First Data Corp. and Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. on Friday announced an agreement in which the Greenwood Village, Colo.-based payments processor will continue to process Visa and MasterCard charges for the airline's customers. The agreement provides First Data with appropriate protection for processing customer credit card purchases on a "business-as-usual" basis, according to a news release. First Data declined to comment on the agreement. A Frontier Airlines spokesperson also declined to give more details but did tell CardLine sister publication ISO&Agent Weekly the agreement "stabilizes another portion of our business, and it allows us to continue moving forward in the Chapter 11 process." Denver-based Frontier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 10 following what it called an unexpected move by First Data to "substantially increase" the amount it withholds to cover potential losses based on risk (CardLine, 4/11). "The First Data thing wasn't the only reason" for filing for bankruptcy protection, the spokesperson says. "Obviously, the rising fuel costs are probably the biggest culprit–not just for us but every single airline." Frontier filed a motion Friday with the federal bankruptcy court in New York to approve the agreement, but a hearing date had not been set.

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