AirTran shareholders approve acquisition by Southwest

Southwest Airlines has confirmed that the shareholders of AirTran Holdings, the parent company of AirTran Airways, have overwhelmingly approved the proposed acquisition of AirTran by Southwest Airlines, with more than 98.6% of votes cast and 77.5% of shares outstanding in favour of the deal.

The transaction remains under review by the US Department of Justice and is subject to other regulatory clearances. Southwest and AirTran continue to operate as two independent companies pending those clearances. Southwest anticipates the transaction to close in the second quarter of this year.

"We appreciate the confidence AirTran shareholders have in Southwest to continue the good work of AirTran’s hardworking crewmembers who have made AirTran a successful airline over the past 17 years," said Gary Kelly, chairman, CEO, and president of Southwest Airlines. "This approval is another important and exciting step toward completing the transaction and beginning the integration of AirTran into Southwest to ultimately serve the flying public as one carrier."

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