Friday afternoon AirTran and the Gerald R. Ford International airport announced that the airline will continue operations at the airport, and eventually combine routes with another airline.

In a news release, Southwest Airlines said that AirTran will eventually join the Southwest route map. In all, AirTran Airways confirmed Friday the intent to convert AirTran Airways operations at 22 domestic and international airports to Southwest operations over time.

"We are committed to continuing to serve these communities—at first via AirTran, and eventually as Southwest.  We know there are Southwest Customers who want access to these cities, but have never before had the opportunity, and the markets have long desired Southwest service," said Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer and AirTran Airways President Bob Jordan.

Friday's announcement will be incorporated into both Southwest's and AirTran's flight schedules that will publish on January 22, for travel beginning August 12, 2012.