BUSINESS BRIEFING / AIRLINES

Times Wire Reports

Southwest Airlines Co. bid $170 million for Frontier Airlines, setting the stage for an auction to determine who will take the Denver-based carrier out of bankruptcy protection.

Southwest's bid is well above a bid of $108.8 million by regional airline operator Republic Airways Holdings Inc. Assuming Republic stays in the fight, an auction will be held to determine a winner. Southwest said the auction would begin Thursday.

A Republic spokesman did not return a phone message seeking comment.

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