Republic Airways Holdings has decided that the Frontier name and Frontier’s famous “spokesanimals” will be the face of the unified branded airline that will result from the integration of Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines, both of which Republic bought in the latter half of 2009.
“This decision was an emotional one for everyone involved,” says Bryan Bedford, president, chairman and CEO of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. “While the research showed that customers preferred the Frontier brand, they also expressed a strong loyalty to both brands based on affordability, convenience, destinations and delivery of a differentiated experience. As we work to integrate these two brands into a unified Frontier Airlines, you can expect to see a lot of influence from the Midwest brand. This will include the introduction of the iconic Midwest Airlines chocolate chip cookie on all Frontier flights this summer.”
Adds Bedford: “This airline is now bigger and stronger, with an immense opportunity for sustainable, profitable growth in Milwaukee, Denver and across our network. We are launching service to new destinations out of our Milwaukee and Denver hubs and we are adding more jobs in the communities we serve.”
The unified airlines’ 2010 growth includes 10 new destinations out of Frontier Airlines’ Denver hub and five new destinations out of Midwest’s Milwaukee hub. As a result, says Republic, the carrier will grow by 7 per cent in seat miles this year, three times the industry average. Additionally, the enlarged Frontier employs more than 5,700 aviation professionals across its branded network with 1,200 employees in Milwaukee and 4,100 employees in Denver, with more to come as Frontier’s expansion continues.
Republic purchased Midwest Airlines in July 2009 and Frontier Airlines in October 2009. Since then, the two carriers have operated as partners with the goal of eventually integrating into one carrier. Over the last few months Republic has conducted extensive independent research among consumers and employees to help in its decision-making process.
“This decision is a critical milestone for Republic’s branded operation and allows us to focus on serving our guests better,” says Ian Arthur, Republic’s vice president of marketing and branding. “Together as Frontier Airlines we make a very important brand promise to our guests. Our promise is to deliver a better and different flying experience, because it is the best care in the air.”
Republic has set what it says is “a very aggressive” timeline of 12 to 18 months for the integration of Frontier and Midwest. In that time, sasy Republic, it will work to integrate the customer experience and cultivate attributes to set Frontier Airlines apart in the industry.
The company has developed a new website, FrontierMidwest.com, to communicate with the public throughout this process. The site will include a timeline of all the major milestones that Republic intends to achieve throughout the integration; including the move to one website, one frequent flyer program and the implantation of new product attributes.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done in integrating these two carriers,” says Arthur. “Throughout this process we will keep an open ear to our customers’ wants and needs.”