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As the summer travel season approaches, several major airlines serving John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports are jockeying for position with plans for more flights and exchanges of takeoff and landing slots.
American Airlines has set aside $39 million in improvements at terminals at JFK and LaGuardia and said it is adding a total of more than 30 flights out of both airports, including inaugurating first-class service to North Carolina.
American is also exchanging some landing and take-off slots at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., with JetBlue Airways, which will use them for new service there.
“Our announcements demonstrate our strong commitment to New York and we look forward to expanding in the months and years to come,” said American Airlines Chairman Gerard Arpey.
In an internal memo to employees, Arpey said: “We are in a tough, important fight in New York — a fight we intend to win,” according to the Dallas Morning News.
Some of American’s new moves may be in reaction to expansion at New York City airports by Delta Air Lines, the world’s largest carrier after its merger with Northwest.
Delta is in the process of increasing operations at LaGuardia and has added 30 flights out of JFK to foreign destinations since 2006 as well as investing $70 million at JFK and LaGuardia.
Delta also has agreed to exchange some of its landing and takeoff slots at Washington National airport with US Airways for some US Airways slots at LaGuardia.
That would give Delta 49 percent of the slots at LaGuardia compared to 21 percent for American.
American also announced that its subsidiary, American Eagle Airlines, would soon offer 10 daily flights between LaGuardia and Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, offering for the first time first-class service for American Eagle.
The flights will feature the Bombardier CRJ-700 jetliners, which can be configured for as many as 76 seats and are classified as larger regional jets.
The service from LaGuardia to Raleigh-Durham would offer both coach and first-class seating.
American Airlines plans to offer new flights from LaGuardia to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and from JFK to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Norfolk, Va.; and Cincinnati.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 718-260-4536.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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