Hughes Hubbard represented JetBlue Airways Corp. in its successful bid for highly coveted takeoff and landing slots at Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan National Airport that American Airlines had to sell to settle an antitrust suit brought by the Justice Department over its planned merger with US Airways.
The sale, which closed on March 6, 2014, was required by a deal reached in November with the Justice Department. American Airlines and US Airways agreed to sell a total of 104 takeoff and landing slots at Reagan National and 34 slots at La Guardia Airport to low-cost carriers. Each slot pair provides rights for a departure and an arrival.
JetBlue won 12 slot pairs, or 24 slots, sufficient to add 12 round trips out of Reagan National. It will also gain control of eight other slot pairs from American Airlines that it had been operating temporarily since 2010.
"For more than a decade, JetBlue worked tirelessly to gain access to (Reagan National), a high-fare market perfectly made for our everyday low-fare business model," said Rob Land, JetBlue's senior vice president of government affairs and associate general counsel.
JetBlue carries 30 million customers a year to 82 cities in the US, Caribbean and Latin America with an average of 800 daily flights.
The transaction made headlines in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, Reuters and other news outlets.
Dan Litowitz and Alex Anderson represented JetBlue in this matter.