As expected, Indigo Partners has agreed to purchase Frontier Airlines, in a deal valued at $145 million including debt.
The purchase confirms that Frontier’s future will be as an ultra low-cost carrier, in the mold of Spirit. Frontier has already made moves in that direction, imposing a slew of new fees and cutting back on frequent-flyer benefits. But the process is still in the early stages.
Indigo is run by Bill Franke, whose resume includes stints as CEO of America West and chairman of Spirit. He is widely credited with making Spirit the financial success it has become, albeit at the expense of customer goodwill. (The latest Consumer Reports study rated Spirit last among U.S. carriers for customer satisfaction.)
Given Indigo’s track record, it’s a safe bet that Frontier will be a financial success, winning the battle for a share of travelers’ wallets. What remains to be seen is whether it can win their hearts as well.
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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.