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December 16, 2011

Delta to Build New Hub at LaGuardia Airport, Adding 29 Destinations and Over 100 New Flights

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Delta Air Lines is set to launch the largest expansion at New York’s LaGuardia Airport to take place in 40 years, the airline announced Friday morning. The addition of over 100 new flights and 29 new domestic and international destinations is the key benefit of the airline’s recent slot swap with US Airways, in which Delta gained rights to operate 132 additional flights at LaGuardia.

Flanked by a large group of Delta flight attendants, ramp agents and other employees at a press conference at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, Delta CEO Richard Anderson told reporters that Delta would be the largest carrier in the New York area by summer 2012, offering over 400 daily flights out of LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports.

[ALSO SEE: How US Airways Gave Up on LaGuardia Airport]

Delta’s most important new LaGuardia destinations are business markets, including Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Charlotte, Denver, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Cleveland. The airline will also add frequency on flights to Chicago, Nashville, Raleigh-Durham and Portland.

“A key facet of this expansion will be to up-gauge the airplanes,” said Anderson. In addition to the new routes, several routes on which Delta will replace US Airways will be upgraded from turboprops to jets, including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. For example, US Airways currently flies to Rochester using a mix of 32-seat Dash 8 turboprops and 50-seat CRJ-200 jets. Delta will serve the route 5x daily using only 70-seat CRJ-700 jets. Gail Grimmet, Delta’s Senior Vice President for New York, said as many as 4 million additional seats at LaGuardia could be added without adding flights. “Our new LaGuardia schedule puts Delta in nearly all of the top 50 markets from LaGuardia,” added Grimmet. Most of the capacity needed for the LaGuardia expansion will be transferred from Washington Reagan National Airport, where Delta will be shrinking its operation as part of the slot swap deal, Anderson said.

Anderson also noted that the expansion will mark the first time any airline has built a hub at LaGuardia. Delta will expand its physical presence at LaGuardia by taking over Terminal C, currently occupied by US Airways, and connecting it to the adjacent Terminal D where Delta currently resides. The new 600-ft connector bridge will be built behind security to ease transfers between flights.

[ALSO SEE: JetBlue and WestJet Reported Winners of LaGuardia and Reagan National Flight Slot Auctions]

In addition, a second Delta SkyClub will be constructed in the Terminal C space currently occupied by the US Airways Club to accompany the SkyClub in Terminal D. Delta Shuttle flights to Boston, Washington and Chicago will continue to operate out of the Marine Air Terminal. New jetways will also be installed in Terminal D. The improvements will cost about $100 million.

A drastically trimmed down US operation will continue to use a few gates in Terminal C.

Jamie Rubin, recently appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a board position at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, congratulated Delta on behalf of the governor, lauding them for their commitment to investing in New York’s infrastructure. George Fertitta, CEO of New York City’s official marketing and tourism operation, NYC & Company, praised the anticipated job creation that the project will provide, on behalf of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The new flights will launch in two phases: The first batch begins on March 25, 2012, while the second will commence on July 11, 2012.

Delta’s new LGA destinations:
Albany, NY (ALB)
Buffalo, NY (BUF)
Burlington, VT (BTV)
Charlotte, NC (CLT)
Charlottesville, VA (CHO)
Cleveland, OH (CLE)
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)
Dayton, OH (DAY)
Denver, CO (DEN)
Greensboro, NC (GSO)
Halifax, NS (YHZ)
Houston-Intercontinental, TX (IAH)
Louisville, KY (SDF)
Manchester, NH
Marthas Vineyard, MA (MVY)
Miami, FL (MIA)
Milwaukee, WI (MKE)
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau, QC (YUL)
Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR)
Nantucket, MA (ACK)
Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
Norfolk, VA (ORD)
Ottawa, ON (YOW)
Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)
Richmond, VA (RIC)
Roanoke, VA (ROA)
Rochester, NY (ROC)
Syracuse, NY (SYR)
Washington-Dulles, VA (IAD)
Wilmington, NC (ILM)

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  • Anonymous

    This is great news for many reasons; I am glad to hear this project will bring on job creations and employment opportunities for many. The list of Delta’s destinations are also a great mix of vacation and business spots. The new architecture is also exciting with the creation of the first airline hub and the connector bridge between terminals. I hope to see this myself or hear about the successes of these new additions!