Overshadowed by last year’s relatively rapid merger of United and Continental was the sale of AirTran to Southwest. That sale is now one big step away from completion after AirTran shareholders approved the deal earlier this week.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it took all of five minutes for the shareholders to give their blessing to the $1.4 billion sale, which has the final hurdle of getting of a mandatory federal antitrust investigation.
From the AJC:
Southwest’s entry into Atlanta, where AirTran has its main hub, means a bigger primary competitor for Delta Air Lines. It also furthers consolidation in the airline industry, which has seen mergers between Delta and Northwest; United and Continental; and US Airways and America West in recent years.
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.