ATA Airlines, known as American Trans Air before it went into bankruptcy and took on Southwest as a code-share partner, says it will pull down some major routes from Chicago Midway to boost cash flow. Southwest is hungry for Midway growth, and these moves could open gates and doors.
What's interesting is that when Southwest took a 28% stake in ATA last December, it said its major motive was to get gates at Midway, its third largest operation, and, with 176 daily flights at 25 gates, its closest thing to a hub. The ATA announcement opens the way for that with word that ATA, founded as a charter line and sometimes called AmTran, would end flights between Midway and both Boston and Newark, N.J., at the end of October and would end its Midway to Minneapolis/St. Paul route on 1 December. ATA will also cancel new service between Midway and both Miami and Sarasota, Fla., service scheduled to begin 29 October. The announcements came from ATA chief commercial officer Subodh Karnick, known to network planners for his long service at Delta.