Delta Air Lines and US Airways Approved for Slot Pair Transaction

The Department of Transportation has approved  a new agreement to transfer takeoff and landing rights at New York's LaGuardia and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National airports between Delta Air Lines and US Airways. The transfer will  make New York a bigger hub for Delta and give US Airway's customers more options.

Under the new agreement, Delta will acquire 132 the authority to operate one takeoff and one landing (called a slot pair) at LaGuardia from US Airways. US Airways will acquire from Delta 42 slot pairs at Reagan National, as well as the rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2015. Delta also will pay US Airways $66.5 million in cash.

In addition, the airlines will divest 16 slot pairs at LaGuardia and eight slot pairs at Reagan National to airlines with limited or no service at those airports. The decision will also provide the opportunity for additional access to LaGuardia and Reagan National for new entrants and airlines with a limited presence at the airports.

In 2009, the two carriers requested approval for a similar slot swap transaction at the two airports.  However, the Department said it would allow the swap only on the condition that the carriers divest themselves of 14 pairs of daily slots at Reagan National and 20 pairs at LaGuardia, in order to reduce the impact on competition and provide more opportunities for new-entrant carriers at the airports. 

The carriers did not proceed with that transaction, but instead submitted a revised proposal to the Department on May 23, 2011,  the now approved plan.