Last updated: 04:30 PM ET, Thu April 07 2016

Newark Airport Deal Between United and Delta Abandoned

Airlines & Airports | United Airlines | Donald Wood | April 07, 2016

Newark Airport Deal Between United and Delta Abandoned

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced the deal between United Airlines and Delta Air Lines to buy slots at Newark Liberty International Airport had fallen through.

According to Bill Ruminski of the Chicago Sun Times, United Airlines originally agreed to buy 24 federally regulated slots from Delta Air Lines, but the United States government sued to stop the sale, claiming that it would result in higher fares and fewer options for travelers.

Instead of moving forward with the deal, United Airlines abandoned the original plan.

READ MORE: Can the Government Keep Delta from Dropping a Flight?

Before the proposed deal, United Airlines already controlled 902 of around 1,200 slots at the Newark airport. To combat the deal, the Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that it would be lifting slot controls at Newark to promote competition.

As part of the original deal between the two airlines, Delta Air Lines received the remaining slots United Airlines controlled at John F. Kennedy International Airport and began using them in November 2015.

The problem the Justice Department found was that United Airlines would have controlled 75 percent of the slots at Newark airport, which likely would have resulted in higher fares and fewer options at a facility that already boasts some of the highest fares in the United States.

In response, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that the FAA’s decision to lift slot control should lead to more competition among airlines at the Newark airport.


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