Alaska Airlines seeks National Airport slots

SEATTLE -- Alaska Airlines is considering service to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

A takeoff and a landing slot at the airport could be vacated by St. Louis-based Trans World Airlines, which is seeking bankruptcy protection and is the target of an acquisition bid by American Airlines.

Airlines can’t apply for the slots until TWA goes out of business, and other carriers, including Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines, reportedly also would like the service rights at Reagan National.

"It’s a long shot. These are highly contested slots,’’ said Jack Evans, an Alaska spokesman.

The service would mark a major change for Alaska, which now serves destinations mostly on the West Coast, in Mexico and in its namesake state. Its longest nonstop flight is between Anchorage and Chicago.

Evans said Alaska’s newer Boeing 737-700 jets have the range for transcontinental flights. The airline is proposing one daily round-trip flight between Seattle and Washington, D.C.

United Airlines currently offers the only nonstop service between Seattle and the Washington, D.C., area.

The U.S. Department of Transportation would award the slots, a procedure that could take several months.

03/03/2001 - 8:00pm