AirTran Airways Confirms Plans to Cease Operations at Four Airports

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Airline Will Continue to Operate Service Until Early Next Year to Minimize Customer Impact; AirTran Employees will be Offered Other Employment Opportunities Within the Company

ORLANDO, Fla. — (August 1, 2011) – AirTran Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, Co. (NYSE: LUV), told its Employees today that operations will cease early next year at the following four airports: Asheville (N.C.) Regional (AVL), Atlantic City International (ACY), Quad City (Moline, Ill.) International (MIL), and Newport News Williamsburg (Va.) International (PHF). AirTran Airways can no longer support service to these particular markets in light of the realities of the challenging economic environment and sustained high fuel prices.

The Company’s priority is to take excellent care of its dedicated Employees, Partners, and Customers in these markets. AirTran Employees at these locations have performed superbly and will have the opportunity to move elsewhere within the airline, after the operations cease early next year.

AirTran Airways will continue to operate at Asheville, Atlantic City, and Quad City airports through January 6, 2012, and at Newport News Williamsburg through March 9, 2012. Ticketed passengers, passengers holding reservations, or passengers desiring to make reservations for flights to or from these airports have no need to alter their travel plans prior to these closing dates. The airline will begin directly contacting the limited number of passengers who are currently holding reservations beyond the closing dates, in order to assist them in reaccommodating their air travel needs.

About AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. and has been ranked the top airline in the Airline Quality Rating study twice in the past four years. AirTran offers Gogo Inflight Internet connectivity and coast-to-coast service on North America's newest all-Boeing fleet. The airline's low-cost, high-quality product also includes assigned seating, Business Class and complimentary SiriusXM Satellite Radio on every flight.

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