Tag Archives: 717231

Southwest Airlines to expand its code-share with subsidiary AirTran Airways

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced that it is taking the next step in its marriage with subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Customers are now able to purchase a growing number of itineraries between the Southwest and AirTran networks for travel on a single itinerary. Soon, Customers will be able to book flights to any of the airlines’ combined 97 destinations, including international, in one transaction.

“Connecting the networks is a priority in 2013 and a major milestone as we work to combine our two Companies,” said Bob Jordan, Chief Commercial Officer at Southwest Airlines and President of AirTran.  “With a connected network, we can offer Customers more itineraries, more destinations, more low fares, and a taste of what’s to come once the integration is complete.”

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways took the first step in connecting their networks on January 26, 2013, by offering a small number of shared itineraries in five markets.  The initial phase was successful, and the airlines are prepared to launch in 39 cities on February 25, 2013.  The airline is on pace to fully connect the networks in April.

By connecting the Southwest and AirTran networks, Customers may:

  • Add one or more AirTran domestic flight segments to a Southwest itinerary, using Southwest booking channels (southwest.com, 1-800-IFLYSWA, travel agencies, Southwest’s mobile site and apps, and Southwest Airlines ticket counters).
  • Book one or more Southwest flight segments connecting to an AirTran itinerary, using AirTran channels (airtran.com, 1-800-AIRTRAN, AirTran Airways ticket counters, and travel agencies).
  • Use all Southwest channels to book an AirTran-only domestic itinerary.
  • Add an international AirTran segment to a Southwest itinerary within a single reservation, through a Customer-friendly transfer of the transaction to AirTran channels for booking, purchase, and ticketing by AirTran.
  • Earn currency in either loyalty program no matter which carrier they fly. (The currency a Customer earns is determined by the carrier from which they buy their ticket, even if flying on a shared itinerary.)

As is standard with industry “code share” arrangements, the Marketing Carrier’s rules and policies apply to reservations and ticketing.  The Operating Carrier’s procedures apply to boarding, seating, and the onboard experience. Southwest is making one exception: any itinerary with a Southwest segment or that is purchased through a Southwest point-of-sale channel will not have bag fees for the first or second checked bag (weight and size restrictions apply).

Southwest Airlines announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on September 27, 2010, an acquisition that significantly expanded Southwest Airlines’ low-fare service to more Customers in more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public.  Since Southwest Airlines closed the deal to purchase AirTran Airways on May 2, 2011, Southwest and AirTran Employees have worked hard to guarantee a thoughtful and smooth integration process while providing the same high level of Customer Service that Customers have come to expect. To date, Southwest Airlines has welcomed 29 percent of AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, has converted 11 AirTran Airways 737-700 aircraft to the Southwest paint scheme and interior configuration, and has transitioned five AirTran Airways-served cities into Southwest Airlines operations.

The process of a full integration of the AirTran Airways 737 fleet into the Southwest Airlines fleet (i.e. paint scheme and interior configuration) and transition to a single ticketing system is a large and complex process that is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.  Southwest Airlines realized $142 million of net, annualized, pre-tax synergies during 2012, and expects to achieve $400 million in 2013 (excluding acquisition and integration expenses).

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. All visuals for AirTran Airways, including aircraft, will be gone by the end of 2014. The Boeing 717 fleet will be leaving sooner for Delta Air Lines. Southwest will not operate or integrate the Boeing 717s. Therefore many of the special color schemes on the 717s will be retired when the aircraft are removed from the AirTran fleet. The pictured ex-TWA 717-231 N925AT (msn 55079, ex N412TW) displays the special “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” color scheme at Baltimore/Washington.

Southwest Airlines: AG Slide Show

AirTran Airways: AG Slide Show

QANTAS Group to lease five Boeing 717s, order three Bombardier Q400s and cancel one Boeing 787

The QANTAS Group (QANTAS Airways) (Sydney) has  announced an update to its fleet plan to capitalize on growth in Australian domestic markets.

QANTAS will lease an additional five Boeing 717 aircraft (above) and purchase three Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) aircraft (below), due to start arriving from the second half of 2013.

The company has also made a change to its international fleet plan, with the cancellation of a single Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on order for Jetstar Airways.

The remaining 14 Boeing 787-8s will be delivered to Jetstar as planned, with the first aircraft to arrive in mid-2013. This will enable the gradual transfer of Airbus A330 aircraft from Jetstar to QANTAS Domestic and the retirement of QANTAS’ Boeing 767 fleet.

Mr Joyce said the cancellation of one B787 took advantage of flexibility in its fleet plan and contract with Boeing.

“The original 787 order for Jetstar was designed to replace all 11 of its existing A330s that are used for long haul services plus provide another four lines of flying for future growth.

“While the plan is for Jetstar’s long haul network to keep expanding we are using the flexibility in our agreement with Boeing to cancel a firm order knowing that we can replace it with one of our 50 options for this aircraft down the track, and with a full view of what market conditions are like at the time,” added Mr Joyce.

Jetstar’s short haul growth plans continue to be supported by the QANTAS Group’s existing order of Airbus A320 aircraft.

Mr Joyce said the QANTAS Group remained firmly committed to the Dreamliners for both Qantas International and Jetstar, and that it retained options and purchase rights for 50 Boeing 787s of either -8 or -9 variants available for delivery from 2016.

In an important milestone for the Jetstar Boeing 787 program, production of its first aircraft has just begun. With delivery of the aircraft not due until mid-2013, the airline is confident current technical issues will be resolved by Boeing.

The decision to amend the 787 order was reached at the end of 2012 and the agreement with Boeing has now been finalized.

The fleet changes announced will have no material impact on the Group’s planned capital expenditure, which remains unchanged at $1.8 billion for FY13 and $1.9 billion for FY14.

Top Copyright Photo: Peter Gates. Boeing 717-231 VH-NXN (msn 55095) of Cobham Aviation Services Australia operating as a QANTAS Link carrier poses for the camera at Brisbane.

QANTAS Link-Cobham Aviation Services Australia: AG Slide Show

QANTAS logo

QANTAS Link-Sunstate Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: John Adlard. Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) VH-QOC (msn 4117) of Sunstate Airlines approaches the Sydney hub.

AirTran Airways officially unveils “Brewers 1”

AirTran Airways (Orlando and Atlanta) has been flying its latest logojet since April 30. Today (May 17) the airline and the Milwaukee Brewers unveiled a custom plane painted with throwback Milwaukee Brewers logos and colors to honor the club’s 40th anniversary and the airline’s partnership with the team.

Dubbed Brewers 1, Boeing 717-231 N932AT (msn 55073) was officially “unveiled” in Milwaukee today.

Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers, mascot Bernie Brewer and team executives were among the VIP guests aboard the aircraft as it made its debut at General Mitchell International Airport after being marshaled in by the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages.

Kids from the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee pulled the 120,000 lb. aircraft 20 feet at the premiere event to earn $50,000 for their summer sports program.

Brewers 1 is the fifth in a series of custom-painted AirTran aircraft and the first affiliated with a Major League Baseball team. In 2009, AirTran Airways unveiled Falcons 1 in Atlanta, Ravens 1 in Baltimore, Colts 1 in Indianapolis and Magic 1 in Orlando to honor the airline’s partnerships with these professional sports teams.

What will be next? Our guess: the Boston Bruins.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Brewers 1 arrives at Baltimore/Washington.