Three U.S. and three Mexican carriers have applied for the slots
that Delta and Aeromexico must surrender under the terms of the antitrust
immunity approval they received from the Department of Transportation in
Twenty-four of those slots are at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez
Airport and four are at New York Kennedy. In exchange for approving the
Delta-Aeromexico alliance, the DOT ruled that those landing rights must be
redistributed to low-cost carriers to bolster competition.
The U.S. applicants for the slots are Alaska Airlines,
Southwest and JetBlue. Alaska has applied for four Mexico City slots for twice-daily
service from Los Angeles and once daily from San Francisco and San Diego.
Southwest also applied for four Mexico City slots. The carrier
would use them for two daily roundtrips from Houston Hobby and one each day
from Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.
JetBlue applied for six Mexico City slots with the hopes
offering twice-daily service to the Mexican capital from Fort Lauderdale,
Orlando and Los Angeles.
Volaris, Viva Aerobus and Interjet are the three Mexican
carriers that put themselves into the slot pool. Between them, the carriers
applied for 17 Mexico City slots and five slots at Kennedy. Each of the
applications for Kennedy slots are for flights to Mexico City.
From Mexico City, the carriers are vying to serve Chicago,
Houston Bush Intercontinental, Oakland, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Denver, San
Jose and Ontario, Calif.
Viva Aerobus applied for a total of 11 slots, Volaris
applied for 12 and Interjet asked for just one.
The DOT said it would select the applications that provide
the maximum competitive benefit at each airport. The slots will be turned over
to the chosen carriers in two phases. Fourteen Mexico City slots and two Kennedy
slots will be for flight operations that are to commence this summer.
The remaining 10 Mexico City slots and two Kennedy slots are
to go toward flights that would begin in the summer 2018.
The DOT expects to award the slots by May 17.