Republic shows interest in moving jobs to Indianapolis

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The board that operates the Indianapolis International airport is preparing for Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) to potentially expand its presence at the airport following its purchase of Midwest Airlines and its wining a bid for Frontier Airlines.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority will decide on 18 September whether to grant the board's CEO authority to amend Republic subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines' lease should Republic request additional maintenance space from the airport.

Chautauqua currently leases two maintenance bays at the airport's maintenance centre and Republic has expressed interest in adding a third bay, 6B designed for widebody aircraft, to the Chautauqua lease, airport authority COO Marsha Stone says in a board memo.

Parts warehousing and a reservations centre could also potentially be relocated to the Indianapolis area, she adds, noting that RAH CEO Bryan Bedford has indicated interest in possibly moving up to 750 jobs to Indiana.

The board vote follows RAH winning a bid in August for Denver-based Frontier, which is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a Republic subsidiary around 1 October. Republic completed its purchase of Milwaukee-based Midwest from TPG Capital in July.

Republic informed the airport authority that it is operating under a "very tight timeframe for various decisions, specifically as it relates to the Frontier operation", Stone says, prompting this week's board vote should Republic request a lease change.

An airport authority spokeswoman says the airport is thrilled Republic might move some Frontier and or Midwest operations to Indianapolis but at this time such a move is "pure speculation".

Republic was not immediately available for comment.