Southwest Airlines’ proposed merger with AirTran Airways sets up the low-cost giant’s growth plans for the next decade, and allows it to add both small U.S. markets and international destinations to its network. The deal, valued at $1.4-billion in stock and cash, will also create a domestic powerhouse that will rival the world’s largest operators in size of fleet and employees, if approved by regulators and shareholders, With 685 active aircraft, the new airline will serve more than ...

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