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Republic Airways Holdings lays low in Frontier sweepstakes

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Tomorrow's the day when Frontier Airlines hits the auction block, and in recent days, Southwest Airlines, one of two publicly announced suitors, has gotten the vast majority of attention due to the size of its bid: $170 million, nearly $60 million more than the first total it floated. Moreover, Southwest's CEO, Gary Kelly, has been out and proud about his firm's efforts, releasing a statement he sent to Southwest employees about the possible Frontier acquisition.

In contrast, there's been virtual radio silence from Republic Airways Holdings, the outfit that kicked off the Frontier frenzy with a $108 million offer. The Republic website's press room section features zero about Frontier; in fact, the most recent post dates back to October 2008. And its latest press release went out on July 31, when Republic completed its purchase of Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines.

Either Republic is keeping a low profile in advance of increasing its offering price in a big way tomorrow, or it's already given up and will let deeper-pocketed Southwest walk off with a sky-high prize -- obtained for a sky-high price.

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