3.4240062353784 (1283)
Posted by pompos 03/27/2009 @ 14:11

Tags : airtran, airtran holdings inc., regional airlines, airlines, aerospace and defense, business

News headlines
Virgin America rains out AirTran's WiFi parade -
It can be guessed that AirTran Airways learned the full value of the maxim regarding the counting of eggs before they're hatched this week when Virgin America announced they were the first and only US carrier to offer inflight wifi service on every...
Southwest challenges Air Tran, Midwest with new Milwaukee service -
An Air Tran 737 takes off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Seattle is one destination served by AirTran from Milwaukee, where it faces new competition from Southwest Airlines. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) It's official: Milwaukee is the next...
Wanted: Elite frequent fliers - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Other targets are customers loyal to other airlines like AirTran Airways; American Airlines, Delta's largest competitor nationally; and United Airlines, whose strong presence in Asia makes it a significant competitor on Asian routes Delta acquired from...
Soaring Costs - Daytona Beach News-Journal
By VALERIE WHITNEY DAYTONA BEACH -- Just as the arrival of AirTran Airways in 2007 caused ticket prices to drop at Daytona Beach International Airport, the loss of the carrier in June 2008 sent prices spiraling upward. The average fare during the...
SkyMall is launch partner for AirTran Airways' new in-flight ... - Trading Markets (press release)
May 21, 2009 (AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION via COMTEX) -- AAI | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- Multi-channel retailer SkyMall is a launch partner for the new in-flight Wi-Fi service offered by AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings...
AirTran adds Internet service to all flights - Baltimore Sun
By Andrea K. Walker | AirTran Airways will become the first major airline to add high-speed Internet service to all of its planes, in a move that could pressure other airlines to speed up plans to offer the service....
AirTran to grow 57% in Milwaukee: - SmartBrief
AirTran Airways has been building its presence in Milwaukee for several years but is on the brink of substantial growth in that market. The carrier announced this week that it will be adding gates and offer 34 daily departures from Milwaukee's General...
No recession at AirTran Airways - Baltimore Sun
By a Baltimore Sun staff writer AirTran Airways did extensive cost-cutting ahead of other airlines and has rebounded from last year's heavy losses. (AP photo / June 9, 2008) The rest of the world may be in a recession, but it doesn't seem like it at...
AirTran counts its blessings at annual shareholder meeting - Orlando Sentinel
By SARA K. CLARKE | SENTINEL STAFF WRITER AirTran pilots, who have been in contract negotiations since 2004, picketed Wednesday at the companyÂ's annual shareholders meeting at the Gaylord Palms Hotel near Kissimmee. About 25 pickets walked the line....
AirTran launches Milwaukee-Branson service The Business Journal of ... -
To the sounds of Lee Greenwood performing his hit "God Bless the USA," AirTran Airways launched its new service between Branson, Mo., and Milwaukee Monday. The daily roundtrip flight connects Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport with the...

AirTran Holdings

AirTran Holdings (NYSE: AAI) is a Nevada corporation, based in Orlando, Florida, United States that operates as an airline holding company. Its primary asset is AirTran Airways.

After the large amount of negative publicity surrounding the Flight 592 disaster, ValuJet Airlines suffered serious financial problems. On July 11, 1997, ValuJet announced it would merge with the much smaller AirWays Corp., the owner of Orlando, Florida based AirTran Airways. In November 1997, AirTran announced it would move its headquarters to Orlando from Atlanta; on November 17, 1997, AirWays Corp. and ValuJet completed their merger and the name ValuJet was dropped.

On January 6, 1999, the board of directors of AirTran announced that Joseph Leonard had been elected to the position of Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of the company.

On August 15, 2002, AirTran stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

In December, 2006, AirTran Holdings made public that in December 2005 it had approached the Board of Directors of Midwest Air Group -- owner of Midwest Airlines and Skyway Airlines which operates as Midwest Connect -- and had asked the board negotiate a sale of the company. That AirTran offer in 2005 was rebuffed by Midwest's board, which also rebuffed a second offer in late 2006. In December 2006, AirTran disclosed the rejection of both offers in hopes of bringing shareholder pressure on Midwest's board to reconsider, which the board recommended that shareholders reject.

On December 13, 2006, AirTran announced that it had made an offer to acquire Midwest Airlines, another operator of the Boeing 717. The offer has since been rejected by the Midwest board. On January 11, 2007, AirTran sweetened its offer for Midwest to $13.25 a share from $11.25 a share, valued at US$290 million, or a 24% premium over Midwest's trading price at the time, and AirTran took its renewed bid directly to Midwest shareholders, bypassing Midwest's board of directors; with an offer that expires on April 11, 2007. On April 2, 2007 AirTran raised its bid to $15 a share, in what CEO Joe Leonard called AirTran's final bid.

In response to AirTran's overtures, Midwest Air Group has stated publicly that it believes that it can maximize shareholder value as a stand-alone company. Midwest Air Group has said that the latest AirTran proposal rejected by its board of directors significantly undervalued Midwest and did not reflect the long-term opportunity inherent in its strategic growth plan. The company also has reiterated that its strategic business plan will offer superior value to shareholders by capitalizing on current industry conditions while remaining true to Midwest's commitment to customer service excellence.

On January 11, 2007, AirTran Holdings increased its bid for Midwest to $345 million in cash and stock, an 18% increase from their previous offer.

On February 2, 2007, AirTran again raised its bid for Midwest to $389 million in cash and stock ($9 in cash and .5842 shares of AirTran stock totaling $15 a share). CEO Joe Leonard stated that this would be AirTran's final bid.

In May 2007, an independent securities expert William McGinnis, CFA, published an analysis of Board of Director responsibilities related to hostile takeover offers. He utilized the AirTran offers for Midwest Airlines as the basis for this case study which is available here.

AirTran was successful in having its slate of 3 board members elected to the Midwest Air Group's board of directors in the election on June 14, 2007 at the Midwest annual meeting.

On August 12, 2007, it was announced that AirTran had lost the bid for Midwest. A private equity group, headed by TPG Capital and including Northwest Airlines, had purchased Midwest and will turn the airline into a privately funded company.

On August 14, 2007, it was announced that AirTran had renewed their bid for Midwest at a price slightly above that of the TPG Capital offer, in theory at the request of Midwest shareholders. It should be noted that Pequot Capital Management, which owns 8.8% of Midwest, had been unhappy with the TPG Capital offer, as they felt that AirTran's cash and stock offer would result in greater gains because they felt AirTran's stock will rise in value once the acquisition of Midwest is completed. An executive at another unnamed investment group also expressed similar misgivings about the TPG Capital offer. TPG Capital's offer had been $16/share in cash, where AirTran's latest offer is $10 cash plus 0.6056 share of AirTran stock for each share of Midwest, which at the close of trading on August 13 made the value of AirTran's new offer approximately $16.25/share in cash and stock.

However, Midwest announced TPG would increase its offer to $17 per share and a definitive agreement had been reached on August 16, 2007.

To the top

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways Logo.svg

AirTran Airways is a low-cost airline that is a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Orlando, Florida, USA and is a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings. AirTran operates over 750 daily flights throughout the eastern USA and the Midwest, including over 270 daily departures from Atlanta. It is the world's largest Boeing 717 operator. AirTran's principal hub is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the airline's parent company, AirTran Holdings, is headquartered at Orlando International Airport, where AirTran also maintains a secondary hub.

The airline was established in June 1993 and started operations on October 26, 1993 as Conquest Sun Airlines. It was renamed AirTran Airways in August 1994. At the time, AirTran had a similar name to American Trans Air (otherwise known as ATA) and this led to a confusion over branding.

In July 1997, AirWays Corporation announced a merger with ValuJet Airlines. In one of the U.S. airline industry's first reverse mergers, ValuJet was re-named AirTran Airways in 1997. This was done because the firm's public image never recovered from the crash of ValuJet Flight 592. On September 24, 1997 the parent company became AirTran Holdings Inc, and operations under new management began on September 1, 1998.

In October 1997, AirTran began assigning seats on its planes. AirTran has previously offered first come, first served, onboard seating (known by passengers as "the cattle call"), a practice popular with high-frequency, low-fare carriers (notably Southwest Airlines). The next month they added business class seats on every flight. Previously all flights had been in an all-coach (all-economy class) configuration. The old routes from Orlando by AirTran were ended following the merger with ValuJet Airlines to focus on Atlanta. In March 1998, AirTran began a frequent flier program called A+ Rewards. In June 1998, Entrepreneur Magazine gave the airline its 1998 award for "Best Domestic Low-Fare Airline". The airline also won this award in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005. In July 1998, AirTran reported its first profitable quarter since early 1996.

On September 24, 1999 AirTran Airways became the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Boeing 717; it entered service on October 12, 1999. On December 12, 2000, AirTran launched services from Atlanta to its first international destination, Grand Bahama Island.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, AirTran reduced its flight schedule by 20%, returning to its normal schedule on October 7, 2001. The airline also took temporary concessions from several employee groups, and restored pay 45 days later. On October 15, 2001, AirTran became the first airline in the nation to reinforce the cockpit doors on all of its aircraft. In November 2002, AirTran entered into an agreement with Air Wisconsin to provide regional jet service on some AirTran routes to free up Boeing 717 aircraft, a service called AirTran JetConnect. This agreement was terminated in mid-2004.

In June 2003, AirTran began new services operated by Ryan International Airlines to Denver, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles using Ryan International Airbus A320s painted in Air Tran livery, making it a coast-to-coast airline.

On July 1, 2003, AirTran placed an order for 100 Boeing 737 aircraft. In October 2003, AirTran began services to Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport, and to San Francisco the following month.

On January 5, 2004 AirTran's last Douglas DC-9 was retired, leaving it with a fleet of more than 70 Boeing 717s. The first Boeing 737 entered AirTran's fleet in June 2004, ending the service by Ryan. Later in 2004, AirTran sought a major expansion at Chicago-Midway Airport by buying the leases to ATA Airlines 14 gates. Southwest Airlines made a higher bid for the gates, and AirTran lost the deal.

On May 23, 2006, AirTran accepted one of the last two Boeing 717s delivered in a ceremony with Midwest Airlines, who accepted the other 717.

AirTran offers 100 channels of XM satellite radio as in-flight entertainment on board all its aircraft in both business class and coach. It used Elton John's face as a promotional tool for the new service. In June 2007, AirTran began charging passengers $6.00 to guarantee an aisle or window seat and $20 to book a roomier emergency exit row seat.

In November 2006, AirTran Airways partnered with Frontier Airlines, allowing frequent flyers to earn airline miles in either AirTran's A+ Rewards, or Frontier's EarlyReturns frequent flyer program. This is known as reciprocal earning (as opposed to reciprocal redemption). In addition the airlines will refer customers to each other when appropriate.

On January 10, 2007, AirTran started service to Daytona Beach (DAB) and to Newburgh (SWF) using their Boeing 717 aircraft; both services since have been discontinued. Service to St. Louis began on May 8, 2007, and service to San Diego began on May 24, 2007. On February 22, 2007, AirTran announced new nonstops from their Atlanta hub (ATL) to Charleston, SC (CHS); five days later, on February 27, 2007, AirTran also announced the addition of new nonstops from Baltimore (BWI) and Orlando (MCO) to Portland, Maine (PWM).

Daily non-stop service between Atlanta and San Antonio began on June 7, 2008. On May 21, 2008, AirTran also added Burlington, VT with three daily flights to Baltimore-Washington. In September 2008, AirTran announced service to Columbus, OH (CMH) and Harrisburg, PA (MDT).

AirTran is building up operations in Milwaukee at General Mitchell International Airport. The airline is now trying to compete directly with rival Midwest Airlines after Midwest chose not to agree to AirTran's bid to purchase the airline. AirTran has said that Mitchell Airport will become the airline's next focus city. AirTran has been awarded two additional gates at General Mitchell International Airport which doubled their number of gates at the airport to 4.

In December 2006 Air Tran Holdings announced that it had been trying to acquire Midwest Air Group. The details on this acquisition are in the AirTran Holdings article.

On August 12, 2007, AirTran announced its attempt to purchase Midwest Airlines had expired, while TPG Capital, in partnership with Northwest Airlines, had entered into an agreement to purchase Midwest Airlines for an amount larger than the AirTran Airways proposal. However, on August 14, 2007, AirTran increased its offer to the equivalent of $16.25 a share, slightly more than the $16 a share from TPG Capital investors group. However, Midwest announced TPG would increase its offer to $17 per share and a definitive agreement had been reached late on August 16, 2007.

On September 21, 2007, AirTran pilots, represented by the National Pilots Association, rejected the carrier's contract proposal. Two weeks earlier, the pilots voted to dump the union president and vice president.

On January 1, 2009, AirTran Airways removed nine Muslim passengers, including three children, from a flight and turned them over to the FBI after one of the men commented to another that they were sitting right next to the engines and wondered aloud where the safest place to sit on the plane was. Although the FBI subsequently cleared the passengers and called the incident a "misunderstanding," AirTran refused to seat the passengers on another flight, forcing them to purchase last minute tickets on another airline that had been secured with the FBI's assistance. A spokesman for AirTran initially defended the airline's actions and said they would not reimburse the passengers for the cost of the new tickets. Although the men had traditional beards and the women headscarves, AirTran denied that their actions were based on the passengers' appearance. The following day, after the incident received widespread media coverage, AirTran reversed its position and issued a public apology, adding that it would in fact reimburse the passengers for the cost of their rebooked tickets.

AirTran Airways flies to 57 destinations throughout the United States. This will increase to 58 when the airline begins new service to Branson, MO on May 11, 2009, and 60 with the beginning of service to Atlantic City, NJ and Knoxville, TN on June 12, 2009.

Some routes below may already be operated by AirTran Airways from other destinations.

As of September 2008, AirTran's average fleet age was 3.8 years.

AirTran Airways operates under a two-class configuration with business class and the main cabin. All seats feature live, on-demand XM Satellite Radio. Usually, business class includes rows 1-3 and coach begins with row ten (there are no rows 4-9), skipping 13 due to superstition. Beginning in 2009, AirTran has begun the Sky Bites buy on board program offering food for purchase in addition to the traditional complimentary beverages and cocktail snacks. In the main cabin, alcoholic drinks can be purchased for a $6.00 fee (in business class they are free). AirTran is a cashless airline and only accepts credit and debit cards for onboard purchases. Seat-back pockets hold a copy of the airline's magazine Go! , Hertz rental car coupons, and an up-to date SkyMall.

One of AirTran's Boeing 717's features a picture of IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick with "AirTranica" written on the sides instead of the traditional "AirTran" N971AT.

Although ValuJet, which bought AirTran and decided to use the AirTran name, is infamous for the ValuJet Flight 592 disaster, the new combined airline under the name AirTran has not suffered an accident that has led to loss of life.

To the top

AirTran JetConnect

AirTran JetConnect was the brand for AirTran Airways' former regional airline service, which flew regional jet aircraft from AirTran Airways' hub in Atlanta. Service was to short-haul markets where AirTran felt their 717 or A320 (operated by Ryan International) aircraft were too large to economically operate.

The JetConnect service was provided by regional carrier Air Wisconsin, who supplied 10 Canadair Regional Jet painted in full AirTran livery with the branding Jet Connect added next to the AirTran Livery.

The agreement was officially announced on September 26, 2002, with service beginning on November 15, 2002. Initially, JetConnect flew to Greensboro, Pensacola, and Savannah, later expanding to a total of 18 cities across the eastern United States.

On March 5, 2004, Airtran announced that it would be ending its JetConnect service. The airline performed an economic analysis and determined it could operate the Boeing 717 more efficiently than the Canadair regional jets in short-haul markets. The last regional jet flight operated in August, 2004. The relationship between AirTran and Air Wisconsin was good; the airlines separated on good terms.

During the phasing-out process, Air Wisconsin returned all of its regional jets to the United Express fleet, repainting them in United Express livery. All aircraft have since been repainted in US Airways colors as Air Wisconsin now operates entirely under the US Airways Express banner.

To the top

AirTran Airways destinations

This is a list of airports that AirTran Airways currently serves (As of September 2008).

To the top

Midwest Airlines

A Skyway Airlines Fairchild-Dornier 328JET painted in the colours of Midwest Connect at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, WI. SkyWest Airlines aircraft operate under contract to Midwest.

Midwest Airlines (formerly Midwest Express) is an American scheduled passenger airline based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, operating from the city's General Mitchell International Airport. Midwest Airlines is largely known for its Signature Service all business class seating arrangement, which includes leather seats arranged 2-by-2 and the iconic fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies.

In early 2008 the airline's publicly traded parent Midwest Air Group was taken over by the private investment firm TPG Capital with a minority investment by Northwest Airlines (now Delta Air Lines). The new owners halted airline operations by its Skyway Airlines subsidiary and contracted out all Midwest Connect flights. Skyway now provides ground services for Midwest flights.

Midwest Airlines began life in 1948, when Kimberly-Clark began providing air transportation for company executives and engineers between the company's Neenah, Wisconsin headquarters and their mills.

In 1969, K-C Aviation was born from this, and was dedicated to the maintenance of corporate aircraft.

After the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, Kimberly-Clark and K-C Aviation decided to form a regular scheduled passenger airline, and out of that initiative, Midwest Express started on June 11, 1984. At the time the airline had two DC-9's and 83 employees.

The airline slowly grew by adding Douglas DC-9 aircraft to its fleet. Eventually, Midwest Express served most major Midwestern and Eastern destinations. Their longtime slogan, The Best Care in the Air, represents their inflight product. For many years, all flights featured 2-by-2 leather seating, ample legroom, and inflight meals and cookies. This made the airline popular with business travelers. In addition, Midwest Express operated a sizable executive charter operation with a specially-configured DC-9.

Midwest Express also added Midwest Vacations in the 1990s, naming GOGO Worldwide Vacations as the original partner to provide hotel service and later partnering with Mark Travel. Midwest Airlines Vacations continues to operate as a vacation provider.

After fourteen years of profit-making, Midwest Express was affected with serious financial problems after the September 11 terrorist attacks. To return to profitability, the airline made major changes to its product. First, they reconfigured some MD-80 series aircraft into a new 'Saver Service', featuring cloth coach seats in a 2-by-3 arrangement. Saver Service, while decreasing the width of the seats, continues to feature ample legroom. This service was initially offered from their Milwaukee and Kansas City hubs to leisure destinations such as Florida, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix on McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft. The airline's Signature Service was also affected by the financial difficulties. The signature gourmet meal services, which had been served on china after being cooked on board, were discontinued in 2002.

In 2002, the airline made another major change, shortening its name from Midwest Express to simply Midwest. A major reason for the change was the modern association of 'express' with a regional airline, which Midwest was not. At the same time, Midwest's commuter airline subsidiary changed its name from Skyway Airlines, the Midwest Express Connection, to Midwest Connect. In a move to save money on jet fuel, the airline accelerated the replacement of DC-9 aircraft with the Boeing 717. On May 23, 2006, Midwest Airlines accepted one of the last two Boeing 717s delivered in a ceremony with AirTran Airways, who accepted the other 717. Midwest also announced that select MD-80 aircraft would leave the fleet.

In May 2005, Midwest announced a new buy-on-board meal service for customers. The new program is a change from the previous 'In-flight Cafe' and features chefs and inspiration from the renowned Mader's restaurant. They also bake chocolate chip cookies on the plane and serve them warm.

Midwest has become the largest longstanding operation at Mitchell Airport and served 21 cities non-stop (serving San Antonio only through Kansas City), while their regional partner Skyway Airlines, operating as Midwest Connect, served nearly 30 destinations throughout the Central United States. Since the late 1990s, Midwest has built a secondary hub at Kansas City International Airport, where they operate nonstop service to 13 cities across the country.

Announced May 17, 2007, Midwest Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Northwest Airlines to form a codeshare agreement with them. The codeshare agreement added 250 city pairs and 1,000 new flight options for Midwest Airlines customers. Northwest routes that include the Midwest Airlines YX code are destinations beyond Northwest's hubs at Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Memphis throughout the United States and Canada. Midwest has placed its code on Northwest flights from Indianapolis, a Northwest focus city. Additionally, Midwest's code appears on a number of Northwest-operated flights to Hawaii and Alaska. Routes operated by Midwest Airlines that carry the NW Northwest code are flights that connect at Midwest's Milwaukee and Kansas City hubs, as well as Omaha -- a Midwest focus city. Northwest also codeshares on Midwest Airlines-operated flights between Milwaukee and Kansas City to Atlanta, Boston, Hartford, Los Angeles and San Francisco that connect to the Northwest/KLM trans-Atlantic network and trans-Pacific network.

Midwest has won more awards for exceptional service in Condé Nast Traveler Magazine than any other U.S. airline.

In December 2006, AirTran Holdings Inc. -- owner of AirTran Airways -- made public that in December 2005 it had approached the Board of Directors of Midwest Air Group -- owner of Midwest Airlines and Midwest Connect -- and had asked the board to negotiate a sale of the company. That AirTran offer in 2005 was rebuffed by Midwest's board, which also rebuffed a second offer in late 2006. In December 2006, AirTran disclosed the rejection of both offers in hopes of bringing shareholder pressure on Midwest's board to reconsider, which the board recommended that shareholders reject.

On August 12, 2007, it was announced that AirTran had lost the bid for Midwest. A private equity group, headed by TPG Capital and including Northwest Airlines, had inquired to purchase Midwest and will turn the airline into a privately funded company. The inclusion of Northwest in the investing parters may lead to anti-trust accusations from the United States Department of Justice, which reviews all airline mergers.

On August 14, 2007, AirTran increased its offer to the equivalent of $16.25 a share, slightly more than the $16 a share from TPG Capital investors group. However, Midwest announced TPG would increase its offer to $17 per share and a definitive agreement had been reached late on August 16, 2007.

On February 1, 2008, Midwest Air Group announced that the US Department of Justice had cleared the acquisition of Midwest by TPG Capital and Northwest. This finalized the acquisition: trading of Midwest Air Group on the American Stock Exchange ceased at the end of the trading day on January 31, 2008, and stockholders in Midwest received the agreed-upon $17 per share. This ended the independent existence of Midwest Airlines.

In accordance with the rest of the airline industry during the oil price increases since 2003, Midwest Airlines was forced to cut back services. To do this, Midwest Airlines announced their intent to ground the twelve remaining McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets in its fleet. According to the company, the MD-80 "is a very fuel inefficient airplane and at the cost of fuel today it's just become economically infeasible to operate these planes." The MD-80s, and the crews that operated them, left Midwest in fall of 2008.

TPG Capitals Midwest Air Group failed to pay a $3.3 million receivable due the outsourced regional airline replacement for Skyway Airlines which previously d/b/a as Midwest Connect. SkyWest was due the amount by June 30, 2008 forcing SkyWest Airlines to record a full reserve and corresponding reduction in revenue during the second quarter.

Additional changes were announced on September 3, 2008, when the airline announced that it had raised $60 million from TPG, Northwest Airlines, and Republic Airways Holdings. As part of the outsourcing deal, Republic Airlines is operating 12 Embraer 170 aircraft under the Midwest Airlines brand, though Midwest has the option to convert the aircraft into a long-term lease and operate them directly. The airline also reached an agreement with Boeing Capital to return 16 Boeing 717s, leaving it with a fleet of 9 aircraft.

On September 3, 2008, Midwest Airlines announced its plan to outsource a large part of its flight operations to Republic Airways. Republic will operate 12 new 76-seat Embraer 170 jets under the Midwest Connect name while Midwest will return 16 of its 25 Boeing 717 plans under a lease renegotiation. While this change caused the additional layoffs bringing the total of pink-slipped Midwest pilots to nearly 300 and total employee cuts for the year to 1,850, Midwest indicates that it hopes to begin operating these new plans itself with Midwest crews in 8-12 months. Some Midwest pilots claim they have been told privately that Midwest, in fact, does not plan to seek the needed regulatory approvals to operate the new planes itself.

The Midwest branch of the Air Line Pilots Association launched a campaign protesting the Midwest outsourcing plan shortly after it was announced. They argue that the pilots have already made significant concessions to help Midwest Airlines survive and that the company's new contract offers represent draconian demands.

On May 29, 2007, Midwest announced the next phase of the company's strategic plan, which will offer customers the choice of Signature and Saver seating on all flights. The dual-seating option is available on its Boeing 717 fleet. Signature Service features two-across, leather seats with additional legroom and Saver Service features two-by-three seating.

The same onboard amenities will be provided to all passengers on either aircraft.

According to Midwest, the dual-seating option is expected to enhance long-term shareholder value by increasing revenue while reducing unit costs. In previous Saver markets, the company expects to generate additional revenue from the sale of higher-value Signature seats. In previous Signature markets, added revenue generation is expected to result from capturing market share currently lost due to lack of capacity in high load factor markets or those that are slot-constrained, like Washington, D.C. Reagan National and New York La Guardia. The added capacity will also provide the seating needed to accommodate passengers connecting from other Midwest Airlines flights, Midwest Connect flights and the new codeshare partnership with Northwest Airlines, as well as additional demand stimulated by the added low-fare Saver seating. Overall, the implementation of seating choices is projected to generate $30-35 million in annualized revenue.

The addition of 11 seats on each of the airline's 9 Boeing 717 aircraft would have reduced the airline's unit costs by increasing capacity 12.5%. Had the new seating configuration on the Boeing 717s been in effect in 2006, Midwest Airlines' cost per available seat mile excluding fuel of 7.22 cents would have been 6.77 cents, a 6.3% improvement.

Midwest Airlines' frequent flyer program is called Midwest Miles. They maintain one airport lounge, the Best Care Club at their Milwaukee hub in the D Concourse.

While Midwest is not a member of any airline alliance, Midwest Miles may be redeemed in the Northwest Airlines WorldPerks program, and vice versa. As of 2006, Northwest route maps show Midwest as a partner airline as Northwest is pulling its non-hub flights out of Milwaukee. Also, Midwest participates in code sharing with US Airways out of their Kansas City hub. Midwest allows passenger connections with US Airways in Kansas City to smaller communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Midwest Miles is unusual in that it has links to the Amtrak program. Midwest Miles members may transfer lots of 5,000 miles (8,000 km), up to a maximum of 25,000 miles per year to Amtrak's program. Amtrak points can be used for travel on Amtrak and Continental Airlines.

A defining feature of the airline is the chocolate chip cookies baked on the planes and served near the end of flights. The airline began serving the cookies after a former employee experimented with different snacks on an empty leg of a charter flight.

The cookie was featured in Midwest advertisements, such as the "savethecookie" campaign in opposition to the proposed and failed AirTran takeover. The cookie is served at professional baseball games at Miller Park and Kauffman Stadium, as well as Bucks basketball and Admirals hockey games at Milwaukee's Bradley Center.

Midwest Airlines currently provides mainline service to 18 destinations throughout the United States and Connect service to an additional 13 destinations in the United States and Canada.

As of January 2009, the average fleet age of Midwest Airlines was 4.1 years old.

At the beginning of Midwest's life, they flew only DC-9s of the -10 and -30 series. The aircraft livery of these planes were painted in a dark blue on the upper half, and white on the lower half. The two were separated by two white, a blue, and a red cheatline, which ran up the trailing edge of the tail. The engines were white, and on the tail was a bold 'M' and a script 'E', representing Midwest Express, and the way the titles were printed. This scheme can still be found on one Beech 1900D of Midwest Connect, sans the 'M E' on the tail.

In the early 1990s, the airline started to add DC-9-80, more commonly known as the MD-80 or "Super 80", aircraft to their fleet, initially in the same livery. It wasn't until the mid-90s that they changed the paint scheme. The top half of the aircraft remained blue, but the bottom half was repainted grey, along with the engines, and they were now separated by a gold, white, and red cheatline. The tail logo also took minor changes, adding a circle around the lettering and a gold, white, and red stripe from the circle to the leading edge of the tail. Despite the unchanged lettering on the tail, the titles on the fuselage were changed to all bold letters, rather than the script "Express" titles.

In 2003, Midwest Express Airlines began to create a new identity, as the first Boeing 717's were being delivered, and the DC-9 aircraft were being retired. They started with chopping the "Express" out of their name (and thus, off of the fuselage), and they designed a new logo which would help point them out as a representative of Milwaukee. The result was a logo that looks much like a wing, with a small 'M' inside of it. However, if the logo is turned on its side, it bears a resemblance to the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Santiago Calatrava, which was being constructed at the same time. The Art Museum has risen out as an icon of Milwaukee, and so the new Midwest Airlines felt this would be a good representation. Along with this new identity came a new livery. The bottom of the aircraft remained grey, while the top were repainted in a lighter, deeper blue, with essentially the same gold, white, and red cheatlines separating the two. On the lower half, there was also a blue swoop, starting at the front (looking much like another stripe), getting larger as it goes back, until it covers the whole tail section. The engines on these planes were painted in the same blue color, with 4 gold rings on the port engine, and 3 on the starboard. This was meant to represent the ranking of Captain and First Officer, along with where they sit. An error, however, occurred in the painting of the livery in the first aircraft. Boeing misunderstood the livery, and N902ME was delivered with 4 rings on both engines. The aircraft remains that way today. All other 717s delivered were painted correctly, along with three MD-80s, registered N813ME, N822ME, and N823ME. All other remaining MD-80s have a sort of hybrid livery, combining the lighter blue, light gray engines/belly and stripes of the old Midwest Express livery with the current logo and titling of Midwest Airlines.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia