Spirit Airlines Awarded 16 Additional Slots at Newark Airport
The Department of Transportation has awarded 16 departure and landing slots at Newark-Liberty International Airport in New Jersey Spirit Airlines. These were slots that were freed up when Southwest dropped Newark in 2019 to consolidate its area service at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
This is a big win for the low-cost carrier since these are valuable takeoff and landing times at one of the New York City metro area’s three major airports.
“Today’s action secures low-cost service options for Newark customers and improves competition in the Newark market, which was affected when Southwest Airlines discontinued service there,” the Department of Transportation said in its statement.
The 16 timings reassigned today were originally operated by Southwest Airlines in 2010 when it acquired them as part of a Department of Justice competition remedy to the United-Continental merger. The Department also received applications from Spirit and JetBlue Airways for all 16 timings, and from Alaska Airlines for four of the timings.
While JetBlue lost its bid for the 16 slots, it may still get them if Spirit shareholders vote to be acquired by JetBlue in a special meeting set to be held on Friday, July 8. They’ll have to choose between that offer, and the one from Frontier Airlines.