Alaska asks to fly National-DCA – Portland – San Diego

Will An Act of Congress Be Granted?

 

National is one of the few US domestic, commercial airports in the nation that requires an act of Congress to add flights. To be considered for four roundtrip flights longer than 1,250 miles that Congress authorized last month, airlines are required to submit their application to the Department of Transportation (DOT) today.  Alaska applied for two of the four flights.

Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group’s president and chief executive officer-elect, Said, “Providing residents of the greater Portland area with convenient nonstop service to the nation’s capital is the priority for Alaska Airlines in applying for more DCA service, and we’re thrilled this day has finally come.”  Tilden continued, “Alaska is also eager to add nonstop service to San Diego — the largest market in the country without nonstop service to Reagan National.”

Alaska Air Lines put in applications for two new flights at Washington National – the first from Portland, Oregon (PDX), the second from San Diego (SAN).  These two cities have the largest demand to Washington National of west coast airports

“Providing residents of the greater Portland area with convenient nonstop service to the nation’s capital is the priority for Alaska Airlines in applying for more DCA service, and we’re thrilled this day has finally come,” said Brad Tilden, Alaska Air Group’s president and chief executive officer-elect. “Alaska is also eager to add nonstop service to San Diego — the largest market in the country without nonstop service to Reagan National.”

In the application, it’s noted that no other carrier currently provides nonstop service to Reagan National from Portland or San Diego. Nonstop service from Oregon to the greater Washington, D.C., area is limited to a single daily flight into Dulles International Airport, located in Virginia more than 25 miles from downtown D.C.

Senator, Ron Wyden (D-ORE) said, “Oregon is one of the most underserved states for air service to and from Washington, D.C..”  Wyden continues, “With the technology industry becoming a vital part of Oregon’s economy and D.C. being the center of tech policy, increased direct access to Washington can only be a boost to our economic prospects. It is great that Alaska Airlines is bidding to provide this really important service for Oregon businesses and residents.”

Wyden joined Oregon’s six other members of Congress in a strong statement of support for Alaska Airlines’ application for Portland-Reagan service. The congressional delegations from the states of Alaska and Washington also wrote letters urging the DOT to approve the airline’s application.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and chair of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee, said, “Southwest Washington and greater Portland residents should have direct access to their nation’s capital,.” Cantwell, further stated, “This direct flight would support business growth and jobs in Southwest Washington and Oregon, and it would make the Pacific Northwest more accessible and attractive to East Coast businesses and tourists. That’s one reason I fought hard in the FAA bill to increase western flights to Washington, D.C. I will be following up with the DOT to ensure Alaska Airlines’ bid is strongly considered.”

In support of its application for Reagan National flights, Alaska Airlines launched a grassroots online campaign today urging residents of the greater Portland and San Diego areas to support its efforts by sending a letter to the DOT during the public comment period that ends March 27, 2012. Customers can learn more at www.alaskaair.com/flydca.

 

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2 Responses

San Diego really needs a every day flight to Regan Airport. Alaska is the perfect fit, beings Alaska Air the only airline I fly on. I hope, non stop flights can start soon.

03.13.12

It appears it’ll be US Airways doing the Reagan Washington National to San Diego Route.

The four legacy carriers were each given one perimeter exemption. So far American Airlines picked DCA-LAX, United chose DCA-SFO, Delta, while no official announcement, is using the exemption for a second flight to their Salt Lake City Hub.

Then there’s US Airways which chose San Diego.

FWIW, LAX is the largest origin/destination airport in the united states per passenger #’s, so I could see value and demand at LAX if another ‘new’ carrier goes for it, even on top of the 757 AA intends to use on the route. Alaska already has a couple exemptions, one to LAX and one to Seattle (SEA), which makes sense given Alaska’s primary market is the west coast and Alaska.

I suspect if Alaska gets one of the additional four perimeter exceptions for smaller and/or new DCA / Reagan National Carriers, it’ll be Portland (PDX). I suspect Southwest will get Austin (AUS). I’m betting on JetBlue getting SJU (San Juan).

JetBlue along with Southwest both have bids for Austin. Some overlap wouldn’t be bad, as it’ll further increase competition from National. Would be interesting to see if another carrier takes Austin.

I know there is high DCA-SAN demand, as such it wouldn’t surprise me if Southwest gets AUS as they promised to have same plane continuation to San Diego in their application.

Will have to wait and see how the cards fall.

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