The Department of Transportation recently awarded the last four of eight new longer haul city exemptions as part of the 2012 Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill. This announcement marks the arrival of Virgin America at DCA with new service to San Francisco. In addition, authority was granted for:
- JetBlue to start flights from DCA to San Juan, Puerto Rico;
- Alaska Airlines to Portland, Oregon; and
- Southwest Airlines to Austin.
Each airline is authorized to offer one non-stop round-trip flight daily. Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation awarded several other airlines new long distance routes from DCA. These previous awards included United to serve San Francisco, American to Los Angeles, US Airways to San Diego, and Delta to Salt Lake City.