Delta Air Lines and US Airways have finalized their agreement to transfer takeoff and landing rights at New York’s LaGuardia and Washington D.C.’s Reagan National airports.
Under the agreement, Delta acquired 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia from US Airways and US Airways acquired from Delta 42 slot pairs at Reagan National, as well as the rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo in Brazil in 2015.
The agreement was approved on October 10 by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which allowed the deal to go ahead after requiring Delta Air Lines and US Airways to auction off three sets of eight slot pairs at the two slot-controlled airports to airlines with limited or no service at New York LaGuardia or Washington Reagan National Airport.
Each slot pair allows one take-off and one landing, so being in possession of a set of eight slot pairs allows an airline to operate eight daily round-trips from the airport concerned.
Two of the sets of eight slot pairs were at New York LaGuardia Airport and the successful bidders for the sets of slot pairs were JetBlue Airways and Canada’s WestJet. JetBlue Airways was also the successful bidder for the set of eight slot pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport.
“Now that we have closed our agreement with US Airways, we can begin taking steps to expand our schedule at New York LaGuardia, greatly increasing travel choices for our New York customers and increasing competition in the market,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “We also look forward to expanding and modernizing our LaGuardia facilities as we create a Delta hub operation at LaGuardia.”
“US Airways has been a solid operator for travelers utilizing the easily accessible service at Ronald Reagan National Airport for many years,” said Doug Parker, US Airways’ chairman and chief executive officer.
“Our expanded presence at Reagan National enables us to add more frequencies in existing markets so customers have more travel choices,” adds Parker. “It also allows us to expand our service, so more smaller communities have access to non-stop service to this very important market and beyond.”
The airlines will separately announce their expanded schedules in New York and Washington, D.C. in the near future.