Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways are both big winners in the auctioning of American Airlines and US Airways slots at Washington Reagan National Airport that the U.S. government required in order for American and US Airways to complete their merger in December.

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US Airways will join the oneworld alliance on March 31, 2014, as a result of the December 9 completion of its merger with alliance founding member American Airlines. All of US Airways’ regional-airline affiliates, operating under the US Airways Express brand, will also transition to oneworld at the same time.

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All board members of AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, Inc., and US Airways Group, Inc. have unanimously approved a merger agreement for the two companies to combine to create what is likely to be the world’s largest airline.

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Taken together, the two carriers’ combined 155.7 million passenger count in 2010 would rank Southwest as the second-largest airline in the world in terms of passengers carried, just behind Delta Air Lines, which carried more than 162 million.

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Southwest Airlines is intending to close on its planned purchase of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways, on May 2 – and expects to appoint Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president strategy and planning, as president of AirTran Airways.

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At a special meeting held on March 23 in Orlando, more than 98.6 per cent of the votes cast and 77.5 per cent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the transaction, according to AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent of AirTran Airways.

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The European Commission has decided to prohibit the proposed merger of Greek carriers Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, following a monopolies investigation which lasted 10 months.

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As a result of a merger transaction, ExpressJet Holdings has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc., which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest.

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UAL Corporation has completed its merger with Continental Airlines, Inc. to form United Continental Holdings, Inc., and Continental Airlines and United Airlines are now wholly owned subsidiaries of that company.

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Southwest Airlines is to buy AirTran Holdings, the parent company of Air Tran Airways, in the biggest take-over yet of a U.S. low-cost airline by another. The enlarged Southwest would serve 106 communities, would operate nearly 1.4 million departures a year and for the first time Southwest would serve destinations outside the United States.

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