Midwest Airlines, with hub in KC, sold to Republic Airways

Midwest Airlines, a popular airline for Kansas City travelers for much of this decade, has been sold to an Indianapolis-based carrier.

Republic Airways Holdings said it will buy Midwest for $31 million from TPG Capital, a Texas private equity firm.

The deal involves $6 million in cash and a $25 million, five-year note. The note may eventually be converted to Republic Airways stock at $10 a share.

Once the second busiest carrier out of KCI, Midwest's local operations has shrunk dramatically in the past year. After fuel prices spiked dramatically last summer, the Milwaukee-based carrier slashed more than one-half of its Kansas City departures.

Through flights operated by Midwest and Republic Airways, Midwest still has 16 daily nonstop departures from Kansas City to seven cities.

Since last September, Republic Airways has been provided financing and planes for more than half of Midwest's operations.

Republic plans to keep the Midwest brand name as well as the tradition of free chocolate-chip cookies on Midwest flights.