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American Airlines Granted Federal Approval to Continue Nonstop Lansing to Washington, D.C. Flights

For Immediate Release
May 9, 20203

Contact: Narine Manukova

LANSING, Mich. – American Airlines was granted federal regulatory approval to continue daily nonstop 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 five-year extension will secure the LAN-DCA route through October 2028.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved American’s petition to extend slot exemptions at DCA that allow the nation’s largest air carrier to continue to operate the Lansing-to-D.C. route. The decision comes after over 800 mid-Michigan travelers, 23 governmental officials and 65 business leaders emailed or sent letters to the FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation urging approval of the American petition after it was filed in February.  American will also continue to offer non-stop flights between LAN and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

“We are thrilled that FAA approved the exemption extension for American Airlines to continue providing this important connection to our nation’s capital,” said Nicole Noll-Williams, president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority. “We are grateful to our congressional delegation and our business community for their strong support.”  

American Airlines presence at Capital Region International Airport has also greatly expanded travel opportunities for mid-Michigan leisure travelers. From the Washington, D.C. hub, mid-Michigan travelers can make direct connections to more than 85 destinations across the United States served by American.  American’s Chicago service provides direct connections to 155 destinations in 15 countries.

“American Airlines is thankful to the FAA for its approval of continued service between Lansing’s Capital Region International Airport and Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport,” said Philippe Puech, American Airlines Director of Short-Haul Network Planning. “American has proudly served this route since 2016, complementing service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. We look forward to continuing to provide the Lansing community with direct access to the nation’s capital on dual-class regional jets with a first class cabin. From our hub at DCA, American Airlines serves over 85 destinations, providing customers essential connectivity to Washington D.C. and beyond.”

“Continuing direct service between Michigan’s Capital and our nation’s Capital is a major boost to mid-Michigan’s economy,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow. “As home to the government of the State of Michigan, Michigan State University, and many statewide organizations, there is tremendous demand for this continued service.”

“As the only daily flight between Michigan’s capital and our nation’s capital, this route is critical for mid-Michigan residents, businesses, associations, and our regional colleges and universities,” said Senator Gary Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “I’m pleased the FAA will continue this route, which will not only help maintain lower fares and convenient schedules for travelers, but will also support further economic growth and opportunity throughout the region.”

American was originally granted an exemption for two slots at DCA in spring 2016 and began service between Lansing and Washington, D.C., in July 2016, with service to Chicago commencing in August 2016. A slot exemption is the right to take off or land at an airport where operations are limited. The DCA exemption was slated to expire this October 2023 – which is why community leaders began rallying support for American’s extension request in January of this year.

“This is great news for the business community!” said Tim Daman, Lansing Regional Chamber president & CEO. “Business leaders throughout the mid-Michigan area rallied to support this service. Thank you to American Airlines and our businesses for the continued support of Capital Region International Airport.”

The Capital Region Airport Authority owns and operates the Capital Region International Airport (LAN), Mason Jewett Field Airport (TEW) and Port Lansing – a global logistics center and mid-Michigan’s only U.S. Port of Entry. The Capital Region International Airport is an important asset in the mid-Michigan community, driving $1 billion annually in economic impact with 700 people employed at the airport. The airport welcomes more than 352,000 visitors each year to connect throughout the country and the world. In addition to providing corporate and general aviation, the Capital Region International Airport moves 63.5 million pounds of cargo annually and is one of two airports in the state with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Station. Port Lansing, mid-Michigan’s only U.S. Port of Entry and home to Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #275 covering eight counties, also features a 48,000-square-foot cargo facility and container freight station, and 425 acres of ready-to-develop land. For more information, go to and visit the airport’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts.