Details emerge in Southwest-Frontier pilot talks

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Southwest says it is still a participant in the Frontier auction process, despite an impasse in the two pilot groups reaching an agreement on seniority integration.

Southwest's bid submitted to the court overseeing Frontier's Chapter 11 restructuring contains a "contingency for labor agreement", a spokesman for the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) confirms. Dallas-based Southwest officially submitted its $170 million bid for Frontier on 10 August. The carrier is competing with US regional operator Republic Airways Holdings, who has offered $108 million.

A source tells ATI the talks collapsed after Frontier pilots, represented by the independent Frontier Airlines Pilots Association (FAPA), submitted a final offer to SWAPA that would have placed all of Frontier's captains above the most junior Southwest captains on the seniority list. Frontier's first officers would have been added to the bottom of the list.

SWAPA has declined that proposal.

Reports have emerged that Southwest was going to seek an extension of the bidding process, but a Southwest spokesman is declining to confirm, and streses the carrier is "still active" in the auction proceedings.

The structure of the auction process allows the bankruptcy court and Frontier's unsecured creditors seven days from the 10 August submission date to scrutinise the bids.