AirTran Airways to add jobs in Fla.


Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 11:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 11:07 a.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. - AirTran Airways will keep its corporate headquarters in Florida and add jobs, the low-cost carrier and Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday.

AirTran had been considering a move from Florida, partly because of fears about hurricanes, Crist's office said in a statement. AirTran's headquarters were damaged in 2004 during Hurricane Charley.

The state will pay $3 million to keep the airline based here. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates Orlando International Airport, will contribute another $1.7 million to build an operations center fortified to withstand severe storms.

The $7 million control center will help coordinate the company's more than 700 daily flights.

In return, AirTran plans to add 121 new jobs with an average annual salary of $45,000, Crist's office said. The airline currently employs about 300 people in Orlando, where it has been based since 1998.

"Orlando will remain our nerve center for our fast-growing network, as well as our headquarters city," Robert L. Fornaro, AirTran's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The airline, part of AirTran Holdings Inc., flies to 58 cities nationwide and also uses Atlanta as a transportation hub.

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