American Airlines seeks authorization to continue nonstop Lansing-Washington, D.C., flights
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
American Airlines seeks authorization to continue
nonstop Lansing-Washington, D.C., flights
Nation’s largest air carrier also aims to offer Lansing-Chicago service with direct connections to additional domestic and international destinations; airport officials urge public to rally behind effort to gain new carrier
LANSING, Mich. – American Airlines has filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration that would ensure nonstop air service continues between Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport (LAN) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Capital Region Airport Authority officials announced today.
The application for an exemption, if successful, would allow American – the nation’s largest airline– to continue the Lansing-Washington, D.C., route now serviced by Sun Country Airlines, which has announced it is leaving Capital Region International Airport effective October 1, 2015.
If approved, American intends to commence daily, nonstop service between Lansing and Washington, D.C., on November 5, 2015. The proposal also calls for American to offer three daily flights from Capital Region International Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) beginning in early 2016.
Both the Ronald Reagan (DCA) and O’Hare (ORD) airports are key American hubs. The Washington, D.C., hub, for example, would provide mid-Michigan travelers with direct connections to more than 30 destinations across the United States served by American, such as Nashville, New Orleans and Buffalo. American’s Chicago service would provide a direct gateway to 25 international and 90 domestic destinations.
The plan’s expanded menu of travel opportunities offered by American through Lansing’s airport far exceeds the options previously provided by Sun Country, which could spur significantly more passengers to fly from Capital Region International Airport and boost the Lansing-area economy, officials said.
“American’s service proposal is a big win and a boost to much-needed mid-Michigan air service,” said Howard Kass, American’s vice president of regulatory affairs. “With an exemption grant, American plans to inaugurate service to Lansing with four daily flights to two destinations, providing Lansing-area travelers a new choice in travel with a new carrier.”
Bob Selig, President and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority, is urging Lansing-area political, business and civic leaders, as well as the general public, to join a campaign to help American gain federal approval to take over the Lansing-Washington, D.C., flight slots.
“Retaining the connection between Michigan’s capital and the nation’s capital is critical to the mid-Michigan economy,” he said. “Mid-Michigan travelers have already demonstrated support for the service, with Washington, D.C., being the second most popular destination from LAN.”
Area residents can make their voices heard in the process by submitting statements of support for American’s exemption application to the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation. More information about how to get involved in the campaign is at FlyLansing.com/SupportAmerican.
The Greater Lansing business community is prepared to unite behind the effort, said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“We are prepared to send a message that Washington, D.C., service is critical to Capital Region International Airport remaining strong, robust and a cornerstone of our region’s business development strategies,” Daman said.
American intends to offer daily departures from Capital Region International Airport at 7:10 a.m., with arrival at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Washington (DCA) at 8:55 a.m. Returning flights will depart DCA at 5:30 p.m. and arrive at LAN at 7:20 p.m., providing mid-Michigan travelers the opportunity to travel to and from Washington, D.C., in the same day. Flights would be operated with CRJ-700 aircraft with 67 seats – nine first class and 58 main cabin.