that if Republic were to be awarded Frontier — that Frontier could continue to operate and it could be profitable. This is not a case where the bankrupt company is on death’s door. Quite the contrary, Frontier has been posting good operational numbers of late, and they have actually used the bankruptcy process to do what a company is supposed to do while in bankruptcy — they’ve restructured themselves quite nicely.

Therefore, I am not surprised at all that reports last night and this morning say that all is not well on the labor front. Specifically in the negotiations between the Frontier pilots and the Southwest Airlines’ pilots.

Remember that Southwest said going into this that their pilots would have to sign off on a deal with the Frontier pilots or the airline would not go through with the deal.

Not sure if Southwest realized that this, coupled with the fact that the Frontier pilots are taking the position that Frontier does not HAVE to go with Southwest for it to remain a viable business — and you’ve got a pretty strong negotiating position for the pilots at Frontier.

We’ll keep you posted.