ATLANTA, Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today urged the U.S. Department of Justice to consider all airlines, including those that serve small- and medium-sized communities, in the process for divesting airport slots and assets related to the proposed settlement of litigation challenging the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
Delta would like the opportunity to bid for slots and facilities at Washington-Reagan National Airport as well as Dallas Love Field, where it currently provides competition with daily nonstop flights to its international hub in Atlanta. Without gate access, Delta could no longer provide Love Field service.
Small- and medium-sized communities nationwide could experience a reduction or elimination of flights to key airports if the divestiture is limited to low-cost carriers, which typically do not provide service to small communities.
With a flexible fleet that includes smaller aircraft designed for small markets, Delta would provide service to small and medium-sized communities from impacted markets, particularly at Reagan National Airport, similar to its operation at New York-LaGuardia, where more than 50 percent of Delta's destinations are small- and medium-sized communities. Other airlines expressing an interest in slots at Reagan National do not operate aircraft which will enable twice-daily flights to most medium-sized cities.
Delta believes that DOJ should not predetermine what communities will receive service with Reagan National slots or Love Field gates, and that it shouldn't exclude any airline from the opportunity to bid for them.
The proposed settlement, announced on Nov. 12, is awaiting approval by the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia as well as the judge overseeing American's bankruptcy proceeding. It includes a provision to divest slots and airport assets held by American or US Airways at several airports.
The settlement agreement authorized the DOJ, in consultation with six states and the District of Columbia, to decide which airlines can bid for the divested slots and facilities, but it does not restrict the bidding to any class or category of airline.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. Delta was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2013 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list, topping the list for the second time in three years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 314 destinations in 58 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. Delta is investing more than $3 billion in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta and Facebook.com/delta.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines