Two DFW Companies Involved in Midwestern Airline Shuffle

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    Southwest Airlines has decided to enter the Milwaukee market.

    The airline best known for having fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and wide leather seats on board, is being sold.

    Fort Worth-based TPG Capital is selling Midwest Airlines to Republic Airways for $31 million.  That's a lot less than the $452 million TPG and Northwest Airlines paid to buy Midwest in January of 2008, and a sign of just how far the airline business has fallen in that time.

    Meanwhile, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is making a major play for business in Milwaukee, the city where Midwest Airlines is based.  Southwest announced Tuesday that it will launch 12 daily non-stop flights from Milwaukee to six destinations beginning this fall.

    Southwest's decision to enter the Milwaukee market may also be a strategic move to head off low-cost rival AirTran, which once sought to buy Midwest, and has significantly expanded service in Milwaukee since its efforts to purchase Midwest failed. 

    Midwest Airlines and Republic are already working together at DFW airport.  Republic currently operates daily flights between Dallas and Milwaukee under the Midwest name; part of a deal the two airlines worked out last year, in an effort to keep Midwest out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.