Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DOT begins US-Mexico slot transfer process

Now that Aeromexico and Delta Air Lines have accepted the regulatory conditions they must satisfy to start a transborder joint venture, the US Transportation Department (DOT) has initiated the process for transferring slots from those carriers to competitors.

DOT has invited other carriers to apply for the slots it required the SkyTeam partners to divest at Mexico City International Airport and, to a lesser extent, New York JFK. The agency required the airlines to cede up to 24 slot pairs in Mexico City, and four in New York, among other conditions.

A Jan. 6 filing shows airlines must initially give up 14 slot pairs in Mexico, and two in New York. DOT said these slots must be “transferred as soon as practicable” so that airlines can use them during the IATA summer season.

The two carriers would have to transfer the remaining slots—10 in Mexico and two in New York—before summer 2018. However, airlines seeking these slots would first have to “exhaust reasonable efforts” to get them from the airports’ administrators before filing proposals to obtain them, DOT said.

DOT has previously indicated that only low-cost carriers will be eligible to use the newly available slots, which they must use for transborder service. At Mexico City, those carriers include Seattle-based Alaska Airlines; Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air; Denver-based Frontier Airlines; Hawaiian Airlines; New York-based JetBlue Airways; Dallas-based Southwest Airlines; Florida-based Spirit Airlines; Minneapolis/Saint Paul-based Sun Country Airlines; California-based Virgin America; Mexico’s VivaAerobus; and Mexico City-based Volaris.

All of those carriers except JetBlue can file proposals to use the additional New York JFK slots. Mexico City-based Interjet is also eligible to apply for the fresh New York slot.

In their proposals to DOT, airlines must indicate details such as: business plans for the transborder routes, how many slots they are requesting, at which times they want to offer the service, when and how often they plan to offer the service, and which kind of aircraft they will use on the route.

(Kristin Majcher - ATWOnline News)

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