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AirTran Airways Hires 1,000th Pilot

AirTran Airways, a
subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. , today announced that the airline
has hired its 1,000th pilot, a first in the history of the growing
company. Keith “Vick” Rhoden, 36, is the 1,000th pilot hired by AirTran
Airways. The 14-year military and commercial aviation pilot from Chicago,
Ill., will begin his AirTran Airways’ career by serving as a first officer
on the Boeing 717 aircraft. The employment milestone for the successful low-fare airline can be
attributed to a successful business model with steady increases in
aircraft fleet numbers and destinations served. In 2004, AirTran Airways
brought eight new Boeing 737s and six new Boeing 717s into service,
introduced more than 18 new nonstop routes and set company records for
monthly traffic and bookings. In 2005, the airline will take delivery of
19 new Boeing aircraft.

“By setting sustainable goals, AirTran Airways has continued to succeed
and excel in the commercial airline business environment,” commented Joe
Leonard, AirTran Airways chairman and chief executive officer. “The hiring
of our 1,000th pilot is another substantial benchmark for our growing
company. Very few airlines can claim this milestone. Under our current
growth projections, we expect to hire our 2,000th pilot in only four years
from now.”

AirTran Airways now employees over 6,000 Crew Members nationwide and
expects this number to increase in the near future for a number of reasons:

* The airline will begin service to and from Sarasota Bradenton
International Airport on December 17. * AirTran Airways recently announced
that it will be adding seven new nonstop flights to Florida destinations
from Chicago Midway in January. * Service expansions are pending in
Chicago (Midway Airport), Washington, D.C. (Reagan National Airport) and
New York (LaGuardia Airport) as part of an agreement with ATA Airlines.