Southwest Airlines (WN, Dallas Love Field) has requested and been awarded all slots at Long Beach airport which are due to be returned when JetBlue Airways (B6, New York JFK) ends its operations at the Californian airport in early October 2020, the City of Long Beach said in a press statement.

The low-cost carrier requested all 17 slot pairs due to be released by JetBlue. They will allow Southwest Airlines to double its frequency from Long Beach, since it already owns another 17 slots at the airport.

"No announcements have yet been made regarding new destinations, but it is expected that the airline will increase its current offering of nonstop destinations from Long Beach," the city said.

Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) and Hawaiian Airlines (HA, Honolulu), which are on the permanent waiting list for slots at Long Beach airport, said they were not interested in increasing their frequencies from the airport in the current market environment. The city said that some other airlines also said that while they are interested in principle, the timing was "not ideal".

Southwest Airlines has been serving Long Beach since 2016 and is already the largest operator at the airport. Taking into account COVID-related cuts in capacity, the LCC currently has a 72.5% market share by capacity at the airport, the ch-aviation capacities module shows.

Long Beach has a total of 53 slots available, of which 12 are reviewed on an annual basis in light of the airport's noise abatement strategy. Besides Southwest, the airport is also normally served by Delta, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and cargo specialists FedEx Express and UPS Airlines. Following its exit from Long Beach, planned by October 6, JetBlue will consolidate its Los Angeles metro operations at Los Angeles Int'l.