California congressmen back Aloha's bid to fly to D.C.
Aloha Airlines, bidding against many of the mainland's largest airlines for scarce landing slots at Washington Reagan National Airport, has gotten some notable support -- from six Southern Californians in Congress.
"The entire bipartisan Orange County congressional delegation has written to Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta urging that DOT grant Aloha's application," said Republican Rep. Chris Cox of Orange County.
Orange County is home to John Wayne International Airport. Aloha's service from Hawaii to the Los Angeles area is to John Wayne International, south of L.A., and to Burbank International, north of L.A. Its application to serve Reagan National calls for flights there from John Wayne.
"In addition to the letter, Members have weighed in personally with both Secretary Mineta and Assistant Secretary for Aviation, Karan Bhatia," Cox said Friday.
Cox said he and the other Southern Californians in Congress have stressed to these officials that Aloha's application brings truly new service to Reagan National since Aloha does not serve any East Coast destination yet.
Cox chairs the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Policy Committee. The others who signed the letter include House aeronautics subcommittee chairman Dana Rohrabacher and House Transportion Committee member Gary Miller as well as Reps. Ed Royce, Ken Calvert and Loretta Sanchez. Sanchez is a Democrat; the others are Republicans.
"It will provide the only nonstop connection between Orange County and the Washington-Baltimore area," the letter said of the Aloha application, "two regions that are home to a combined 11 million people. And it will reduce by 30 percent -- from seven hours to five hours -- the time it takes to travel between these two populous regions."
The congressmen also asserted that Aloha's fares would exert downward pressure on all D.C.-L.A. airfares.