Southwest Airlines chief executive Gary Kelly says his bid to buy low-cost rival AirTran won't drive up the merged company's ticket prices, a published report says.
"We are a low-fare carrier. That is who we are. That is how we've established trust over 40 years," Kelly told the Dallas Morning News in a Sunday story.
Southwest is the major carrier at MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma. The AirTran purchase could extend flights from Long Island to a slew of new Caribbean and U.S. destinations.
Kelly said his Dallas-based airline did not raise fares after it bought other companies, such as Muse Air in 1985, Morris Air in 1993 or ATA Airlines in 2008.
"We're not going to change who we are," Kelly said. "We're expanding who we are. We're taking low fares farther."