Southwest Airlines says it will spend about $100 million to convert AirTran Airways’ Boeing 717s to Delta Air Lines’ livery and specifications before subleasing them to the legacy carrier in addition to $40 million provided by Boeing, but Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly insists the expense is justified to eliminate all 88 of the 100-seat aircraft from Southwest’s fleet. “You might think of it as a volume discount we were willing to offer to induce our sublease customer to take ...

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