Delta Air Lines has announced it plans to establish a hub at LaGuardia Airport by exchanging takeoff and landing slots with US Airways.
Elected officials hailed the news of the venture, which they said would mean thousands of jobs along a $40 million project in Queens in a time of economic difficulties.
The exchange of slots, subject to approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, would involve Delta swapping a number of its slots at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., to US Airways, which would turn over its slots at LaGuardia to Delta.
The transfer would mean Delta could more than double its number of non-stop destinations out of LaGuardia, Delta officials said.
“I welcome Delta Air Lines’ announcement that it will expand its customer service in New York by creating a domestic hub at LaGuardia airport,” said Borough President Helen Marshall.
“In recent years, Delta has invested more than $70 million at John F. Kennedy International Airport to improve its facilities there and now expects to spend $40 million at LaGuardia to upgrade its gates and terminal space for new operations,” Marshall said.
“While Delta plans to increase the number of destinations from LaGuardia, as well as the number of its passengers, Delta will use larger aircraft so the total number of flights over communities around LaGuardia will not increase, making this a ‘win-win’ development for LaGuardia, Delta and Queens.”
Gov. David Paterson said, “We appreciate the thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in annual economic impact Delta has generated for New York in recent years and look forward to partnering with them as they invest in and increase service.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “Delta’s decision to expand service and build a new hub at La Guardia is the latest example of major employers betting big on New York City’s future.”
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledge
©2009 Community News Group
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