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Spirit Airlines Flies Lawsuit Against DOT Over Newark Flight Rights

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Spirit Airlines has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) after the agency did not reallocate landing and takeoff rights once held by Southwest Airlines at a New York area airport.

The lawsuit was filed in November in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and claimed the DOT’s decision not to award 16 vacant landing and takeoff rights for Newark Liberty International Airport was “not in accordance with law.”

According to The Points Guy, the DOT made the decision to not reallocate the slots on October 2, a move Spirit officials called “arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with law” as part of its lawsuit.

While DOT decision-makers said the reduced number of landing and takeoff slots during peak periods would reduce congestion at the busy airport, Spirit is fighting for increased access at Newark heading into the always high-volume summer travel season.

The court set a January 2 deadline for the first replies and motions in the case.

The Florida-based low-cost carrier has been growing its presence at the New Jersey airport over the recent months, with new service to Puerto Rico launching on December 19 and flights to Austin debuting on March 26, 2020.

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