Allegiant, JetBlue Pick Up Slots From Frontier Departure

by Sean Belk, Staff Writer

After Frontier Airlines officially discontinued service at the Long Beach Airport on April 18, Allegiant and JetBlue Airways are now taking over the empty slots left behind.

The two low-cost air carriers have 90 days to start service, which includes selling tickets, and they are required to be flying within 180 days. Both Allegiant and JetBlue received one commercial airline slot each, after winning a lottery that included Delta and Alaska airlines.

J.C. Squires, the airport’s chief financial officer, said the airlines should have no problem providing service well in advance of the deadlines. “I don’t know what they’re time frame is, but they’re already on the ground, they’re in the airport, they have their people here, so I would expect them to have their locations out shortly,” he said.

Airport Director Mario Rodriguez said the reason Frontier Airlines pulled out was due to competition from Southwest Airlines, which had been aggressively marketing Denver flights out of Los Angeles International, combined with the spike in oil prices. “Both of those coupled together had them pull out of this general market and retrench,” Rodriguez said.

JetBlue Airways expanded its nonstop service to Las Vegas from Long Beach with a fourth and fifth flight, aggressively marketing flights up against Allegiant. Both carriers are offering low-cost flights during special promotions. JetBlue is also anticipating launching new direct service from Long Beach to Anchorage, Alaska, beginning in late May.

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