US Airways filed an application today with the U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT) for slot exemption authority to begin nonstop service
between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and San Francisco, San
Juan, Asheville, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Additionally, US Airways reiterated its request for the two slot
exemptions originally awarded for travel between Reagan National and
Wilmington, N.C., as currently operated by US Airways on a temporary basis.
US Airways said in its filing that since slot exemptions have been
congressionally authorized, it should receive first priority for such
awards, particularly given that US Airways currently is prohibited from
operating nonstop beyond-perimeter service from Reagan National because it
has not been granted any slots in previous proceedings. US Airways is best
positioned to use these slots consistent with the statutory criteria
Congress established for awarding beyond-perimeter exemptions.
As Washington`s hometown carrier, US Airways has developed and invested
its personnel and capital resources at Washington, D.C.`s close-in airport
over the years, and was the foremost among carriers in re-establishing
service at Reagan National following the horrific events of September 11
and the lengthy shutdown of the airport.
The company`s proposal to serve San Francisco and San Juan from Reagan
National would not only provide the most extensive consumer and
competitive network benefits, but it would also enhance the overall
structure of air transportation offerings in multiple markets to a greater
extent than any other applicant.
US Airways has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving the Caribbean
region and is the only carrier at Reagan National to offer nonstop service
to island destinations, such as Bermuda and Nassau, the Bahamas. Both the
San Juan and San Francisco service would be the first ever nonstop flights
from Reagan National to these destinations and would provide customers
with added convenience and time savings for travel to and from downtown
Washington, D.C., versus connecting service or even nonstop service from
Washington Dulles or Baltimore Washington International airports.
For flights between Reagan National and San Juan and San Francisco, US
Airways would operate the service with the 193-seat Boeing 757 aircraft,
offering 8 First Class and 185 Coach Class seats.
US Airways also said that it would use the eight within-perimeter slot
exemptions to operate two daily nonstop flights between Reagan National
and both Asheville and Chattanooga. US Airways would use eight
beyond-perimeter slot exemptions to provide two daily nonstop roundtrip
flights between Reagan National and San Juan, and two daily nonstop
roundtrip flights between Reagan National and San Francisco.
US Airways` proposal to serve Asheville and Chattanooga from Reagan
National injects new competition into these markets. It also would
optimize the nonstop service choices for travel in these local markets as
well as provide maximum connecting opportunities. This service would be
the only nonstop service offered from the Washington metropolitan area to
these two small community airports. US Airways Express would operate the
service as using 50-seat regional jet aircraft
US Airways is the nation`s seventh-largest airline, serving nearly 200
communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.
US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and the US Airways Express partner carriers
operate almost 3,300 flights per day.