Well, in my opinion, first it depends on who you ask and who they work for, most certainly there will likely be some biased there but aside from that....
Any Delta employee or any Delta executive is kidding themself if they do not see AirTran as a true vital threat and competitive operation in ATL
AirTran Airways is not the same company it was say even three years ago. In the year 2002 alone, not even six months after 9/11 the company was adding cites while other airlines were and continue to struggle, cut back in some markets and try and remain above water.
If you had asked this question 8 or 10 years ago, when Value-Jet was in its infancy, yes the airline was profitable but Delta or any ATL
airline would have scoffed at the idea of considering Value-Jet a remote threat.
Today, Delta and others are and should be on alert and working to effectively compete with Citrus.
The AirTran Executive guys and gals in Orlando come to win. I was employed with the company for over two years, there is a teamwork approach toward everything they do.
In addition there is a win win atmosphere within the company. At the beginning of each shift in ATL
, there is a gate agent meeting of sorts held, they discuss important issues and come out pumped up much like a group of football players ready to tackle the enemy.
Air Tran is poised to grow with a good 100 more airplanes set to come into the fleet, in a few short years the company will be going Internationally serving both Mexico and Canada.
So, you may say Delta is winning the battle but you are kidding yourself if you believe Delta is not concerned and does not consider Citrus a threat.
AirTran is here to stay and will prosper as long as the airline operates.