JetBlue increases its Long Beach presence

The largest carrier at Long Beach Airport is increasing both the number of destinations and flights, having been awarded three new slots at the airport.

Low-cost carrier JetBlue has added a non-stop service to Reno-Tahoe International Airport, as well as increasing their services to its existing markets of San Francisco, Oakland and Las Vegas from Long Beach International Airport (LBG) after being awarded three new slots at the airport.

JetBlue’s Reno service will begin on August 15, 2016, becoming the twelfth city that is served non-stop at Long Beach.  Flight time will be one hour and fifteen minutes. The LCC will run an additional daily service to both San Francisco and Oakland, also beginning in mid August 2016. Up to four daily flights will be in operation on both the San Francisco and Oakland routes.

An additional daily flight from Long Beach to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas will see the pairing served up to five times a day, also from August this year. JetBlue will also adjust flight times of their existing service to Sacramento International Airport from Long Beach. These adjustments are in place in order to make flight times more convenient for their customers, making it easy to fly both ways in one day. This new schedule will begin from September 7, 2016.

These changes to JetBlue’s network – with services utilising Airbus A320 aircraft – will make use of the three new slots the airline was awarded at Long Beach. JetBlue were awarded a third of the nine available slots, whereas Delta acquired two and Southwest four. As Delta and JetBlue already serve the airport, they received fewer slots. At present, it is not yet known when Southwest will begin operations at Long Beach, or which destinations they will serve.

JetBlue’s arrival and decision to establish LBG as a West Coast hub has helped establish the airport as a viable alternative to Los Angeles International (LAX). A study to determine whether a request by JetBlue to begin international service at Long Beach makes sense has been given the green light by Long Beach Council. Despite this, none of the candidates running for the city’s eighth council district have said they favour this idea of LBG becoming an international airport.

Increased services is of no surprise as the airline continues to grow. In February 2016, traffic increased by 19.1 percent in comparison to February 2015 figures. Their number of departures was up was 15.1 percent, recorded at 25,677. 

Flights to Cuba could also be added to JetBlue’s network this year. In their application for the limited flights, JetBlue has requested a total of 15 daily frequencies, reaching four Cuban cities from six US destinations. Should they be successful, this would see Havana being served from New York, Orlando and Tampa. Camaguey, Holguin and Santa Clara would all be served from Fort Lauderdale on a daily basis.

With only 110 daily flights available to Cuba, JetBlue will face stiff competition from the likes of Delta, American Airlines and Dynamic for the spots. Should JetBlue be successful, the start date for these services is anticipated to be September 8, 2016 or within 100 days after receipt of all necessary approvals, dependant on which is earlier.