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ValuJet to Begin Non-Stop Service From Atlanta to LaGuardia

March 20, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ ValuJet Airlines announced Tuesday that it will begin non-stop service from Atlanta to New York’s LaGuardia Airport on May 1, six months after it lost the first skirmish in its battle to gain access to LaGuardia.

Introductory fares will be $178 round trip for travel completed by May 22, the Atlanta-based discount carrier said. After that date, round-trip fares will range from $178 to $298.

ValuJet filed an antitrust suit in November against Delta Air Lines and TWA, accusing them of conspiring to keep ValuJet out of LaGuardia.

ValuJet claimed it had a binding verbal agreement with TWA to lease 10 LaGuardia runway slots, but TWA pulled out of the deal when Delta made a higher offer.

A federal judge in Atlanta refused to halt the sale to Delta, but ValuJet is pursuing its antitrust case.

In the meantime, the airline has obtained 10 LaGuardia runway slots from Continental Airlines, spokesman Gregg Kenyon said Tuesday. That will allow it to offer five daily flights to and from Atlanta this spring.

If the TWA slots are later awarded to ValuJet by the courts, more flights will be added, Kenyon said.

``New York City is the No. 1 travel market for Atlantans,″ said Ponder Harrison, ValuJet’s vice president for sales and marketing. ``ValuJet was ready, willing and able to initiate service to LaGuardia last December.″

Currently, Delta is the only carrier offering non-stop flights from Atlanta to LaGuardia.

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