Southwest Spies Opportunities in Merger

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Southwest Airlines sees US Airways' eight-billion dollar hostile merger bid for Delta Air Lines as an opportunity for the Dallas-based airline to make inroads on the East Coast.

Spokeswoman Edna Ruano says Southwest founder and board chairman Herb Kelleher has called the CEOs of both airlines to express interest in any assets that might become available.

Merging airlines typically have to get rid of assets such as routes, gates and aircraft to allay antitrust concerns.

Ruano says the possible merger would create the greatest overlap of services in the East Coast, which is also Southwest's least-developed region.

Southwest has routes to nine East Coast cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, six Florida cities and Dulles Airport in Washington.