Southwest-AirTran flights fully connected

Nearly two years after Southwest Airlines’ acquisition of AirTran Airways, the two carriers’ route networks are finally fully connected — enabling their customers to reach more destinations by connecting between the two airlines.

But AirTran will continue to fly under its own name as a Southwest subsidiary for some time.

Southwest closed its acquisition of AirTran in 2011 and wants to finish integrating AirTran’s flights into its operation by 2015.

Southwest-AirTran rolled out its first network connections Jan. 26 and since expanded them. With the two airlines’ schedules fully linked for flights starting April 14, travelers can book flights from a city served by AirTran to almost any city served by Southwest, and vice-versa —- provided they make connections. The link is similar to an airline code-share partnership.

From Atlanta, AirTran and Southwest combined fly nonstop to about 50 cities, but now AirTran passengers can connect to a Southwest flight to get to about 40 more cities.

Meanwhile Hartsfield-Jackson behemoth Delta Air Lines flies nonstop to about 220 destinations from Atlanta.

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