Airlines, feds may resolve DCA dispute
Delta Air Lines, US Airways Group and federal officials have told a U.S. appeals court they may be able to resolve a dispute over airport landing slots in New York and Washington that prompted a lawsuit.
In a filing Thursday, the airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Transportation Department sought to delay further hearings as discussions continue.
An agreement could allow Delta, the world's second-biggest carrier, to build its presence at New York's LaGuardia airport, which it uses as a base for domestic flights. In the planned swap of landing and takeoff slots, US Airways could increase flights at Reagan National Airport.
In 2009, US Airways agreed to trade 140 slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport for 42 National slots owned by Delta. In February, regulators told the airlines that it would approve the deal if the two airlines agreed to give up 14 slots at National and 20 slots at LaGuardia.
Delta and US Airways balked. Slots at the two busy airports are considered valuable among airlines. National slots are especially in demand because travelers like the airport's proximity to downtown Washington. Southwest, which operates a big base at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, has unsuccessfully sought a presence at National for years.
The airlines and federal agencies "have determined that further discussions between them may lead to a mutually agreeable resolution of this proceeding," according to the filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.
Jim Olson, a spokesman for Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, and Trebor Banstetter, a Delta spokesman, couldn't immediately comment on the filing.