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AirTran slashes Las Vegas routes

If an airline can’t make money on Las Vegas flights, what hope is there for the rest of its network? That’s the question some of you might be asking today now that AirTran has started pruning its unprofitable Vegas routes.

In actuality, Las Vegas—like Hawaii—is typically a money-losing destination for the airlines due to a relative lack of high-spending business travelers. With Vegas seeing lower visitation levels since very early spring, plus sky-high oil prices all around, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that airlines are looking to shed wherever they can.

And boy, is AirTran shedding. John Nolan over at The Dayton Daily News reports that while AirTran’s Dayton/Las Vegas service had already ended in April, the airline is also putting Vegas flights from Akron, Bloomington, Flint, and Moline on the chopping block as well. It will keep its Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis routes—for now, anyway.

Of course, if you live in one of the affected cities and still want to gamble on a Vegas trip, you can always connect through AirTran’s Atlanta hub.

For those of us not directly affected, what’s more interesting to look at here is the trend. Yesterday we called route cuts by American, Qantas, and Horizon a harbinger of more reductions to come. Who knew we’d be so right, so soon?

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