We are now ready for takeoff. The proposed merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways has achieved a preliminary agreement with the Justice Department. As a result of the tentative deal, the two companies would part with 104 slots at Reagan National in Washington, 34 slots at La Guardia in New York and other slots in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. The agreement would avert a trial on the lawsuit by the DOJ, and was a condition of a ruling allowing American to exit from bankruptcy proceedings. The deal still must be approved by the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia.