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Updated: Frontier deal saves the animals

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Many Coloradans breathed a collective sigh of relief on Friday, on hearing that that a bankruptcy court’s ruling in the Frontier case would save the animals.

What’s that, you say?

The “animals” in this case include Grizwald the bear, Larry the lynx and Flip the dolphin, in addition to Jack the rabbit and several other furry friends. The animals’ images adorn the tails of Frontier’s fleet, and they’ve won their way into the hearts of flyers by bantering with each other in the Denver-based company’s clever television ads (and of course by just being plain old cute).

Indeed, there is likely not a child in Denver who will get on a plane without first seeing which of their favorite wildlife stars is, literally, on their plane. (Travel Jonze, by the way, personally prefers Wally, the gray wolf.)

Southwest’s bid for Frontier had included phasing out Frontier’s Airbus planes over time in favor of Boeing 737s, although it wasn't clear whether Southwest also planned to phase in its own livery. Republic Airways, the winning bidder, has said it plans to keep the Frontier name. And, the Denver Post said, its "spokesanimals."

Before the bankruptcy court shot down Southwest Airlines attempt to purchase the airlines, employees held a "save the animals" rally in downtown Denver.

"All employees, friends, families and dogs are invited to come downtown and support Frontier Airlines," an employee said in recruiting supporters on Facebook.

"We love you, Griz, and all the rest of the Frontier tail animals," one fan declared on Facebook. "You’re here to stay!!!!!!"

-- Jeri Clausing

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