Although the arrival of Southwest has been long-awaited at Memphis International Airport, the airline will only have the four flights to Atlanta to start.
The airlines set Monday as the effective date for their merger after clearing a final regulatory hurdle, an anti-trust review by the Justice Department.
Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority President Larry Cox told The Memphis Commercial Appeal that AirTran's presence at the airport since 1993, when it began as ValuJet, and has helped hold down Memphis-Atlanta fares.
Airport officials hope Southwest has a similar effect on fares to cities served by both Delta and Southwest and that Southwest finds a way to add nonstop service from Memphis.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)