AirTran to Start Flights From Detroit Metro Airport

AirTran Airways will begin flying out of Detroit Metro Airport this fall.

The low-cost carrier plans to start nonstop service to its Atlanta hub and Orlando on Nov. 8 and Sarasota, Fla., in February.

"Detroit's the biggest market that we don't serve from Atlanta today, directly," Kevin Healy, AirTran's vice president of planning and scheduling, said Wednesday.

Detroit will be AirTran's 48th destination, with one-way coach fares as low as $79 to Atlanta and $84 to Orlando.

AirTran will be the third carrier to start service out of Metro Airport in little more than a year, following the arrival of Frontier and Air France.

"The addition of low-fare service in Detroit has been a priority of our board and provides our customers with more choices when they travel," said Lester Robinson, CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority, which operates Metro Airport.

Detroit will be AirTran's second Michigan destination. It already flies out of Bishop International Airport in Flint.

AirTran will begin with three flights a day to Atlanta and one to Orlando in November.

Northwest Airlines, the dominant carrier at Metro Airport, offers seven direct flights to Orlando and eight to Atlanta.

"The arrival of another low-cost carrier at our Detroit hub further demonstrates our need to get our costs in line with our competitors, especially our labor and pension costs," said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch.