AirTran to End Service to Sarasota Airport
AirTran parent company Southwest Airlines announced Friday morning that flights to and from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport will stop after Aug. 11.
AirTran will end its service to and from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Aug. 12. The final Air Tran flights at SRQ will be on Aug. 11.
The discount airline's parent company Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer and AirTran Airways President Bob Jordan made the announcement today saying five other airports will also no longer have AirTran service:
"The airline industry continues to face many challenges, including significantly higher fuel costs," Jordan said. "We must do everything we can to operate efficiently and profitably, align service with Customer demand, and deliver the legendary Customer Service for which both airlines are known."
Twenty-two AirTran airports will switch to the Southwest brand, the company announced. Southwest acquired AirTran on May 2, 2011.
AirTran currently operates six daily nonstop flights at Sarasota with 16 employees. Those workers will have opportunities to find employment at AirTran airports elsewhere after Aug. 12, the company announced.
The other five airports that will lose AirTran service are:
• Allentown, Pa. (ABE);
• Lexington, Ky. (LEX);
• Harrisburg, Pa. (MDT);
• Huntsville, Ala. (HSV); and
• White Plains, N.Y. (HPN).
The change will force the airport to do some shuffling, Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports:
"It is certainly a challenge because of the loss of passengers," said airport President and Chief Executive Fredrick "Rick" Piccolo, who learned of Southwest's decision regarding AirTran Friday morning.
Piccolo said the airport will begin working immediately with new and current airlines to pick up AirTran's routes."