Southwest Cuts AirTran Workforce In Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Southwest Airlines is cutting about 300 employees from AirTran Airways’ workforce at Atlanta’s airport.

Southwest bought AirTran in 2011 and started its own Atlanta flights last year.

Officials say the 300 ground workers — baggage handlers, ticket counter and gate agents — would end up with jobs in other cities where Southwest operates if they are willing to relocate. If not, they will get severance packages and leave the company.

The cuts come as Southwest prepares to deemphasize connecting flights in AirTran’s operation at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in November by smoothing out the flight schedule and catering more to fliers coming and going from the Atlanta market.

Southwest says Atlanta will be a “focus city” instead of a connecting hub as it has been for AirTran.

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