Southwest Airlines will soon cut more AirTran routes this fall as it transforms AirTran's hub into a Southwest operation. Southwest, which bought Orlando-based AirTran and its Atlanta hub in 2011, started its own Atlanta flights last year and has been gradually expanding them as it absorbs AirTran operations and planes.
Southwest Airlines is cutting about 300 employees from AirTran Airways' workforce at Atlanta's airport. The 300 ground workers — baggage handlers, ticket counter and gate agents — would end up with jobs in other cities where Southwest operates if they are willing relocate. If not, they will get severance packages and leave the company.
Buying AirTran Holdings Inc. gives Southwest a presence in Atlanta for the first time, as well as Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington. Southwest says the deal that closed on Monday values AirTran at $1 billion.