Detroit Metro Airport won’t lose its American Airlines/U.S Airways service to and from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., near Washington, D.C., after all.
The airline, which has previously said it would cease service between the two airports in August, has elected to resume the non-stop service on Nov. 6, with four roundtrip flights per day.
“Making sure our passengers have more than one option to such an important airport for our community was definitely a priority for us,” says Tom Naughton, CEO of the Wayne County Airport Authority. “This would have been the largest market from Detroit to be operated by only one carrier, but thanks to the hard work and efforts of our air service development and government affairs teams, we will maintain competition on this critical route.”
Earlier this year, American Airlines merged with U.S. Airways and announced that a number of airports would lose service from its Washington-National hub as a result of changes required by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice. In the case of Detroit Metro, this would have left Delta Air Lines as the only provider of nonstop service between the two airports.
“We were extremely disappointed that the result of litigation designed to protect competition resulted in a reduction in service and a loss of competition on a significant route to the nation’s capital from the major hub airport in Michigan,” says Emily Neuberger, senior vice resident and general counsel for the airport. “Throughout the process, our airport management team maintained contact with the airline as well as multiple governmental agencies, and filed comments in the DOJ settlement public comment period, to try to get the settlement changed to protect our route.”
Joe Cambron, director of air service development for the airport, counts the victory as one of the facility’s top achievements for the year. “This is really only overshadowed by gaining two new airlines in a single year which hasn’t happened for nearly 10 years,” says Cambron, making reference to JetBlue, which began service to Boston in March, and Alaska Airlines, which will begin service to Seattle in September.