More Evidence that it Might NOT be Working

According to the Journal-Sentinel, 500 Frontier Airlines Employees based in the Milwaukee area are set to be released into the wild.

Frontier Airlines will cut nearly 500 Milwaukee employees – nearly half of them flight crew members based at Mitchell International Airport – as a result of a major service reduction here.

Those job cuts will occur in April, according to information Frontier filed Monday with the state Department of Workforce Development under the state’s layoff notice law.

Frontier said 446 employees will be affected by the cuts, to occur between April 15 and April 30. About 230 employees are flight crew members who will be reassigned to bases outside Milwaukee, the company said in its filing.

Denver-based Frontier has about 1,000 employees based in Milwaukee.

This, of course, goes hand in hand with Frontier’s drastic cuts in routes to and from Milwaukee.  So what happened here?  Frontier came in, “Hoovered” up Midwest and then shut it most of it down.  How very “Bain Capital.”  How is that productive?

Thanks to this, Milwaukee’s become a little more isolated.


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19 thoughts on “More Evidence that it Might NOT be Working

    1. And a new governor, right?

      After all, we’ve had 20+ consecutive months of national job gains, while Wisconsin has had 6 consecutive months of job losses. Clearly Scott Walker is the problem!

  1. IS this Bain’s fault? Not likely. It might be Bain’s cousin funds, though, who are at fault. Combined, leveraged capital firms own about 45% of the stock of Republic Airways. You can bet they are looking for a payout soon, and that means Republic is cutting to the bone despite the potential for long-term growth.

  2. “Frontier came in, “Hoovered” up Midwest and then shut it most of it down. ”

    To be fair and accurate here, Republic Airlines purchased Midwest Airlines in June of 2009 and then days later purchased Frontier Airlines out of bankruptcy. In 2010 Republic merged its two subsidiaries into a single carrier.

  3. And even better, Walker tried to take credit for Mitchell Field’s increases in traffic and jobs back in 2010. Despite an aviation consultant saying county government had nothing to do with the growth, Republi-fact generously gave Walker a half-true, allegedly because there was growth at the airport, which was half Walker’s claim (I’m not kidding, that was their rationale for allowing Walker’s clear BS).

    So, if he claims credit for airport growth in 2010, he’s gotta be part of the problem when they cut back 2 years later, right? Fair’s fair.

  4. Ya know if Walker, the arrogant political sociopath hadn’t promised 250,000 jobs and dropped the Bomb I wouldn’t blame him for this but I will.

  5. I’ll give him a pass on Frontier’s decision, but not for the hardships these people will soon face in this Randian wonderland.

  6. Those 1,000+ jobs and 800 million federal rail monies would look good now, huh? Maybe a train manufacturer opening for business? Hmmmm. More bad news for Walker when he returns from his “HELP ME I’M SCREWED” cash grab.

  7. Since I became a road warrior 10 years ago, I’ve followed closely the fortunes of Midwest Express/Midwest/Frontier. While it might be expedient to make quick political points, the full story is much more complex.

    The long, slow decline began shortly after 9-11, with Midwest Express making (in retrospect) the wrong decision to listen to their customer base and try to maintain their business class model. When management finally realized their model was untenable, they sold to an equity group before being plucked from the scrap heap by Republic Airways in 2009 along with Frontier Airlines. Republic was trying a new business model in the industry, basically running brands. They were trying to expand from their position as a regional (feeder) operator into mainline operations as a budget cost airline. This is where the comparison to Bain Capital is, IMHO, unfair. Republic did their level best to build their consolidated operation (and yes, cutting costs to increase efficiencies which you can’t really blame them too much for) into something that could compete with Southwest and Jet Blue. Alas, the introduction of Southwest into the Milwaukee market sounded the death knell for any hopes that it would work. You can argue with those methods, but that’s the topic of another thread. The bottom line is that they made a legitimate effort to solidify and increase operations at Mitchell, which has failed.

    This will also leave a mess in Concourse C as Frontier pulls out. Food service in C was overhauled on expectation of increased traffic, and now that’s all up in the air. There’s also the Best Care Club space needing a tenant, not to mention at least a dozen gates with no planes. My prediction, based only on a hunch, is that Delta could move over from the antiquated Concourse E to get the club and the gates. Southwest will expand as AirTran gets folded in. United will consolidate in Concourse D, and Concourse E will house Frontier until their demise is complete. But that’s just me.

    1. Got my concourses wrong. Frontier and Southwest are in D. AirTran is still in C along with part of United, American, and USAirways. Delta and United (Continental) are in E. Sorry for the mistake.

  8. Where is the great Chris Abele in all of this?, last time I checked he was responsible for Milwaukee County.
    Sorry, i forget Democrats aren’t responsible

    1. Chris Abele has not wrongly taken credit for job gains or losses at Mitchell Field. The same cannot be said for Scott Walker. Idiot.

    2. kim, if you want to hold Democrats responsible, try holding Republicans responsible as well.

      While you’re at it, I’d love to see you give President Obama some credit for the 22 consecutive months of job gains since he took office, reversing the trend of job losses that started under his Republican predecessor.

  9. Zach, I don’t beleive I defended any Republicans, nor mentioned that they should not be held responsible. I simply find it convenient that you can give Obama credit for national job growth, and blame the job losses in Wisconsin on Walker, yet job losses in Milwaukee are Walker’s fault but not Abele’s. Its all about about personal responsibility, I’d say both own a portion of the fault. Just as any solutions need to be a shared responsibility.

    See Steve, how easy it is to disgree without having to resort to name calling.

    1. While I think your criticism is not unfair, we don’t traditionally hold city or county officials accountable for job growth or loss except in the largest cities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) where there are sufficient resources to make a measurable impact on employment.

      I suppose the question would be asked, what policies would you hold Abele accountable for that have stifled employment? I can name a couple for Scott Walker:

      1. Act 10
      2. Rejection of HSR

      Can you point to some specific policies that Abele has implemented that have had a negative impact on Milwaukee County employment?

      1. You ‘ve made my point for me, no-one can cite anything Abele has done, good or bad. He is nothing more than a suit, an expensive suit.

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