|Updated: 3/25/2012 11:45 pm
||Published: 3/25/2012 7:16 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - US Airways launches its first direct flight from Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport to Washington, D.C.'s Ronald Reagan National Airport.
Sunday marks the beginning of daily, nonstop flights from Little Rock to the nation's capital, one of the most popular destinations in the country.
The first flight into Little Rock Sunday afternoon was booked full, an example of how popular this flight will be.
Several local leaders and political representatives helped mark the special occasion. Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola spoke at the ceremony, saying the new flight will be a great benefit for the military, politician, and business traveler. "When we landed, my son saw the flight that said direct to DC, and he wanted to know why we were not on that flight. I said next time we'll be on that flight."
Congressman Tim Griffin says this new flight takes into account passenger convenience, by offering two options between both cities. "This impacts me personally, so thank you from me, from my two year old and my four year old, and from my wife who get to see me occasionally. I normally leave on a Monday and come back on a Thursday, so this will help."
Passengers like Dan Rahn say the nonstop option makes travel less of a hassle for him and others who do business in Washington on a regular basis. "This will not be my one and only time on this particular flight. I personally to back and forth to Washington 4 or 5 times a year."
After the ceremony, passengers boarded the flight. The Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Team provided an official water canon salute over the airplane as it taxied from the gate to the runway. 2 hours later, the flight descends into Reagan National Airport for the very first time. For those aboard, there can now be many more trips like this in the future.
39 passengers left on the inaugural flight to D.C. Sunday afternoon. The return flight comes back from D.C. arriving at 9:43pm. The first flight out in the morning leaves Little Rock at 6:15am.
US Airways hired 10 additional positions to staff the additional flight service.