Delta, US Airways LaGuardia slot talks moving at 'slow pace'
(Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc.'s talks with US Airways Group Inc. over a proposed trade of takeoff and landing slots in New York and Washington are moving slowly because of regulatory concerns, an executive said today.
"There are some issues that have been flagged by the government," Perry Cantarutti, Delta's senior vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said at a briefing in London today. "It's moving at a fairly slow pace."
He declined to elaborate on issues the government raised and didn't have a time frame for reaching an agreement.
Delta and US Airways told a U.S. appeals court last month that they may be able to resolve a dispute over the slots, allowing Delta to boost its domestic service at New York's LaGuardia airport, where it is already the biggest airline.
Last March, Atlanta-based Delta proposed getting 110 slots at LaGuardia in exchange for giving US Airways 37 of its slots at Washington's Reagan National along with routes to Tokyo and Sao Paulo. Southwest Airlines Co., the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, objected to the trade and said it would hurt competition.
The U.S. government ordered the carriers to surrender 34 slot pairs to competitors with little or no presence at the two airports, and later rejected a compromise proposed by Delta and US Airways that would have allowed them to keep more of the slots, prompting an appeal by the carriers.
Delta and US Airways, based in Tempe, Arizona, last year asked the government to reconsider after Southwest announced plans to buy AirTran Holdings Inc., which already has slots at LaGuardia and National.