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Southwest continues to add flights during transition

Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz
Southwest will operate two daily non-stop flights between Atlanta and San Francisco as they change from AirTran routes to  Southwest routes. The airline will also start a non-stop flight between Atlanta and Orlando.

Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz Southwest will operate two daily non-stop flights between Atlanta and San Francisco as they change from AirTran routes to Southwest routes. The airline will also start a non-stop flight between Atlanta and Orlando.

Southwest Airlines, and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, continue to make changes, according to a Southwest spokesman.

Brad Hawkins said Southwest will operate two daily non-stop flights between Atlanta and San Francisco as it changes from an AirTran route to a Southwest route. The airline will also start a non-stop flight between Atlanta and Orlando, while AirTran will continue its nine daily flights from those municipalities, he explained.

Both flight destinations from Atlanta will be effective Sept. 30, Hawkins said.

“Even though the networks remain separate, we are coordinating efforts,” he said. “As Southwest ‘takes over’ some flying, that frees up AirTran resources for other missions.”

He said Southwest will have announcements in the future related to Atlanta service.

The spokesman said Southwest’s flight schedule is currently published through Nov. 1. “This gives [Southwest and AirTran] in Atlanta 175 daily departures — Southwest will have 33, AirTran will have 152,” he said.

Southwest, he said, is still on track to obtain its single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration on March 1, and will release more information then.

Fifteen non-stop flights to five cities are currently offered by Southwest to, and from, Hartsfield-Jackson. The cities and flights include: Four daily round-trips to Baltimore, Md., and Chicago, Ill.; three daily trips to Houston, Texas, and two daily trips to Denver, Colo., and Austin Texas — a destination previously not offered by AirTran.

On March 10, Southwest will start two more non-stop flights to, and from, Hartsfield-Jackson: to Las Vegas, Nev., and Phoenix, Ariz. The airline will offer one-way fares for $109 for both destinations until April 7.

A daily non-stop flight to Los Angeles, Calif., will begin on June 10, at Hartsfield-Jackson, said spokesman Hawkins. This is an addition to the three daily flights already operated by AirTran.

Hawkins said both airlines recently announced new non-stop routes, as their flight schedules are extended for travel bookings through Nov. 2. Southwest has a new non-stop service to Detroit and Las Vegas, while AirTran’s new non-stop service is to Des Moines and Chicago, he said.

Hawkins said, in recognition of the Detroit and Las Vegas routes, Southwest will have a $99 one-way fare sale until Monday, Feb. 27, for travel between Sept. 30 and Nov. 2.

“Southwest and AirTran are continuing to make schedule additions and adjustments to provide the best flight schedule possible for customers,” added Bob Jordan, executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Southwest, and president of AirTran.

The networks are finding ways to enhance their fleet, operations and low fares to provide their passengers with more options, he said.