American Airlines granted federal approval to extend non-stop Lansing-Washington, D.C. flights

American Airlines has again gained federal regulatory approval to continue daily non-stop service between Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport (LAN) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., maintaining a vital and popular link between the state’s and nation’s capitals.

“This is great news for our airport and those in our region,” said Wayne Sieloff, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority. “Our partnerships with air carriers like American Airlines play a critical role in our ability to support our region’s development, growth and quality of life.  This extension for Washington National (DCA)/Capital Region International Airport (LAN) flights, adds more certainty for this important route for the next 5 years.”

This decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the second authorization issued this year by the FAA and further extends slot exemptions at DCA that allow the nation’s largest air carrier to continue to operate the Lansing-to-D.C. route.  The action extends authorization of the LAN-DCA slot exemption until October 28, 2023.  “I am happy to hear that the direct flights from Lansing to Washington D.C. will continue. This is a fantastic service for our residents, visitors, investors and businesses across our region,” said Mayor Andy Schor.

“On behalf of the Capital Region Airport Authority Board of Directors, we’re very pleased to learn of the slot exemption extension for American Airlines service between LAN and DCA,” said John Shaski, Board Chairman of the Capital Region Airport Authority.  “The extension of LAN’s most frequently traveled route is critical for the community.  Our community and elected officials did a great job in advocating for this route and demonstrated great commitment to the ongoing well-being of our airport.”

“We’re pleased with the FAA's decision and are very thankful for the support our application received from the mid-Michigan community, which since we began the service in 2016 has welcomed American Airlines with open arms," said Billy Glunz, American's regional director of state and local government affairs. "We look forward to continuing to serve the community with the non-stop Lansing-to-D.C. service that it values." 

American Airlines was originally granted a two-year exemption for two slots – one for each the departing flight and arriving flight at DCA – in spring 2016.  A slot exemption is the right to take off or land at a high-density traffic airport where operations are limited. 

Earlier this year and prior to expiration of its original two-year slot exemption period, American Airlines submitted a petition to extend slot exemptions at DCA for Lansing’s non-stop flights.  The mid-Michigan community responded by showing great support for this non-stop service and more than 1,700 people submitted letters of support for American Airlines’ LAN-DCA flights.  In June 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved American’s petition to extend its slot exemption for the LAN-DCA flights until October 26, 2019.

American Airlines’ presence at Capital Region International Airport continues to expand travel opportunities for mid-Michigan passengers. From the Washington, D.C. hub, passengers can make direct connections to more than 20 destinations across the United States provided by American Airlines.  American Airlines also provides non-stop flights between Lansing and Chicago which provides connectivity to 115 destinations in 11 countries.