News Summary: Request to preserve air service
BEING HEARD: Leaders of the congressional transportation committees want the Justice Department to allow all U.S. airlines to bid on gates and landing rights being given up by American Airlines and US Airways as a condition of their merger. The department wants those assets to go only to so-called low-cost carriers.
LETTER SENT: In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, the lawmakers say low-cost carriers often don't serve smaller towns, so the divestitures won't help those consumers. The letter was signed by Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and John Thune, R-S.D., of the Senate transportation committee, and by Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., of the House transportation committee.
WINNERS AND LOSERS: The Justice Department's position favoring low-cost carriers is likely to help Southwest and JetBlue and shut out United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.