US Airways has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as a “new entrant” carrier to provide daily nonstop service between San Francisco and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
US Airways would operate the new service using 182-seat Boeing 757 aircraft, offering First Class and Coach Class service. Each of US Airways’ 757s are among the quietest aircraft in the industry. DOT is considering requests for new long-haul service after National Airlines relinquished the slots that had been used to fly between Reagan Washington National and Las Vegas. While multiple airlines have filed for the slots, US Airways is the only carrier to request the slots to provide new nonstop service to San Francisco, the only market in the DOT proceeding that lacks competitive nonstop service from Washington.
“US Airways is Washington’s hometown airline with more than 160 daily departures at Reagan National. With our route network, we are ideally positioned to fulfill Congress’ goal of using these rights to maximize the public and competitive benefits,” said B. Ben Baldanza, US Airways senior vice president of marketing and planning. “When combined with our recently approved code-share agreement with United Airlines and United’s Express affiliates, we will offer the most extensive array of benefits to communities through connections at both Washington and San Francisco.”
To date, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, America West Airlines, and Frontier Airlines also have applied for these two-beyond perimeter exemptions, but their applications seek to fly a route that they currently already serve nonstop from either Washington Dulles or Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), and/or that already has multiple nonstop competition. US Airways does not have any nonstop transcontinental service from Washington, and its proposal underscores its unique ability to serve this route. “Unlike most of the other applications, our proposal seeks to introduce a new competitor flying to a new market,” said Baldanza.
Baldanza added that US Airways has a long-standing commitment to the Washington area and has demonstrated time and again that commitment despite the perimeter limitations at Reagan National. “With our route network at Reagan National, coupled with our new access to United Airlines’ San Francisco hub, we are uniquely able to provide unparalleled benefits to customers,” said Baldanza.
Through its code-share agreement with United Airlines, US Airways’ nonstop San Francisco service would connect to 20 domestic beyond-perimeter communities westbound served by United, including the California destinations of Santa Ana, Modesto, San Diego, Monterey, Fresno, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Redding, Chico, Burbank, Arcata/Eureka, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. The carriers also would serve Boise, Idaho; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Medford, Portland, and Redmond, Ore.; and Seattle. Currently, US Airways serves only four of these communities from its principal hubs in Charlotte, N.C., and Philadelphia, Pittsburgh.
Additionally, customers could connect with United Airlines in San Francisco to nine foreign destinations in western Canada, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and China.
At Reagan National, eastbound passengers would be able to connect to more than 19 communities served by US Airways, including Albany, N.Y.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Burlington, Vt.; Hartford, Conn.; Boston; Charlotte; Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, W.Va.; Greensboro, N.C.; Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; New York LaGuardia; Manchester, N.H.; Norfolk, Va.; Providence, R.I.; Raleigh/Durham, N.C.; Rochester, N.Y.; Salisbury, Md.; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Toronto.
Reporters needing additional information should contact US Airways Corporate Communications at (703) 872-5100.