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Southwest Airlines moves close to AirTran completion

Southwest Airlines moves close to AirTran completion

Southwest Airlines has confirmed it intends to close its transaction to acquire AirTran, on May 2nd 2011.

Southwest also said it anticipates Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president strategy and planning, to be appointed as president of AirTran to help guide the airline through its integration with Southwest.

“With the overwhelming approval of AirTran stockholders in March, we are ready to move forward with closing the transaction, now planned for May 2nd,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chairman.

“We anticipate that all necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained by that date. We look forward to that milestone day, first and foremost, so that we can begin the exciting work to integrate AirTran into Southwest, and welcome the AirTran Crew Members fully into the Southwest Family.”

Until a single operating certificate is achieved as expected in 2012, AirTran operational Departments will continue their existing reporting relationships under the leadership of Klaus Goersch, AirTran’s executive vice president operations and customer service.

Merger Plan

On September 27th, 2010, Southwest Airlines announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines’ common stock.

Southwest has said the combination with AirTran will serve more than 100 destinations, including four new airports added by the carriers in 2011.

It estimates that this will generate hundreds of millions in annual savings for consumers.

These fare savings will result from expanding the well-known “Southwest Effect” of reducing fares and stimulating passenger traffic wherever Southwest flies.