The ATA business plan is NOT to turn over any parts of their operations to WN
. It has been repeated several times by the ups at Southwest that it is in Southwests best interests that ATA remains an airline entity in itself (an independentally owned and operated airline). The ATA business plan is obviously to downsize their scheduled service portion of the airline, and getting back to the military and travel charter end of the business. They will still operate heavily out of IND
, well as maintaining a presence at MDW
. Southwests part in this was to inject some much needed cash into ATA to keep it from being gobbled up by AirTran, a much more fierce competitor than ATA will be for a long time. >>>
You are correct the higher ups did say that, but if you believe it then you may want to take a good look at what is going on currently.
1. ATA is discontinuing service on overlapping markets, not WN
will own 27.5% of the "new" ATA.
has a voice in who is selected in key ATA positions.
is already interviewing ATA folks for WN
will handle ground services where it makes sense
(my guess is MDW
IMO Southwest made a great move and smart positioning in this deal. If ATA goes on and is profitable WN
can slowly take over ATA route and then code-share on that route. If ATA does not succeed then with WN
's 27.5% stake they have the right to get their money back. How do they do this? They take the DCA
slots, more MDW
gates, and whatever route they decide they can operate at a profit.