Four cities have been selected to receive new nonstop service to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
The U.S. Department of Transportation selected Alaska Airlines for service to Portland, Ore.; Jetblue Airways for San Juan, Puerto Rico; Southwest Airlines for Austin, Texas; and Virgin America for San Francisco to offer the new service.
The cities had been ineligible for nonstop service before because of distance. There will be one new nonstop round trip per day to each city.
“These new flights will provide convenient nonstop service to our nation’s capital for travelers from four major cities,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “The flights will increase competition for airlines serving Washington, which can lead to lower fares for consumers.”
A new law, The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, signed by President Barack Obama Feb. 14, made the new services available.
The new legislation created slot exemptions at Reagan National for airlines with little or no service existing at the airport to serve cities farther than 1,250 miles from Washington.
The new law also allowed four large carriers already serving Reagan National to exchange a total of eight slots for flights within the perimeter for an equal number of slot exemptions to permit nonstop flights beyond the perimeter.
As a result, American Airlines will trade one round-trip flight to Dallas-Fort Worth for a flight to Los Angeles. Delta Airlines Lines will trade one round-trip flight to New York LaGuardia Airport for a flight to Salt Lake City. United Airlines will trade one round-trip flight to Chicago O’Hare for a flight to San Francisco. US Airways will trade one round-trip flight to Dallas-Fort Worth for a flight to San Diego.