- Last Updated: 11:50 AM, July 11, 2012
- Posted: 11:49 AM, July 11, 2012
Delta Air Lines Inc. on Tuesday launched service to 11 new cities from New York's LaGuardia Airport, the final phase in a massive expansion aimed at capturing more lucrative travelers in one of the country's most important air travel markets.
The Atlanta airline launched a dozen new routes in March out of LaGuardia as part of the first phase. It now operates 264 daily flights to 60 cities from the airport, which it says is more than any other airline. Delta got the flying rights in a deal with US Airways Group Inc. Delta gave up some of its flying rights at Washington's Reagan National airport, which US Airways wanted, in exchange for some of that airline's rights at LaGuardia.
LaGuardia is key to Delta's effort to attract more high-paying business travelers in the Big Apple from its competitors, especially larger rival United Airlines, which has a hub at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport. LaGuardia is the smallest of New York's three major airports, but it's also the closest to midtown Manhattan, which Delta says makes it the preferred airport for business travelers.
The flights launched Tuesday include business-heavy routes to Denver; Houston, a major hub for United; and Philadelphia, a major US Airways hub. The other new flights are to Cleveland; Charlotte, N.C.; Charlottesville, Va.; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Ottawa, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; Pittsburgh and Roanoke, Va.
Delta also is increasing frequency between LaGuardia and cities it already serves. In all, it has added more than 100 flights to 29 new destinations in the past several months.
Delta shares rose 33 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $11.05 in morning trading Wednesday. They are approaching their 52-week high of $12.25 set at the end of May.