One of the most frequent questions we get from the public is about Southwest Airlines, as in, "When will Southwest come to Springfield?" Our answer, in summary, "Not for a long time, our market is too small."
Recently, the question has changed a bit. Keep in mind that AirTran flies into the Branson airport, and that AirTran was recently bought out by Southwest. So, the question we get today is, "Once the merger is complete, will Southwest keep service at the Branson airport?" Our answer, in summary, "Probably not." Keeping the public's high interest in Southwest in mind, we try to share industry news about the airline. This week we have an analysis of the merger from aviation consultant Michael Boyd. Full disclosure: Boyd's firm is this airport's air service consultant. The analysis begins with this introduction:
"This analysis is a follow-up to the study done by Boyd Group International immediately after the announcement of the Southwest acquisition of AirTran. Compiled independently, the prognosis is clear: Atlanta will experience a traffic decline as a result of this merger. The simple reason is that Southwest is a well-managed company, but its operating system simply cannot take advantage of all of the revenue flows inherited from AirTran."
Here's a heads-up on jargon: "FL" is industry shorthand for AirTran. "WN" is shorthand for Southwest.