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Southwest Airlines and jetBlue snap up slots at Regan National Airport

Published: 31/01/2014 - Filed under: Home » News »

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After much anticipation, the slots at Regan National formerly held by American and US Air are going to Southwest Airlines and jetBlue pending U.S. Justice Department approval.   The coveted slots were reported earlier this month in a Business Traveler article

Southwest has received provisional acceptance for 52 slots or 27 departures.  The additional slots will translate to an increase in Southwest's service at Reagan National from 17 daily departures to 44 daily departures.  The carrier plans to announce destinations, schedules, and fares for the additional flights later this quarter and anticipates it will begin flying in the third quarter of 2014.

Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, & CEO stated, “With Southwest's all-Boeing 737 fleet, we will provide Reagan travelers with more choices, lower fares, and great Customer Service. Reagan has long been a convenient but high-fare airport. Southwest plans to change that by bringing much needed competition to the nation's capital."  

JetBlue has also received provisional acceptance of 12 slots pairs (for 12 additional departures) at Regan National.  JetBlue first entered the Reagan National market in 2010 and today offers 18 daily roundtrip flights.  With its new slots, JetBlue will operate up to 30 roundtrips per day at DCA.  The airline plans to serve cities it currently does not serve from National. On Facebook jetBlue has asked their followers to suggest new destinations: 

Hit us with your best slots! Fly ’er awaaaaay!

We’re looking forward to growing our service at DCA.

"For more than a decade, JetBlue worked tirelessly to gain access to DCA, a high-fare market perfectly made for our everyday low fare business model," said Rob Land, JetBlue's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Associate General Counsel. "The JetBlue Experience is about serving the under-served with affordable, award-winning and nonstop service, to places people want to visit, not through spokes in a wheel. “

This still leaves 13 slots remaining post merger.  Reuters reports that Virgin America has also expressed interest in the airport assets available post AA / US Air merger. 

At Business Traveler, we will continue to watch for further developments regarding the final slots. 

By Elizabeth Atkinson

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