Southwest acquisition of AirTran will add almost 40 new destinations including six non-US ones; Atlanta biggest gain
The announcement earlier this week that Dallas-based Southwest plans to acquire Orlando-headquartered AirTran for approximately $1.4 billion, will result in an airline that is about 25% bigger than the current Southwest. Despite its smaller overall size AirTran operates to more airports (71) than Southwest (69). However, all of Southwest’s airports are in the US while AirTran serves six non-US destinations comprising Aruba, Cancun (Mexico), Montego Bay (Jamaica), Nassau (Bahamas), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and San Juan (Puerto Rico).
Of AirTran’s 71 destinations Southwest currently operates to 32 of them, but not Atlanta which is AirTran’s biggest base and offers four times as many weekly departures as its next biggest bases in Baltimore/Washington, Milwaukee and Orlando.
Around 60% of AirTran’s flights operate to or from its main hub in Atlanta (the world’s busiest airport), where Delta is the major carrier. Southwest operates to all of AirTran’s other top 10 airports. Apart from Atlanta, Washington National and Akron/Canton (and the six non-US destinations already mentioned), other airports that will welcome the Southwest brand for the first time include Charlotte, Dayton, Memphis, Miami, Richmond and Rochester.