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Southwest gets two free Reagan slots but won't use them -report

A Southwest Airlines jet waits on the tarmac at Denver International Airport in Denver January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
A Southwest Airlines jet waits on the tarmac at Denver International Airport in Denver January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines said on Friday they will not use two of the 56 take-off and landing slots at Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport which they received from American Airlines Group .

Southwest purchased 54 of the slots from American Airlines in a sale ordered in November by the U.S. Justice Department. On Friday, the company said it had received two additional slots that could be used only on Sundays, but did not intend to use them.

Bloomberg reported that Southwest had been given the additional slots.

The slots at Reagan airport became available because of a Justice Department settlement with US Airways and American Airlines. Justice had sued to stop a merger between them, but dropped the suit when they agreed to sell 104 air carrier slots at Reagan National, just outside Washington, as well as other assets.

New York-based JetBlue Airways Corp won 40 slots at Reagan National while Virgin America won eight.

American Airlines Group was also required to divest 34 slots at New York LaGuardia International Airport. Southwest won an agreement to purchase 22 of those and Virgin America will buy 12.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz)

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