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Why did Frontier Airlines Pull Out of Milwaukee?

Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

Just as recently summer last year, all was well between Frontier Airlines and Milwaukee. The airline had been touted as the new major player in the Milwaukee market since it was bought by its parent company Republic Airways Holdings in 2009. Frontier’s hub at General Mitchell airport was bustling with more than 80 departures a day. And it seemed that most of the hard feelings had dissipated after Republic folded hometown favorite Midwest Airlines into Frontier’s operations and brand.

But then late last fall, Republic executives surprised the airline industry by announcing major cuts – and a virtual pull-out from the Milwaukee market. Today there are only seven flights out a day and hundreds of area jobs have been lost. Even the naming rights to the Frontier Airlines Center will soon reportedly change to another sponsor. Yet despite outrage from former employees and customers – Republic has been virtually silent.

Now the silence has been broken – theBusiness Journal of Milwaukeescored an exclusive interview with Republic CEO Bryan Bedford. Editor Mark Kass joins Lake Effect’s Stephanie Lecci to discuss what was said – a lot more, Kass says, than previously made statements.

The paper’s exclusive interview is in last week’s print edition, and you can get a preview in Mark’sblog post.