American Airlines announced it will no longer provide nonstop service to 17 cities out of Washington D.C.’s Reagan National airport as part of network changes prompted by the carrier’s merger settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
To gain approval for its merger with US Airways, the airlines agreed to give up 52 take-off and landing slots at Reagan and another 17 slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. These service changes at the two airports are a result of that agreement.
“In an effort to minimize any impact that our DOJ-required slot divestitures would have on small- and medium-size communities, we felt it was important to make this announcement now,” said American chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella in a statement.
American will no longer provide daily service to Augusta, Ga., Detroit, Mich., Fayetteville, N.C., Fort Walton Beach, Fla., Islip, N.Y., Jacksonville, N.C., Little Rock, Ark., Minneapolis, Minn., Montreal, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nassau, Bahamas, Omaha, Neb., Pensacola, Fla., San Diego, Calif., Savannah, Ga., Tallahassee, Fla., and Wilmington, N.C. from Washington D.C. It has not announced when the service stops will go into effect as the company is still working with the DOJ to divest these slots to other airlines.
At LaGuardia, the carrier announced it will end nonstop service to Atlanta, Cleveland and Minneapolis. However, it will add flights to 10 new cities out of LaGuardia including Charlottesville, Va., Dayton, Ohio, Greensboro, N.C., Knoxville, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., Norfolk, Va., Richmond, Va., Roanoke, Va., and Wilmington, N.C. Customers can begin buying tickets on these routes starting on January 26 for travel beginning on April 1.
Last month, the FAA approved the divestiture of American’s LaGuardia slots to Southwest Airlines and Virgin America. Southwest will receive 11 slots while Virgin America will get 6 slots at the New York airport. Of the 11 slots given to Southwest, the Dallas-based carrier already uses 5 slots that it currently leases from American.
“These service changes are not expected to impact our employees, whose efforts and support enabled us to create the world’s greatest airline,” said American president Scott Kirby.