Southwest Airlines sees growth, opportunities at BWI after merger with AirTran

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    CEO Gary Kelly offers vision for combined airline in address to business group

    June 03, 2011|By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun

    Now that Southwest Airlines has completed its $1 billion purchase of AirTran Holdings, executives have launched the longer-term process of merging two brands, retraining employees, rolling out larger aircraft, giving makeovers to AirTran planes and positioning Southwest for international expansion.

    The merger, completed last month, gave Southwest a 70 percent share of passenger traffic at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, where it was already the largest carrier. The deal could also eventually mean more international flights out of BWI, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said Friday during the annual meeting of the BWI Business Partnership in Linthicum.

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