Alaska Airlines seeks Seattle-D.C. route

TWA-American merger leaves opening at airport

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Alaska Airlines has applied for an open slot at Ronald Reagan National Airport. If the application is approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airline could fly directly from Seattle to Washington, D.C.

Passengers boarding in Anchorage would not have to change planes before arriving at Reagan National.

The only direct service from Seattle to the D.C. area is a United Airlines flight to Dulles International Airport, a more remote location, said Jack Evans of Alaska Airlines.

The opening at Reagan National is occurring because of the merger of Trans World Airlines and American Airlines, Evans said. Alaska Airlines is the smallest carrier competing for the opening, he said.

"It's a bit of a David vs. Goliath character here," he said. "Actually, it's to our advantage."

Other airlines trying to fill the opening already have service to D.C., he said.

Alaska Airlines operates mostly under a north-south alignment down the West Coast to Mexico. But a direct Anchorage-to-Chicago flight has been added in the past year, Evans said.

The Juneau Chamber of Commerce is supporting Alaska Airlines' application for D.C. service.

"This service would allow Alaskans to participate in the federal governmental process with fewer complications of travel and for a reduction in personal cost," chamber President Jim Weber wrote in a letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta.

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