Last Thursday, JetBlue announced the carrier will be moving its operations from Long Beach Airport to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The airline has been operating out of Long Beach since 2001, and the last day of operations at the airport will be October 6.
The low-cost airline has big plans in Los Angeles and wants to expand over the next five years. Ultimately, by 2025, JetBlue hopes to offer approximately 70 flights a day from Los Angeles, with a host of new international and domestic destinations. Currently, 150 crew members are based at LAX, but that number will grow to roughly 700 with the moving of operations from Long Beach. JetBlue will be moving its Long Beach crew and maintenance bases to LAX.
Starting on October 7, JetBlue will offer non-stop flights between LAX and seven new destinations, which are:
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
- Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport seasonally
- Las Vegas McCarran International Airport
- Reno-Tahoe International Airport
- Salt Lake City International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
JetBlue will still offer flights out of Terminal 5, and tickets for flights for the new destinations are already available for sale.
Moving to LAX is a big advantage for JetBlue. With 24-hours-a-day operations, as well as customs and immigration facilities, the airline can easily expand. In 2017, a plan to allow customs facilities at Long Beach was declined, and ever since then, JetBlue has been looking to move so it could expand with ease. JetBlue wanted to have the flexibility to fly out of Long Beach to international destinations.
Long Beach has been a popular alternative for travelers who wanted to avoid busy LAX. Currently, of the 41 permanent flight slots at Long Beach, JetBlue has 17 of them. Delta, Southwest and Hawaiian Airlines are on the waiting list to take over flight slots at the airport. Despite leaving Long Beach, JetBlue will still offer flights out of Hollywood Burbank Airport and Ontario International Airport in the greater Los Angeles area.