National, low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines will begin servicing the Portland International Jetport after its acquisition of AirTran Airways is completed in two years.
Southwest has entered into an agreement to buy AirTran, which currently flies out of Portland, for $1.4 billion, adding a total of 37 new cities in the east, the Caribbean and Mexico to its service areas when the takeover is completed in 2012, according to the Portland Press Herald. Jetport Director Paul Bradbury told the paper the jetport is "ecstatic over this acquisition," and that PWM has been trying to land Southwest, a popular low-cost carrier accessible in the Northeast from Manchester, N.H., and Boston. Bradbury estimated that 400,000 Maine passengers a year travel to those two airports in order to access lower fares or more direct flight options.
AirTran has a five-year lease at PWM that expires in 2015 and represents about 13% of the jetport's traffic, according to the paper. The acquisition will be finalized just as the jetport finishes a $75 million terminal expansion.
Go to the article from the Portland Press Herald >>