Southwest to buy ATA assets, get New York LaGuardia slots

huronip

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Posts
215
[SIZE=-1]By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News
tmaxon@dallasnews.com
[/SIZE]

Southwest Airlines Co. plans to buy ATA Airlines so it can obtain the bankrupt carrier’s operating slots at New York LaGuardia Airport, the airline confirmed Tuesday evening.

Southwest spokeswoman Beth Harbin said the airline intends to start service out of LaGuardia, assuming the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis approves Southwest’s bid of $7.5 million.

“We’re working with ATA Airlines with the conditions and terms of the bid,” Ms. Harbin said. “The intent is not to operate ATA Airlines. The intent is to allow Southwest Airlines to acquire the LaGuardia slots.”

The deal, first reported by Bloomberg News, would give Southwest the control of 14 takeoff and landing slots, sufficient to operate seven round trip flights a day.

While Southwest has operated on Long Island out of Islip, N.Y., since 1999, it has bypassed the three major New York-area airports, LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark.

Its strategy has long been to avoid the congested airports like the New York facilities and to fly to secondary airports where operating costs and air traffic control problems would be less.

However, as it has begun to run out of those types of airports and markets to enter, Southwest has had to turn its eye to markets it previously had avoided.

Southwest chairman and chief executive officer Gary Kelly recently announced plans to launch flights in March to Minneapolis-St. Paul, a connecting hub for Northwest Airlines Inc. In the past two years, it has re-entered the highly competitive San Francisco market and Denver, two cities it previously had left.

Now, Ms. Harbin said, Southwest officials think it is time to enter LaGuardia.

“We’ve matured to the point where we can contemplate it,” Ms. Harbin said. “Gary has said several times that if there are prudent opportunities out there we should be looking at them. This is certainly one.”

Southwest had once competed heavily against ATA out of Chicago Midway. But after ATA filed for bankruptcy a first time, Southwest worked out a deal in 2004 to buy gates and other facilities at Midway and to share passengers with ATA, including having ATA carry Southwest customers from Chicago to LaGuardia.

ATA exited bankruptcy in 2006. But after months of mounting losses, the carrier again filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and ceased operations. It already had stopped service to New York, and its grounding also left Southwest with any way to get its customers to Hawaii.

Southwest’s bid, which was filed by ATA Tuesday evening, could be superseded by other bidders. The matter comes up in a Dec. 2 hearing.

Ms. Harbin stressed that while Southwest legally has offered to buy ATA Airlines, it is doing so only to gain control of ATA’s LaGuardia’s slots.

“We’re being very clear that it doesn’t include any aircraft, facilities or employees of ATA,” she said.
 

Midge

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2006
Posts
168
Total Time
Lots
Ms. Harbin stressed that while Southwest legally has offered to buy ATA Airlines, it is doing so only to gain control of ATA’s LaGuardia’s slots.

Good luck trying 20 minute turns there!


“We’re being very clear that it doesn’t include any aircraft, facilities or employees of ATA,” she said.

Nice, very nice!
 

Esprit

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Posts
122
Total Time
14hrs
What makes you think ATA employees would be interested you stupid ********************? Well except for the ones who are desperate for a job.

Esprit
 

GuppyWN

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Posts
3,204
Total Time
14000
What makes you think ATA employees would be interested you stupid ********************? Well except for the ones who are desperate for a job.

Esprit

“We’re being very clear that it doesn’t include any aircraft, facilities or employees of ATA,” she said.
 

landlover

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Posts
1,365
Total Time
5000+
there goes the neighbor hood. now my company will be buying me tickets on them. darn farktards!
 
Top