I think that AirTran is far, very far from becomming a major. First off, if they wanted to become a major, they need something other than the 717. Maybe teh 737-800 for starters. Why? If they want to achieve "major" status, they need to be prepared to go head to head with Delta. They need to offer a product that serves all corners of the country. Also, for them to be a major, they need to have some international presence. I know that WN is the exception to the rule, but if you look at them, they are big everywhere. AirTran is still a regional airline in the south. Thats all. Ok...they have some flights out of PIT, but really, no offense to anyone esp Travatl but AirTran is really picking up the pieces that Delta is leaving behind. If Delta wanted to, they could crush AirTran like a fly being crushed by a fly swater.
Out of the three airlines that were mentioned, Fronteir and JetBlue have slightly larger chances of becoming majors...if and only if they merge. Lemme explain.
Every Airline has its regions. United has the west, Delta has the south, US Airways has the east. JetBlue is making an impact in US Airways's, and Continental's beloved east. Thats great for them! If they keep it up, they might have something. One thing that they have that Airtran doesnt is the fact that they have transcons. This way they get some feed from the west. If they merged with Fronteir they would get more of a presence out west becasue of the hub in Denver. This would allow for passengers traveling within the west, to stay there. Just as much as pax traveling in the east can stay at JFK. Also, it provides more feed to their JFK hub.
If they wanted to be sucessful at competing with the other majors, they need international traffic, as well as a premium cabin. Meals are a must. Their product must be comperable to that of Delta, United, American, Continental and so on. JetBlue needs to serve more destinations including Boston. Expand the LGB hub so that it has connecting traffic along the west coast. The more of these regions that they can tackle, the more of a chace that they can succeed.
I L U V 7 6 7