Stop thinking SWA should run Atlanta like Airtran

There have been criticisms of how Southwest has played its game in Atlanta compared to how Airtran was working in Atlanta for quite some time.  The obvious comparison that has been made has been departures.

Airtran had a lot of departures out of Atlanta and those have been reduced over time by Southwest as it absorbs Atlanta into its schedule.

Airtran ran its Atlanta operation like a hub and that does mean lots of departures.  If that’s your hub, you want flights going everywhere.  Going everywhere means lots of flights.

Southwest runs focus cities that are connected with many point to point flights.  This means fewer flights.

Southwest knows what it is doing in Atlanta and its transition in Atlanta is about gaining access to business travelers in a market it was shut out from until its purchase of Airtran.  Atlanta will probably gain flights over time at a very moderate pace as Southwest identifies more opportunities.

But Atlanta is not going to be a hub under Southwest.

 

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