JetBlue and WestJet were the winners of an auction that enabled the airlines to gain takeoff and landing slots at New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan National airports.
The auction was a part of the Department of Transportation's requirement that Delta and U.S. Airways divest slot pairs as a condition of their slot swap at LaGuardia and National. A slot pair is two slots required for a takeoff and landing at capacity-controlled airports.
JetBlue will pay Delta $40 million for eight pairs of daily slots at Reagan National and $32 million for eight slot pairs at LaGuardia, the DOT said. JetBlue already has a small presence at both airports.
WestJet will pay Delta $17.6 million for eight slot pairs at LaGuardia, where the Canadian airline is a new entrant.
The DOT required Delta and US Airways to divest a total of 24 slot pairs as a condition for being able do their LaGuardia-National slot swap. On Oct. 7, the DOT approved a request by the carriers under which Delta would trade 42 daily slot pairs at Reagan National for 132 of US Airways’ daily slot pairs at LaGuardia.
The auctions won by JetBlue and WestJet took place between Nov. 14 and Nov. 22, with bids submitted via e-mail.
Only carriers having less than 5% of the slots at LaGuardia or Reagan National were eligible to bid.
The DOT stipulated that slots be sold in three bundles to "ensure that a purchaser would be able to provide meaningful new competition."
Seven carriers participated in the bidding. The others were Allegiant, Frontier, Sun Country, Southwest and Spirit.