Southwest ups bid to buy bankrupt Frontier Airlines

Southwest Airlines upped its bid almost 50 percent to $170 million in its attempt to buy bankrupt Frontier Airlines.

The Dallas-based carrier said it submitted its cash offer to purchase Frontier on Monday. Southwest is competing with Republic Airways to buy Denver-based Frontier, which filed for bankruptcy in April 2008.

As part of its bid, Southwest said it would buy 40 of the 51 Airbus airliners in Frontier’s fleet, as well as Frontier’s regional jet subsidiary, Lynx. Over two years, Southwest would phase out the Frontier brand and replace the Airbus planes with Boeing 737s, Southwest’s sole aircraft model.

The company said it also plans to maintain service to all of Frontier’s existing markets and add new nonstop routes from Frontier’s hub in Denver to cities not now served by either carrier.

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