AirTran Has Helped Passengers Get There from Here

Frequent business travelers want to get to their destination fast, easy, and with little impact on their pocketbook. These three factors also work well for a community's business development.

AirTran Airways is a low-cost carrier that has quickly launched the Quad City International Airport to record numbers, has provided smooth service, and has positively impacted area economic development. According to the Quad City International Airport's consultant, AirTran has saved area travelers $14.5 million per year. Combined with local impact of additional traffic and spending, total economic impact registers at $55 million annually.

The research findings support what we already know: AirTran is important to area travelers and economic development. AirTran's competitive rates set the standard for low-cost fares for the other carriers in the market. (See "A Healthy Airport," River Cities' Reader Issue 548, September 28-October 4, 2005.)

AirTran is a significant player for the local corporate- and leisure-travel community. They have been in this market since 1997 and have provided positive economic impact. But even beyond the dollars and cents, AirTran is a very well-run organization. With excellent aircraft and a helpful staff, AirTran has a loyal clientele. No other carrier offers affordable business-class upgrades and state-of-the-art aircraft like the Boeing 717. It is also the largest aircraft out of the Quad Cities, seating 117 passengers.

The AirTran advanced bookings are doing very well, and travelers are responding to the low airfares by booking their flights. With most of the legacy airlines in or near bankruptcy, carriers such as AirTran, SouthWest, and JetBlue continue to be profitable each and every month. For example, AirTran added nonstop Orlando flights to this market two years ago in response to overwhelming demand. In early November, they are reinstating their four weekly nonstop Orlando flights, up from one weekly nonstop on Saturdays. So, book now and help keep this viable airline a strong player in our market. Send your supportive comments by logging onto ( and clicking the "contact us" feature.

Thom Hart

President, Quad City Development Group

Rock Island

Protesters Said "No" to Injustice

Fifty-six Quad Cities travelers boarded a bus bound for our nation's capital on Friday, September 23. After 17 hours we arrived at our destination to be joined by, according to some reports, 200,000 people to march in opposition to the war in Iraq. The throng was diverse. Grandmothers walked side-by-side with service people in uniform. College students marched with Baby Boomers. Peoples of all colors lifted their voices in dissent of our country's current foreign policy against Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, and a horde of other third-world countries, as well as the war against the poor in the U.S. as evidenced by the abandonment of the people of our gulf. Signs and posters touted personal opinions, prayers, and pleas. One small boy carried a sign asking Mr. Bush to "Fight Plaque, Not Iraq." The day kicked off with a rally in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Speakers such as Cindy Sheehan, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton inspired the crowd to take to the streets, to let their president and Congresspeople know that we aren't going to support U.S. occupations of third-world countries. Enough of our children have been slaughtered, not to mention the children of Iraq. We will not pay for this illegal occupation, but our children and our grandchildren will. Our intent, hope, and prayer is that some one in Washington heard us. We will continue to march, to raise our voices to say "no" to injustice.

Mary Vande Voorde

Rock Island

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