Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today confirmed it has been notified of its winning bid in an auction for 54 slots–allowing 27 additional daily flights–that will bring more competition to Reagan National Airport, three miles from downtown Washington, D.C. Details of the carrier's bid to acquire divested slots remain confidential under terms of the deal and are subject to final approval of the Department of Justice and completion of customary written agreements. The additional slots will translate to an increase in Southwest's service at Reagan National from 17 daily departures to 44 daily departures. The carrier plans to announce destinations, schedules, and fares for the additional flights later this quarter and anticipates it will begin flying in the third quarter of 2014.
"Consumers who appreciate the value and reliability that Southwest and our People deliver are the real winners in this deal," said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, & CEO. "With Southwest's all-Boeing 737 fleet, we will provide Reagan travelers with more choices, lower fares, and great Customer Service. Reagan has long been a convenient but high-fare airport. Southwest plans to change that by bringing much needed competition to the nation's capital."
The slots that Southwest will purchase at Reagan National became available as a result of a settlement of litigation last Autumn by the U.S. Department of Justice against the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. In a separate development, Southwest recently announced new service between Reagan National and Kansas City International Airport beginning Feb. 1, 2014.
In addition to Southwest's presence at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Southwest offers the greater Baltimore/Washington region more than 200 daily departures from Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) to nearly 60 cities and, beginning on July 1, 2014, will offer new daily service on Southwest between BWI and Aruba, The Bahamas, and Jamaica, launching a new international chapter for both the carrier and Maryland's largest airport.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries via its wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship. From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. On every flight, Southwest offers Customers the first two pieces of checked luggage (weight and size limitations apply) and all ticket changes without additional fees. Southwest's fleet consistently offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity, free live TV, and a new, sustainable cabin interior. In May 2011, Southwest acquired AirTran Airways and, by the end of 2014, will complete the full integration of AirTran's domestic network into Southwest. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest and AirTran operate more than 3,600 flights a day. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available online only at southwest.com or by phone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA.
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