On July 9 Southwest Airlines revealed it had bought four slots at Washington Reagan National Airport from another airline, the previous week. Southwest will...

Southwest Airlines is to launch new non-stop service between Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Washington Reagan National Airport this fall.

On July 9 Southwest Airlines revealed it had bought four slots at Washington Reagan National Airport (IATA code DCA) from another airline, the previous week. The slots are for service within the 1,250-mile service perimeter normally applied to flights to and from DCA.


Southwest Airlines began service between Austin in Texas and Washington Reagan National Airport on July 9, 2012. In this photo, the aircraft operating the inaugural Austin-Washington National flight is given a water-cannon salute by the fire department at Auston-Bergstrom International Airport as the aircraft taxis out. On the same day, Southwest revealed it had bought four slots at Reagan National from another airline, in order to launch service between St. Louis and the near-downtown Washington airport in the fall of 2012

Southwest will use the slots to provide two daily round-trips between DCA and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) and says its flights will represent the only large-jet service between STL and DCA.

The airline expects to begin selling tickets for the new service in late July or early August, and to begin the service by early October.

According to STL, the specific schedule for the new flights is pending a decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the FAA regarding a request by Southwest Airlines to modify the slot times that were originally assigned to the previous carrier.

“Southwest has responded to our market’s need for more direct service to Washington, DC,” says Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, director of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. “This is a welcomed addition for our business travelers because currently we have more people flying to DC than there are non-stop seats.”

Southwest Airlines is Lambert’s largest carrier, currently providing 94 daily flights to 33 destinations. Southwest will also begin two new daily non-stop flights between St. Louis and San Antonio on August 12.

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