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December 13, 2011

Delta and US Airways Officially Close Deal to Exchange Slots at LaGuardia and Reagan Airports

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Delta Air Lines and US Airways today announced that they have officially closed their deal to exchange slots and cash at New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Delta gained 132 slot pairs at LaGuardia, while US Airways boosted their Reagan National presence by 42 slot pairs. US Airways also received rights to fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil starting in 2015 under the deal.

Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport

Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport. (Photo by Matt Molnar)

The deal was wrought with controversy after the Dept. of Transportation blocked it citing potential damage to competition at both airports, with Delta gaining a stronger foothold and LGA and US hunkering down a larger chunk of DCA traffic. A compromise was reached earlier this year in which the airlines surrendered some slots at each airport, which were then auctioned to other airlines by the FAA. JetBlue and WestJet were the winners of those auctions when they concluded in November.

“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 US Airways Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker. “Our expanded presence at Reagan National enables us to add more frequencies in existing markets so customers have more travel choices; 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 have not yet revealed their new schedules, but say they will do so soon.

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