It's bad enough that Boeing
Yesterday, my Foolish colleague Tim Beyers regaled you with what Southwest's AirTran purchase means to rivals like UAL Corp.
But speaking of Boeing ... what does the merger mean for Boeing?
I have to admit, Fools, on first reading yesterday's news, and learning of Forbes' take, I was inclined to agree. A combined Southwest/AirTran will boast an airfleet of 682 Boeings. That's a tremendous chip Southwest can play against Boeing in any negotiations for future airplane sales. By way of comparison, when first Rosavia, then Aeroflot (aka Russian Technologies), inked twin deals to purchase 737 airliners from Boeing earlier this year, the companies were reportedly able to extract "below-market" rates as Boeing haggled most willingly in an effort to edge Aeroflot out. So what's to prevent Southwest from using its huge size to extract similar price concessions from Boeing?
One word: self-interest.
Fools, I cannot believe it's a coincidence that when Southwest went looking for a discount merger partner, it chose all-Boeing AirTran over, say, Airbus/Embraer hybrid JetBlue
So my take: Buying AirTran looks like good news for Southwest shareholders, but it's even better news for Boeing.
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