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WASHINGTON D.C. -- Alaska Airlines has been given approval to begin direct flights from Portland International Airport to Reagan National Airport.

The announcement was made Monday morning by Tom Towslee, spokesman for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden.

The airline and the Port of Portland had been lobbying heavily for the U.S. Department of Transportation to make the Portland link one of four flights the agency added to Reagan.

A schedule will be posted at alaskaair.com after meetings with transportation officials.

The airline submitted its formal application on March 12. Oregon and Washington politicians were joined by about 13,000 petitioners in the campaign to get approval for the flight.

The flight allows travelers to avoid the suburban Dulles International Airport and fly directly to D.C.

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