Southwest: The story is not over in Denver

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Southwest Airlines intends to amplify competition in Denver after losing a bid for its Denver-based rival Frontier Airlines to Republic Airways Holdings.

The story is "not over in Denver. Republic won. Itdoesn't mean we lost," Southwest EVP of strategy and planning Bob Jordan told ATI at the airline's annual media day on 21 October. Today Southwest announced it was adding two gates in Denver along with introducing five new markets starting in March of next year.

Republic secured the winning bid for its former partner after Southwest failed to secure a seniority agreement between its pilots and those at Frontier. Pilot seniority was a stipulation in Southwest's bid to acquire Frontier.

Midwest Airlines also became a Republic subsidiary in July of this year, and now the two branded carriers are examining network and fleet synergies.

Midwest is facing intense competitive pressure in its homebase of Milwaukee as Southwest plans next month plans to introduce service to six new destinations, and AirTran bolsters its efforts to capture more business travelers in the market.

"They've [Republic] inherited a complicated situation and [are] fighting in two very competitive cities." Jordan says of Denver and Milwaukee. "We're not done. Stay tuned."