Update: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
On the 10th anniversary of its first flight out of Wichita, AirTran continues to provide low-fare service to customers who no longer have to travel to Kansas City, Tulsa or Oklahoma City for better deals.
"It's proof that the community has won low figures for their travel, but they can also take their families," said Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.
Since AirTran arrived in Wichita, it has lowered fares to Wichita's top eastern destinations by about 25%, while increasing the number of passengers by 60%.
"Parking lots are full, airlines are going in and out of here. What more can a person ask for? The icing on the cake is Southwest is coming," said Mayor Brewer.
That decision is mainly thanks to AirTran's ten-year success in the Wichita area.
"We're just fortunate to be able to take advantage of that, to build on the success and momentum when Southwest begins to serve Wichita," said Ryan Green, Southwest Airlines.
Once they are here, they also plan to continue to provide low-fares to hundreds more passengers in the years to come.
"You can only dream of the options that are available to us," said Mayor Brewer.
Southwest plans to begin business in Wichita in 2013.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
It's extra baggage that most airline passengers wouldn't mind carrying around.
AirTran passengers will be greeted with treats at Mid-Continent airport as the airline celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The airline debuted May 8, 2002 in Wichita in an effort to provide low-fare service. The Airline Quality Rating ranked AirTran the best airline in the last two consecutive years.
Southwest Airlines bought AirTran in May 2011. Transition is expected to be complete within the next few years. Southwest service is expected to begin in Wichita sometime in 2013.