People Express seeks Washington slot pair

Washington DC
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Start-up carrier People Express has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a pair of slots at Washington National airport for seasonal service to Myrtle Beach and Palm Beach.

The carrier plans to operate daily to Myrtle Beach from April to October, and then to Palm Beach from October to April, it says in a filing. It plans to operate Boeing 737-400 aircraft on the route, configured with 150 seats.

Newport News, Virginia-based People Express has said it plans to start operations in the second quarter of 2014.

The slot pair at Washington National is being used temporarily by Southwest Airlines, but the DOT has said it will auction off the pair to an airline with limited or no service at the airport for a flight to a small or medium city within a 2,012km (1,250 mile) perimeter. Southwest began using the slot pair temporarily after Frontier Airlines discontinued service on 1 February.

In its application, People Express says it will be a new entrant to the airport and will offer service on a route not currently served and offer competition on a "high-fare, monopoly route".

US Airways is the only carrier operating non-stop between Washington National and Palm Beach, schedules in Innovata show.