As ATA Holdings entered bankruptcy, AirTran swooped in and inked a $90 million agreement to take over the troubled company's operations at Chicago's Midway airport. The deal includes arrival and departure slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C., according to The Associated Press.
In moving into Midway, the carrier appears to have raised the hackles of discount airline granddaddy Southwest Airlines
While AirTran does enjoy favorable lease terms on its aircraft and boasts a young fleet of Boeing
With the Department of Energy projecting that oil prices will average $47 per barrel in 2005, AirTran looks to be flying into some significant headwinds. Southwest no doubt will capitalize on this situation. In the near term at least, AirTran may find that Chicago isn't its kind of town.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer living in Chicago. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned here.