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JetBlue considers pulling out of L.B.

April 2, 2009 2:35:02 PM PDT
JetBlue Airways is considering scaling back or completely pulling all flights out of Long Beach Airport.A spokesperson for the airline says JetBlue is frustrated with the lack of improvements at the airport, including terminals, parking structures and office space.

The airline is also considering shifting all of its flights to LAX and other airports in the region.

Long Beach Airport is considered the West Coast base for JetBlue, with between 24 to 29 JetBlue flights flying out of Long Beach every day.

"We remain committed to our low fare home in Long Beach for the time being. Its unique convenient features are enjoyed by thousands of JetBlue customers every day, and it is home to more than 500 crew members and many more business partners," JetBlue said in a statement.

"Yet, there are airport improvements that were promised before we began flying, which would benefit the traveling public, which have been repeatedly opposed by some and thus stalled. That is why we must examine all options in an effort to meet the immediate needs of our customers, crewmembers and shareholders as well as the community in which we have invested so much," the statement reads.

Long Beach Airport spokesperson Sharon Diggs-Jackson said the project is taking longer than they had anticipated, but said it would still be completed.

"There will be a project built," Diggs-Jackson said, and added that it will be

Customers said they hope JetBlue stays in Long Beach.

"I love it. It's so easy. It's such a small airport, and it's been really pleasant," said Meghan Barnes, a JetBlue passenger.

"Get on the plane, there's no lines, you get your luggage quick. It's just convenient," said Paul Hilding, another JetBlue passenger.

In the meantime, JetBlue Airways is offering nonstop flights between Long Beach and San Francisco for as little as $14 each way. The fares must be purchased Thursday, April 2, and are good for travel through Wednesday, April 8. Customers can also get a flight from San Francisco to New York for the same price.

"I grew up down the street. I love this airport," said Maria Hilding, a JetBlue passenger. "I love this place, they cannot take it away from us."


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