Southwest to launch flights to AirTran markets

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Southwest Airlines will begin flights with its own metal to Akron-Canton and Dayton, both in Ohio, from August as it works to integrate its network with that of its subsidiary AirTran.

Both Akron-Canton and Dayton are already served by AirTran, which was acquired by Southwest last May. From 12 August, Southwest will operate two daily roundtrip flights between Chicago Midway and Akron-Canton, and a daily roundtrip flight between Denver and Akron-Canton.

Southwest will launch a daily flight between Dayton and Denver.

AirTran's service to Dayton and Akron-Canton will continue, and the airlines will decide when is the best time to convert AirTran's operations to Southwest.

AirTran currently offers one-stop service between Akron-Canton and Denver, as well as between Dayton and Denver, with its Boeing 717 aircraft. Southwest has stated that the 717s do not fit with its overall fleet strategy in the future.

Frontier currently flies non-stop between Akron-Canton and Denver, as well as between Dayton and Denver. United Airlines also flies non-stop between Dayton and Denver. No airline currently operates between Akron-Canton and Chicago Midway.

Southwest and AirTran recently obtained a single operating certificate from authorities and will integrate their networks in the coming years. Southwest has already announced it will drop several of AirTran's markets.

From 30 September, it will operate its own metal at AirTran's operations at Des Moines, says the carrier today. It will operate two roundtrip flights between Des Moines and Chicago Midway. AirTran now operates non-stop to Milwaukee from Des Moines.

In addition, Southwest will also launch seasonal flights between St Louis and Panama City, and between Portland and Austin from 3 June.