Southwest To Buy Airtran

In the latest move in airline consolidation Southwest Airlines is buying Airtran Airways. The deal is worth about 1.4 billion dollars, more if you throw in Airtran debts.

In a deal valued at about 1.4 billion dollars, Southwest Airlines is going to buy Airtran Airways. If you throw in Airtran's debt, which Southwest is assuming that number climbs to 3.4 billion. About 670 million dollars of the deal will be cash, the rest stock. The companies say the deal will be completed in early 2011 if approved by both shareholders and regulators.

The announcement comes the same week that Continental Airlines and United Airlines finish their merger. The airlines seem to be undergoing one of their periodic spasms of mergers.

The deal gives Southwest greater penetration into markets such as Boston, New York, Atlanta and DC.

And you cannot make quote up like this one from the head of Southwest Airlines, Gary Kelly:

Both companies have dedicated people with kindred Warrior Spirits, who care about each other, and who care about serving Customers.

Someone has read maybe one too many business advice books. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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