The Long Beach Airport (LGB) has announced that Delta Airlines two permanent slots given up in May 2023 have been awarded to Southwest Airlines.
The two new slots bring Southwest’s total slot allocation at Long Beach Airport to 50.
Despite being last on the wait list for permanent slots, Southwest was the only carrier on the wait list who requested the slots, therefore was awarded them.
The two newly awarded slots are part of the 41 coveted “permanent slots”. There are also 17 “supplemental” noise bucket reduction slots making up a total of 58 commercial airline flight slots.
Southwest was also awarded the three American Airlines slots that were relinquished in January 2023. Southwest was fourth on the five airline Long Beach Airport permanent slot waitlist. The airline acquired the three American slots after Swoop, Breeze and Hawaiian airlines all declined to request the American slots. Southwest has acquired all 19 of the supplemental slots as they became available and now has 50 of the 58 total flight slots available.
Delta was last awarded slots in April, 2020. At that time Delta received three of seven slots that JetBlue had relinquished.
Typically, it takes a few weeks after the announcement of winning slots for an airline to announce the destinations for those slots.
Southwest is currently under protracted contract negotiations with its pilot union. In May the Southwest pilots' union voted to authorize a strike. Last week the union took another step towards a legal strike by requesting to be released from the current federal mediation.
The current Long Beach Airport slot allocation for total slots after the new two Southwest slots;
· Southwest: 50
· Delta: 5
· Hawaiian: 2
· UPS: 1
District 4 Councilman Daryl Supernaw was instrumental in having the Airport Noise Ordinance updated in November 2018 to prevent airlines from acquiring slots but not flying them (aka “slot squatting”). JetBlue perfected “slot squatting” to prevent competitors from using Long Beach Airport resulting in huge losses to the airport. The “use it or lose it” update allowed Southwest to gain a foothold into Long Beach Airport.
JetBlue relinquished seven slots after the ordinance was passed. In 2020 Delta was awarded three of those slots.