DALLAS, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines confirmed
today that 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 ATA Airlines. The bid was submitted in connection with the
publicly announced auction process in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Indianapolis and consistent with the Federal Aviation Administration's recent
rule clarification regarding LaGuardia's slots.
Southwest is working with ATA Airlines with respect to the terms and
conditions of the bid. The bid does not contemplate operating ATA, but it is
intended to allow Southwest to acquire the LGA slots.
The $7.5 million bid seeks to obtain the rights to 14 slots at LaGuardia
that are currently held by ATA Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection
on April 2, 2008. Those 14 slots would permit an operation of up to seven
daily roundtrip flights at LaGuardia. Southwest would not acquire, as a part
of its bid, any aircraft, facilities, or employees of ATA.
"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
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.
Once the acquisition is finalized, Southwest will work with the Federal
Aviation Administration and the Port Authority of New York to commence service
at LaGuardia, including acquisition of the necessary airport gate(s) and
facilities. Details on the commencement of service or the cities that would
be served by Southwest from LaGuardia have not yet been determined.
Public Relations of Southwest Airlines, +1-214-792-4847