No slot swaps without divestitures, Transportation Department says

Delta Air Lines and US Airways said Tuesday they might drop plans to swap slots at Reagan National and New York LaGuardia in the face of government demands that some of the slots be sold to competitors with "no or limited service" at the congested airports. The Transportation Department said Delta must divest 20 of its 125 slot pairs at LGA, while US Airways must give up 14 of 42 pairs at DCA. "We expect that if this order is implemented as proposed the transaction will not go forward and significant consumer benefits will never be realized," the airlines said Tuesday in a joint statement. The DOT decision could affect a similar swap in the New York area between Continental Airlines and AirTran Airways.

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