Southwest Airlines

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Southwest Airlines to buy AirTran

An AirTran plane takes off. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file

The proposed consolidation between Southwest and AirTran could lead to higher airfares at Midway Airport, especially to vacation destinations, according to one industry analyst.

“A lot of the rock-bottom fares from Midway to Florida were often initiated by AirTran,” said Joseph Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University, Chicago.

The merger would increase the pace at which Midway is becoming what Schwieterman called “a one-airline act.” Get the full story »

How AirTran-Southwest merger affects customers

By Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel | Orlando-based AirTran Airways said today it has agreed to be bought by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, which is the busiest carrier at Orlando International Airport. What does this mean for customers and shareholders? Read on to see: Get the full story »

Justice Department OKs United-Continental merger

Passengers at the United and Continental kiosks at O'Hare International Airport, May 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Justice Department approved the proposed merger of United and Continental airlines Friday, closing an unexpectedly speedy four-month investigation that paves the way for the mega-deal to close by Oct. 1.

To win the blessing of federal antitrust regulators, United and Continental agreed to lease slots for 18 round-trip flights to Southwest Airlines at Newark Liberty International Airport, beginning in March 2011.

Justice officials said the slot transfer was struck in “response to the department’s principal concerns” regarding the merger, which critics have warned will speed consolidation and eventually leave the three largest U.S. carriers with a lion’s share of the market. Get the full story »

Southwest looks at adding larger 737s to fleet

Southwest Airlines Co. is considering including Boeing Co.’s 737-800 aircraft in its domestic fleet, with a decision expected before year’s end, as the discount carrier plans a push to win more business travelers and restore capacity slashed during the economic downturn.

The largest carrier of domestic U.S. passengers said the company still needs to discuss the plans with its labor units, as well as look at issues such as network flow and scheduling. Get the full story »

Air fares are up even without the fees, DOT says

If you think air fares have been rising, it’s not your imagination.

Figures just released from the government, though a bit dated, show that airline prices in the first three months of this year rose nearly 5 percent from a year earlier. And that doesn’t include baggage fees and other extras.

But average fares are 25 percent lower than they were in 1999 adjusting for inflation, the government says. Get the full story »