Southwest Airlines confirmed today that it was preparing a $113.6 million bid to buy Denver-based Frontier Airlines, which is operating under bankruptcy court protection and will be sold at auction next month.
If Southwest prevails with the acquisition, it would operate Frontier separately at first until it could merge the airline into its operations.
It isn't clear to what extent Southwest wants to acquire Frontier to eliminate competition on overlapping routes, or how much it sees an acquisition also as a way to expand.
Frontier has a fleet of Airbus aircraft -- 38 A319s, 10 A318s and three A320s. Southwest famously flies Boeing 737s, and has about 535 of them.
Frontier entered bankruptcy protection in April 2008.
Here's a list of Frontier's route network.