Friday, February 25, 2011

FAA approves Southwest Airlines/AirTran Airways marraige into one operating certificate

Southwest Airlines on Thursday took two steps toward completing its planned acquisition of Orlando-based AirTran Airways, receiving approval from US FAA on a plan to merge the two carriers' under a Single Operating Certificate and reaching agreement with the Southwest Airline Pilots Assn. on "a procedural framework" for eventually integrating the two pilot workgroups. SWA said the SWAPA board "unanimously agreed" to the accord.

SWA said it was informed by FAA that the regulator "has accepted the carrier's transition plan to combine the operations" following the closure of the transaction, which still must receive approval from the US Dept. of Justice and AirTran shareholders. SWA expects the merger to close in the second quarter.

SWA VP-Maintenance and Engineering Brian Hirshman said in a statement, "We consider this acceptance by the FAA as the first major milestone on the journey towards SOC," which the carrier aims to achieve in the 2012 first quarter. The plan accepted by FAA "outlines the methodology, processes, tools and timing to be employed to maintain the safety of [SWA and AirTran's] day-to-day operations during the transition period."

(Aaron Karp - ATWOnline News)

No comments: