Southwest Airlines on Wednesday lost its bid for a nonstop route from Oklahoma City to Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Transportation Department instead awarded the open slot to US Airways to continue nonstop round-trip service to Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Jackson, Miss. Two other airlines proposed routes, including Southwest, which asked to provide a nonstop flight to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, and Frontier Airlines, which wanted to offer nonstop service to Louisville, Ky.
The slot at Ronald Reagan National Airport became available after Delta Air Lines discontinued its service between Washington, D.C., to Jackson, Miss., in March. The Transportation Department allowed US Airways to temporarily offer nonstop service to Jackson, Miss., until a permanent decision was made.
Karen Carney, spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport, said airport staff was disappointed to hear the decision.
“We'll continue to pursue the route. We think it's important for the community. We think it would serve the city and the travelers. We feel like we'll get it at some point,” Carney said.
In its decision, the Transportation Department said the Jackson, Miss., community has substantially benefited from having nonstop service to Reagan National Airport, a service that likely would be lost if US Airways wasn't chosen, causing adverse economic consequences throughout the state.