Southwest Airlines has agreed to buy rival AirTran in a deal that values the Florida-based low-cost airline at $3.4 billion. Southwest’s cash and stock deal offer amounts to $7.69 a share, a 69% premium to the airline’s closing price on Sept 24, which value AirTran’s equity at $1.4 billion. Including AirTran’s debt and aircraft leases, the value of the transaction is $3.4 billion. In the year to June 30, Southwest posted revenues of $11.2 billion, while AirTran posted revenues of $2.5 billion during the same period. Together, the companies will employ about 43,000 with 685 aircraft on the books. The

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