News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) announced a new Alaska Airlines nonstop route from Reagan National Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with same-plane service to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

The Department of Transportation awarded Alaska one of the few "beyond-the-perimeter" slots, allowing the airline to provide nonstop flight service to the West Coast.

"This is a great day for the people of Washington state," said Murray. "Now Washington state air travelers and those connecting at SeaTac can fly to and from the nation's capital without having to transfer in the Midwest, where congestion and bad weather often cause passenger delays. This will also enable Northwest travelers to avoid long lay overs and crowded connecting airports when traveling to their Capitol."

The senior Senators from Alaska and Washington had asked Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to consider that Alaska was the only true new entrant to apply for the slot. "I am pleased that my good friend Norm Mineta recognized the merits of Alaska's application," said Stevens. "This new service will provide tremendous options for Alaskans visiting Washington, D.C. and the rest of the country."

The route in and out of Washington became available after the recent bankruptcy of TransWorld Airlines in December, 2000. In March, Senators from the Northwest sent two separate letters to Secretary Mineta urging him to consider Alaska Airlines and SeaTac airport as the successor to the TWA route.

The Department of Transportation awarded the slot to Alaska because their presence at Reagan National Airport will improve the aviation network in the United States by providing service to SeaTac where none existed before. The airline's bid was helped by the fact that Alaska flies an all-U.S., all-Boeing fleet.

"The employees and customers of Alaska can be proud of their airline. This was a very competitive process and this award illustrates national recognition of our airline from the Pacific Northwest," Murray said.

"I look forward to coming home all the way on Alaska Airlines," added Stevens.