JetBlue relinquishes unused LGB slots

Three other airliners contenders for extra flight slots.

Last week, airline JetBlue announced it would give up 10 of its 34 flight slots at Long Beach Airport (LGB).

Last November, the Long Beach City Council approved amendments to the Flight Slot Allocation Resolution to prohibit air carriers from conducting operations in a manner that causes the carrier to operate less than the following percentages of its calendar month, quarter and annual pro-rata proportion of its allocated flight slots.

The vote was made to ensure airlines fly the flight slots that they have and avoid “slot squatting.”

The City of Long Beach issued a written statement Tuesday, April 9, in response to JetBlue’s actions.

“We were informed today that JetBlue will be making 10 underutilized flight slots available to other carriers who will be able to fly them in accordance with the amended flight resolution,” said City Manager Patrick West. “JetBlue will continue to fly 24 slots, providing great service out of the Long Beach Airport. We expect very strong demand from airlines currently operating at the Long Beach Airport for each of the 10 flight slots that were made available today and will immediately begin the process to allocate the available slots.”

JetBlue’s minimum quarter use was 70 percent, and officials said the airline was “not on pace” to meet the requirement.

As of press time, waiting lists for the flight slots included Hawaiian Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.