Southwest Airlines confirmed this week it has submitted a bid
that would allow the airline to assume ATA Airlines' rights to
operate at New York's LaGuardia (LGA) Airport through a purchase of
The bid was submitted in connection with the publicly announced
auction process in the US Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis. The
airline says its bid is "consistent with the Federal Aviation
Administration's recent rule clarification regarding LaGuardia's
Southwest is working with ATA Airlines with respect to the terms
and conditions of the bid, which stipulates only that Southwest be
allowed to acquire ATA's 14 slots at LaGuardia. It does not state
Southwest would operate its now-defunct former codeshare partner --
which filed for bankruptcy April 2 -- or
acquire any of its assets.
Each slot represents one runway operation... so 14 slots
would allow Southwest to operate up to seven daily roundtrip
flights at LaGuardia.
"It is our intent, with the successful conclusion of the
transaction, to make plans to initiate service from LaGuardia,"
said Southwest's Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly. "Even in
this volatile environment, we have said we must monitor the
competitive landscape and take advantage of prudent market
The bankruptcy court must approve the bid and a reorganization
plan for ATA Airlines before Southwest could gain the rights to
ATA's LaGuardia slots.