IT'S BEEN A REMARKABLE RIDE AT AIRTRAN Airways this first decade of the new millennium. While the network carriers downsized and reorganized following 9/11, the Orlando-based LCC made money and won over fliers, in the process racking up impressive increases in capacity. Consider the 2005-07 period: Available seat-miles rose 28.3% in 2005, 23.7% in 2006 and 19.4% in 2007. This kind of growth begets inherent economies as fixed costs are spread over an ever-widening base. Then the price of oil ...

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