Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has acquired 12 takeoff and landing slots (for six roundtrip flights) at New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) being divested by American Airlines as part of its merger with US Airways. In addition, Southwest gained permanent control of 10 takeoff and landing slots (for five roundtrip flights) that it currently operates under a lease from American. Details of the transactions are confidential. Southwest plans to begin its new service at LGA in May 2014. Details of the new service will be available later this month.
"We are pleased the U.S. Department of Justice approved our agreement with American Airlines to acquire these slots at LaGuardia," said Bob Jordan, Southwest's Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. "This is terrific news for low-fare Customers who want greater access to New York City."
Southwest and its subsidiary AirTran Airways currently operate 27 daily roundtrip flights to and from LGA to eight nonstop destinations. The acquired slots will allow the airlines to add six daily roundtrips.
Southwest Customers have consistently shown increasing demand for service into the New York City metropolitan airports. Southwest currently serves Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia Airport, and Long Island MacArthur Airport. These six additional roundtrips at LGA will strengthen Southwest's service to and from the New York City area.
"We also look forward to bidding on the slots at Washington's Reagan National Airport (DCA) that American also is required to divest," Jordan added. "That will be conducted as a separate process, and was not a part of this slot bid."
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines