JetBlue applies for beyond perimeter slots at Washington National

Washington DC
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JetBlue Airways has applied to the US Department of Transportation to launch new non-stop flights from Washington National airport to San Juan and to Austin, becoming the third new carrier expressing interest in additional beyond-perimeter slots being opened up at the airport.

San Juan and Austin are among the 10 biggest markets that currently do not have non-stop service from Washington National, says JetBlue. If its application is approved, it plans to launch a daily service to San Juan with connecting service to St Thomas, and a daily service to Austin.

Earlier today, Alaska Airlines said it has applied to begin two new routes from Washington National: Portland and San Diego.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is closing today a deadline for bids for four new routes from Washington National. The slots became available under a provision in a new bill reauthorising long-term funding for the FAA that got passed recently.

The provision freed up eight slot pairs, four of which will be allocated to new airlines. US majors American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways are already operating beyond perimeter flights from Washington National and were each allowed to operate an additional daily flight beyond the 2,010km (1,250mi) perimeter. These airlines have since traded in existing flights to begin long-haul flights from the airport.

Besides Alaska Airlines, Virgin America has also said it plans to apply to the DOT to begin beyond-perimeter flying from Washington National to San Francisco.

United Airlines offers non-stop service between Washington Dulles and San Juan, as well as between Washington Dulles and Austin, schedules in Innovata show.

JetBlue currently serves Washington National from Fort Lauderdale, Boston and Orlando. It also plans to launch non-stop flights to Tampa from June.