Tuesday, December 1, 2009

US Airways Pilots Ask Department of Justice to Investigate US Airways/Delta Transaction

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) announced November 30 that it is seeking a full investigation on the impact of a proposed slot, gate and facility transaction between US Airways (LCC) and Delta Airlines at New York’s LaGuardia and Washington’s Reagan National airports. In a letter to Christine Varney, assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, USAPA stated that this transaction may have serious antitrust concerns.

“We are extremely concerned about the market concentration that this transaction would create if it is allowed to be consummated,” said USAPA President Mike Cleary. “Those conditions raise the prospect of much higher fares and, if history repeats itself, a reduction in service to smaller communities. It also places a great burden on many of US Airways’ New York-based employees whose jobs will be eliminated and will cause financial harm to the New York City and tri-state economy. With all that is at stake, the transaction warrants a thorough review of the consequences of a deal that creates this level of market domination.”

The proposed transaction calls for the transfer of 125 pairs of New York’s LaGuardia Airport slots from US Airways to Delta Airlines and 42 pairs of Washington’s Reagan National Airport slots from Delta Airlines to US Airways. A pair of slots is both a takeoff and a landing right. In addition, US Airways proposes to transfer what USAPA believes to be LaGuardia Airport’s most coveted real estate and gates to Delta Airlines.

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