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Delta spreading its wings at LaGuardia

In this photo taken July 22, 2011 a

In this photo taken July 22, 2011 a Delta airlines jet takes off at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich. Credit: AP

Delta Air Lines Inc. plans a massive flight expansion out of LaGuardia Airport, hoping to improve its competitive edge against its two biggest rivals.

Delta said Friday that the additions make it the biggest airline between the metro area and other U.S. cities, as it adds routes that target American Airlines and put it in a better position to compete against United Continental. That should help it grab more high-paying business travelers, a critical passenger segment.

The list of added cities reads like a map of the hubs of rival airlines. Delta will add Miami and Dallas, both American Airlines hubs; Houston and Denver, which are United hubs; and Charlotte, N.C., a US Airways hub. It will add about 100 flights to 29 new destinations.

Some of the new flights start in May, the rest in July. Atlanta-based Delta will spend $100 million on the expansion; it obtained the new flying rights in a deal with US Airways.

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