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Milwaukee loses Midwest Airlines headquarters, might get cheaper air fares

Milwaukee is about to lose one of its local corporate headquarters but it might get cheaper air fares in return.

That's how some analysts view the upcoming of sale of Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines to Republic Airways of Indianapolis.

Republic says it will restore flights that Midwest dropped last year when it cut its service by 40 percent.

At the same time, Southwest Airlines is launching a dozen daily flights in November in its first presence in Milwaukee.

Air-Tran has kept expanding at Mitchell International, even after it failed to take over Midwest two years ago.

And Delta, the new parent of Northwest Airlines, expects to keep having a big Milwaukee presence.

Rudy Maxa, the host of public broadcasting's "Savvy Traveler," says Milwaukee will definitely have an airfare war.

Minneapolis airline consultant Terry Trippler says Milwaukee has long been overlooked nationally and with all the competition, there's a chance that Mitchell could become an unofficial third airport for Chicago.

Many budget-conscious fliers use Chicago's O'Hare airport. But it ranked last among the nation's major airports in on-time departures in both 2007 and 2008, while Mitchell was not ranked due to its size.