New Orleans City Business
American Airlines will begin offering daily nonstop flights this summer between Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C., providing officials and other travelers from both capitals an option to flying out of New Orleans.
The direct flights between Baton Rouge Metro Airport and Reagan National Airport will begin on June 1 with a 76-passenger Embraer 175 jet with first-class, premium economy and economy seating.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Broome announced the deal Thursday, saying the new flight was made possible through many years of negotiations with American Airlines and a $2 million economic incentive package.
“A nonstop flight from Baton Rouge to Washington, D.C., is monumental for our city and region,” Broome said in a press release. “Connecting the capital of Louisiana with our nation’s capital will bring tourists and businesses directly into Baton Rouge without having to travel through the New Orleans area. This nonstop flight has been a decade in the making, and the Baton Rouge community is ready to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. It will elevate our economic development at home and enhance our impact in the nation’s capital.”
The Baton Rouge airport was one of 25 applicants selected for a $1 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Its Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) is a federal grant designed for small community airports.
The remaining $1 million came from renewed incentives in a bill authored by former state Rep. Ted James. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC) will administer that funding.
“BRAC has partnered with the Baton Rouge Airport for several years on the project and is happy we could support it crossing the finish line,” BRAC CEO Adam Knapp said. “As Louisiana’s Capital Region, having nonstop service to the U.S. capital just makes sense. Not only will this new flight allow for better business travel, but it is a huge step for connecting our region to another major metro area.”
Despite being the second most populous metropolis in the state, Baton Rouge has a relatively small airport. BTR attracts just over 800,000 passengers per year, compared with New Orleans’ Armstrong International Airport that sees more than that in a single month and more than 11 million passengers a year.
Tickets for the new daily flights will go on sale beginning Saturday, Jan. 28.