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Southwest always planned to get rid of the AirTran brand and the delays highlight the unexpected issues associated with any airline integration.
AirTran will vanish by the year’s end.
Doing away with the AirTran brand has always been part of the plan for Southwest, which announced plans to acquire its one-time rival in 2010. The merger closed in 2011, but Southwest has been notoriously cautious on its public timeline for how long it would take to completely fold AirTran’s operations into its own.
Now, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says “the AirTran brand will be retired by the end of the year.”