Tran Air, which is know to many as AirTran Airways, orignated around 1992 with the beginnings of ValuJet Airlines in Georgia. The original creaters were a mix of airline veterans including previous mechanics, executives, pilots and attendants working for the now defunct Eastern Air Lines.
Tran Air – Valujet Origins
With the availablity of landing slots at Atlanta Airport, ValuJet began with jus two aircraft. The first flight was between Atlanta and Tampa in 1993. Later the airline introduced the first ticketless travel
With government investigations into cost-cutting and crashes, the bad publicity created financial problems. In 1997 Valujet announced a merger with the lesser in size Airways corporation, the holding company of Tran Air.
Tran Air – Airways Corporation
The new Tran Air, or AirTran Airways was a Boeing aircraft airline with services to Orlando. Mesaba airlines, the parent company, purchased a new company known as Conquest Sun and joined the companies into one The new holding organisation was called Airways Corporation.
In 1999 a new management board arose at Tran Air led by Joe Leonard and Robert Fornaro. In 2001 the company began tradiing at the NYSE with the symbol AAI.
In 2003 Tran Air instigated services to Washington, DC. This was followed by scheduled flights to San Francisco over the following months
In 2003 Tran Air purchased aircraft from Boeing; 737 jets. After the purchase, in 2004 the last Douglas aircraft were taken out of service and Tran Air was left with a fleet of 70 Boeing 717s. The Boeing 737 that were purchased began to join the fleet in 2004.
Tran Air tried to arrange a major expansion at Chicago-Midway Airport in 2007 by purchasing the the leases of ATA Airlines’ 14 gates. Southwest Airlines tendered a better offer for the gates, and Tran Air was not able to obtain the leases.
Tran Air – Midwest Air Group
Air Tran Holdings publicized that it had tried to purchase Midwest Air Group in 2006. In 2007, Tran Air announced that its attempt to purchase Midwest Airlines had expired, while TPG Capital, in conjunction with Northwest Airlines, made a deal to buy Midwest Airlines for a higher dollar figure than AirTran Airways’ offer.
Later, in 2007, Tran Air improved its offer to $16.25 a share, a higher amount than the $16 a share offered by TPG Capital. But, Midwest then announced that TPG would increase its offer to $17 per share and a final contract was agreed on August 16.
Tran Air pilots, represented by the NPA, declined the carrier’s contract proposal in 2007. Two weeks earlier, the pilots agreed to remove the union president and vice president.
In 2010, the Tran Air network expanded to over 70 cities coast-to-coast and also included flights to the Caribbean. In total, 700 flights a day and over 8,500 crew members dealing with 25 million passengers a year.
Tran Air – Southwest Airlines
In 2010, Southwest Airlines announced it would buy Orlando-based Tran Air (Airways) for $1.4 billion. The sale gave Southwest an increased base at many of AirTran’s hubs such a Milwaukee and Orlando and Atlanta
After the sale, Southwest now has international flights to leisure destinations such as Aruba, Cancún, Montego Bay and . Southwest is merging the Tran Air fleet of Boeing into its livery.
Together they forecast to have the merger finished over the next two years; until then, operations for both airlines will remain as separate carriers.
The deal was completed on May 2, 2011 and one airline operating certificate for the joint carrier is going to be achieved in March 2, 2012. Integration of employees from the two airlines has started with Tran Air going to be merged around 2015
The TransAir Airlines Team
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