jetBlue has made some waves in the transcon market with announcements this past week. The carrier is moving service around in the Los Angeles market to better reflect consumer demand. The main shift comes in the form of transcon service moving out of Long Beach, the carrier’s west coast hub, and into Los Angeles International Airport where they introduced service last year.
|A view inside the Long Beach terminal|
The crux of the change is an increase in service on between LAX and the hub at New York City’s JFK airport. Starting July 1 service will increase from two flights daily to four. At the same time, transcon service from Long Beach will shrink by two flights, one each to Boston and JFK (hat tip to Dan for figuring out where the cuts came from). Considering the peak of eight daily flights between JFK and Long Beach this drawdown to only two daily is rather significant.
It appears that the market demand for transcon service in the Los Angeles area is heavily focused on LAX. That makes sense in many regards. But the overall number of flights at Long Beach don’t seem to be decreasing too much. Takeoff slots at Long Beach are highly coveted and jetBlue holds a lot of them. So cutting transcon flights does not necessarily mean a decrease in the total number of flights from Long Beach. More likely those slots will be leveraged by regional service on the west coast.
In this way the carrier is segmenting the service on the west coast between transcon customers and regional passengers, reducing the number of connection opportunities. But given the relatively low number of decent connections that existed previously the overall impact of that cut should be low. And the increased revenue from the new transcon operations should make up for it. LAX is still the premiere airport for the longer service options while the convenience of Long Beach is great for passengers making quick hops up and down the coast. Everyone wins.
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Also, it appears that B6 has moved their E190’s out of Long Beach too at least for the summer. According to their schedule, A320’s will be the only fleet type operating at LGB this summer. Usually, Seattle and Portland had a flight or two on the E190 in addition to Austin. I guess they wanted the additional volume. In the fall, Austin and San Francisco get the E190 back.
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