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Jacksonville's airport also loses DC flight

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JACKSONVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Travelers have lost another option to go from southeastern North Carolina to the nation's capital.

Jacksonville's Albert J. Ellis Airport (OAJ) joins Wilmington among the 17 cities losing service to Washington's Reagan National Airport due to the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

As a term of the merger, the federal government required the new American Airlines to get rid of 52 landing slot pairs at Reagan National and 17 at New York's LaGuardia Airport, officials at OAJ said.

"Despite the flights being popular, we were not surprised by the decision as we are competing against larger communities for a highly coveted landing slot," airport director Chris White said in a statement.

White says the airport continuously works with airlines to try and expand service at OAJ.

Earlier this week Wilmington International Airport announced it is losing two daily routes between ILM and DCA as a result of the American-US Air merger, but it will add another flight to LaGuardia. The airport is also trying to add service to another destination, with Chicago as the main focus.

There's no word yet when the flights to and from DC will end.

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