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Airlines Agree to Divest 104 Air Carrier Slots at Reagan National Airport

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Airlines Agree to Divest 104 Air Carrier Slots at Reagan National Airport

CONTACT: 
Ted Gest
Public Information Officer
202-727-6283
ted.gest@dc.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. – US Airways Group Inc. and AMR Corp., parent of American Airlines,  have agreed to divest 104 air carrier slots at Reagan National Airport to low-cost carriers, along with the airport facilities needed to use those slots, D.C. Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan announced today.

The divestiture is required by a settlement the airlines reached with the District of Columbia, the U.S. Justice Department, and six states to resolve a federal-state antitrust case brought to block the airlines’ proposed merger. 

“This settlement is a big win for D.C. consumers and for visitors to D.C.,” Nathan said.  “The required divestiture of slots to low-cost carriers will renew competition at Reagan National, helping to keep airfares reasonable, protect popular routes, increase passenger volume, and preserve airport jobs.” 

Of the 104 slots to be divested at Reagan National, 16 are currently leased from American by JetBlue.  These 16 slots will be offered for sale first to Jet Blue.  The settlement also requires divestiture of 34 slots at New York’s LaGuardia International Airport, and two gates at each of five other major airports: Boston Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles International, and Miami International.  

The District joined the Justice Department and state attorneys general in filing suit to block the proposed merger on August 13, 2013. Without the divestitures required by today’s settlement, the proposed merger would have increased the percentage of Reagan National slots  owned by a single airline from the 55% now owned by US Airways to the 69% that would be owned by the combined airline. Today’s settlement, if approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, will fully resolve the suit.