Midwest repositions E-170s in Florida markets

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Republic Airways will operate two Embraer E-170 aircraft on behalf of Midwest Airlines as Midwest expands its presence in Florida this winter.

Republic plans to operate seasonal Midwest Connect service between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Fort Lauderdale and between Kansas City, Missouri and Fort Myers from 17 December through 19 April 2010.

The Fort Lauderdale flights will be offered daily while Fort Myers operations will start six days per week and will be increased to daily during peak travel periods.

Republic currently operates the two E-Jetsunder the Midwest Connect banner from Milwaukee and Kansas City to the East Coast, a Midwest spokesman says, adding, "The aircraft time is freed up by normal winter frequency reductions to the East Coast, which has lower traffic September through April."

The aircraft are part of Midwest's fleet transition following its sale to Republic parent company Republic Airways Holdings (RAH), which closed on its purchasethe Milwaukee-based operator in July.

RAH operates 12 E-170s as Midwest Connect.

Midwest will face competition on the new routes as Southwest Airlines connects Kansas City and Fort Lauderdale using Boeing 737 aircraft, according to Innovata.

AirTran Airways, which lost a Midwest takeover bid to TPG in 2007, also flies between Milwaukee and Fort Myers using 737 aircraft, schedules in Innovata show.