Frontier Airlines pilots approve concessions

AP News
Posted: Jun 17, 2011 5:48 PM
Frontier Airlines pilots approve concessions

Frontier Airlines said Friday that its pilots overwhelmingly approved concessions that will help restructure the airline.

The airline's chairman and CEO, Bryan Bedford, said savings from the pilots' agreement and other measures moved the airline more than halfway to its goal of improving annual profit by $120 million.

Bedford said the company would go ahead with a promise to invest more in the airline's operations and future growth. Frontier said it was still negotiating for more savings from aircraft lessors and major suppliers.

Members of the Frontier Airline Pilots Association voted 498 to 58 for the restructuring plan. Leaders of the group did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but they said this week that the plan included giving up future pay raises and accepting reduced retirement benefits and vacations in exchange for an unspecified stake in Frontier.

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. bought Frontier out of bankruptcy in 2009 but disclosed last week that it wants to pull back to a minority stake by the end of 2014.

Republic owns more successful subsidiaries that operate regional flights for the major airlines. In the first quarter of this year, Frontier reported a pretax loss of $55.2 million while Republic's for-hire subsidiaries earned a $17.6 million pretax profit.

Frontier's main hub is in Denver, where it competes against Southwest and United.

Republic shares rose 17 cents, or 3.8 percent, to close at $4.61.