Slowly but surely Southwest is moving to phase out the AirTran brand following the merger of the two companies. And, slowly has definitely been the key to the integration. The company has previously tried to move some flights from the AirTran brand to the Southwest side of operations only to be forced back on certain routes due to technology limitations. But now, with their pilot and flight attendant unions on board, the company is ready to grow the route map for the Southwest brand. And that growth is headed to Puerto Rico.
As of April 14, 2013 the company will operate four daily flights to San Juan under the Southwest brand. Three will be from Orlando and the other from Tampa. These flights will replace service currently operated by AirTran. The AirTran brand will continue to serve San Juan from Baltimore, Ft. Lauderdale and Atlanta. Eventually all the operations will migrate to the Southwest brand but that appears to still be a ways off, pending significant technology upgrades, among other things.
Still, this is a significant milestone for the merged company.
Southwest is taking over some Key West routes from AirTran this week, also from Tampa and Orlando. Those are easier to change than the over-water routes.
- Southwest flight attendants agree to international and over-water flights
- Southwest shows AirTran some LUV – $1.4Bn buyout announced
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