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JetBlue CEO Says American Should Give Up KDCA Slots In Merger

US Airways Already Has 55 Percent Of The Slots At That Airport

The merger of US Airways and American Airlines would put too many slots at Washington Reagan National Airport (KDCA) in the hands of a single entity, according to the CEO of JetBlue.

Dave Barger said AMR Corp. should promise to divest all of its slots at KDCA, given the fact that US Airways already has 55 percent of the business at that airport. He told Boomberg News in an interview that no carrier should be allowed to go higher than 55 percent of the slots at any given airport. He said he feels "very strongly" that "that should be the ceiling."

Slots at KDCA are one of the reasons the Justice Department filed its suit to prevent the merger. If it were to go through with no modifications to the slot allocation, the combined airline would control 69 percent of the flights going into and out of KDCA. Capacity at that airport is strictly regulated by the federal government.

Executives of US Airways and American said that there would still be competition in the region with passengers being able to fly from either Dulles International Airport (KIAD) or Baltimore/Washington International Airport (KBWI). KDCA, however, is the closest airport to Capitol Hill.

FMI: www.doj.net

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