2008_1_swair.jpgThe Dallas Morning News reports that Southwest Airlines confirmed it is buying ATA Airlines for ATA's operating slots at LaGuardia Airport. A Southwest spokeswoman said, "The intent is not to operate ATA Airlines. The intent is to allow Southwest Airlines to acquire the LaGuardia slots." NBC New York directs us to Southwest's Leader Planner Bill Owen's blog post, "This isn’t just big news, it’s huge. GINORMOUS! I think h-e-double-hockey-sticks just froze over…and I am certain a number of my friends in this industry have yet to pick their jaws up off of the floor!" Owen then explains why LGA is so coveted--"it’s the closest major airport to Manhattan. What Love Field is to Dallas, Hobby Airport is to Houston, and Midway Airport is to Chicago, LaGuardia Airport is to New York City." Southwest does not fly to LGA or JFK or Newark--just MacArthur (so far).