Delta and US Airways Submit Revised New York-Washington Airport Slot Swap Plan
The two carriers on Monday filed a revised draft of the deal, the original version of which was in 2009 blocked by Federal regulators on competition grounds.
In the swap proposed Monday, Delta would acquire 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia Airport in New York, while US Airways would get 42 slot pairs at Washington’s Reagan National Airport. In addition, Delta would pay US Airways $66.5 million in cash and give US Airways their authority to operate an additional flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil starting in 2015. The airlines would also sell 16 slots at LaGuardia and eight at Reagan National to airlines that have little or no service at those airports.
The Department of Transportation in 2009 ruled the deal could only move forward, if the airlines divested 14 slot pairs at DCA and 20 at LGA. In March 2010, the airlines said they had reached agreements with AirTran, Spirit and WestJet to sell 15 LaGuardia slots, but regulators rejected that as well. In July 2010, Delta and US said they were abandoning their plan and filing suit against the Department of Transportation.
Monday’s version would actually give Delta seven more slots than the original, but offers a compromise on the divestiture of slots to other airlines.
At LaGuardia, Delta pledges to add up to 4 million seats annually without increasing congestion by replacing the smaller turboprops used by US Airways with larger jets. Delta would take over US Airways’ Terminal C and build a connector it to their current home in Terminal D, adding 19 gates. US Airways would continue to operate its flights out of eight gates at Terminal C.
US Airways would add up to 15 destinations out of Washington Reagan with their new slots, adding about 20 percent to their current capacity at the airport. Both airlines’ shuttle operations between Laguardia, Reagan and Boston Logan would remain unchanged.
It is not clear how long it will take for the Department of Transportation to decide on the new version.