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Midwest Airlines to add flights, jobs in Milwaukee

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UNDATED (WSAU) The new owner of Midwest Airlines plans to bring back its old service levels in Milwaukee.

Republic Airways says it will add 800 jobs over the next year at Midwest facilities in Milwaukee and Oak Creek. The firm is consolidating operations in response to new competition from low-fare carriers like Air-Tran and Southwest. Republic bought Midwest in August, after its previous owner cut service by 40-percent a year ago in response to rising jet fuel prices and a lower demand for air travel.

Midwest used to provide over half the flights out of Milwaukee. But in September, its market share was 35-percent to 24-and-a-half for Air-Tran. Republic C-E-O Bryan Bedford said local passengers are starting to get their confidence back in Midwest – but it could take years before Republic restores everything that was cut.

In the meantime, Bedford says Midwest will have competitive fares on leisure flights to places like Florida and Las Vegas. But he says some fares won’t be cut – especially those to business destinations.

About half the new jobs are coming from Republic’s facilities in Denver and New Mexico. The state is providing up to 27-million dollars in tax credits extending to 2021.

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