Purchase will get Southwest into the Atlanta market.
Southwest Airlines is buying AirTran Airways for $1.4 billion, giving Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport passengers more options for low-cost tickets without the fees other airlines have adopted.
Tad Hutcheson, a spokesman for Orlando-based AirTran, called it “a great day for AirTran Airways and Southwest Airlines.”
Southwest said the deal includes “significant opportunities to and from Atlanta, the busiest airport in the U.S. and the largest domestic market we do not serve.”
Southwest’s service in Atlanta can potentially stimulate more than 2 million new passengers and more than $200 million in consumer savings annually, Southwest said, citing an economic analysis by Campbell-Hill Aviation Group LLP.