Continental says auction unlawful

Continental Airlines has issued a statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcement to implement slot auctions at John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty Airports.

It reads:

The DOT proposal to auction off 10 percent, or approximately 95, of the slots at Newark over the next five years is an unlawful taking of property that Continental will vigorously oppose. Moreover, auctioning slots will do nothing to ease congestion, but will raise the cost of air travel to consumers and act as an effective increase in taxes on an industry already known to bear an unreasonably high tax rate. Additionally, the proposal will result in reduced service to various communities and will create unnecessary market uncertainty at a time when the skyrocketing cost of oil and jet fuel has already created an extremely challenging environment for the industry.

The auction proposal does not address the real need to modernize an outdated and inadequate air traffic control system to increase capacity and meet passenger demand.