American Airlines submits application to U.S. Department of Transportation to serve San Antonio International Airport from Washington Reagan National

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FORT WORTH, Texas — American today formally submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate daily, nonstop service between San Antonio International Airport (SAT) and Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA). The 2024 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill was signed into law in May, awarding five new roundtrip flights serving DCA.

The city of San Antonio is the fastest-growing city in the United States and is home to one of the largest concentrations of military bases in the country. It is the largest city in Texas lacking nonstop service to DCA and the largest city in the U.S. with a majority Hispanic population without nonstop service to DCA, which is the most convenient airport for travelers visiting Washington, D.C.

American’s proposed service between SAT and DCA will complement the carrier’s more than 25 daily departures from SAT to seven cities across the U.S. In addition to offering convenient nonstop connectivity between San Antonio and the nation’s capital, American will offer one-stop connections via DCA to destinations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Canada.

“American is proud to submit an application to provide the only nonstop service between San Antonio and Washington, D.C.,” said Brian Znotins, American’s Senior Vice President of Network and Schedule Planning. “This new service will expand American’s industry-leading domestic network connecting customers to the places they want to visit most.”

“Adding a nonstop route to Reagan National Airport is part of our efforts to expand air operations for the San Antonio region,” said Jesus Saenz, Director of Airports for the San Antonio Airport System. “We’re grateful to American Airlines for their shared vision to improve connectivity and for helping us elevate our service options with a route that will be especially beneficial to our business and military communities. This is yet another step in our commitment to modernize our airport and improve the traveler experience.”

“We have a historic opportunity to increase San Antonio’s access to the nation’s capital, which is particularly important for the members of our military community who rely on air connectivity for operational needs,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Nonstop access to the nation's capital will strengthen our economic ties with leaders in Washington, D.C. and enable greater collaboration with the Pentagon, other federal agencies and leading research institutions. We are grateful to American Airlines for partnering with us to establish this nonstop route that will greatly enhance our city's prosperity.”

For the only nonstop between SAT and DCA, American will use special flight numbers to commemorate the city’s rich history and significant military contributions. Flight 1718 recognizes the year San Antonio was founded and Flight 1947 celebrates the year the U.S. Air Force was established. American’s proposed operation is as follows:

FlightDeparture AirportDeparture TimeArrival AirportArrival TimeAircraft Type
1718SAT6:35 a.m.DCA10:59 a.m.Airbus A321
1947DCA7:45 p.m.SAT10:20 p.m.Airbus A321

American is prepared to support appropriate schedule adjustments that allow for the safe and efficient integration of its SAT-DCA service into operations at DCA and the broader Washington, D.C. metropolitan area airspace.

American’s application to DOT includes more than 150 letters of support from the San Antonio community, including bipartisan policymakers, mayors, military organizations, chambers of commerce, advocacy organizations and nonprofits from across the region to express their strong support of the potential SAT-DCA route.

“American’s commitment to delivering the City of San Antonio a direct flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport represents an important step not just for the residents of Military City USA, but the entire Lone Star State,” said Sen. Ted Cruz. “I am proud to have led the fight to help deliver the five long-haul slots that we included in this year’s FAA reauthorization bill, and I will continue to press the U.S. Department of Transportation to quickly approve American's application for the San Antonio route.”

“San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the country, and last year, more people moved to San Antonio than any other city in the U.S.,” said Sen. John Cornyn. “After years of hard work from the Texas delegation in Congress and many leaders in Military City, USA, nonstop flights between San Antonio, Texas, and Washington, D.C., could be on the horizon, and I look forward to seeing American Airlines serve this route for visitors, businesses and our military.”

“In May, I was proud to be part of the effort to authorize more direct flights into Washington D.C. and open the door for a nonstop flight from San Antonio,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro. “American’s proposed direct flight will make travel easier for thousands of military, business and leisure travelers and attract new jobs for our talented workforce. San Antonio is a world-class city, and a decision by the FAA to approve this direct flight to our nation’s capital would be an important step for our city’s growth.”

“San Antonio is home to 82,000 active-duty military and civilian support personnel, tens of thousands of veterans and is the seventh-largest city in the U.S.,” said Congressman Chip Roy. “American’s partnership with San Antonio International is valuable to the people of our community and the ability for Texans to access a direct flight to our nation's capital.”




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