Thursday, March 31, 2016

Southwest will fly nonstop between Long Beach and Oakland

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7L9 (28013/682) N7817J taxies at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) on March 29, 2016.
(Photo by Michael Carter)

Southwest Airlines revealed its plans for service from Long Beach, the newest city in the carrier’s route map.

Southwest will fly from the Long Beach to Oakland, operating four daily round-trip flights beginning June 5.

Southwest becomes the fourth carrier to fly from Long Beach, joining JetBlue, American and Delta. The airport – located 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles– is one several commercial airports serving the greater Los Angeles metro area.

Capacity is capped at Long Beach, but Southwest was able to gain access after the city of Long Beach increased the number of flights allowed there.

Long Beach will become Southwest's 98th destination and its 10th in California.

“As we bring much needed competition to Long Beach this summer, our aim continues to be offering Californians the best value in air service,” Andrew Watterson, Southwest's SVP of Network & Revenue, says in a statement.

Long Beach said in February it would add nine additional “slot pairs” for new flights from the airport. A “slot pair” enables an airline one takeoff and one landing – enough for a round-trip flight.

JetBlue received three of the slot pairs while Southwest gained four and Delta two.

JetBlue – by far the busiest carrier at the airport – is using its newly acquired slots to add a new route to Reno and boost service on existing routes from Long Beach.

Delta has not yet announced its intentions for its new Long Beach slots.

(Ben Mutzabaugh - Today In The Sky / USA Today)

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