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American Airlines gets JFK slots in swap with JetBlue Airways

An American Airlines aircraft is on the ramp at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone
An American Airlines aircraft is on the ramp at Dallas-Ft Worth International Airport February 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone

(Reuters) - American Airlines Group has gained control of 24 takeoff and landing rights at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport - a major gateway for international flights - in a swap with JetBlue Airways , the carriers said on Wednesday.

JetBlue, in exchange, got ownership of 16 slots at Reagan National Airport near Washington. The carriers had been leasing the slots at JFK and Reagan National from each other since 2010.

American Airlines Group, formed when US Airways merged with AMR Corp in December, agreed to divest slots at key U.S. airports under a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, which had challenged the combination.

Southwest Airlines and Virgin American won slots at New York's LaGuardia that American gave up last year, and JetBlue and Southwest announced last month that they gained slots at Reagan National sold by American. A slot is the right to operate one takeoff or landing.

The new American, now the world's largest air carrier, also agreed to give up gates at airports in Boston, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Los Angeles and Miami in the agreement with the Justice Department.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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