What is Southwest up to?

You may need to be an airline news junkie as I am to enjoy a blog posting this morning from the Dallas Morning News, speculating why Southwest announced it's putting on hold its plans to code-share with WestJet of Canada. (And no, the reason Southwest made the announcement is not because someone there read my column yesterday questioned the value of airline code-sharing; the announcement came first.)

The interesting theory put forth by Dallas blogger Eric Torbenson is that Southwest may be looking to acquire AirTran Airways. Yes, that's right, and the writer goes into considerable detail to make the case that such a deal makes sense if you're Southwest. The blogger apparently didn't ask Southwest or AirTran to comment but it doesn't matter, since companies never comment about such things until they're ready. If you read Torbenson's commentary, also go to the end to see reader comments, one of which includes an alternate theory why Southwest suspended its effort with WestJet.

Why am I going on like this? Because Southwest and American Airlines are both local stories for the Dallas News, and its two airline writers are about as plugged in to what's happening in the industry as any journalists I know of. And the blog post just makes good reading, once again, if you're an airline junkie.    

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