Washington Reagan National Airport is about to get another injection of new service under Congress' plan to increase the number of slots available for new entrants and for long-haul flights.

United will begin a daily nonstop to San Francisco on May 14, Delta will follow with a daily flight to Salt Lake City on June 7, and American will launch a Los Angeles nonstop on June 14.

US Airways is also eligible to add a long-haul flight, and is expected to name a destination soon.

Flights at National, which are subject to a numerical cap, are normally limited to points within a 1,250-mile radius, though a few of the daily slots are designated for service beyond the mileage perimeter.

In its recent FAA funding bill, Congress voted to raise the cap by creating slots for four additional daily roundtrips by new-entrant airlines or carriers with only a small level of service at the airport.

Congress also authorized the DOT to allow four legacy carriers with large slot holdings to convert one pair of slots to beyond-perimeter use.

In choosing San Francisco, United chose to give up one daily flight to its Chicago O’Hare hub. Delta will give up a daily roundtrip to New York LaGuardia and American will convert a daily roundtrip to its Dallas-Fort Worth hub.

All the new services are required to use single-aisle, narrowbody aircraft.

The slots for new entrants will be awarded in a few weeks. Interested carriers were directed to file applications by March 12.


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