US Airways announces new Washington, DC routes


US Airways has announced their intentions for new service at Washington, DC‘s National Airport thanks to the 42 slot pairs they received from Delta Airlines in exchange for the slots at LaGuardia. The carrier will be adding service to 11 cities, 8 of which do not currently have flights to DCA. These are the first of two sets of routes which will be added by the carrier.

map

The routes in green – Little Rock, Birmingham, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Tallahassee, Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Islip are all cities with no service to DCA currently. The cities in blue are additional frequencies from US and the red are new to US but with other competition on the route.

I’ve gotta say, comparing this map and the one Delta put together for their LaGuardia service, that this looks pretty pathetic. Maybe I’m completely ignorant in the world of route yields and these are all markets with huge amounts of pent up demand for service which will result in great revenue premiums on the routes. I’m betting more that they’ll be cool lines to fly once for the aerophile in me.

Oh, and US Airways has also indicated that they’re increasing from 175 current daily flights to 230+ as part of this swap, though the swap only included 42 slot pairs. It is not clear where the 20 missing slots are coming from.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

9 Comments

  1. LGA has a perimeter rule, too. That didn’t stop Delta from setting up service to larger cities that would seem to be useful to more passengers than adding three cities in the Florida panhandle that are so close, for example.

    And US is going to be pretty dependent on O/D traffic I’d think sinc I’m guessing that ISP-TLH doesn’t have that many daily through pax (and I have no idea if the schedule would even work).

  2. Actually, I imagine that the Florida destinations are tied to government travel. PNS, for example, has a large naval air station.

    Jacksonville is not a completely new destination from DCA. I’ve flown that route – and I think it was on US – when going to St. Augustine for a weekend and it was also military heavy.

  3. “I’ve gotta say, comparing this map and the one Delta put together for their LaGuardia service, that this looks pretty pathetic.”

    Of course it does! Delta’s map showed the addition of over 100 daily flights…US has only announced 22 additional daily flights from DCA. Delta got almost four times the slot pairs that US did, so of course their map is going to go to more cities and look better than this…

    1. My disappoint, Andrew, is not the number of cities added but the choices of which ones are to be added. Yes, US got many fewer slots than DL did. I’m honestly not sure how this deal makes sense for them. But even with the fewer slots I’d have figured they would go for bigger markets. Sure, Eglin is huge near Pensacola, and Tallahassee is the state capitol. But I cannot figure out the demand numbers there. I’ll try to dig into the DoT data and see, but I doubt the passenger numbers are very high. OAJ is for Camp Lejeune based on the same premise. FAY is Fort Bragg. LIT has some Air Force nearby, too, it seems.

      I’m still not 100% convinced of the approach, but I guess they are.

  4. It’s interesting that YOW (and also BGR) will benefit from the slot swap both with new DL service to LGA and new US service to DCA. Speaking as a YOW flyer, sadly there is a revenue premium for the airlines here and I hope that the extra competition helps us.

  5. It appears that with many cities, they are going for routes with no competition that have the potential for a lot of higher fare government travel (either due to military travel between DC and the bases you mentioned above or due to state capitol traffic).

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that I’m not sure how much excess capacity US has right now with it’s mainline/larger RJ fleet, as I think utilization is pretty high. Perhaps that’s part of the reason they chose to stick with smaller cities, since CRJ’s are what they have available.

    Also, which larger markets within the perimeter should they have flown to? US already flies to most decent sized markets from DCA already, so in terms of new larger markets, what would you expect to see? The only two large holes I see from DCA are ATL and ORD; as a traveler, I’d love to see some competition with DL/UA on those two routes to drive down the fare price, but that’s probably exactly why US is staying away. What other large markets are they missing from DCA right now?

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