Southwest gains more slots at Washington Reagan

Southwest Airlines has been notified of its winning bid in an auction for 54 slots – enabling 27 additional daily flights – at Washington Reagan National Airport.

Details of the carrier’s bid to acquire divested slots remain confidential and are subject to final approval of the US Department of Justice and the completion of customary written agreements. 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 flights using teh new slots in the third quarter of 2014.

“Consumers who appreciate the value and reliability that Southwest and our people deliver are the real winners in this deal,” declared Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ chairman, president & CEO. “We will provide Reagan travellers 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.”

The slots that Southwest will purchase at Reagan National became available as a result of a settlement of litigation last autumn by the DOJ against the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

In addition to its presence at Washington Reagan and Washington Dulles airports, Southwest offers the greater Baltimore/Washington region more than 200 daily departures from Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) to nearly 60 cities and, from 1 July 2014, will offer new daily service between BWI and Aruba, The Bahamas, and Jamaica.

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