Officials at the United States Transport of Department have provisionally agreed to allow Delta Air Lines and US Airways to proceed with a large swap of takeoff and landing rights at Reagan Washington National Airport and New York’s LaGuardia Airports.
The deal would let both airlines build on their already strong positions at key airports.
In the works since 2009, the plan would see Delta get 132 slot pairs - the right to operate one takeoff and one landing - at LaGuardia from US Airways.
In return, US Airways would get 42 slot pairs at Reagan National from Delta as well as rights to operate additional daily service to Sao Paulo, Brazil, in
To ensure what Transportation planners said was “fair competition”, the DoT would require US Airways and Delta to divest eight pairs of daily slots at Reagan National and 16 pairs at LaGuardia.
The primary beneficiaries of divestiture would be low-cost carriers.
The Department also found that other potential benefits could arise from the swap, such as enhanced service benefits to passengers and a more efficient use of slots at the airports.