Jan 29, 10, 10:56 am
I am a bit of an outsider when it comes to YX and F9 and would like some help understanding the new relationships, especially with regard to Milwaukee.
First, F9 and YX are subsidiaries of Republic and are heading toward a full-fledged merger. But F9 and FL are partners with regard to frequent flyer programs and FL is now a major competitor of F9/YX in Milwaukee. And to confuse things even more, how does Skywest fit in? I thought Skywest was the commuter arm for YX, but now Skywest is flying codeshare routes for FL out of MKE. :confused:
Jan 29, 10, 11:50 am
Here I will try to boil down to some easy points:
- You are correct, F9 and YX are owned by Republic and have started integrating aircraft and flight schedules...They have a codeshare right now and you can redeem frontier miles on Midwest flights and vice versa...You will find that Frontier metal (A319's) is being used on Midwest routes and Midwest metal is being used on Frontier routes (mostly E-190's from what I understand).
- FL and F9 still have the partnership, but there is much discussion on what the combined F9/YX will do in the future as YX has their code share with Delta and their is speculation that YX wants to get into one of the bigger alliances.
- As for Skywest...I am almost positive that Skywest is done flying for YX (someone will probably correct me and please do) and Republic has moved their fleet of E145's onto those routes...someone please enhance this bullet since there is obviously more detail that I am leaving out.
Jan 29, 10, 12:04 pm
Skywest used to do flying for Midwest Airlines. However they are their own company and also do flying for other companies like United. The airline you are probably thinking about is SkyWay which was a commuter airline that was wholly owned by Midwest airlines. SkyWay no longer operates as an airline, but now handle ground operations at multiple airports for Midwest and some other airlines.
Jan 29, 10, 12:06 pm
So is this page out of date?
Jan 29, 10, 12:14 pm
So is this page out of date?
Not anymore! :D
Thanks for letting me know. It's rough trying to keep up with a lot of the changes.
Jan 29, 10, 12:24 pm
1. Midwest and Frontier are both owned by Republic, and they are moving toward making their two products be very standard and coordinated. But they are separate airlines.
2. Techinically, Midwest Airlines is just the brand name that Republic uses for their own branded flights. So really the two airlines are not Midwest and Frontier, but Republic (doing business as Midwest) and Froniter, a separate airline also owned by Republic. But to the public, they are Midwest and Frontier...two separate airlines. When I speak of "Midwest" here, it is technically Republic but branded as Midwest.
3. Many believe it is only a matter of time before the two airlines become one, but that is not how it currently is, nor is there any public information on when that might happen.
4. The two airlines did an aircraft swap several months ago with a handful of planes. Midwest needed some larger planes, and Frontier needed some smaller ones. So a small portion of Midwest's flights are actually operated by Frontier aircraft and crews, and a small portion of Frontiers' flights are actually operated by Midwest's aircraft and crews.
5. Since then, they have also started code-sharing between each other's networks.
6. The AirTran frequent flyer partnership with Frontier predates any of this Midwest/Republic ownership and cooperation. AirTran is indeed a big rival to Midwest in Milwaukee, but so far the frequent flyer relationship between AirTran and Frontier remains. Midwest and Frontier are separate airlines, so flights sold as the Midwest brand are not part of the AirTran frequent flyer deal.
7. Similarly, Midwest brings a relationship with Delta to the table. Only this isn't just a frequent flyer reciprocity, but there is code sharing where Midwest can sell flights on Delta metal in markets like Milwaukee-Detroit-Hartford (all on DL) or Milwaukee-Atlanta-Miami (YX to ATL and DL to MIA). This deal between Delta and Midwest is only several months old, inked to replace a previous deal with Midwest and Northwest. Again, Frontier and Midwest are separate airlines, so flights sold as the Frontier brand are not part of the Delta frequent flyer or codeshare deal.
The AirTran frequent flyer partnership with Frontier predates any of this Midwest/Republic ownership and cooperation. AirTran is indeed a big rival to Midwest in Milwaukee, but so far the frequent flyer relationship between AirTran and Frontier remains. Midwest and Frontier are separate airlines, so flights operated as the Midwest brand are not part of the AirTran frequent flyer deal.
8. Skywest is out of the Republic/Midwest/Frontier picture. Republic bought out their contract with Midwest so that they could take over the RJ flying for the Midwest brand. The CRJ's which Skywest was flying for Midwest are not exactly in high demand these days by major airline partners, and so Skywest worked out a deal with AirTran to fly six CRJ's in Milwaukee as a code-sharing deal with FL. The planes are painted as Skywest (not AirTran) and the crews and onboard branding are all Skywest or generic no-name. However the flights are only sold as FL*and not as Skywest, the ground crews are FL, the ticket counter is FL, and when you book it anywhere it looks like any other code share. The financial agreement for this code-share between AirTran and Skywest is the old-school kind where there is shared revenue between the carriers, not the "fee for departure" where AirTran simply pays Skywest to do this flying and then keeps all the revenue and hopes to make a profit. No real clear picture on how this is working out yet for either party, but both have a pretty short "out" clause (6 months I think). And on the AirTran earnings conference call the other day, AirTran execs sort of downplayed it, saying it wasn't expected to grow much.
I'm curious if it will be addressed directly in the Skywest earnings call. It's so new that it's very easy to say with a straight face things like "we have seen growth" (which is obvious since virtually all new service starts out very light at the very beginning) and "we are pleased" or "it is meeting our objectives at this point", both of which are totally subjective.