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Simple Flying
Spirit Airlines seeks to operate direct flights

Spirit Airlines is applying to operate direct flights between Reagan National and San Jose after the former airport was granted extra slots as part of the latest Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. Several carriers are set to apply for one of five new takeoff and landing slots - which are exempt from the 1,250-mile limit - at the Washington, DC, airport.


Spirit proposes San Jose-Washington route

The ultra-low-cost carrier said in a statement that it would apply to operate a nonstop service between Reagan Washington National (DCA) and San Jose Mineta International (SJC). Noting San Jose as one of the country's largest cities without a nonstop connection to Washington, DC, it said the route would also deliver more affordable travel options for millions of Bay Area residents.

What is notable about this route is that it clocks in at around 2,500 miles, which is double DCA's perimeter limit of 1,250 miles. Spirit Airlines has been at SJC for less than a year now after launching an initial three routes last June - Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas and San Diego - and is due to commence another three routes next month, with Baltimore, Los Angeles and Portland joining its network.


Tech connection

San Jose is at the center of the global tech industry, home to the likes of Adobe, Cisco, eBay and PayPal. Should Spirit's request receive approval, this would be the country's only nonstop route between its capital Washington, DC and Silicon Valley. 

Other airlines in the mix for new slots at DCA include Southwest Airlines, which announced on Monday it would be applying for flights between Las Vegas, as well as American Airlines - which has proposed a service between San Antonio - and an Alaska Airlines flight between San Diego. The proposal to add the five slots at DCA led to significant pushback from a group of senators, who argued that it would be a safety risk at an airport already congested. The FAA will have 60 days to review applications before making a decision.

May 29, 2024

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