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Southwest buys AirTran

September 27, 2010, 02:59 pm

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways are combining efforts. The commitment to lower prices is good news for travelers, and company officials say their employees will benefit from the merger as well.

As a result of Southwest Airlines acquiring AirTran Airways, more service will be available to destinations such as Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson and Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Airport.

Southwest Airlines president and CEO Gary Kelly says this is a great opportunity for the airline, as it approaches its 40th year of operation.

"This acquisition creates more jobs and career opportunities for our combined employee groups, as a whole," says Kelly. "It allows us to better respond to the economic and competitive challenges of our industry, and fits perfectly within our strategy for our fifth decade of service."

There are more than 34,600 full-time Southwest Airlines and more than 8,000 AirTran Airways employees. Currently, Southwest Airlines operatesmore than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 460 nonstop routes.

The airlines assert that the merger will allow them to remain competitive in the aviation industry. A combination of fuel costs and poor economic conditions have impacted the airlines.

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