27 September 2010

Southwest To Acquire AirTran

Southwest Airlines announced that they are acquiring AirTran.  Only for the second time, will there be another Boeing aircraft type other than a 737, AirTran's 717-200s.  In the late 70s, Braniff loaned N406BN to Southwest, and wore WN's colors.

Southwest is also looking into converting a portion of their existing orders of 737-7H4s into the -8H4 version, and having them ETOPS-capable.  There is speculation that Southwest may be ready to make a move for over-ocean flights.  There also have been speculation in the past of Southwest entering the Hawai‘i market in some form. When ATA was around, Southwest did buy a portion of ATA stock, and code-shared on ATA's flights, which included flights to Hawai‘i.

The Southwest / AirTran merger website.

Trivia: another Southwest connection to Hawai‘i, Aloha Airlines once leased a 737-2H4 from Southwest in the late 70s.

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