Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What is JetBlue's next move at Long Beach

JetBlue operates 32 daily flights from Long Beach, its West Coast Focus City
In the beginning of 2016, The City of Long Beach (which operates Long Beach Airport - LGB), announced nine additional slots (a slot is a right to operate an arrival and departure) were available, above the 41 maximum allowed.  There is a provision in the Noise Ordinance, if noise limits meet a certain criteria, flights can be added, over the maximum of 41.  The city found, by adding nine flights, the noise limits could still be met.

To the surprise of many, Southwest Airlines applied for those nine additional slots.  JetBlue, in a defensive move, also applied for all nine, and Delta applied for two slots.  The official allocation was four slots to Southwest, three to JetBlue, and two to Delta.  With the entry of Southwest into LGB, the game changed for JetBlue.

To many, JetBlue has been a double-edged sword at LGB.  They provide great service to the city, and provide service to cities that most airports are envious of.  However, JetBlue has been accused of ‘slot-squatting’ for several years.  LGB is a focus city for JetBlue, and the carrier had acquired slots at the airport when no other carriers wanted them.  Prior to the recent allocation, JetBlue had 29 slots (70%), but never used all their slots, at times leaving up to 7 slots unused.  

Southwest started service to LGB in June of 2016
Southwest Airlines after starting LGB service, announced they would take any open or unused slots, even if they were awarded to another carrier.  For example, FedEx and UPS do not fly on weekends, Southwest applied to use their weekend slots (FedEx - 1, UPS - 1) to fly two additional flights on Saturday and Sunday. 

In September, JetBlue had already moved to counter Southwest’s entry into the market, however some slots remained unused.  Southwest scooped JetBlue’s unused slots; after three months, the new entrant into LGB, was operating 7 flights, adding a second destination.

JetBlue announced LGB to San Jose, CA (SJC) service starting in January of 2017.  This would be the first time they would have 100% usage of their slots within the last several years.  Once JetBlue began using all their slots, Southwest had to discontinue their additional flights.  However, they are continuing to operate the two additional flights on weekends (from FedEx and UPS).

Earlier this year, Long Beach denied JetBlue’s request for a Federal Inspection Station (Customs) for international flights.  This was a major disappointment for the carrier, as they were planning service from LGB to Mexico and Central America.  When the FIS was rejected, a lot of questions have come up regarding JetBlue’s future at LGB.

It’s clear JetBlue is disappointed to have the FIS Facility rejected.  With their success at LAX, would they continue LGB as a Focus City?   Any unused slot, Southwest will pounce on, even if it’s one day a week.  JetBlue doesn’t want to risk returning slots, which Southwest could potentially add on a permanent basis.  Southwest has forced JetBlue to fly 100% of their slots daily.

However, there is another twist experts and analysts have overlooked, the Alaska - Virgin America merger.  With LGB is in a perfect position to compete with the combined carrier.  Alaska continues to expand intra-California and trans-con routes.  Though the carriers don’t overlap on a lot of routes, JetBlue can offer a similar product not offered by Alaska, through the convenience and ease of Long Beach Airport. 

JetBlue uses the north concourse at LGB, with seven gates
JetBlue rolling on Runway 30, with Southwest holding short,
both airlines serve Oakland and Sacramento daily.
JetBlue’s loads from LGB are strong, averaging about 77%.  Breaking it down, most flights exceed 80%, except for the Bay Area flights (which are over-saturated from the LA Area), which appear to range from the mid-60’s to mid-70’s.  The data is from BTS.Gov.  They have carried 620,000 (JAN-MAY) from LGB this year, a 45% increase year over year, and are on pace to reach 1.5 million boardings for the year.

Long Beach Airport is what it is today because of JetBlue.  The carrier came in with a vision of creating a West Coast hub/focus city in 2000, when LGB had very little service, and even less interest from other airlines.  JetBlue has created a huge loyal following with great service, DirecTV, a niche market, and LGB - a gateway most airports twice the size wish they could emulate.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Long Beach Airport should love the CRJ-700!

Long Beach Airport's 'art deco' terminal and new concourse have been voted "Top 10 Domestic Airport" multiple times
 Although Long Beach Airport (LGB) has no “airline” slots available, access to the convenient LA Area airport is still available. There are currently 25 “commuter” slots available at LGB. Commuter slots are defined as aircraft under 75,000 lbs. This was determined by the Noise Ordinance, implemented in the 1990s.

The weight is key, at 75,000 lbs., this enables the CRJ-700 to meet the criteria of the LGB Noise Ordinance as a commuter aircraft. The CRJ-700, seats 70 in a one-class (all coach) configuration, and 65 in a two-class (First/Coach) configuration. The aircraft has proven economically viable, and able to fly West Coast to mid-continent hubs such as Denver, Dallas/Fort Worth, or Houston. It can also easily reach the Pacific Northwest, as Alaska/Horizon has proved past service from LGB to Portland and Seattle.

CRJ-700 aircraft, such as the one above, are eligible for "commuter" slots (Photo by Jeremy Madson)

It would be nice for LGB to have all three major/legacy airlines supporting LGB. AA has reduced to three daily flights to Phoenix, however, Delta, now has four CRJ-900 flights daily. The addition of United to LGB would be ideal. United’s options, if serving LGB, would be San Francisco, Denver, or Houston/IAH. There is a huge market for all three, of course, like American and Delta, United prefers the passengers connecting beyond their hub, as opposed to terminating at their hub.

With the recent addition of Southwest, they have forced forced JetBlue to discontinue slot squatting.  For the first time in several years, LGB has 100% usage of the airline slots.  The City of Long Beach’s hotel occupancy has skyrocketed to over 80%since then; it’s no coincidence. How much more would the city benefit with 75 flights?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Airserv-LGB contracts with THM International for management consulting

THM to provide Airserv-LGB accounting and marketing services



August 1, 2013 – Fort Worth, TX – THM International, Airline and Revenue Management Consulting, has agreed to terms with Airserv-LGB to provide accounting and marketing services.

Airserv-LGB, based at Long Beach Airport, CA, specializes in airline ground support and has provided quality service for over 40 years. Airserv has served US Presidents, Vice Presidents, The Queen of England, college and pro sports teams, major airlines, to air taxi operations.

“With their wide scope of operations, we feel we can provide the necessary support for Airserv-LGB to continue their success,” said Thomas Martin, President of THM International. “Our goal for Airserv-LGB is for them to maximize their opportunities for success.”

THM International provides consulting for airlines and companies supporting the air transportation industry. For additional information regarding our company, please contact us at: thmintl@outlook.com or visit our website: http://thmintl.webs.com .

Saturday, June 8, 2013

THM International Ready for Business

Airline consulting company hopes to help carriers and other industry related companies maximize success, and profit



June 8, 2013 - Fort Worth, TX - THM International, Airline and Revenue Management Consulting, is ready for business.  THM offers full airline consulting specializing in marketing and revenue management.  In today's current economy, THM plans to help airlines maximize their success by effective marketing and carefully managing revenue.

"In an extremely competitive, low fare environment today, coupled with high fuel and labor costs, it's vitally important airlines maximize every dollar they generate," said Thomas Martin, President of THM International.   "We provide an outside look, for an air carrier, to evaluate their business model."

Martin is an industry veteran of 30 years.  His most recent position is with Integrated Airline Services as a Fixed Assets Manager.  In 2007, Martin joined AMB Property Corporation and oversaw the Airport Facilities Group at DFW Airport.  Prior to AMB, he managed Capacity Management and Pricing for Latin America at American Airlines Cargo.  In addition to his experience in cargo, Martin also worked in inside sales, for American Airlines.  He started on the ramp in Long Beach, CA and holds a BA Degree in Organizational Communication from California State University.

THM International provides consulting for airlines, specializing in marketing and revenue management.  For additional information regarding our company, please contact us at:  THMIntl@outlook.com or visit our website http://thmintl.webs.com.