AirTran Airways Flight 1 will operate on Sunday, Dec. 28, flying from Atlanta to Tampa. Not coincidentally, this is the same itinerary for the carrier’s first flight more than two decades ago on Oct. 26, 1993.
Back then, AirTran went by the more on-the-nose name of ValuJet. The airline changed its name to AirTran following a 1996 crash in the Florida Everglades that claimed the lives of all 110 passengers and crew members.
Southwest paid $1.4 billion to acquire AirTran. That deal was completed in May 2011. Since then, the two airlines have gradually been integrating their fleets, repainting AirTran’s Boeing 737 jets and selling off its Boeing 717s.