JetBlue Airways has acquired 12 slot pairs at Ronald Reagan Washington National airport from American Airlines.
The pairs are one bundle of 44 available pairs that American is divesting at the airport under a US Department of Justice settlement that it agreed to in exchange for approval of its merger with US Airways. The merger closed in December 2013.
New York-based JetBlue says that it will use the slots to add service to cities it does not already serve from Washington National and add service on some of its existing routes.
The airline flies to Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, San Juan and Tampa from the close-in Washington airport.
“For more than a decade, JetBlue worked tirelessly to gain access to DCA [Washington National], a high-fare market perfectly made for our everyday low fare business model," says Rob Land, senior vice-president of government affairs and associate general counsel at JetBlue, in a statement.
The carrier was also able to purchase eight slot pairs at the airport from American that it previously leased, under the DOJ settlement.
JetBlue president Robin Hayes said on 29 January that growth out of Washington National would come from elsewhere in its network and not increase its annual capacity growth guidance of 5% to 7% in 2014.
Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Virgin America are also expected to be bidders on the slot pairs.