American Airlines is expanding its service at Wilmington International Airport (ILM) with a daily non-stop flight to Reagan National Airport (DCA) and summer non-stop flights to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD), according to an announcement Monday.
The year-round flights to DCA will begin May 7 next year and summer seasonal service to ORD runs June 7 through Sept. 4, 2018, airport officials said.
In 2017, American Airlines also offered summer seasonal service on the weekends between ILM and Reagan and, new this year, winter holiday service to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
The expansion to daily, non-stop flights all year between ILM and Reagan are an outgrowth of the popularity of that seasonal service, said Julie Wilsey, Wilmington International Airport director.
"The performance was so strong for the weekend during the summer that they've expanded it. It doesn't have an end date so it starts in May, and we're hoping that it will be strong enough that it will continue," Wilsey said.
She said airport offiicals hope the same will be true for the Dallas Fort Worth holiday special flights that start Saturday.
"We're hoping that has a strong performance and maybe that could grow into an expanded service as well," Wilsey said.
The time of the departure from DCA to ILM has been set at 7:40 a.m., arriving at 9:20 am, while the departure from ILM to DCA is 9:50 a.m., arriving at 11:30 a.m., an ILM news release stated.
American currently also offers year-round non-stop service between ILM and Philadelphia, Charlotte and New York-LaGuardia, the release said.
The American Airlines announcement Monday follows November's news that ILM is adding a third carrier
, United Airlines, to its roster, which in addition to American Airlines includes Delta.
United Airlines will offer two new non-stop routes between ILM and ORD and between ILM and Dulles/Washington DC (IAD) beginning April 9 next year, according to the previous announcement.