Senators Stabenow, Peters Announce Direct Flight from Lansing to Washington D.C. Will Resume

U.S. Department of Transportation Awards American Airlines Slot Exemption to Reestablish Direct Service

Thursday, March 31, 2016

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today announced that direct service from Michigan’s capital to the nation’s capital will resume, benefiting local businesses and supporting economic growth in Mid-Michigan. The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted American Airlines a slot exemption to provide direct service after Sun Country Airlines stopped service last October. American Airlines could resume nonstop service as soon as June 29, 2016.

“Securing a direct flight in 2011 was one of my top priorities for this region and has provided a major economic boost to Mid-Michigan and the entire state,” said Senator Stabenow. “It was critical that Lansing keep this direct route, which benefits Michigan State University and FRIB, provides better access for local businesses to our nation’s capital, and supports Port Lansing’s international trade facilities. This is an important opportunity for the region to continue demonstrating the strong customer demand for daily nonstop service.”

“Direct service between Michigan’s capital and the nation’s capital is vital for the economic strength of the entire Mid-Michigan region,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud I was able to work with Senator Stabenow to urge the Department of Transportation to replace nonstop service between Lansing and Washington, DC. This helps ensure that the Lansing area can continue to boost economic development and attract new businesses, while also providing Mid-Michigan residents with a convenient, cost-effective connection point for travel throughout the country.”

“Restoring air service to Washington Reagan National Airport is essential to the economic growth and development of Mid-Michigan, and Michigan’s state capital. Washington DC is Mid-Michigan’s number one travel destination,” said Robert Selig, President and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Authority. “The reestablishment of service with American Airlines would not have been possible without the aggressive efforts of Senator Stabenow, Senator Peters, Congressman Bishop, and Congressman Moolenaar and the over 1200 businesses and individuals from the Mid-Michigan region who wrote letters to the DOT in support of restoring the Washington DC service.” 

“The application approval represents a ‘win-win-win’ opportunity that will help create and retain jobs in Michigan, grow our regional economy and ensure Lansing’s airport remains a cornerstone of our regions business development strategies,” said Tim Daman, President & CEO, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 “We are delighted that the Department of Transportation has agreed to add additional non-stop service from Lansing to Washington, DC.” said Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, President of Michigan State University. “This service will facilitate continued close contact with the federal agencies who support our work. We look forward to working with American Airlines as they join our region.”