JetBlue LGB Airport Cuts Could Help Southwest

JetBlue returns to Ontario airport as the airline battle for Southern California heats

"Revising our schedule allows us to offer customers new destinations, capitalise on our leadership position in transcontinental flying and advance our margin commitments in Long Beach where certain flying constraints have created challenges", says Marty St George, the airline's executive vice president, commercial and planning.

The airline also is moving to resume flight services at Ontario International Airport - something that hasn't happened for almost a decade - and to expand its operations at Hollywood Burbank Airport.

The Long Beach City Council voted by an 8-to-1 margin in January 2017 to cease activities that could have led to the construction of a federal inspection facility, a necessity for any airport welcoming global travelers, at LGB. It will operate twice weekly to Boston and Long Beach, and Saturday-only service to Fort Lauderdale. It will resume year-round service at Ontario (California), and begin seasonal flights to Bozeman (Montana) and Steamboat Springs (Colorado).

JetBlue and the city have been at odds since the airline requested to build an global terminal at LGB in early 2015.

In terms of LB Airport flight slots, JetBlue will give up a dozen by using 23 instead of 35.and the freed-up slots will now effectively become available to other operators.

Hawaiian Airlines will begin flying to the islands from Long Beach June 1.


In a statement made to another local media outlet, St. George said the changes were linked to the council's decision in January 2017 to table the worldwide terminal.

Long Beach Airport is limited by ordinance to 50 daily flights, but that number is higher than a few years ago because of quieter planes. Industry watchers note, though, that JetBlue's operations there have been at least in part about maintaining a presence at the facility and keeping other air carriers out.

JetBlue only carries about 2% of carriers there but is the largest carrier at Long Beach Airport, carrying about 80% of passengers. This announcement included strategic airline decisions made to balance their service in the region.

Now, JetBlue executives view flying out of Ontario to be a more affordable proposition and will resume flights from ONT to JFK on September 5.

The Ontario International Airport Authority, a team-up between the Ontario's city government and San Bernardino County, took control of ONT from Los Angeles World Airports in November 2016.

In addition, JetBlue will resume sesonal service at Palm Springs with flights to New York JFK on 10 October.

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