Southwest Airlines today confirmed it has been notified of its winning bid in an auction for 54 slots–allowing 27 additional daily flights–that will bring more competition to Reagan National Airport, three miles from downtown Washington, D.C. Details of the carrier’s bid to acquire divested slots remain confidential under terms of the deal and are subject to final approval of the Department of Justice and completion of customary written agreements.
The additional slots will translate to an increase in Southwest’s service at Reagan National from 17 daily departures to 44 daily departures. The carrier plans to announce destinations, schedules, and fares for the additional flights later this quarter and anticipates it will begin flying in the third quarter of 2014.
“Consumers who appreciate the value and reliability that Southwest and our People deliver are the real winners in this deal,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, & CEO. “With Southwest’s all-Boeing 737 fleet, we will provide Reagan travelers with more choices, lower fares, and great Customer Service. Reagan has long been a convenient but high-fare airport. Southwest plans to change that by bringing much needed competition to the nation’s capital.”
The slots that Southwest will purchase at Reagan National became available as a result of a settlement of litigation last Autumn by the U.S. Department of Justice against the merger of American Airlines and US Airways. In a separate development, Southwest recently announced new service between Reagan National and Kansas City International Airport beginning Feb. 1, 2014.
In addition to Southwest’s presence at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Southwest offers the greater Baltimore/Washington region more than 200 daily departures from Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) to nearly 60 cities and, beginning on July 1, 2014, will offer new daily service on Southwest between BWI and Aruba, The Bahamas, and Jamaica, launching a new international chapter for both the carrier and Maryland’s largest airport.