Southwest Airlines has acquired 12 more take-off and landing slots ‒ enough for six daily round-trip flights ‒ at New York LaGuardia Airport.
American Airlines is divesting the 12 slots as part of its settlement with the U.S. government for allowing American’s merger with US Airways.
In addition, Southwest Airlines has gained permanent control of 10 take-off and landing slots (enough for five daily round-trip flights) that it currently uses under a lease from American. Southwest is keeping confidential the details of its transactions with American over the slots.
In all, Southwest has gained control of 22 take-off and landing slots from American Airlines, enough to allow Southwest to operate 11 daily round-trips from New York LaGuardia (IATA code LGA).
Southwest plans to begin in May its new service using the 12 additional New York LaGuardia slots and says it will make details of the new service available later this month.
“We are pleased the U.S. Department of Justice approved our agreement with American Airlines to acquire these slots at LaGuardia,” says Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
Southwest and its subsidiary AirTran Airways currently operate 27 daily round-trip flights linking LGA with eight destinations on a non-stop basis. The acquired slots will allow the airlines to add six more daily round-trips.
According to Southwest, its customers have consistently shown increasing demand for service into the New York City metropolitan airports. Southwest serves Newark Liberty International Airport, New York LaGuardia Airport, and Long Island MacArthur Airport.
The six additional round-trips at LGA will strengthen Southwest’s service to and from the New York City area, the airline says.
“We also look forward to bidding on the slots at Washington’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) that American also is required to divest,” says Jordan. “That will be conducted as a separate process, and was not a part of this slot bid.”