Frontier Airlines naming announcement: Will it be No. 1?

For weeks, there's been speculation aplenty about whether or not Frontier Airlines, purchased last year by Republic Airways Holdings, will be keeping its name and identity when combined with new sister carrier Midwest Airlines.

First, a Milwaukee paper hinted that the combined airlines could be dubbed "New Air" -- a theory that was quickly shot down when a Frontier spokesman revealed that the "New Air" moniker was being used as a placeholder in surveys for customers and employees. Then, more than a hundred Frontier staffers and fans staged a "Save the Animals" rally calling for the name to remain the same.

They'll find out if Republic was listening on Tuesday, at 10 a.m. That's when the company is staging a press conference, using Coors Field as a setting. But the media invite features flash imagery that will likely spur more guesswork.

Clicking on the link in the e-mail brings up a page that features an oversized numeral 1, supplemented by a series of words that appear against a shifting-color backdrop: "1 promise -- 1 vision -- 1 mission -- 1 brand."

Might "1" be all or part of the final moniker? Dunno -- but the unification theme of the message adds to the chance that Republic will opt for an entirely new name, rather than risk being seen as favoring Frontier over Midwest, or vice-versa. Then again, Republic branding veep Ian Arthur told the Denver Business Journal that the choice will be either Frontier or Midwest, because no other names are being considered -- an assertion a Republic spokeswoman would neither confirm nor deny. And staging an announcement in Denver, at one of the city's cultural touchstones, offers a touch of good karma.

At least we know one thing for certain: We'll find out on Tuesday morning.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts