Southwest Airlines makes bid to start serving Long Beach Airport

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Southwest Airlines is bidding to start daily airline service out of Long Beach Airport, which could mean more options for Southern California travelers. (KABC)

Southwest Airlines is bidding to start daily airline service out of Long Beach Airport, which could mean more options for Southern California travelers.

At a Southwest corporate rally in Las Vegas on Wednesday, the company's CEO announced intentions to add daily flights out of Long Beach.

"Southwest is popular in the L.A. area and they operate at the other four L.A.-area airports, so this would be, as they said, five for five if they're able to begin service in Long Beach," said Bryant Francis, a spokesperson for Long Beach Airport.

If applications are approved, this would be a first for Southwest Airlines. Currently, the only carriers out of Long Beach Airport are JetBlue, Delta and American.

"The airport has a noise ordinance in place which governs the level of scheduled flight activity at the airport. So each year, we have to conduct a noise analysis and the most recent analysis determined that we had room in what's called the air carrier budget," Francis said.

This would mean four new daily flights for Southwest, three for JetBlue and two for Delta. This adds up to a total of nine new flights out of Long Beach Airport.

"We are local so it'd be great for us actually, because it's so much easier coming through here. The freeways are right here, and it's just easier to get on the freeway and get off so it'd be great," said Adrianna Brew, a traveler.

There is no word yet on destinations, but Southwest officials said there's a need to service more flights from Southern California to Northern California.

"I thinks it's a great idea. I'm from Redding, California and I usually fly JetBlue out of Sacramento here, and the only reason being is Southwest doesn't fly here. So I'll probably start flying Southwest again," said Mark Rounseville, another traveler.

Once all applications are formally approved, new flights could start as early as the end of this year.

Related Topics:
airport newssouthwest airlinesairlineair traveltravelairline industryLong BeachLos Angeles County
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