The carrier, now owned by Southwest Airlines, started life as budget carrier ValuJet Airlines, primarily serving the East Coast. A 1996 crash of one of its jets in the
Southwest bought AirTran in 2011 for $1.4 billion. The move gave Southwest 15.7% of the domestic market, according to data from February 2013 to January 2014. That makes Southwest the second-largest U.S. carrier;
Since the merger, the two carriers have operated separately. That is scheduled to change as the airlines become one by the end of the year. Southwest is repainting AirTran's
Southwest picks up AirTran's routes and becomes an international carrier starting July 1, with flights to Nassau, Bahamas; Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Aruba. It also begins flights to Cancun and Los Cabos in Mexico on Aug. 10.