updated 2/12/2010 12:51:29 PM ET 2010-02-12T17:51:29

The chief of the world's biggest airline says the U.S. government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers in the airline industry.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson says the Transportation Department made a bad decision this week to allow Delta and US Airways to swap takeoff and landing slots at New York and Washington airports only if they sell some of the slots to protect competition.

He told employees in a recorded message Friday that Delta will work to change the decision, but he said again that if it stands in its current form, the deal with US Airways likely won't go forward.

The airlines are seeking more bang for the buck in congested areas where slot access is limited.

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