U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters


Delta and US Airways said in a joint statement that the Transportation Department’s decision was inexplicable and legally questionable. The companies said they plan to appeal in federal court.


The two companies planned a swap in August that would provide US Airways 42 new slots at Reagan National in Washington and Delta 125 slots at New York La Guardia airport. Without any exchange of cash, the exceptionally large deal was proposed as an asset sale.


Slots are government-regulated takeoff and landing rights at crowded airports. Delta and US Airways are looking to build up operations where they focus most on business travel.


US Airways is looking to use its strength in Washington. Delta is improving its New York service for both international and domestic flights. Federal aviation officials approved the first plan in February with return requirements.


The companies replied the following month with a counterproposal to strip certain slots and grant access to rivals like JetBlue, AirTran, and Canada’s WestJet. However, on Tuesday regulators called the offer inadequate to guarantee competition.



Source: Reuters

Photo: Wikimedia

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