The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that it would award Southwest Airlines two slot exemptions to operate the new service, which will be the first nonstop service from Hobby Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport just outside the capital, according to a statement.No word yet on whether the DOT's decision is going to cause United to throw another temper tantrum.
The department's order requires Dallas-based Southwest to start the new service by Aug. 5.
United Airlines is currently the only airline that provides nonstop service to D.C. from Bush Intercontinental Airport.
In addition to this service and the flights to Boston, Southwest is also going to begin flights between Hobby and New York - La Guardia this summer (they already fly nonstop to Newark). This fall, nonstop flights to Memphis will start, as Southwest tries to chip away at what has been a fortress hub for Delta. So while there are still some major airports that cannot be accessed on a non-stop flight from Hobby (Chicago O'Hare, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Salt Lake City and San Francisco among them), that list continues to get shorter and shorter.