In this most competitive and capricious of industries, and during this most trying of times, staying on top is difficult even for those airlines with entrenched advantages. Simply leveraging a timeless brand, a supportive government, a key hub or sheer size no longer guarantees success, especially when the effort required to innovate increasingly is focused on ensuring survival. All of which makes AirTran Airways' ascendancy so impressive. These days, it's one thing simply to ...

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