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Southwest seeks new slot at Washington airport for nonstop Las Vegas flight  

Southwest Airlines has announced that will apply to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for a newly created slot at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in the United States (US).  

The slot will see a new, daily nonstop service run from the Washington airport to Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas which is one of five new routes approved as part of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024

Flights from DCA have traditionally been restricted by a rule that does not permit flights to exceed 1,250 miles, although exceptions to the rule are made.  

It was originally conceived that flights from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) would operate long-haul flights from the region.  

According to Southwest, the new nonstop service would “provide airline consumers with much-needed choices and competition on the DCA to LAS nonstop route that currently has only one flight per day operated by another airline”. 

Southwest says that if awarded the new slot it would “significantly lower average fares” from DCA to LAS.  

“Southwest has a long history of connecting people across the nation with important moments in their lives through competitive airfares, friendly and flexible policies, and the unmatched Hospitality of our People,” Bob Jordan, President & Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines, said. “We look forward to demonstrating to the DOT that Southwest’s proposal will maximize benefits to the traveling public.” 

Southwest is also applying to provide what would be the only one-stop, same-plane/no change service between DCA and Sacramento International Airport (SMF) via LAS. 

Southwest plans to operate the proposed service between DCA and LAS seven days a week on a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with 175 seats. 

“We believe Southwest’s proposed new DCA-LAS nonstop service will lower fares and increase access for the nation’s capital, Las Vegas, and western states,” Jordan added. “Customers in both markets will benefit from competitive airfares and nonstop, hassle-free transportation aboard the airline that invented friendly, reliable flying.” 

The five new proposed routes faced stiff opposition before being approved as part of the FAA Reauthorization Act. 

Those against the new routes were concerned that DCA passengers would face more delays at the airport, which is already marred by slot constraints.  

What other US airlines plan

On May 15, 2024, Alaska Airlines confirmed it was applying for the nonstop service between San Diego International Airport (SAN) and DCA.    

American Airlines has expressed interest in a nonstop service between San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and DCA. 

United Airlines, which has a heavy presence at IAD, reportedly opposed the new routes while Delta Air Lines is considering its options.  

The DOT has 60 days to approve applications from airlines. 

The post Southwest seeks new slot at Washington airport for nonstop Las Vegas flight   appeared first on AeroTime.

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