Like any such deal, Southwest Airlines' planned buyout of AirTran Airways will face a number of hurdles, but experts say the challenges should be relatively easy to overcome. Integrating technology, fleets and routes can be tricky, but Southwest has had practice in two previous mergers. And though labor issues are often the biggest hurdle, analysts point out that Southwest's higher pay scale should make the transition easier for AirTran employees. Pilots' unions from the two companies were scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon, and both sides said they were "cautiously optimistic" about a deal.
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