Little Rock Loses Direct Flights To Washington, Gets Non-Stop To New York

Jan 15, 2014

Credit Jason Burt / Arkansas Business

American Airlines, which is now merged with U.S. Airways, is discontinuing direct flights between Little Rock and Washington DC, but will soon begin non-stop service to another major airport.

In a statement Wednesday, a spokesman for Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport said officials worked hard to try and keep direct service to Reagan National, but circumstances worked against them.

"The required divestiture of slots (for planes) at Reagan National, combined with a lack of demand from passengers, led to the route being discontinued. Since it began in March 2012, the route has consistently struggled to meet performance goals," said spokesman Shane Carter.

The schedule started with two flights per day, but was later reduced to one. Even then, Carter says there weren’t enough passengers to sustain non-stop service.

But with the disappointing news, Little Rock's airport is getting something in return from American Airlines.

"While we’re losing a destination, we’re gaining another with reestablishing service into the New York area. The Airport Commission has been working with American for several months to finalize details on non-stop service from Little Rock to LaGuardia that will begin in April," Carter said.

The renewed flights were in response to business travelers, the statement says, who had been requesting non-stop service to the nation's largest city.