Delta expects to close slot transaction in early December

Washington DC
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Delta Air Lines expect a slot swap deal with US Airways at New York LaGuardia and Washington National airports to close in early December.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) earlier this month approved the transfer of 132 slot pairs by US Airways to Delta at LaGuardia airport and the transfer by Delta of 42 slot pairs to US Airways at National. A pair consists of one takeoff and one landing slot.

Conditional on DOT's approval is the divestiture of eight slot pairs at National and 16 at LaGuardia to ensure consumer protection.

During a 25 October earnings call Delta executive vice president of network planning and revenue management Glen Hauenstein stated DOT has started an auction process for the slots that should culminate in the divestiture to be completed by US Thanksgiving holiday, and the carriers would be able to close on the transaction in early December.

From a financial perspective, said Hauenstein, Delta believes the transaction should be accretive during the first year of operation.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is still reviewing the transaction, with a particular focus on how US Airways' bolstered presence at National would affect competition.

Delta did not comment on the DOJ's continuing investigation into the slot swap.