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DALLAS—Nov. 19, 2008—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 market opportunities.”

 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.

Media Please Contact:  Public Relations at 214/792-4847

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Simply marvelous darlings...... I am so excited about the bid for LGA. SWAs' market for NYC is huge. If you could only see how many of SWAs' pax take the $5.00 shuttle out of ISP, to the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) into NYC, (another $10.00-$16.00 one way) you would be excited for them also!!!!! It's been a long time coming. And if you don't mind me saying so..... I personally don't think that LGA is going to fall into the East River anytime in our lifetimes! Much luv to you all for your hard work. Thanks. LV

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Hello, As a Chicagoan who would like to travel for the first time to NYC I am glad to hear this news! After two round trips with SWA I have chosen SWA to be my airline of choice. Since SWA had no service to LGA or JFK I would have to go fly someone else just to get to New York. I'm glad I can finally travel to the big apple on my airline, Southwest!!! Question: How long will it take for approval and after approval how long does it take to start service? I hope to fly the inaugural MDW-LGA. P.S I hope MDW-LGA is a 737-700!!! Terrell
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I don't like it. Southwest model says they won't go into congested airports(that will increase delays, increase costs, and decrease revenues) they go to alternates. Stick to the plan!
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I am hoping and praying that we get non stop service from Orlando Please no more Jet Blue.. lol
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Great news.....Islip sucks.....from LGA jump on a MTA #M60 bus right outside and grab downtown subway on 125th st. to anywhere in Manhattan
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YES,YES,YES, now how about a non-stop or at least a direct from LAX to LGA.
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This is the greatest news and I hope you will consider Louisville for nonstop service to and from LGA
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Could you please explain me the meaning of 'JFK'
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Jack, JFK is the airport code for John F Kennedy Int'l Airport in New York. JFK, LGA, and EWR (Newark) are the three airports serving New York City. Before the airport was named after JFK in 1963 or 64, it was called Idelwild.
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We are going to NYC in May. What are the chances we can fly SWA into LGA?