American cutting flights from NY, DC after merger

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American Airlines and US Airways will drop year-round, daily nonstop flights from Washington's Reagan National Airport to Detroit, San Diego and 15 other cities because of the deal they made to win government approval of their merger.

They will also end nonstop flights from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Atlanta, Cleveland and Minneapolis but will add service from LaGuardia to 10 other cities.

The combined company, American Airlines Group Inc., announced the changes Wednesday.

In November, American and US Airways agreed to give up the space at Reagan and LaGuardia and a few gates at five other major airports. In exchange, the U.S. Justice Department dropped an antitrust lawsuit that threatened to derail their merger, which created the world's biggest airline operator.

Slots at Reagan and New York-area airports are limited, making them valuable when they become available. Southwest Airlines and Virgin America won the rights to buy the LaGuardia slots, and an announcement is expected soon on who will get the Reagan slots.

American and US Airways will remain major carriers at Reagan and LaGuardia.

Besides Detroit and San Diego, daily nonstops by American and US Airways will end between Reagan and Minneapolis; Montreal; Augusta and Savannah, Ga.; Fayetteville and Jacksonville, N.C.; Fort Walton Beach, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla.; Islip, N.Y.; Little Rock, Ark.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Nassau, Bahamas; and Omaha, Neb.

The company said dates for the changes would be announced in coming weeks. Travelers in those cities will have to fly through another American or US Airways hub city — or take another airline —to reach Washington.

American said it will add a second daily nonstop between Washington and Los Angeles by moving a San Diego flight operated by US Airways. It will end year-round flying to Fort Myers, Fla., switching it to a seasonal service.

Service will be added beginning April 1 from LaGuardia to Charlottesville, Norfolk, Richmond and Roanoke, Va.; Little Rock; Dayton, Ohio; Louisville, Ky.; Greensboro and Wilmington, N.C.; and Knoxville, Tenn.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. fell 3 cents to close at $28.84.

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