Republic Airways Holdings plans to shed the Bombardier Q400s operated by Frontier subsidiary Lynx Aviation and shutter the operation by mid September.
Republic purchased Frontier in late 2009, and began some cross-fleeting with Midwest Airlines, which was also purchased by Republic last year.
In an October 2009 interview with ATI and Flightglobal Republic chief marketing officer and former Frontier chief executive Sean Menke said the Lynx operation was under strategic review. At the time he said Lynx either needed to grow, or management of the new holding company needed to look at other options for the carrier.
Today Republic said three Q400s are scheduled to exit the Lynx fleet effective 6 April, followed by three additional aircraft on 19 April. The phase-out will continue through mid-September.
"Unfortunately, after extensive analysis and months of efforts to grow the business, we concluded we could not efficiently operate a fleet of 11 Q400 aircraft," says Republic chief operating officer Wayne Heller.
Flightglobal's ACAS fleet database shows that Lynx is listed as the owner of six Q400s, with Wells Fargo Delaware Trust owning the remaining five aircraft.
Service to all of the destinations operated by Lynx with the exception of Fargo, North Dakota and Tulsa, Oklahoma, will continue. Flights to those two destinations are scheduled to end on 5 April.
Republic is placing Embraer E-170s/190s on the Lynx routes after determining the Q400 operates at a competitive disadvantage to jet service offered by competitors.
The changes will result in 175 positions being eliminated at Lynx. Republic says the affected employees will have the opportunity to work for Frontier or Republic.
Additionally, Republic also says it is terminating the leases on seven Bombardier CRJ200s it currently operates for Continental Airlines.