Southwest Airlines cutting more routes

Southwest Airlines is cutting more routes as it folds AirTran’s operations into its own.

Dallas-based Southwest announced Thursday it will pull out of Branson, Mo.; Key West, Fla.; and Jackson, Miss. effective June 7, 2014.

Branson and Key West were both airports served by AirTran. Southwest inherited the service when it acquired AirTran in 2011. AirTran had been serving both cities in 2009, with flights to Branson from Atlanta and Milwaukee, and to Key West from Orlando. Southwest later took over the service with different routes.

The employees in Key West, Branson and Jackson will have the option to move to other locations after operations end, according the airline.

“Unfortunately, the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve those markets,” said Southwest’s chief commercial officer Bob Jordan in a written statement.

The move comes as Southwest removes from its fleet AirTran’s smaller planes — Boeing 717s — which were useful for serving smaller markets. Delta Air Lines is taking over the 717s from Southwest.

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