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Southwest Airlines purchases AirTran Airways

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Quad 2.5 G5 =), Sep 27, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Today, Southwest Airlines made an announcement that they would purchase AirTran, based out of Orlando, but has a main hub in Atlanta, for $1.4 Billion dollars. This will allow Southwest to enter markets in the Northeast, most importantly Washington National, Charlotte,and Atlanta. The necessary government departments have not approved it yet, but will most likely approve it without restrictions. More information is available here. (http://www.lowfaresfarther.com/)

    Mods: If this thread is in the wrong place, my apologies, and please move it to the appropriate place.
  2. macrumors 604


    Sweet! No I can fly SW out of MKE! :D

    Wait! Is that a good thing? :p
  3. macrumors 6502

    More destinations, no bag fees, bigger network. Yup, it's a good thing.
  4. macrumors 603


    I don't know why they did this. Did they buy Airtran simply for their routes and they will liquidate their planes( since Southwest only flies the Boeing 737)?
  5. macrumors 6502

    They will keep the other plane type, but shut down Airtran's Dallas/Fort Worth service when they are both integrated, since there is some form of agreement prohibiting Southwest from DFW for a unspecified amount of time. (I do not know how long). Purchasing AirTran will allow new cities to be served without the hassle of applying for slots, etc. They will keep all planes, employes, most routes. (Only cutting routes that do not make any money whatsoever) This will also get them a quicker way to get a larger 737 for Hawaii service which has been a rumor in the airline industry for quite some time.
  6. macrumors G5

    Southwest has always exclusively flown 737s, but I don't think that means they can't change that and fly Airtran's 717s. It might allow them to serve smaller markets that aren't big enough to fill the seats on a 737.
  7. macrumors 6502

    This is correct. They operated 727s during the 1970-80's briefly. (Yes, I am more knowledgeable about the airline industry than I am with Macs.) First class on the 717s will go bye-bye, but they will stay unless Southwest finds them uneconomical.
  8. macrumors 603


    Keeping the 717's do concern me as I will post below why.

    Southwest's flight attendant association did approve the plan for Southwest to add the 737-800 to their fleet. So one step is already done to add the 800 to the fleet.

    JetBlue's move comes to mind about my worry. JetBlue exclusively flew the A320. They like Southwest was making pretty good profits due to the savings of maintenance, training, etc. They then added the E190 and profits went down the tube.

    And considering I want to fly with Southwest one day, only flying the 737 appeals to me due to the simplified training and the cost savings of flying only one type of aircraft hopefully means in bad times, the savings in maintenance, etc will be enough for Southwest to remain profitable and not have to reach into my salary to cut costs.
  9. macrumors G5

    I know absolutely nothing about flying a plane, but wouldn't a 717 and a 737 have more in common than an A320 and E190 since they're from the same manufacturer?
  10. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    different interstmetns and what not.
    An American Airlines pilot I knew hated southwest because because of southwest alone boeing would not update the 737 gauges from analog to digital. Southwest told boeing they would not buy any planes that had that. Reason for it is Southwest did not want to pay to train their pilots on 2 different cockpits lay outs.

    Southwest has lead the industry in modernizing thing. They were to first to give all their pilots laptops to calculated take off thrust and what not. I believe that they paid the complete cost off in 3 months in fuel savings alone. On top of the fact they were able to jump 5-6+ planes waiting to take off if condition changed or another runway opened up because those 5+ planes pilots were redoing all the calculation to figure take off thrust and the Southwest pilots were done in a matter of seconds.

    After Southwest proved that the rest of the airlines follow suit and fork out the cash for laptops. Now this was in the 90's so back when laptops were still very costly.
  11. macrumors G5


    In the big picture, good because Airtran and Southwest make one large network now. In the small to middle picture bad because competition goes away and prices might soar a bit.

    Right now, the only left big airlines are American (personal favorite), SouthWest, United, Delta, and JetBlue. Not much choice, and worst of all, only Southwest offers free 2 bags, the rest charge for domestic flights (ouch).
  12. macrumors 603


    There wasn't much choice anyway. The airline industry was always mostly an oligarchy type of industry where you only have few choices and they always follow one another in policies( much like AT&T and Verizon always mirror each others moves).

    If I want anything to go away in the airline industry, it is the regional airlines. They pay like crap. I believe a FO starting out makes ~$20,000/yr. Not looking forward to that part of my career..... Overworked and underpaid. Pilots should make $40,000 base considering the responsibility and schedule we have, IMHO.
  13. macrumors G5

    I never like the fact that the guy flying the plane I'm on makes about the same as a full time McDonalds employee. Even the pilots who get a somewhat decent wage are still making less than me and I'm someone who sits on their ass in front of a computer screen for 8 hours a day and gets to go home at the end of his shift. Of course, to pay pilots a wage they deserve, airfares would shoot up to the point where nobody could afford them.
  14. macrumors 6502

    The new United is working out how to stop using the regional airlines, and only use mainline. After this, others will start dumping theirs too. Southwest starts their First Officers at $50,000, from what my mom says. (She is a Captain for Southwest, based out of Phoenix, and coincidentally, Dad is also a pilot for US Airways.)
  15. macrumors 68000


    I got an email from AirTran today about this--first I had heard of it. I don't fly much and usually just go to Canton-Akron OH--always with AirTran. They are actually headquartered out of Orlando. I like SW, no bag fees--so this should be a good thing.
  16. macrumors 603


    That is nice and all, but even if the majors dump their contracts with the regionals doesn't mean I won't have to work for the regionals anymore. I will still need to go there and build up some turbine time after I build enough hours working as an instructor to get my ATP due to the new regulations passed by Congress listening to the stupid victim's families of the Colgan crash. :mad:
  17. macrumors 6502

    Unless I am mistaken, the only routes most, if not all regionals fly are contracts, so once those go, you can wave goodbye to them.
  18. macrumors 603


    It all depends if they try to survive independently after the majors dump them. It will be hard considering hardly anyone knows who they are. I hope they do go bye bye, but I don't see Southwest putting me in the right seat of a 737 coming from being an instructor on a Diamond Twin Star( Riddle's current multi-engine trainer).
  19. macrumors G3


    The problem is that without the regionals, there's no easy* path to gain the experience required to be hired by the majors. SWA has comparatively great starting pay, but how does someone (like quagmire) get the thousand hours of turbine pilot-in-command that's required to be hired there? That's a big hurdle.

    *easy in the sense of time - there's nothing easy about working for a regional! :p
  20. macrumors 65816

    This ***** SUCKS. I've been flying AirTran for years, building up frequent flyer points, and almost always fly business class due to upgrades and such. The merger, according to the website, will do away with business class and seat assignments altogether. I guess I will be finding a new airline, as I'm not sure I can go back to dealing with the general public on airplanes.

    God, this pisses me off.
  21. macrumors G3


    LOL! I'm sorry about your situation, but this made me laugh. :D
  22. macrumors 6502

    There's always Delta :)
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah, me too!

    It must be a tough life.
  24. macrumors G3


    Um, what?
    You know, your username makes so much more sense now...

    Do you get drunk very quickly when playing never have I ever?
  25. macrumors 65816


    You would think this would be the case, but nope - the 717 is actually just a renamed McDonnell-Douglas MD95. Boeing bought the company and renamed the aircraft project. The flight decks, handling characteristics, etc. are completely different - one reason why the 717 never really caught on.

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