Improving Business in the Wilmington Region

ILM lands more flights to Chicago, Washington

American service to match new nonstops planned by United

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — American Airlines has announced it is expanding its service from Wilmington International Airport to offer year-round service to Washington, D.C., and seasonal flights to Chicago, the airport announced Monday.

“We see it as additional capacity and additional options for our travelers,” Wilmington airport director Julie Wilsey said. “It’s great news for the community.”

The airline’s decision comes shortly after United Airlines announced it would start daily nonstop flights to Chicago and Washington beginning in April. United will serve Washington-Dulles, where it operates a hub, while American will fly to Washington-National, where it is the largest carrier. The recent wave of new flight announcements also comes as ILM is on pace to have a record year in 2017 for passengers flying into and out of Wilmington.

American, the Port City’s largest carrier which already offers flights from Wilmington to Philadelphia, Charlotte and New York-LaGuardia and will offer flights to Dallas during the holiday season this year, will begin its Washington flights in May and its Chicago run, while will be a summer offering, in June.

Wilsey said American’s move came about after a successful run of weekend flights American ran to Washington-National in the summer.

“It had such a strong performance that they extended it to adding services starting in May,” she said.

Wilsey said the airport has the capacity to handle the additional traffic. The Wilmington-Washington flight will be a morning run, the airport release said, with a flight arriving in Wilmington from Washington at 9:20 a.m., then taking off at 9:50 a.m. and arriving at Ronald Reagan National Airport at 11:30 a.m. each day.

“It will come in after the morning launch,” she said. “This works really well with our daily schedule.”

The summer flights between ILM and Chicago’s O’Hare airport will run through Labor Day, the release stated.

Reporter Tim Buckland can be reached at 910-343-2217 or