"Everybody is generally trying to be reasonable," Fornaro said of the airline industry. "But these guys are last in line and late to the party right now."
At stake in the battle is more than service to Atlanta, said industry analyst Robert Mann. Both carriers are trying to maximize service to their hubs and, ultimately, the destinations beyond. Delta may be in bankruptcy, but it still has the heft and array of destinations to draw passengers, he said.
"There's probably a limit to how long AirTran will stick around if it gets ugly," Mann said. "Delta has gotten far more aggressive in the lengths it's willing to go to, to arrest the growth of AirTran."
The announcement continues the airline industry's move to consolidate.
AirTran Airways expects to almost double the number of flights it operates from Philadelphia International Airport in the next 12 months, the discount airline's president said yesterday.
Delta officials announced Friday they would add daily air service from May 25 through Sept. 4 at Bloomington, Moline, Rochester, N.Y., Newport News/Williamsburg, Va., and Wichita, Kan.
Leonard now chairman; Fornaro promotion part of airline's succession plan