American Airlines granted federal approval to begin nonstop Lansing-Washington, D.C., flights

Nation's largest air carrier also aims to offer Lansing-Chicago service

March 31, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today the approval of the American Airlines petition to the Federal Aviation Administration for an exemption to operate one round-trip flight (two slots) for service between Capital Region International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. 

American is authorized to commence daily LAN–DCA service 90 days from today. On top of that, it plans to offer three daily flights from Capital Region International Airport to Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Start date, schedule and fares for the Lansing-Washington, D.C., and Lansing-Chicago routes have not yet been established.  

Both the Ronald Reagan and O'Hare airports are key American Airlines hubs, which will provide mid-Michigan travelers with direct connections to scores of other national and international destinations served by American.

"Restoring air service to Washington Reagan National Airport is essential to the economic growth and development of mid-Michigan, and Michigan's state capital," said Bob Selig, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority.

The re-establishment of service with American Airlines would not have been possible without the aggressive efforts of U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, U.S. Reps. Mike Bishop and John Moolenaar, and the more than 1,200 business officials and individuals from the mid-Michigan region who wrote letters to the USDOT in support of restoring the Washington, D.C., service, Selig said.

"The Capital Region International Airport staff and leadership are greatly appreciative of everyone's support in this development," he said. 

"American's service is a 'win-win-win' and a big boost to much-needed mid-Michigan air service," said Howard Kass, American's vice president of regulatory affairs. "American will inaugurate LAN service with four daily flights to two destinations, not just one, giving Lansing-area travelers a new choice in air travel with a new carrier, new network, new hubs and new global alliance access."

"This really is a historic day for the Greater Lansing region," said Tim Daman, Lansing Region Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.

"Securing Washington, D.C., service represents a 'win-win-win' opportunity that will help create and retain jobs in Michigan, grow our regional economy and ensure Lansing's airport remains a cornerstone of our region's business development strategies," said Capital Region Airport Authority Board Chair Chris Holman.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to our Coalition members and the broader community for the willingness to lend support to this important effort," said Jim Robinson, chair of the Mid-Michigan Business Travel Coalition.  "This is truly a victory for the entire region to celebrate."