The American Airlines, US Airways merger is being felt in eastern North Carolina.
Airports in Fayetteville, Jacksonville and Wilmington are losing their non-stop flights to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC.
There used to be two daily flights to DC from Wilmington International Airport or I-L-M. John Rosborough is the airport director:
We thought that at best, we hoped we would keep both of them. But we thought in reality we would probably keep one. And we were disappointed obviously, when we lost both of our flights, nonstop, to DCA.
The flights from Wilmington to DCA are on small, 50 passenger planes. Rosborough says people will still be able to get to DC through connections in Charlotte and Atlanta:
It’s going to be a little bit of an inconvenience but it’s not a deal breaker. I think our passengers certainly understand and they’ll continue flying out and into ILM.
Wilmington lost the flights to DC in the merger, but it gained a flight to New York, its top destination for travelers. Fayetteville still has three daily flights to Dulles, outside Washington, on United.
American and US Airways were required to give up 52 round-trip flights at Washington Reagan, a condition of the merger. Several other small southern cities will also lose their direct flights to DC, including Myrtle Beach, SC, Savannah, GA and Tallahassee, FL.