Southwest, AirTran merger approved by DOJ
Dayton Business Journal - by DBJ Staff Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 8:52pm EDT
Southwest Airlines' merger with AirTran has been given approval by the Department of Justice, clearing antitrust and other regulatory hurdles.
Southwest Airlines Co. said the U.S. Department of Justice has given its approval of the planned merger with AirTran Holdings.
The merger with AirTran (NYSE: AAI) will bring Southwest (NYSE: LUV) to the Dayton International Airport, long a goal of Dayton-area officials.
"AirTran stockholders approved the acquisition of AirTran by Southwest Airlines on March 23, 2011, which, when combined with DOJ approval and other regulatory clearances, constitutes one of the final steps toward closing the transaction," Southwest said in a press release Wednesday.
The airline previously said it plans to close the merger on May 2.
"Next steps also include beginning work on securing a Single Operating Certificate (SOC) from the Federal Aviation Administration, which is currently projected for completion in the first quarter of 2012," according to Southwest.
Southwest also said the merger will benefit consumers through the expansion of low-fare competition in airline markets across the United States, the creation of broader network offerings with a wider range of consumer choices, improved quality and service, and the overall creation of a platform for new growth.
AirTran is the second-busiest carrier flying out of Dayton. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is the busiest. Other top carriers at the airport include US Airways Group; AMR Corp.’s American Airlines unit; and United Contintnental.