ORLANDO, Fla. – AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways, announced today that its stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. with and into AirTran at a special meeting held today in Orlando. More than 98.6 percent of the votes cast and 77.5 percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the transaction.
“We are grateful for our stockholders’ strong vote of confidence in this merger,” said Bob Fornaro, AirTran’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In approving the transaction, our stockholders recognized the value of bringing together AirTran and Southwest to create a platform for increased profitability and sustainable long-term value.”
AirTran and Southwest announced the proposed merger on September 27, 2010. The companies are awaiting clearance on the proposed merger from the United States Department of Justice. The merger is currently expected to close by during the second quarter of 2011.
Until the acquisition is approved and finalized, both carriers will continue to operate independently.