Delta Air Lines has reached a definitive
agreement with US Airways to exchange certain flying rights and
airport facilities at New York's LaGuardia and Washington's Reagan
National airports, allowing Delta to expand its New York customer
service and convenience by creating a domestic hub at LaGuardia
agreement, which is subject to government approvals, calls for US
Airways to transfer 125 operating slot pairs to Delta at LaGuardia
and Delta to transfer 42 operating slot pairs to US Airways at
The airlines also will swap gates at LaGuardia
between the Marine Air Terminal and US Airways' Terminal C to
consolidate all Delta operations - including the Delta Shuttle -
into an expanded main terminal facility with 11 additional gates
for Delta customers.
"Delta continues to take innovative steps
to adapt our business to the changing competitive and economic
environment we face," said Delta Chief Executive Officer Richard
Anderson. "Increasing Delta's service in the world's most
competitive and largest air service market is a key part of our
long-term strategy. This transaction will provide substantial
benefits to our customers, employees and shareholders in years to
Delta expects to more than double the number of
nonstop destinations it serves from LaGuardia by adding or
preserving service to more than 30 small- and medium-sized
The airline plans to add new flights to more than a
dozen cities not currently served by US Airways. In every slot
where US Airways operates small turboprops today, Delta will
operate larger jets.
These new markets and larger aircraft would
allow more than two million additional passengers to transit
LaGuardia each year without increasing the total number of
takeoffs and landings.
"Delta's investment at LaGuardia is good
for customers because it provides new convenient service options
and ensures continued access to many small communities that our
competitors have not historically served," said Gail Grimmett,
Delta's senior vice president - New York. "During the last 30
years, successful slot trades have helped foster a competitive
environment for the airline industry. With this agreement, Delta
will inject additional competition in the New York market. Many
small- and medium-sized communities throughout upstate New York
and New England will benefit from service upgrades where Delta
will operate larger regional and mainline jets."
transaction is approved, Delta plans to begin a nearly $40 million
construction project at LaGuardia to connect the current Delta and
US Airways main terminals; rebrand US Airways' existing main
terminal gates, ticket counters and lounges to Delta's standards;
and create a new dedicated check-in area for Medallion, First
Class, BusinessElite and Shuttle customers. This facility
transition is expected to be completed in 2010.
In addition to the
improvements at LaGuardia, Delta will continue to invest at its
hub at New York's leading international airport, John F. Kennedy
International (JFK), and will continue to explore long-term
options to upgrade terminal facilities.
Since making a
strategic decision to build New York into a hub earlier this
decade, Delta has made major investments across the tri-state
region, boosting its economic impact to more than $13 billion
Along with adding more than 30 new international routes
at JFK, Delta has created more than 2,000 jobs across the state,
invested heavily in New York sponsorships and advertising and
completed more than $70 million in facility upgrades at JFK's
Terminals 2 and 3.
As part of the transaction, Delta will
also exchange a limited number of international route authorities to US
Airways for service to Brazil and Japan. These transfers will not
however result in any material schedule changes for Delta customers.
Delta also will continue to serve Washington's Reagan Airport with
numerous daily frequencies to its seven hubs, hourly shuttle
service to LaGuardia and flights to select small communities.
Both Delta and US Airways will submit the transaction for review
by the U.S. Department of Justice, together with applications for
approval by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S.
Department of Transportation.
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