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Delta and US Say They Will Sell Slots to Get Swap Approved

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Written by: Matt Celmer
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Delta’s terminal at LaGuardia Airport. Photo by Matt Molnar

The massive slot swap proposed between Delta Air Lines and US Airways at LaGuardia and Reagan National Airports took a major step forward on Monday as Delta announced a deal which would seemingly fulfill at least some of the stipulations set forth by the FAA for the swap to be approved.

An agreement has been reached with AirTran Airways, Spirit Airlines and WestJet for Delta to transfer up to five takeoff and landing slots each at LaGuardia, according to the Delta statement. At the same time, US Airways has agreed to hand the same number of slots over to jetBlue Airways at Reagan National Airport (DCA).

Under the original proposal announced on August 12th, 2009, Delta would gain 125 slots at LGA while US Airways would receive 42 slots at DCA as well as international rights to Tokyo-Narita, Japan and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The FAA tentatively approved the deal on February 9th, but only under the condition that each airline sell a certain number of slots at each airport to other carriers for the sake of competition.

With the new agreement in place, Delta would grow by 110 slots at LGA while US Airways would receive 37 slots at DCA. US Airways would still be able to introduce service to Sao Paulo and Tokyo-Narita. Reagan National would be a new market for jetBlue.

Delta says it plans to maintain or add service to markets currently served by US Airways from LGA while adding service to new markets, as well. AT DCA, US Airways is planning to introduce service to 15 new markets, 8 of which do not have any service from DCA at all.

As many as 7,000 jobs could be created by Delta in New York City, both through the construction of a new connector between the current US Airways and Delta terminals at LGA as well as the need to support its increased operations.

Delta says it will not go ahead with the swap deal if the FAA does not approve the plan announced on Monday.


  • Delta will operate an additional 110 slot pairs at LaGuardia
  • airTran, Spirit and Westjet will obtain 5 slot pairs each at LaGuardia from Delta
  • US Airways will operate an additional 37 slot pairs at Reagan National
  • jetBlue will obtain 5 slot pairs at Reagan National from US Airways
  • US Airways gains access to Sao Paulo and Tokyo Narita

Mark Lawrence contributed to this story.

About the Author

Matt Celmer


Northern Pacific Boeing 757 with black and white livery on fuselage and tail, aurora borealis inspired splash of color on winglets, and similarly colored N on the tail.

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  • stan

    if this is approved it will destroy competition at LGA. fingers crossed that this does not happen.

  • stan

    if this is approved it will destroy competition at LGA. fingers crossed that this does not happen.

  • Mikky

    allegheny/mohawk go to Japan! who'lda thunk!

  • Mikky

    allegheny/mohawk go to Japan! who'lda thunk!