Midwest Airlines 'Legacy Flight' Lands At MKE
Although customers may not notice much besides lower prices and newer aircraft, there are some who are mourning the demise of Midwest Airlines as it was previously structured. Republic Airlines bought the carrier in July and on Monday the last "legacy flight" of a Midwest Boeing 717, with an original Midwest crew, landed at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport. Midwest charged more for its flights than its competitors on the notion that passengers would pay for a superior level of service and wider seats. Its flight crews were also paid more than typical regional crews and both practices came to an end with the Monday flight. It's probably not a coincidence that Sunday marked the beginning of Southwest Airlines' service to MKE.
Southwest announced its intentions for Milwaukee in the summer and before the first blue and red 737 touched down fares had already started dropping, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Southwest is operating 12 flights a day from MKE. Meanwhile, Midwest's new owner Republic is responding with Embraer 190s and A319s that pack more pax in their 17.8-20-inch seats (compared to Midwest's 717s' 21.5 inches). Some of the cost savings will come with the layoff of Midwest's legacy crews and their replacement by less expensive Republic crews, according to the Journal Sentinel.