Southwest and AirTran Merger
||:: Late-Breaking News
(Posted: Sep 27, 2010)
Southwest has entered into an agreement to buy AirTran Airways and the two airlines are expected to merge after the merger is approved by AirTran stockholders and government regulatory agencies.
While this isn't a done deal, it looks like the merger will go through and AirTran Airways will become Southwest Airlines.
The acquisition will allow Southwest Airlines to expand into new markets, including Atlanta and international destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. Southwest Airlines also has an agreement with Volaris and intends to allow international connections to Mexico with Volaris by the end of the year.
For now, nothing will change and both carriers will continue to operate independently. After the necessary approvals are received and the merger closes, Southwest Airlines will begin the process of integrating Air Tran and the A+ Rewards program will become Rapid Rewards.
AirTran currently charges bag fees of $20 for a first bag and $25 for a second bag and a flight change fee of $75. All of these fees will be going away after the merger. AirTran also offers two classes of service, business and coach, and only one class of service will be offered after the integration into Southwest.
Southwest Airlines has plans to launch a new Rapid Rewards program, so expect even more changes in 2011.
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