American Airlines Seeks Approval for Nonstop Flights from San Antonio to Washington, D.C.

By Ivan PetrenkoJul 10, 2024 08:34 AMNews
American Airlines plane in flight
New route to connect SAT and DCA. Source: unsplash

American Airlines has officially submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate daily, nonstop flights between San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA). This comes after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, signed into law in May 2024, which added five new roundtrip flights for DCA.

San Antonio, the fastest-growing city in the United States, currently lacks nonstop service to DCA despite its significant population and large number of military bases. The new route aims to address this gap, providing convenient access to the nation’s capital, especially for the city's majority Hispanic population and military community.

American Airlines plans to offer more than 25 daily departures from SAT to various U.S. cities, with the new SAT-DCA service enhancing connectivity. This route will also facilitate one-stop connections to destinations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Canada through DCA.

American Airlines' Senior Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning, Brian Znotins, expressed pride in proposing the only nonstop service between San Antonio and Washington, D.C. Jesus Saenz, Director of Airports for the San Antonio Airport System, emphasized the benefits for business and military communities, highlighting the shared vision with American Airlines to improve regional connectivity.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg noted the importance of this new route for economic ties and military operations. The service is expected to strengthen collaboration with federal agencies and research institutions in Washington, D.C., enhancing the city’s prosperity.

To honor San Antonio's rich history, American Airlines will use special flight numbers for this route. Flight 1718 commemorates the city's founding year, while Flight 1947 marks the establishment of the U.S. Air Force. The planned schedule includes a morning departure from SAT and an evening return from DCA, using Airbus A321 aircraft.

American Airlines' application to the DOT has received robust support from the San Antonio community, including bipartisan policymakers, military organizations, and local businesses. Prominent figures such as Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. John Cornyn, Congressman Joaquin Castro, and Congressman Chip Roy have all endorsed the proposal, recognizing its potential benefits for residents and the state's economy.

If approved, this direct flight will greatly enhance travel options for San Antonio’s military, business, and leisure travelers, fostering the city’s continued growth and connectivity.

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