Delta Air Lines is creating a new domestic hub at New York’s LaGuardia airport, expanding its network from the airport significantly to include more than 100 new flights and 29 new destinations.
The 132 daily slot-pairs which Delta Air Lines has obtained from US Airways at New York LaGuardia – in return for 44 daily slot-pairs at Washington Reagan National Airport and the right to fly to Sao Paulo in Brazil from 2015 – will provide the crucial additional slot capacity which Delta needs at the slot-controlled New York airport to schedule the additional flights. The U.S. Department of Transportation approved the slot-swap on December 13.
Delta says the investment will be the largest single expansion by any carrier at New York LaGuardia in decades, with the carrier’s total flights increasing by more than 60 per cent, and total destinations by more than 75 per cent. By summer 2012, Delta will operate 264 daily flights between LaGuardia and more than 60 cities, more than any other airline.
The airline says that, by summer 2012, it will offer more domestic flights and seats from New York’s three major airports than any other carrier, with more than 400 daily domestic departures from LaGuardia, JFK and Newark to destinations nationwide.
“Delta’s new service will offer customers more flights, seats and travel choices than any other carrier in New York, one of the largest and most competitive aviation markets in the world,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our expanded New York schedule is a clear indication that we’re making good headway with creative thinking and strategic moves to become the preferred airline for travelers flying to and from New York City.”
“This is another example of a global business investing more in New York, benefiting our economy and consumers” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Delta’s expansion will create hundreds of jobs, improve New York’s airport infrastructure and give New Yorkers greater travel opportunities. Delta continues the pattern of businesses partnering with us to make our State a better place.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for New York City and for the millions who fly here every year,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “In addition to the traveling public, this expansion will benefit the City’s economy by creating both construction and permanent jobs.”
Delta says its service expansion at New York LaGuardia Airport will increase passenger traffic at the airport considerably, adding up to 4 million new seats annually without increasing aircraft congestion.
Flights will be available for sale from December 17 at delta.com and other ticketing outlets, for travel beginning March 25, 2012, and July 11, 2012, depending on the market served. Additional details of Delta’s expanded LaGuardia schedule are available at http://news.delta.com/index.php?s=18&item=162.
Delta’s expanded LaGuardia schedule adds non-stop service to top U.S. business destinations which Delta currently does not serve from LaGuardia. These include Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Charlotte, Denver, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Cleveland. Delta says it also will add more flights to business markets it already serves, including Chicago, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Portland in Maine.
“Our new LaGuardia schedule puts Delta in nearly all of the top 50 markets from LaGuardia,” said Gail Grimmett, Delta’s senior vice president – New York. “It means we can get our customers to destinations across the U.S. with nonstop service and the convenience of LaGuardia.”
Last year Delta added Chicago O’Hare International Airport to its Delta Shuttle business-service product from New York LaGuardia. The airline has also renovated a Delta Sky Club at LaGuardia and has added more than 2,000 premium seats, in-flight WiFi and other amenities to its fleet.
In addition to key business markets, Delta will be adding new all-jet service from LaGuardia to key upstate New York markets, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, replacing turboprop aircraft operated by US Airways. Delta also will be adding service to smaller communities including Wilmington in North Carolina; Roanoke in Virginia; and Burlington in Vermont.
The larger jet aircraft which Delta will operate on its new LaGuardia routes and additional flights will mean that up to 4 million additional seats will be available at LaGuardia without increasing congestion, according to the carrier.
As part of the expansion, Delta will invest $100 million to create an expanded main terminal at LaGuardia in Terminals C and D, where it will operate a total of 26 gates. A 600-foot connector bridge will be built to link the two terminals. Delta also will convert the existing US Airways lounge in Terminal C to a Delta Sky Club, while continuing to operate its current Sky Club in Terminal D.
Delta will continue to operate its hourly Delta Shuttle to Boston, Washington Reagan National Airport and Chicago from its six gates at the Marine Air Terminal.
The airline says its expanded LaGuardia service will create an estimated 700 jobs in the New York region. In addition, the expansion and related airport construction will directly and indirectly generate an estimated 6,000 new jobs in New York. Delta has more than 7,000 New York-based employees.
Delta is also optimizing its schedule at New York JFK in 2012 for international and transcontinental flights, as well as for improved coordination with Delta’s SkyTeam alliance partners. In addition, Delta will now provide customers with a choice of New York airports in many markets.
The JFK enhancements include:
● Increased frequency on several long-haul routes between JFK and western U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco;
● The addition of new routes to provide more convenient access from those destinations to international service, the new destinations to include Greensboro, North Carolina; New Orleans; and Kansas City, Missouri;
● Maintaining JFK service while adding new LaGuardia flights at many airports (such as Buffalo; Cleveland; and Richmond in Virginia) to provide customers in those cities with flights to Delta’s domestic and international hubs in New York; and
● Expanded service to Caribbean destinations, including new flights to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.