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AirTran Airways to drop six destinations, 22 to convert to Southwest

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways (Orlando) have confirmed the intent to convert AirTran Airways operations at 22 domestic and international airports to Southwest operations over time.

The 22 AirTran airports that will continue to operate and will eventually join the Southwest route map include: Flint, Mich. (FNT); Rochester, N.Y. (ROC); Pensacola, Fla. (PNS); Charlotte, N.C. (CLT); Dayton, Ohio (DAY); Richmond, Va. (RIC); Key West, Fla. (EYW); Washington, D.C. (DCA); Memphis, Tenn. (MEM); Akron-Canton, Ohio (CAK); Wichita, Kan. (ICT); Des Moines, Iowa (DSM); Branson, Mo. (BKG); Portland, Maine (PWM); Grand Rapids, Mich. (GRR); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ); Cancun, Mexico (CUN); Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ); Aruba (AUA); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); Bermuda (BDA); and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS). AirTran service and Employees at these airports are planned to convert to Southwest gradually over the course of AirTran’s integration into Southwest. The airlines earlier announced that AirTran will begin serving Mexico City, Mexico (MEX) on May 24, 2012, and San Jose Cabo, Mexico (SJD) on June 3, 2012. Those destinations also will convert to Southwest over time. Of the 69 cities AirTran served when Southwest acquired it on May 2, 2011, 53 cities are planned to convert to full Southwest Airlines service.

Effective August 12, 2012, AirTran Airways will cease operations at the following airports: Allentown, Pa. (ABE); Lexington, Ky. (LEX); Harrisburg, Pa. (MDT); Sarasota/Bradenton, Fla. (SRQ); Huntsville, Ala. (HSV); and White Plains, N.Y. (HPN).

AirTran currently operates six daily nonstop flights at Sarasota/Bradenton with 16 Employees. Its Allentown (one daily nonstop flight), Lexington (two daily nonstop flights), Harrisburg (one daily nonstop flight), Huntsville (two daily nonstop flights), and White Plains (three daily nonstop flights) operations are all supported by AirTran’s contracted vendor partners.

AirTran Airways will continue to operate at Allentown, Lexington, Harrisburg, Sarasota, Huntsville, and White Plains through August 11, 2012. Ticketed passengers, passengers holding reservations, or passengers desiring to make reservations for flights to or from these airports, have no need to alter their travel plans prior to August 12, 2012.

Both Southwest’s and AirTran’s priority is to take excellent care of the dedicated Employees, partners, and Customers in these six locations. AirTran Employees at these locations have performed superbly and will have the opportunity to move elsewhere within AirTran, after operations cease on August 12, 2012.

As of August 12, 2012, Southwest will offer 41 flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), becoming the first jointly served airport to fully convert to Southwest Airlines service. AirTran currently serves the market with one daily flight from SEA to Milwaukee (MKE) and seasonal service to both Atlanta (ATL) and Baltimore/Washington (BWI). Southwest will maintain the MKE, ATL, and BWI routes with direct and connecting service. Southwest and AirTran will announce future jointly served airport conversions as those specific plans are lined up.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. There is no official word on whether the AirTran special liveries will survive the switchover to Southwest. Even though Southwest has their own special schemes, it is not likely they will continue the AirTran special liveries.

AirTran Slide Show: CLICK HERE

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