The Great Frontier Airlines Milwaukee Massacre Of 2012


The Great Frontier Airlines Milwaukee Massacre Of 2012

CREATED Feb 14, 2012

I guess it should come as no surprise that Frontier Airlines will not only be gutting service to Milwaukee but also jettisoning jobs.  I can't help but wonder though whether the Great Frontier Airlines Milwaukee Massacre of 2012 could have been avoided in the first place - had we all had a little more foresight six years ago.

For those keeping score at home, Frontier is owned by Republic.  Frontier, as currently constituted, is the product of Republic's merger of Frontier and Midwest Airlines.  That's right, "The Best care in the Air" is now about to essentially disappear as a Wisconsin employer and a Wisconsin presence.

As I look at the demise of a once great airline, I can't help but think back to the efforts of AirTran's Airways to acquire Midwest back in late 2006. At the time, the Midwest Board of Directors vigorously fought the takeover attempt arguing that Midwest would "lose it's charm" if joined with AirTran.  Instead, Midwest argued that it preferred to expand on its own.

So how did that work out for the employees and passengers of Midwest?  I guess "charm" didn't feed the bulldog.

At the time, I admit that I got caught up in the mystique of the old Midwest Airlines and failed to realize that those glory days were gone for good.  In my defense though, a lot of other people misread the tea leaves as well.

I don't know whether things would have ultimately been better if AirTran had succeeded in its takeover efforts back in 2006.  I do know however that for most former employees, it couldn't have turned out worse.

As it stands know, AirTran is in the process of being absorbed by Southwest (which will continue to operate out of Milwaukee).  Northwest is gone - merged with Delta.  Midwest is gone and - as far as Milwaukee is concerned - soon Frontier largely will be gone as well.

What an unfortunate turn of events.

Still, I can't help but wonder whether the Great Frontier Airlines Milwaukee Massacre of 2012 had its roots back in the ill-fated decision by Midwest not to allow AirTran to take over back in 2006.

At the end of the day, it was a heck of a price to pay for "charm".