MIAMI — JetBlue won twelve slot pairs at Washington DC’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) on Thursday.
The carrier bid for the slots after the new American Airlines was required to divest 104 slots by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of a settlement agreement to merge with US Airways in December 2013. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has overseen the subsequent bidding process, informing the New York City based carrier that its application was “provisionally accepted.”
The carrier also announced that itself and American agreed to a permanent transfer of its existing eight slot pairs that the carrier had been leasing from American since 2010. Not that there was much choice in the matter: The DOJ settlement required the new AA to offer any presently leased slots to the lessor.
DCA, one of the few airports in the country that has strict restrictions on the number of flights able to operate in and out daily, is highly coveted given its proximity to downtown DC. JetBlue began serving the airport in 2010, and presently offers 18 daily roundtrips. With its latest acquisition the carrier will be able to add twenty-four new flights, or twelve daily roundtrips. As to which destinations will receive service, JetBlue has only said that it will be “cities it does not currently serve” from the airport.
As for the remaining slots, the DOT has not yet announced any further winners.