Southwest to Acquire AirTran

Here is the email Southwest sent me this morning. (I am sure they sent you one, too.)

As my favorite airline, I am excited! It’s exciting that they’re now serving Reagan airport. The drive to BWI and or Dulles, sucks.

Southwest Airlines’ Definitive Agreement to Acquire AirTran

Dear James,

As one of our most valued Customers, I wanted you to be among the first to know the exciting news that Southwest Airlines has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AirTran Holdings, Inc., a parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran). Although the closing of the deal depends on a number of approvals, we’re all very excited about what it can mean for the Customers, Employees, Communities, and Shareholders of both organizations.

If approved, the acquisition will allow Southwest to offer low fares and exceptional Customer Service in more markets and to more loyal Customers like you.

More Access to More Destinations

Our new, broader national presence will benefit many markets as a result of increased competition stimulated by Southwest’s low fares and well-known brand. This includes significant opportunities to and from Atlanta, the largest domestic market we do not serve. It expands our presence in key markets, like New York LaGuardia, Boston Logan, and Baltimore/Washington, as well as enables us to serve Washington D.C. via Ronald Reagan National Airport. Also, it presents the opportunity to provide access to key international leisure markets in the Caribbean and Mexico, and extend our service to many smaller domestic cities that we don’t serve today.

What Changes Today?

There are no changes to the way you travel on Southwest today or in the near future. Until the transaction closes and we’ve received the required regulatory and AirTran Stockholder approvals, Southwest and AirTran will continue to operate as independent companies. After closing, Southwest plans, over time, to integrate AirTran into the Southwest Airlines brand to develop a consistent Customer Experience.

This, of course, includes combining the carriers’ frequent flyer programs. Meanwhile, credits and awards in both programs remain valid, and you will continue to earn credits by flying or using our partners just as you do today.

There’s a lot of work to be done and decisions to be made. We’ll keep you informed of developments. In the meantime, we invite you to visit a special website we’ve created – www.lowfaresfarther.com – where you’ll find regularly updated news and information about the deal.

Thanks for your continued loyalty and support of Southwest Airlines!

Sincerely,

Kevin Krone
Vice President Marketing, Sales, and Distribution

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