The FAA has decreed the temporary ORD slot ceiling will continue until 2008, when another runway should become operational. Does anybody know how the FAA grandfathered the existing slots? For example, CLE-ORD is all COExpress; does Continental or ExpressJet own the newly-minted slots?
It's important because the FAA says the slots can now be bought, sold, and traded. If CO owns them, they could put 735s on five flights and sell off the other three slots, matching their CLE banks and keeping almost the same capacity. By the time they wanted to add more flights, it would be 2008 and the new slots would be free again - if the FAA keeps its promise.