Southwest Grows Washington Reagan Presence With Summer Routes

Southwest Airlines at Washington Reagan Airport
A Southwest Airlines plane takes off from Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA).
Credit: Sipa USA / Alamy Stock Photo

Southwest Airlines is opening two new routes from Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) after additional slots became available for the summer 2023 season.

Starting July 11 through Sept. 4, the carrier will offer flights to Memphis International Airport, Tennessee, and Albany International Airport, New York. Each route will be served once a day.

Southwest’s entry to the two markets will provide direct competition for American Airlines, which offers up to four flights per day from DCA to both Memphis and Albany. 

American has been without competition on both sectors since Delta Air Lines ended Washington Reagan-Memphis service in March 2015. In the wider Washington-Albany market, United Airlines provides indirect competition through its 3X-daily route from Washington Dulles International Airport. 

Southwest’s latest expansion will increase its network from DCA to 19 destinations and more than 45 daily departures. The airline is the second-largest carrier at the airport at the present time with 14.8% capacity share of seats, OAG Schedules Analyser data shows. American is the largest, commanding a 54.5% share.

The new routes come as attempts are made to add more long-duration flights out of Washington Reagan. The Direct Capital Access Act, introduced on May 10 by Reps. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), seeks to add 28 additional flights in and beyond DCA’s mandated maximum flight perimeter of 1,250 mi. (2,012 km). The local airports authority, operating both DCA and Washington Dulles, opposes the bill. 

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.