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Augusta Regional Airport losing nonstop flight to Washington, D.C.

Airline gave up 52 slots to end lawsuit

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American Airlines Group announced Wednesday it’s ending nonstop service from Augusta Regional Airport to Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

SARA CALDWELL/FILE
American Airlines Group announced Wednesday it’s ending nonstop service from Augusta Regional Airport to Washington’s Reagan National Airport.

Augusta was one of 17 cities that lost direct flights to Reagan National as part of American’s merger with US Airways, according to a news release.

The merged airline – now the world’s biggest airline operator – agreed in November to give up 52 slots at Reagan National to avoid an advantage and majority control of slots. In exchange, the U.S. Justice Department dropped an antitrust lawsuit.

US Airways started service from Augusta to Washington on July 11, 2012. The 50-passenger flight targeted travelers from Fort Gordon, Savannah River Site, Plant Vogtle and other employers that conduct business in Washington.

The date of the last direct flight will not be known until the sale of the slots is finalized in the weeks ahead.

Local business and political leaders lobbied to save the flight, emphasizing the flight’s importance to the Augusta area’s economy.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel-industry analyst for consulting firm Hudson Crossing, noted that American is pulling out of several nonstop routes also flown by rival Delta Air Lines Inc., including Reagan to Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis and LaGuardia to Atlanta. At the same time, American will add a second daily nonstop between Washington and Los Angeles, and start new service to New York from secondary markets.

"This is American creating a truce with Delta," he said. "It's a smart move ... where you're not as strong, move your assets."

American's chief marketing officer, Andrew Nocella, said the changes were designed to minimize the effect of slot losses on service to smaller cities. He said the new combined airline "will fly more customers to more places than ever before."

Besides Detroit and San Diego, daily nonstops by American and US Airways will end between Reagan and Minneapolis; Montreal; Augusta and Savannah, Ga.; Fayetteville and Jacksonville, N.C.; Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla.; Islip, N.Y.; Little Rock, Ark.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Nassau, Bahamas; and Omaha, Neb. It will switch from year-round to only seasonal flying to Fort Myers, Fla.

The company said dates for the changes would be announced in coming weeks. Travelers in those cities will have to fly through another American or US Airways hub city — or take another airline —to reach Washington.

Service will be added beginning April 1 between LaGuardia and Charlottesville, Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke, Va.; Little Rock; Dayton, Ohio; Louisville, Ky.; Greensboro and Wilmington, N.C.; and Knoxville, Tenn.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. fell 3 cents to close at $28.84.

Reports from the Associated Press were used in this story.

Comments (14) Add comment
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Riverman1
93600
Points
Riverman1 01/16/14 - 05:14 am
3
1
What a shame. My son flew on

What a shame. My son flew on that flight last Friday-Monday.

crockpot2001
81
Points
crockpot2001 01/16/14 - 07:48 am
3
1
Good!

2x I received a flight cancellation notice 1hr before the flight due to "Mechanical issues" I looked online to see that they had sold <25% of the flight. In addition, even though it was a mechanical, they wanted to charge me the higher rate for booking within 7 days when I said please book me for next week.

my.voice
5167
Points
my.voice 01/16/14 - 08:35 am
5
2
Welcome to Mayberry, RFD

Welcome to Mayberry, RFD

bdouglas
5777
Points
bdouglas 01/16/14 - 08:54 am
3
1
@crockpot

US Airways out of Augusta is horrible about that. "Mechanical issues" or "crew availability" are their favorite lines. Best to never book the first flight out on them, I've found. I flew out on Christmas day and had the option of US Airways with a much shorter layover in Charlotte or Delta with a nearly 4 hour layover in Atlanta. I chose Delta because the flight had a 98% on-time average while the US Airways one had a horrid 65%.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 01/16/14 - 08:55 am
1
0
Augusta is on a route to nowhere. A dead end at a guvmit fort.
Unpublished

Get over yourself. Airlines are in the business of making profits, not
personal convenience.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 01/16/14 - 08:56 am
1
0
EasyRide of Augusta is ready when you are. Less expensive.
Unpublished

EasyRide of Augusta is ready when you are. Less expensive.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 01/16/14 - 08:57 am
1
0
Mr. Thackeray
957
Points
Mr. Thackeray 01/16/14 - 09:44 am
2
1
Delta to WDC vs USA cost are

Delta to WDC vs USA cost are usually significantly different in terms of cost.

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 01/16/14 - 10:05 am
3
1
DC

The direct flight will have to return in the future because of the Cyber Command picking the city of Augusta. The NSA is already located here and only helps fuels the need for the flight..

The recent growth at the airport has been tremendous...

billcass
1045
Points
billcass 01/16/14 - 11:17 am
2
1
Congressman

I am a frequent US Airways traveler, and have taken this flight many times. US Airways has always done extremely well for me, and is much more reliable than Delta, IMO. The loss of this flight is a significant setback for our community. Where is our "moderate" John Barrow in all of this? Why is he not fighting for us?

nocnoc
49129
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nocnoc 01/16/14 - 11:46 am
2
1
Augusta Regional (BUSH FIELD)

is a good REGIONAL airport.

Augusta sits between 2 International Airports within 1 hr, with direct flight to just about anywhere.

Personally, I feel Bush Field would do better focusing on its current multiple Augusta to Atlanta 50+/- seat Flight service than spending $$$$ trying attract and or play against the 2 Major Airports surrounding us.

A little Memory Lane
As a kid I remember, what I was told to be the 1st small private jet to land at Bush Field, it was Sen. Talmadge's 1960-1? Augusta campaign stop.

Riverman1
93600
Points
Riverman1 01/16/14 - 12:27 pm
3
1
I'm with Countyman on this.

I'm with Countyman on this. With the Cyber Command, air traffic is going to pick up. We'll get this flight back.

countyman
21630
Points
countyman 01/16/14 - 02:43 pm
2
3
AGS

The only two 'major' or 'international' airports surrounding the city are located in Atlanta and Charlotte. The airport in Columbia doesn't provide any 'international' flights.. The city of Greenville is located right between Atlanta/Charlotte and GSP(Greenville)is busier than CAE(Columbia)..

The airport in Augusta has been growing much faster compared to CAE(Columbia, SC) over the last few years.. Delta began the mainline service back in 2011 which seats 124 people..

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 01/16/14 - 03:32 pm
3
1
billcass..

Are you a socialist? I don't want the government interfering with private enterprise. There is nothing any Congressman could do to change a choice made by a private company, let the market decide.

If there is enough of a demand the market will provide.

Man, leftist just want the big government to fix everything.

Brad

billcass
1045
Points
billcass 01/16/14 - 03:43 pm
1
1
Socialist?

Hell, I am the most free market guy you will ever meet. The problem here is that the government got involved in the first place, and required US Airways to limit the number of DCA slots in order for them to approve the merger. So since the government started this problem, let them fix it.

burninater
9921
Points
burninater 01/16/14 - 10:27 pm
1
0
Brad and bill -- Even the

Brad and bill --

Even the father of economics, Adam Smith, recognized the tendency of trade groups to conspire to create market-controlling conditions in their industry. This has been understood for literally CENTURIES. An economy that self-regulates to produce a perfectly-behaving market is a complete and total myth.

bdouglas
5777
Points
bdouglas 01/17/14 - 09:09 am
1
0
@County

I'm pretty sure nocnoc was referring to the two international airports "within 1hr" as a one hour *flight* from Augusta, not a one hour drive. No need to get all worked up.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 01/17/14 - 10:59 am
0
0
Slowly relegated to obscurity
Unpublished

Will the last flight out of Augusta please turn off the lights?

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