Southwest Completes $1 Billion AirTran Deal

Posted May 2nd 2011 05:15 PMUpdated May 2nd 2011 05:31 PM

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The little airline that could has finally done it: Southwest Airlines has completed its purchase of AirTran.

Talks began in 2010 for Southwest to purchase Atlanta-based AirTran.

As a result, Southwest's passenger traffic will increase by 25%, the Associated Press reports. The newly-minted airline will gain AirTran's hub in Atlanta, the world's busiest airport, as well as Washington's Reagan and New York's LaGuardia.


Aviation firm OAG tells the Associated Press that Southwest/AirTran will rival the world's biggest airline, United/Continental, in passenger-carrying capacity. Southwest already carries some 100 million domestic passengers a year.


Ray Niedl, an analyst with Maxim Group, tells the Associated Press that the low-cost nature of Southwest is no more. Southwest, he said, "has grown up. They are becoming more of your classic airline, though they don't want to admit it."

To many, the beauty of Southwest is the relaxed nature of the airline. The airline doesn't charge for the first two checked bags, or for changing a reservation, and they famously have ticket zones for passengers to board in order. (They also have some really fun flight attendants.)

Southwest will end flights at the Dallas/Forth airport, the only destination that will be dropped as a result of the merger, USA Today reports. Southwest already flies to Dallas Love Field; a 1979 agreement prohibits a carrier to serve both Love Field and the Dallas/Forth Worth airport.

Bob Jordan, a Southwest executive charged with running AirTran, believes Atlanta will become the airline's biggest hub in the next few years, surpassing Las Vegas and Chicago.

AirTran could continue to run as a separate airline into 2013.



Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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lqqkatdeeznutzzz

I don't like flying Southwest. I don't like feeling like a bunch of jews waiting in line at a concentration camp.

May 03 2011 at 10:10 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lqqkatdeeznutzzz's comment
myenta9345

you sound like a wonderful human being.how do you feel about hispanics asians muslems gays hindus african americans etc. im one of those jews like jesus was

May 03 2011 at 11:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bunnie3553

In the past 10 years I have only flown Southwest. Hope they continue to be the southwest I love.

May 03 2011 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brian1russ

I only travel with Southwest or Airtran anyway and it will be great having a Southwest flight to Sarasota, FL It is really great to have an Airline you can depend on to get you "Out and Back" without feeling like your being robbed. Maybe now I'll actually be able to use miles earned instead of watching them disappear because I am one or two flights short in a year.

May 03 2011 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chaspharrington

I DON'T PERSONALLY DON'T THINK AIR TRAN WILL OPERATE A S A SEPERATE ARILINE UNTIL 2013, BECAUSE SOUTHWEST IS A HIGHLY ORGANIZED AIRLINE AND IT WOULD MAKE NO SENSE IN REGARD TO COSTS OR ROUTES, ESPECIALLY ATLANTA, TO CONTINUE TO FLY THESE TWO AS SEPERATE AIRLINES.
IN ADDITION I WOULD SAY TO DELTA, BYE BYE!!!

May 03 2011 at 8:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jenny

Southwest already carries more people domestically then Delta. And growing is a positive thing. SW has a very strong culture within it's company that makes everyone love them. That culture is not going to change with the growth. Things are only going to get better! And as far as Airtran, it will continue to operate as Airtran for the time being, with assign seats and buisness class. This will probably stay throughout the year.

May 03 2011 at 8:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
oommma

Yeah!!! At last some better flight choices out of Atlanta. No problem with Southwest and the no seat assignments. The other airlines give you a seat, but still call by zones. If you're in a zone that's called later good luck placing your bag overhead near your seat.

May 03 2011 at 8:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aepass

Is AirTran going to stop assigning seats as Southwest does? If so, then I will no longer fly AirTran. I do not like the SW style of boarding where people cue up like cattle. If SW wants to be a 1st class airline, then start giving out seat assignments.

May 03 2011 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KENNY NASH 777

I'm from memphis and this is great news for me traveling to see mom from Fort Lauderale ! Thaks South West !

Kenny

youtube KENNY NASH "HALFWAY TO MEMPHIS"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWkaVlskIvY&feature=related

May 03 2011 at 7:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wmosh68996

Really glad to have Southwest serving Memphis.

May 02 2011 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the beach gang

Way to go Southwest..the most fun we have had on an airline was Southwest...the flight attendants were a scream...they were toooo funny. Wish they flew non-stop to New York from Norfolk, Va. hint hint

May 02 2011 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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