operators are vying for rights to introduce or add service at Washington
National Airport (DCA), after ATA Airlines relinquished four highly-coveted
within-perimeter slots at the facility.
AirTran Airways, Delta Connection
carrier Comair, Midwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and US Airways have filed
applications with the US DOT for part or all of the slot allocation that came
available last month.
wants to use all four slots to offer service
from Washington National
to either Florida’s
Jacksonville International Airport
or General Mitchell International Airport
incumbents have no real options to obtain additional slots to increase service
at DCA. This is one of very few opportunities for the department to promote low
fares and competition from DCA to small or medium hubs,” says
AirTran. “Therefore, it is essential that
these slots be allocated to AirTran,
which will maximize real competitive opportunities and increase low-fare travel
on behalf of Delta Air Lines, Comair proposes to use two slots to provide daily
nonstop service to Birmingham, Alabama
using 50-seat Bombardier CRJ aircraft. The carrier wants to use the other two slots
to offer daily CRJ service to Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Airlines, meanwhile, says it would use two slots to operate an additional Milwaukee-Washington
National roundtrip flight and the other pair of slots to conduct an additional
Kansas City-Washington National flight.
new Milwaukee-DCA flight would permit Midwest to conduct a total of five
weekday roundtrip flights in a market that has been and remains underserved
despite the best efforts of Midwest to increase
frequencies on the route,” says the Wisconsin-based carrier. “However, the
constraints of the FAA’s ‘high
have precluded Midwest
from responding to passenger demand by adding another frequency in the market.”
For its part, US
low-cost carrier Spirit has applied for only one pair of slots to
provide a third daily roundtrip between Washington National and its
US Airways is also seeking
only one pair of slots to inaugurate the first-ever nonstop service between Washington National and Pensacola, Florida.
time has come for the department to reject the shrill and tired arguments of
applicants that automatically seek to disqualify US Airways because of the size
of its DCA operation,” says US Airways.
for the slots were due on December 17. Comments must be filed by January 9.