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Midwest continues fight against AirTran

Despite what outside experts say, Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines insists its battle to stay independent is not over.

AirTran of Florida announced major progress Thursday in its long-running takeover bid. It said 57 percent of Midwest stock has been pledged to that company.

Brian Nelson of Chicago's Morning Star Corp. says a takeover by AirTran is inevitable. But Carol Skornicka, Midwest vice-president, said the pledges amount to nothing more than a straw poll.

Midwest could still use a poison pill to increase its shares, thus reducing the percentage of stock pledged to AirTran. Also, Midwest is looking to take advantage of a state anti-takeover law if necessary.

Midwest says a host of new service improvements justifies staying locally owned. And the latest was announced Thursday.

Midwest unveiled a partnership with Northwest Airlines, in which they'll sell space on each other's flights. It will be possible to fly both airlines on a single trip and frequent flier miles would be credited to their existing packages.

Midwest officials say it will create significant revenue and give more travel options to passengers on both airlines.