One oft-heard comment is that it would be the perfect opportunity for Southwest.
News Flash: From a distance, and to the uninformed, the Delta and the US Airways Shuttles may look attractive, but up close they're operationally as ugly as Pet Rocks. As far as WN goes, Air Zimbabwe has more in common with Southwest than either of these Shuttle operations. swshuttle.JPG (12207 bytes)
Southwest lives on high utilization and operating within as low an operational cost environment as possible. And when they do find it necessary to enter higher-cost markets, such as Denver, Philadelphia, and Washington/Dulles, they can offset some of those costs by cross-feeding new passenger revenue throughout their existing route system.
These Shuttle operations don't even get within a zip code of the Southwest template, and even in the likely event they could be purchased on a turn-key basis, they would be a financial hiccup for Southwest. What some of these analysts miss, is that these Shuttles offer abominable aircraft utilization, obscene sector costs due to ATC and other issues, and traffic flows that are highly irregular throughout the day.
Furthermore, either Shuttle operation would likely be available only on a turn-key basis - with airplanes, facilities, equipment, and employees all in one big happy package. A package that would offer little or no incremental operational synergies to the purchaser.
Add to this recipe the fact that the revenue streams are almost entirely point-to-point, with no incremental cross-feed possible, and the conclusion is that acquiring a fleet of Beech-99s to operate a crop-dusting operation in North Dakota would make only slightly less sense for Southwest than buying one of these Shuttles.