Southwest retains 22 of AirTran’s cities, drops six more markets

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Continuing the integration of AirTran Airways, Southwest Airlines has revealed plans to keep 22 cities currently served by AirTran while cutting six additional markets on top of the 10 AirTran markets being phased out of the combined network.

Southwest closed on its acquisition of AirTran in May 2011.

The six markets being eliminated from the Southwest-AirTran route network effective 12 August are Allentown and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Sarasota, Florida; Huntsville, Alabama; and White Plains, New York.

All of those markets are operated by AirTran with smaller Boeing 717s, an aircraft that Southwest has previously said would not feature in the combined fleet plan long term.

Those cuts follow previously announced AirTran market cuts in 10 markets - Asheville, North Carolina; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Newport News, Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; Miami, Florida; Bloomington, Illinois; Charleston, West Virginia; Washington Dulles, District of Columbia; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; and Moline, Illinois.

AirTran cities that survived the latest round of cuts are Flint, Michigan; Rochester, New York; Pensacola, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dayton, Ohio; Richmond, Virginia; Key West, Florida; Washington National, District of Columbia; Memphis, Tennessee; Akron-Canton, Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Des Moines, Iowa; Branson, Missouri; Portland, Maine; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Punta Canta, Dominican Republic; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Aruba; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Bermuda; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Southwest stated Seattle will become the first jointly served airport fully converting to Southwest service on 12 August. AirTran currently offers slights to Milwaukee, Atlanta and Baltimore from Seattle, and Southwest stated those routes will be maintained from the airport.

Quantifying all the network changes, Southwest stated that of the 69 cities served by AirTran when it was acquired, 53 will convert to full Southwest service.