(February 8, 2002) -- JetBlue will add an early morning takeoff and mid-evening landing each day at LB Airport starting in May.
JetBlue is adding a flight departing daily at 7:00 a.m. to NYC starting May 24. The carrier will also add a 9:45 p.m. takeoff each day to Washington, D.C. starting May 1.
The news came in a February 7 press release issued by LB City Hall announcing the carrier's launch of twice-daily nonstop service between Washington/Dulles and LB starting May 1.
JetBlue is beginning operations to Washington/Dulles from LB on May 1 with a 10:05 a.m. departure and an overnight ("redeye") flight taking off at 9:45 p.m.
JetBlue is also adding a new NYC flight starting May 24 that will leave LB daily at 7:00 a.m.
LB officials and business interests portrayed the developments (quotes below) as a boon, even as other L.A. and Orange County cities, citing resulting negative impacts, oppose increased airport operations in their communities. A City Hall press release quoted 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell as follows:
"This is great news for Long Beach and for the 6.8 million individuals who live within a twenty mile radius of our great city. Long Beach Airport has long been recognized as the easy-in, easy-out Airport in the region and I'm delighted that JetBlue Airways is now providing service to Washington/Dulles."
City Hall's release also quoted Joseph Prevratil, President and CEO of the Queen Mary:
"We are pleased to hear about JetBlue's announcement which coincides quite well with out progress on the Carnival Cruise Line project which begins construction next week. Construction time is anticipated to be one year, with the first ships leaving Long Beach in the first quarter of 2003."
LB Airport, arguably like LB's Port, provides benefits for business interests and convenience for some at the cost of imposing street and freeway traffic, pollution, infrastructure usage, noise and (unlike the Port) flight risks on LB residents.
LB Airport, unlike many other (although not all) airports, is situated near the center of the city, not by an outlying suburb or to one side of the city. JetBlue's press release refers to LB as "LA/Long Beach" much as other carriers treat Newark or Ontario.
In May 2001, JetBlue took all 27 of LB Airport's then-available commercial flight slots (more than half the Airport's total commercial flight slots), effectively making LB its west coast hub. The City Council facilitated this by, days earlier, voting to amend LB's flight slot reservation ordinance (letting firms hold slots for up to two ears before using them) but not publicly mentioning JetBlue.
JetBlue uses new Airbus A320 aircraft, touted as less noisy than other commercial aircraft. LBReport.com has previously posted projected noise contours provided by JetBlue which can be accessed at: JetBlue LB Airport Noise Contour Maps, Comparisons & Data. JetBlue also says the Airbus aircraft produce less pollution.
On August 29, 2001, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman told a crowd of LB political and business leaders gathered at LB Airport for JetBlue's inaugural flight to NYC:
"We're gonna fly so many people outta here you won't be able to believe it."
Service to Washington DC was originally slated to start in October 2001 but was postponed following the events of September 11.
Starting May 1, JetBlue's daily schedule to Washington, D.C. will be:
Starting May 24, JetBlue will also add another daily flight to NYC from LB Airport each morning at 7:00 a.m.
American Airlines currently has a flight taking off from LB Airport Mon-Sat. at roughly 7:00 a.m.