In 1983, several airlines serving Long Beach sued the city for unreasonable interference with interstate commerce, by limiting flights in and out of Long Beach airport to 15 a day. In 1995, the Long Beach City Council voted to settle the 12-year-old lawsuit.
As a result of the settlement, the allowed number of daily flights of aircraft over 75,000 # was increased to 41 and noise-control guidelines were adjusted. The agreement includes a "noise budget", based on 1990 aircraft noise generation, and a provision for discussion of additional flights when quieter aircraft such as the MD-95 come on line. The agreement allows for 25 commuter flights with aircraft under 75,000 #.
“By this time next year, frequent travelers to the San Francisco
Bay Area, Seattle and Las Vegas may be able to reach their destination
from Long Beach.” Long Beach’s tourism board has recently “teamed with
local airport officials to launch an aggressive new marketing plan”
at attracting new carriers to serve these markets. In addition, the
is looking to attract the “six million trips per year now being
from Orange County to LAX.” This approach is a departure from the
one that failed, which encouraged start-up carriers. Long Beach
has 14 commercial flights per day, “five of those operated by cargo
(UPS, FedEx and Airborne Express); the remaining nine are operated by
Airlines to Dallas/Ft. Worth and American West to Phoenix.” The
plan is counting on “Boeing’s Long Beach area operations and the high
for travel to Seattle,” on the increase in tourism after the opening of
the Aquarium of the Pacific, and on “Orange County’s John Wayne Airport
that has reached its passenger capacity until at least 2005.”
Long Beach Press-Telegram, February 27, 1999 Website posted March 9, 1999
"UPS unveils plans for Long Beach"
"United Parcel Service unveiled its plans to build a $7 million new mail sorting facility and aircraft ramp on the southeast side of Long Beach Airport. The project, which covers 8.2 acres of property... had stiff competition form other airports for the UPS facilty, including Los Angeles International Airport, Burbank Airport and John Wayne and El Toro Airports in Orange County."
A UPS spokesman said, "Long Beach won out because of the city's
to major freeways."
The Thursday announcement that JetBlue Airways is expanding service to the East Coast, including two flights to Washington, D.C., solidifies Long Beach Airport's growing stature as an alternative to the area's bigger hubs, analysts said.
And with plans by JetBlue to increase its Long Beach-based flights to 27 by June 2003, the low-fare airline whose passenger count continues to grow despite post-Sept. 11 industry woes is fast becoming a shining star.
The airport, with service by JetBlue, American Airlines and America West Airlines, is also poised to begin drawing even more travelers away from Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Orange County, airline industry analysts said.
On the eve of its second anniversary Monday, and amid reports that it could revive plans for a public stock offering, JetBlue on Thursday announced it is expanding its service out of Long Beach Airport beginning May 1.
Two daily nonstop flights to Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., are scheduled, as is a new daily nonstop to New York's Kennedy Airport - bringing to four the number of flights JetBlue has to the Big Apple.
The airline had planned to launch its Washington service in October, with one flight per day, but the Sept. 11 terror attacks put the plan on hold.
JetBlue's nonstop flights to Washington Dulles will offer connecting service to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
JetBlue is operating at well above 80 percent capacity for all of its Long Beach flights. The airliner started service in Long Beach in August with two daily flights to JFK. A third flight to New York was added in October.
"This is very, very positive news. It's very positive for everybody in southeast L.A. county and even Orange County," said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
For Long Beach, the effect of JetBlue's expansion is the ability to sell organizations on locating conventions here and to draw tourists to local major events, Kyser said.
And only hours after JetBlue's announcement, Long Beach leaders began to peddle the same message.
"The Long Beach Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Queen Mary, the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific will be well served," said City Manager Henry Taboada.
"It'll continue to help raise the visibility of Long Beach in markets where we aren't as well-known," said Steve Goodling, president and CEO of the Long Beach Visitors and Convention Bureau.
It also will allow the airport to tap into the Orange County market, Kyser said. John Wayne Airport "offers fewer flights at higher prices, so this is a positive for Long Beach. It is becoming a really attractive alternative. It is going to be a mini-hub. And JetBlue is a low-cost airline with a good reputation."
Mike Boyd, an airline industry analyst with The Boyd Group in Denver, said JetBlue has been able to keep on its growth track despite the Sept. 11 effect on the industry, and its Long Beach operations are a major component.
"In this day and age, if you want to enter into the L.A. Basin the last place you want to go is the mess at LAX," Boyd said. Boyd also said that there is no stigma about flying into what some might perceive as a small-town airport.
The reality, Boyd said, is that "while Long Beach is where they are landing, the L.A. basin is where they are going."
JetBlue's announcement comes just several weeks after it hammered out an agreement with the city of Long Beach on details for an estimated $7.2 million expansion plan for the airport.
JetBlue had said its growth timetable would be put on hold until the city could provide it the space it needed for handling passengers on the 10 flights it wanted to add by the end of this year and the 27 total flights it intends to reach.
Phase 1 of the expansion plan is set for completion by April 1. The overall plan includes temporary passenger holding and baggage-claim buildings, a new permanent 12,000-square-foot passenger holding area, a taxi court, concessions area and expanded security checkpoints.
The airport now serves about 700,000 passengers a year in commercial airline and commuter jet traffic. More than 3.8 million passengers could go through the facility as the airport expands to the 41 flight slots it is allowed under noise ordinances.
The overall airport expansion is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2003. JetBlue and airport officials stressed that even with expansion, their goal was to maintain the shorter lines, easy parking, fewer delays and infrequent congestion that make Long Beach Airport a popular choice by customers.
Meanwhile, JetBlue officials declined to comment on New York Times reports that the airline has revived a plan for an initial public offering of stock. JetBlue was to announce its plans on Sept. 11.
Long Beach Daugherty Field (LGB) Note: The main runway is 10,000 feet long.