Major airline news this Monday morning that the Hat Trick did not see coming with regard to Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Orlando-based Air Tran Airways. According to news releases this morning on Yahoo Finance and CNBC, Southwest Airlines and Air Tran Airways have entered into a merger agreement with Southwest as the surviving carrier.
This is a major announcement that will have significant ramifications for several other carriers, most notably Delta Airlines who shares a hub with Air Tran at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) although Delta's hub is significantly larger. Southwest does not currently serve Atalanta. In addition, Southwest has a large presence at Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and Air Tran operates a mini-hub at BWI so the merger will essentially make the airport a hub even though Southwest does not use that terminology in their business operations.
The Hat Trick will try to get some more analysis as I digest the merger news and its impact on the airline industry.