US Airways to begin service to Washington, D.C.by Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — US Airways will begin operating three daily nonstop flights this summer between the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport and Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport.
The airline says the flights will be operated by its regional partner Republic Airlines. Currently only Delta Air Lines offers nonstop flights to Reagan National — six daily flights.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most popular destinations from the Twin Cities, said Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman Pat Hogan. The airport won't have to make room for the new flights because US Airways won't need to lease additional gates. Airlines are interested in the DC route because it's popular among businesses travelers, he said.
"The average fare right now is about $194 on it. And it's within the top 50 destinations," Hogan said. "It's great to see another airline get involved and decide they want to compete, and hopefully that's going to mean lower fares and more choices for people flying from the Twin Cities."
The Metropolitan Airports Commission said US Airways was among MSP's fastest growing airlines in 2011, serving nearly 7 percent more passengers than it did in 2010.
"They don't have any competition on that route. With US Airways getting involved, all of a sudden, people can choose between Delta or US Airways and that is going to create kind of some competition between those airlines," Hogan said. "And hopefully that'll have an impact on prices — bring your prices down and give people more choices as to when they want to fly."