Southwest Airlines will purchase 54 coveted slots won at auction at Washington National Airport, increasing the carrier’s daily departures at the downtown airport from 17 to 44 starting in the third quarter.
“Consumers who appreciate the value and reliability that Southwest and our people deliver are the real winners in this day,” says Southwest chairman, president and chief executive Gary Kelly, in a news release.
The 27 slot pairs became available in November with the settlement of a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice against the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
JetBlue also has agreed to purchase 12 slot pairs made available under the same settlement.
The previous holder of the slots was US Airways, which gave up regional routes from National airport.
The new American, including US Airways, still operates more than 250 daily flights out of National airport.