submitted for American Airlines Reagan National slots: sources
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[January 13, 2014]
(Reuters) — Airlines have submitted bids seeking to purchase takeoff
and landing rights at Reagan National Airport that American Airlines
Group <AAL.O> is required to sell under an agreement with the U.S.
government, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The sources requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak
on the record.
An announcement about the sales of slots at Reagan National could be
made this week, the sources said, but they did not know how many
airlines had submitted bids.
American Airlines Group, formed when US Airways Group and AMR Corp
merged in December, declined to comment on Sunday.
The merging carriers agreed to give up 52 pairs of takeoff and
landing rights, or 104 slots, at Reagan National Airport located
just outside Washington, as well as certain other assets under a
settlement of an antitrust lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department
seeking to block their combination. The merger formed the world's
Southwest Airlines <LUV.N> and Virgin America prevailed in bidding
late last year to purchase slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport
that American agreed to shed under the merger settlement . The new
American also agreed to give up gates at five other major airports:
Boston Logan, Chicago O'Hare, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles
International and Miami International.
The Justice Department said the slot and gate sales would give
low-cost competitors better access to some of the nation's busiest
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JetBlue Airways <JBLU.O>, Southwest and Delta Air Lines <DAL.N> have
publicly expressed interest in acquiring assets at Reagan National.
Sixteen of the 104 Reagan National slots are currently leased to
JetBlue and would be offered to JetBlue permanently, according to
the November settlement agreement.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta;
additional reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington; editing by Phil Berlowitz)
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