Southwest Airlines' Growth Bypasses Atlanta

May 14, 2014

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly did not mention Atlanta Wednesday when he told investors the airline is “here to grow.” 

Speaking via webcast, Kelly did single out Dallas, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles.

“As long as we have a competitive advantage, it makes sense for us to be investing in these facilities where we can grow,” Kelly said. “Competitive advantage is two things: a lower price and better service.”

Hartsfield-Jackson has long been AirTran’s main hub, but Southwest has slowly dismantled its presence here since acquiring AirTran in 2011.   

Kelly reaffirmed this is AirTran’s final year.

“In 2015, all aircraft flying will be in the Southwest livery and all employees will be in a Southwest uniform with a Southwest badge," he said. 

Kelly added that Southwest could add up to 50 new cities across North America in the coming years, including Alaska and Hawaii. It’s unclear what role Atlanta might play in Southwest's larger route map.