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American to begin daily nonstop flights from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 5:36 p.m.

American Airlines will begin daily nonstop flights in August from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, a popular destination for business travelers.

Beginning Aug. 27, the airline will operate one flight seven days a week, departing Pittsburgh International Airport at 4:30 p.m. and arriving at Los Angeles International Airport at 6:50 p.m. local time.

“Increasing nonstop flights to the West Coast has been an important goal of my administration,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Improving West Coast access is vital to our businesses and will encourage more economic development.”

American will serve the route with 150-seat, Boeing 737 aircraft, said airline spokesman Matt Miller. Travelers may start booking the flight beginning Sunday.

“Los Angeles is a big destination for folks on the East Coast, including Pittsburgh,” said Miller.

United Airlines offers nonstop Pittsburgh-Los Angeles service, but only four times a week.

Los Angeles is a hub airport for connecting flights on American, which has agreed to merge with US Airways.

“The other benefit is that because Los Angeles is a hub for American, there will be a lot of international connections,” said JoAnn Jenny, spokeswoman for the Allegheny County Airport Authority. American's new route is the latest of several announcements about new or expanded air service at Pittsburgh International.

On March 4, Southwest Airlines said it would begin daily nonstop service to Nashville International Airport on Sept. 29. The airline announced in late October that it would initiate service to Houston's William P. Hobby Airport on April 14.

In addition, JetBlue Airways announced Dec. 11 that it would add a fourth daily nonstop flight from Pittsburgh to Boston on May 1.

Separately, the airport authority reported Pittsburgh International served 536,705 passengers in February, a 2.6 percent decline from 551,231 the year earlier. The authority said the decline occurred because last year was a leap year, so February 2012 had 29 days, instead of 28.

United, AirTran, American and Air Canada reported more passengers in February than the year earlier. US Airways, Southwest, Delta and JetBlue reported fewer.

Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached a 412-320-7854 or at tolson@tribweb.com.

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