Southwest Airlines will operate its inaugural flight between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on July 8.
To promote the new route, Southwest Airlines is offering an introductory one-way fare of $149 in either direction between Washington Reagan National Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
These fares are available for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, for travel between July 8 and October 10, 2012. Fares can only be purchased at www.southwest.com or www.swabiz.com.
In February, Congress passed legislation creating slot exemptions at Washington Reagan National Airport authorizing four new services to points beyond the airport’s normal 1,250-mile network perimeter, by airlines not currently serving DCA or which are not major incumbent carriers there.
Each new service requires one slot pair at DCA: one for landing, one for take-off.
Less than two weeks ago, the Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded Southwest one of the four slot pairs, to provide the first and only non-stop service on the DCA-AUS route.
Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways currently operates 12 daily DCA flights. These services will be transitioned to Southwest as the integration of the two carriers continues throughout the next couple of years.
However, the AUS-DCA route will be Southwest’s first service to Washington Reagan National Airport.
Southwest already has a large footprint in the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area with its service at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).