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Congressman Bob Goodlatte says direct air service will continue between Roanoke and New York City if Delta and US Airways get federal approval to trade flight slots at New York and Washington. Goodlatte says Delta has informed him it intends to provide the direct service here if US Airways gives it up. Roanoke Regional Airport officials say “direct” will continue to mean “non-stop”, and if Delta does indeed take it over, the service will be provided in regional jets.

Here is the full news release from Congressman Goodlatte:

Goodlatte Announces Air Service Between Roanoke and New York Will Continue

WASHINGTON, DC- Today Congressman Bob Goodlatte announced that direct air service between Roanoke and New York will continue.  The Department of Transportation (DOT) previously announced their approval of a “slot-swap” agreement that includes US Air and Delta.  This agreement allows carriers to exchange slots they currently control at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA) which affects flight service from Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA) to New York.  Currently, U.S. Airways provides non-stop service between Roanoke and New York.

New direct jet service by Delta Air Lines is contingent upon the completion of the Department of Justice’s investigation of the “slot-swap” agreement between Delta Air Lines and US Airways.

            “I am extremely pleased that Delta has told me that they intend to provide direct jet service between Roanoke and New York,” said Rep. Goodlatte.  “Access to the preeminent financial center of the country has proven vital to the employment base of the Roanoke Valley, the business community and economic development efforts.  Delta’s intention to maintain a direct flight between Roanoke and New York will ensure that this beneficial relationship continues.”

“We appreciate all of Congressman Goodlatte’s efforts in maintaining non-stop service between Roanoke Regional Airport and New York LaGuardia,” said Jacqueline Shuck, Executive Director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “Delta’s signal that they intend to provide that service is great news for our entire region.”

Congressman Goodlatte has long been an advocate for maintaining air service between Roanoke and New York.  He has met with representatives of Delta Airlines several times over the last year and he, along with other members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation, has written to Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood about the “slot-swap” agreement and its potential affect on smaller communities like Roanoke.