Low-fare King Expands its Empire with AirTran

The $1.4 billion deal between Southwest and AirTran could be good news for some fliers.

The merger with Southwest must be approved by U.S. regulators and AirTran's shareholders. Southwest expects the government approval of the deal sometime in the first half of next year.

After that, Kelly said, it should take no more than 24 months for the two carriers' operations to be fully merged.

Contributing: Barbara Hansen, Gary Stoller

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