AirTran announced a partnership with Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit edition this morning that culminates with AirTran flying the models from NYC to Vegas after the release of the magazine. Of course there are the usual opportunities for a contest winner to join the models on the flight and more promotional tie-ins are promised. We can only imagine.
But what is interesting about this promotion (beyond the obvious) is that last year Southwest (who had yet to begin service into New York LaGuardia at the time) issued nearly the same press release including a similar flight, contest as well as a new take on Southwest's logo jets - not another Shamu plane. Rather, a full length shot of cover girl Bar Rafaeli. Southwest took a fair amount of heat (others called it a stroke of marketing genius) for the airplane pictured here.
So, was SI too hot even for Southwest, the carrier formerly known as the Luv Airline? And what about SI models flying AirTran - that sounds like worlds colliding. The battle between Southwest and AirTran continues - at least this time it is in NYC rather than Milwaukee.