Airlines add many more flights at Reagan National, Dulles International

The departure boards are filling back up at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport as airlines bring back more flights this spring, and add new ones.

Reagan National, also known as DCA, is about to take the wraps off its new 225,000-square-foot, 14-gate commuter flight terminal.

American Airlines, the dominant airline at Reagan National, has increased the number of its peak-day departures from 88 to 141, as of this week.

American will resume service April 17 to additional destinations, including Cincinnati, South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island, Oklahoma City and the Bahamas, bringing American back to the same number of destinations from Reagan National that it flew in April 2019.

American Airlines now serves more Florida destinations from Regan National than Southwest Airlines does from BWI Marshall Airport.

Southwest, which currently accounts for only a handful of daily departures from Reagan National, is increasing its peak-day departures from DCA from eight to as many as 28 this spring. New destinations from Reagan National for Southwest include the Florida cities of Jacksonville, Panama City and Pensacola.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority plans a soft opening for its $374 million commuter flight terminal on April 20. It adds gates 46 through 59, and ends Gate 35X, where passengers wait for shuttle buses to take them to commuter planes on the tarmac. The new terminal has proper jetways that connect passengers directly to their planes.

Here’s a video of the new commuter flight terminal at Reagan National, courtesy of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority:

At Dulles, also known as IAD, daily commercial airline departures will increase to well over 200, encompassing 119 destinations, beginning in April. United Airlines, the dominant carrier at Dulles, already serves triple the number of Florida destinations it did in 2018.

Delta Air Lines will increase the number of its peak-day departures from Dulles by 30% in May.

New destinations from Dulles this year include United to Florida’s Panama City, South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach and Montana’s Bozeman-Yellowstone, as well as spring launches on United to Accra, Ghana, and Lagos, Nigeria.

Southwest Airlines adds Dulles flights to Chicago Midway this spring, and American adds Dulles flights to Austin, Texas.

Many international travel restrictions remain for U.S. travelers, but 22 airlines are currently serving 31 foreign countries from Dulles. Volaris resumed daily service to El Salvador last week. TAP Air Portugal resumed daily service to Lisbon over the weekend. Other international carriers will resume flights from Dulles as travel restrictions are lifted.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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