Southwest Airlines' purchase of AirTran Airways will result in few overlapping routes, Southwest Chief Financial Officer Laura Wright told Wall Street analysts Monday after the deal was announced. Each airline serves 37 unique airports, and only 20 nonstop segments are common to both carriers. Both airlines are heavily unionized, though different unions represent pilots and flight attendants, two of the largest work groups. The two carriers operate 599 Boeing 737s, and the AirTran acquisition will introduce 86 717s into the Southwest fleet. One-time acquisition costs could run as high as $500 million, but Southwest expects to see net annual synergies of more than $400 million by 2013.
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