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Dillon

Southwest Airlines to buy Airtran...

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Just read Southwest Airlines is to acquired Airtran. Another merge offering less competition in the air. Some may think this is a good idea (I actually like Southwest) but creating companies that are too big to fail is never a good thing. Southwest even with this merger may not qualify as 'Too Big to Fail' but just the same Airtran going away like Midwest Airlines offers less options. Speaking of Midwest it was one of the US's highest rated airlines.I was proposing with iFly and Feelthere the proposition of possibly doing a 717 for FSX/FS9. Now that Airtran is going away it's unlikely Southwest will keep those birds around. With only Hawaiian Airlines still flying these birds in the US and only a few carriers in Europe it might not make any economic since to do one for the FS world. I believe US Airways will be the next one to fall as the new United want's to swallow them up after their merger is complete with Continental. I guess American Airlines better step up to the plate and devour something as their small potatoes now if they don't. The list of available airlines to swallow up is getting short if non-existent...

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Yeah I saw the story today on CNBC. In hind sight I wish I had been a share holder of AirTran since the stock when from $4.50 to $7.33 on the news, lol. It will be interesting to see what happens next with their 717 fleet. I have also been wanting a good version of a 717 for FSX for a long time, even though as you mentioned only Airtran and Hawaiian are the only US operators. I had mentioned it to PMDG once in a thread about which a/c you would like to see PMDG make, but it doesn't seem like there are many customers looking for a 717. Maybe iFly would take it on at some point, or CaptSim? I also wonder when or if they are going to repaint the whole AirTran fleet in Southwest colors? Guess if they repaint the fleet we will have to update our AI packages, lol.

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I think this is good news. Southwest is the highest rated airline in the U.S. by its customers. No other airline comes close. There is going to be a cultural curve to climb for Airtran personnel, but they will rise to the standards of Southwest, I am sure. Why do I think this is good? Because this combination will have the size and clout that Southwest arguably did not have in terms of market force before the merger. The other airlines will have to wake up to the behemouth that results, and alter their mindsets regarding customer service. Or, at least I hope.

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Guest simmer9304

That means Southwest will finally come to Atlanta! I am curious what will happen to all those 717's... Also, this means the low-cost airline market is being even more swallowed up by Southwest, only Spirit and JetBlue are left right? And I suppose Allegiant counts.

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I am curious what will happen to all those 717's...
So am I. Southwest uses 737s exclusively to lower costs, so will they discard the 717s immediately, keep them around until they can be phased out with new 737s, or keep them and take an op cost increase?

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Watch out Delta! (Referring to their Atlanta hub)Next I guess it's US Airways and Jet Blue? :Hug:Also think about the wait list for a new NG. Southwest sure get's a few NG's out of this little maneuver.

I believe that the 717s will be disposed effective immediately once the proposed takeover has been finalized.
I doubt the dumping of the 717's will be "immediate". Too many displaced pilots and too big a market. There has been a lot of talk about how they'll manage these 717's and their markets, so I think they'll be around a while yet... Pure speculation from someone who has no professional insight. Maybe we'll see a cool interim paint scheme on these "Boeing" birds. The real cluster will be for the poor pilots/crew/etc. mixing up seniority list and management. Yikes!

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Guest zacharace
I believe that the 717s will be disposed effective immediately once the proposed takeover has been finalized.
Agreed, although I believe WN leased some 727s at one point?

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Guest simmer9304

Actually regarding the 717's, on the merger info website their FAQ states that they'll be using the 717's as a subfleet to serve cities that are too small or too close together to otherwise have service.Maybe Southwest is on to a big two-type fleet strategy :( Either way I'm thrilled that in the next few years when I fly out of ATL I'll get to see something besides the usual AirTran and Delta liveries. Time to get rid of the white and green and bring in that nice Southwest Canyon Blue!

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Time to get rid of the white and green and bring in that nice Southwest Canyon Blue!
I'm sorry, I can't imagine the SW livery on a 717. It would look weird like those old pictures we see on Airliner.net of a 727 in SW old colors. I'm looking forward to a 717 painted in Southwest colors like I'm looking forward to United's new livery... :( :(

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I'm sorry, I can't imagine the SW livery on a 717. It would look weird like those old pictures we see on Airliner.net of a 727 in SW old colors. I'm looking forward to a 717 painted in Southwest colors like I'm looking forward to United's new livery... :( :(
I dont know. I think the SWA scheme would look interesting on the 717s. As for the new united livery, there is a picture on the forum for expressjet pilots and it doesnt look that bad. Looks more modern but still looks like continental. Its just a different font. Its the United font but with continental colors. Not the continental font. Clear as mud?

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Just read Southwest Airlines is to acquired Airtran. Another merge offering less competition in the air. Some may think this is a good idea (I actually like Southwest) but creating companies that are too big to fail is never a good thing. Southwest even with this merger may not qualify as 'Too Big to Fail' but just the same Airtran going away like Midwest Airlines offers less options. Speaking of Midwest it was one of the US's highest rated airlines.I was proposing with iFly and Feelthere the proposition of possibly doing a 717 for FSX/FS9. Now that Airtran is going away it's unlikely Southwest will keep those birds around. With only Hawaiian Airlines still flying these birds in the US and only a few carriers in Europe it might not make any economic since to do one for the FS world. I believe US Airways will be the next one to fall as the new United want's to swallow them up after their merger is complete with Continental. I guess American Airlines better step up to the plate and devour something as their small potatoes now if they don't. The list of available airlines to swallow up is getting short if non-existent...
I just don't know about this one. SW has for years run on maximum aircraft utilization by having very short aircraft turn times, even experimenting with having pax load\unloads from both ends of the aircraft at once. They try for 25 minute turns, thus the fast taxi speeds they are known for. They might be in for a very big surprise at ATL.I commute through ATL at least twice each week and have experienced first hand what happens when a bank push occurs (2 concourse sides pushing at once) and if it happens at ramp 4\5 (between Concourse D&E) with the international traffic it just gets plain ugly. My morning MLB-ATL flight is blocked at 1:49 (1105-1254z), actual flight time is usually around 1:05 and MLB has a taxi time of usually less than 5 minutes. So, Delta is figuring on 39 minutes of taxi time after landing. Depending on time of day landing on 10\28 will almost never be less than this and we're usually several minutes late. Add in a push during a bad ramp push and one could see aircraft turn times exceeding 60-70 minutes, not to mention actual off times when you're # 8 for take-off behind 2 752's, 3 763's 2, T7's and a 744 (happened to me once).I'm always glad to see competition but I wouldn't count on a huge effect at ATL, unless SW completely changes their business plan. With less than 30 gates I don't see how they can threaten Delta much. Airtran was already de-emphasizing ATL, their ATL flight count is down by about a third compared to 2 years ago with a lot of capacity moved to MKE and MCO. I think what SW really wanted was the international routes Airtran has as well as the increased NY presence. Anything they do get out of ATL will be a plus but I don't see them going head to head with a major at their home hub.

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If anything, Southwest will take over the C terminal gates at ATL with the few D terminal gates that AirTran has but I don't recall AirTran having many if any gates on the E terminal side of D. Once the new international terminal opens, there wouldn't be as many problems with the international flights as there are now. Still, early morning flights are likely to have long taxi times as many planes are departing then, especially Monday mornings. It will be interesting.

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