AirTran Will Drop Five Cities Next Year

AirTran Airways, which was acquired this year by Southwest Airlines, confirmed Friday it would shut down operations at five airports in June 2012. On the chopping block are service at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tenn.; Miami International; Central Illinois Regional Airport/Bloomington in Normal, Ill.; Yeager Airport in Charelston, W.Va.; and Dulles International in Washington, D.C. Southwest will continue its operations in Dulles. According to a press release, the airline no longer can support service to these locations due to the challenging economic environment and sustained high fuel prices. AirTran will keep its existing flight schedules through June 2, 2012, and offer affected employees opportunities elsewhere in the company.