What’s the target market for Long Beach Airport?
According to some materials I obtained last week from the airport, it’s the 1.5 million potential passengers living within about 11 miles of the airport. Not a bad home market, especially considering the airport is about halfway between Los Angeles International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. The demographics are strong.
In my story about Long Beach Airport’s strengths that ran earlier this week, airport manager Mario Rodriguez said the ‘yields’ airlines get a little higher the farther south you go in the catchment area. Essentially that means that the closer you get to Orange County, the higher fares passengers are willing to pay.
If you believe this slide, below, Long Beach officials are pleased with the stature of the airport, which is limited, by noise regulations, to 66 commercial departures daily. (Only 41 of those flights can be on relatively large airplanes, like the A320 and 737. The other 25 slots go to so-called commuter airplanes, like the CR2 and CR7. Many of those slots are unused.)
According to Long Beach officials, the airport could probably grow slightly if noise restrictions loosened. (That’s probably a moot issue. While I haven’t been covering the airport for that long, I don’t think city council leaders are prepared to make substantive changes to the ordinance.)
JetBlue is naming its new first class cabin, “Mint.” Photo courtesy of the airline.
You’ll have to wait until next June to try it out, but JetBlue Airways officially unveiled its new “first class” product on Monday at an event in New York City. The product will only be available on certain transcontinental routes.
Allie Shockley, left, high fives her mother Amy Shockley, both of Chico, after Nick Peters, of jetBlue, finds a earlier flight to Oakland for the Shockley’s at the Long Beach Airport August 6, 2013. (Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer)
JetBlue wants to grow at Long Beach Airport. So why is it cutting some flights?
This is a question I answered in Thursday’s Long Beach Press-Telegram.
The newspaper piece goes into a little more depth than some of my earlier blog posts. But the basic idea is this: JetBlue wants to add international flights from LGB, but until the airport builds a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, it is limited to an all-domestic schedule. Domestic flying is not quite as profitable for JetBlue, so this airline occasionally cuts back on its LGB flights during off-peak periods.
Do you recognize the contraption pictured above?
Perhaps not. But if you fly, especially in hot weather, it’s probably very important to you. That machine, seen here at Long Beach Airport, pipes in cold air to airplanes on the ground.
The system keeps planes from having to run their auxiliary power units, or APUs, which burn jet fuel and are not particularly efficient. I’m told the yellow tubing sends cold air directly onto the the aircraft.
Adding preconditioned air at each parking position was a recent priority for the airport, according to this recent overview of LGB’s capital improvement plan. It might seem a bit low tech to run a yellow tube all the way to the plane, but I understand this is considerbly cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the alternatives.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is in the process of adding preconditioned air at all of its gates, according to this USA Today report. Reporter Ben Mutzabaugh writes that the airport has a centralized plant that will eventually distribute hot and cold air to each of the facility’s 73 gates. The system has 15 miles of ducts.
Read more on Seattle’s program – and watch a video – at this site.
Special thanks to @chasethesun and @petersandersla for teaching me about preconditioned air.