Move over Long Beach, JetBlue is heading to LA to stay. The airline has decided to make Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) its primary base of operations in Southern California, advancing a growth strategy and relevance build for the airline in the world’s third busiest air market.
The airline will move service currently operated at Long Beach Airport (LGB) to LAX, along with its Long Beach crew and maintenance bases, beginning in October.
The move consolidates JetBlue’s popular transcontinental and West Coast service into LAX, initially operating more than 30 daily flights with service between LAX and 13 destinations including four Mint routes: New York-JFK, Boston, Fort Lauderdale and new Mint service to Newark launching July 23. JetBlue flights at LAX will continue to operate from Terminal 5. The new flights are now available for booking.
“We continue to seize on opportunities to emerge from this pandemic a stronger competitive force in the industry. LAX is one of JetBlue’s most successful markets and offers the valuable opportunity to grow significantly both domestically and internationally while introducing our low fares on more routes,” said Scott Laurence, head of revenue and planning, JetBlue. “The transition to LAX, serving as the anchor of our focus city strategy on the West Coast, sets JetBlue up for success in Southern California.”
With support from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), JetBlue plans to embark on a strategic expansion over the next five years with plans to reach roughly 70 flights per day by 2025. This will include multiple new markets, both domestic and international, some of which have never had nonstop service to and from LAX.
LAX is the busiest origin and destination (O&D) market in the world, meaning more people start or end their journey at LAX – versus connect through – than any other airport. Its 24/7 operations and customs and immigration facilities also allow JetBlue more flexibility in future flight and destination scheduling.
Effective October 7, 2020, JetBlue will operate nonstop service between LAX and seven new markets:
• Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
• Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) [seasonal]
• Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)
• Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO)
• Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
• San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
• Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)|
The new markets will complement existing nonstop service between LAX and:
• Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) *MINT*
• Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)
• Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) *MINT*
• New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) *MINT*
• Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) *MINT* [Launching July 23]
• Orlando International Airport (MCO)
JetBlue’s final day of operations in Long Beach will be October 6. Service to Portland International Airport (PDX) will not transition to LAX. JetBlue will continue to serve Portland, Ore. from New York-JFK, Boston and, starting in October, Fort Lauderdale.
All LAX, non-Mint routes are to be operated using JetBlue’s Airbus A320 or all-Core A321 aircraft with generous legroom in coach, free broadband internet in the sky (that the airline promises is the fastest in the air); complimentary unlimited snacks and soft drinks; free DIRECTV® programming and SiriusXM® radio at every seat.
JetBlue began serving LAX in 2009 and launched its Mint service there in 2014. LAX-based crew is expected to grow to 700 with the added flights and the move from Long Beach to LAX. These plans come as welcome news as U.S. legacy carriers brace for stiff layoffs in the fall.
Meanwhile, JetBlue will continue to serve Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and Ontario International Airport (ONT), which are key to the airline’s broader LA strategy..