AirTran launched six Las Vegas routes on
Aug. 15 and 16 as part of the carriers Western expansion strategy,
with the carrier having received its 50th 737 aircraft in July with
65 more on order through 2012.
carrier, which has been serving Las Vegas from its Atlanta hub
since 2003, also began service from Milwaukee on July 10 and will
begin Indianapolis service on Dec. 20. Its Milwaukee and
Indianapolis services are daily, but it will offer service three or
four days a week on the other routes.
The six newest
routes are from small cities: Akron/Canton, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio;
Flint, Mich.; Bloomington/Normal, Ill.; Moline/Quad Cities, Ill.;
and Rochester, N.Y.
AirTran has tried
to build up its Las Vegas service in the past. The airline added
flights from Dallas/Fort Worth and Moline/Quad Cities in 2004 and
Flint and Akron/Canton in 2005. But it pulled out because bookings
and yields were not high enough to support the leisure-oriented
routes, given high fuel costs and its limited number of long-haul
Now AirTran has a
lot more 737s, fuel costs are not quite as high and Las Vegas has a
bit more conference-related business traffic, said airline
spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver.
Most of AirTrans
new service seems to mirror the strategy of another low-fare
carrier, Allegiant, which links travelers from small cities to
major leisure destinations such as Las Vegas.
new Las Vegas routes will not be flying from any of the same
airports as Allegiant, the carriers will be in some of the same
however, said AirTran was simply choosing airports from where
AirTran already flies and where the airline has enjoyed
We try to stay
focused on profitability, not our competitors, she said.
contact reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].