Southwest is changing their Rapid Rewards program and the interesting part is they are promoting .. you will now be able to redeem rewards for International flights. My assumption would be this means they will keep the AirTrans route to Aruba when they acquire AirTran later this year.
I wish them much success, so much so that they fly non-stop from ATL every day as Delta does not just Saturday and Sunday as Air Tran does now.
My assumption would be this means they will keep the AirTrans route to Aruba when they acquire AirTran later this year.
They will continue to fly some international routes for the short term, and some over the long term. If they follow the southwest model, it will be to cities that can support 6-8 flights a day at a minimum. Hopefully they will be able to develop that kind of demand for Aruba, but I fear it will be limited to places with more widespread appeal.
AirTran Holdings has set March 23 as the date for shareholders to vote on AirTran's merger with Southwest Airlines.
In a filing Tuesday, Southwest and AirTran said the special meeting will start at 11 a.m. March 23 at the Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel in Orlando.
The deal would give AirTran shareholders 0.321 shares of Southwest stock and $3.75 for every share of AirTran stock they own. At Southwest's closing price Monday of $11.85, that would give them the equivalent of about $7.55 a share. AirTran shares closed Monday at $7.39.
The other big obstacle to the merger's closing is antitrust clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice. Assuming that shareholders approve the deal and Justice doesn't block it, Southwest and AirTran expect the merger to close in second quarter 2011.
As structured, Southwest shareholders don't have to approve the deal. Current Southwest shareholders would own about 94 percent of the company's stock post-merger, with AirTran shareholders owning 6 percent.
"AirTran Stockholders Approve Southwest Merger
Merger Currently Expected to Close in Second Quarter of 2011 -
ORLANDO, Fla., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), the parent company of AirTran Airways, announced today that its stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) with and into AirTran at a special meeting held today in Orlando. More than 98.6 percent of the votes cast and 77.5 percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the transaction.
"We are grateful for our stockholders' strong vote of confidence in this merger," said Bob Fornaro, AirTran's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In approving the transaction, our stockholders recognized the value of bringing together AirTran and Southwest to create a platform for increased profitability and sustainable long-term value."
AirTran and Southwest announced the proposed merger on September 27, 2010. The companies are awaiting clearance on the proposed merger from the United States Department of Justice. The merger is currently expected to close by during the second quarter of 2011.
Until the acquisition is approved and finalized, both carriers will continue to operate independently. For more information, please visit: www.lowfaresfarther.com. ..."
well....Chad, I hope for our sakes they keep or increase the Aruba flights...if they think about how much they can make by adding a flight or 2 each day, it might be worth it. I have not flown many (if any at all) flights to Aruba that have not been full and many times anouncements have been made to ask people to give up their seats......
Southwest Airlines said it plans to close its acquisition of AirTran Airways on May 2.
Dallas-based Southwest and Orlando-based AirTran announced their plans to merge last September. The deal will bring Southwest to Atlanta and will eventually bring an end to the AirTran name. AirTran is the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Dallas-based Southwest announced its plans to close the transaction in a press release on its first-quarter earnings Thursday morning. The company is still waiting for clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice for the deal, but said it expects to receive all regulatory approvals by May 2.
"We look forward to that milestone day," said Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly in a written statement.
The deal has already received approval from AirTran shareholders, which was the only shareholder approval required for the deal.
Kelly also announced Thursday that Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president of strategy and planning, will become president of the AirTran subsidiary once the deal closes.
That means he'll oversee the operation during the process of folding AirTran into Southwest. AirTran chief executive Bob Fornaro will move into a consulting role, Kelly said.
Once the deal closes, it could be two years before operations of the two airlines are fully combined."
Southwest announced today that it has closed on its acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the former parent company of AirTran Airways, one of America’s largest low-fare airlines. We firmly believe that both AirTran and Southwest are stronger together and can accomplish more, faster than either can on its own. Customers will benefit from a more competitive low-cost, low-fare airline network.
Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran will:
Significantly expand Southwest’s low-fare service to many more Customers in many more domestic markets, creating hundreds of additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public.
Generate an estimated hundreds of millions in annual savings to consumers.
Invigorate competition at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, by expanding low-fare service to numerous additional nonstop, direct, or connecting markets beyond those served by AirTran today.
Allow Southwest Airlines to expand its small presence in New York City and Boston, and serve the Washington, D.C. market via Ronald Reagan National Airport.
With a more diversified fleet, provide Southwest Airlines with the flexibility to consider adding service to smaller cities and communities than it currently serves.
By adding AirTran’s current Mexico/Caribbean service, allow Southwest Airlines to evaluate new international route opportunities from direct experience for the first time.