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APPLE VALLEY, Minn. and ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly five months after its debut, Wings Financial Federal Credit Union has secured a partnership with AirTran Airways to offer the airline’s more than 5,800 employees access to financial products and services. In March, $1.5 billion NWA Federal Credit Union launched Wings Financial as a separate division to serve the nation’s airline and airport employees as well as employees of the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration through a trade, industry and profession (TIP) charter it received from NCUA. NWA FCU serves more than 117,000 members. As part of the agreement, plans include Wings Financial installing new ATMs and opening branches later this summer in AirTran’s three largest centers of employment, which include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the reservations centers in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga. Wings Financial will also produce a customized line of checks, debit and credit cards featuring AirTran Airways’ aircraft. Discussions to form the alliance began a few months ago and both parties mutually sought out each other, according to Paul Parish, Wings Financial and NWA FCU president/CEO. “We’re excited about our new partnership with AirTran Airways and we look forward to working with this innovative airline,” Parish said. A subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. AirTran was founded in 1993 and offers 508 daily flights to 45 destinations. In April, the airline opened a third call center in Carrollton, Ga. with plans to employ more than 200 people, according to the company. Two other call centers in Atlanta and Savannah currently employ a total of more than 700 people. “AirTran Airways was attracted to Wings Financial because of its unique focus on the air transportation industry, its size and stability, and the great rates and service it offers to its membership,” said Loral Blinde, AirTran Airways’ vice president of human resources. Parish said Wings Financial member service representatives are currently signing up AirTran employees at the three locations and the new line of check and cards featuring images of AirTran aircraft will be available soon. With the new alliance underway, Parish said Wings Financial is also in discussions with other entities to establish more partnerships. Meanwhile, Wings Financial opened its first branch and ATM at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in March. When it launched, Parish said all credit union members would be able to use NWA FCU or Wings Financial facilities interchangeably. The credit union is also in the process of transitioning over to a new Internet banking system, which will allow members to view copies of cleared checks and mortgage information, access credit card activity and claims “greater reliability during peak traffic times,” according to the NWA FCU Web site. The credit union is also switching to a new bill payer provider. All the new online features are scheduled to be available on July 28. -

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