In July 1997, ValuJet, Inc., parent of ValuJet Airlines and AirWays Corporation, parent of AirTran Airways, announced that the two holding companies planned to merge by the end of November 1997. The new holding company, to be renamed AirTran Holdings, Inc., will operate two wholly owned subsidiaries, AirTran Airlines and AirTran Airways.

The combined carriers will initially serve 45 cities and operate a fleet of 42 aircraft, comprising of 31 DC-9 aircraft and 11 737 aircraft with 227 peak daily departures. The airline expects to increase its fleet size to more than 50 aircraft in 1998. AirTran will also continue to offer its FlightLink ground service between Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport and Chattanooga, Tenn., as well as Macon and Dalton, Ga.