Beginning September 16, Southwest Airlines will be shuttling passengers to and from Long Beach Airport and Las Vegas, making use of the three currently utilized flight slots previously allocated to JetBlue, the airlines announced today.
According to a release issued by the company, the new flights and fares will be available for sale starting July 20, 2016 on Southwest.com.
“We’re delighted Southwest is putting unused slots to use,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “New customers bring additional revenue for the airport, and new service brings additional options for local residents and travelers.”
“We’re giving Long Beach even longer reach by adding flights to Las Vegas and building on a decades-long commitment to California,” said Dave Harvey, Southwest’s managing director of business development in a statement. “As with our existing nonstop service to Oakland, the Vegas market appeals to people traveling locally between the two airports for fun or work, while also offering our Customers in dozens of U.S. cities a shorter trip to Long Beach through same-plane or connecting service.”
The city announced the airline’s obtaining of new slots last week, just one month after the airline officially started service from the Long Beach Airport. In March, the city announced four daily flights to Oakland from the Long Beach Airport.
Under the city’s flight allocation resolution, slots that were allocated but not used could be temporarily reassigned to another airline. JetBlue’s apparent non-use of the slots opened the door for Southwest to claim three slots open for travel between Sunday to Friday, and two slots reserved for travel only on Saturdays. The temporary reallocation will run from September 18 through the end of the calendar year.
Southwest’s use of the flight slots will be contingent on monthly reporting provided by all carriers which must submit 180-day outlooks to help determine temporary flight slot availability, according to a city release. The operation of those slots must also keep the airport in line with all provisions of the noise ordinance which allows for a total of 50 flight slots.