Delta Air Lines boosts N.Y. LaGuardia routes

Delta Air Lines is boosting its flying out of New York's LaGuardia airport, adding routes that target American Airlines and put it in a better position to compete against United Airlines.

The list of added cities reads like a map of the hubs of competing airlines. Delta is adding Miami and Dallas, both American Airlines hubs. It will also fly to Houston and Denver, which are both United hubs, and Charlotte, N.C., which is a hub for US Airways.

Detroit is not among the airports that will get expanded service from the Delta LaGuardia expansion, according to a complete list of new services announced by Delta Friday. Delta, the largest airline at Detroit Metro, already offers 12 daily nonstop departures from Detroit to LaGuardia.

United and Continental's merger into the world's largest airline puts Delta in second place by traffic. Expanding in a key business market like New York will help it compete against the larger United.

Delta obtained the new flying rights in a deal with US Airways Group. Delta gave up some of its flying rights at Washington's Reagan airport, which US Airways wanted, in exchange for some of that airline's rights at LaGuardia, which Delta wanted. The exchange of flying rights happens in two batches, on March 25 and July 11, so the new flights will begin after that.

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