After being awarded one daily flight out of Long Beach Airport in June, the new carrier Breeze Airways has forfeited the slot due to nonuse, the company confirmed with the Business Journal on Wednesday.
Despite not utilizing the now-lost slot, there is still a chance that Breeze will bring its services to Long Beach, spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones told the Business Journal in an email Thursday.
According to a memo released Thursday, city staff informed Breeze they were losing the slot on Sept. 23 due to its inability to begin service within 90 days of its allocation. Breeze service out of Long Beach was expected to begin in the fall.
The memo also announced that American Airlines informed airport staff on Sept. 12 that it was voluntarily relinquished one flight slot.
Because the airport is limited to 53 flights each day, slots are allocated based on permanent and supplemental waitlists. Despite being at or near the bottom of both lists, Southwest was the only airline on the list to request both available slots, according to the memo.
No announcements have been made regarding the destinations for the newly acquired Southwest flight slots.
Breeze, a Utah-based startup founded by JetBlue co-founder David Neeleman, and Canadian airline Swoop are the two most recent additions to the waitlist. New entrants have the right of first refusal for flight slots.
Breeze remains on the waitlist but declined the newly available slot. Swoop has been offered permanent flight slots on two separate occasions and declined both times.
“Our industry partners, especially start-up air carriers, are managing a number of factors in this environment,” said Airport Director Cynthia Guidry in an email. “We remain excited about the possibility of Breeze Airways establishing service at Long Beach Airport and wish them great success in their endeavors.”
Breeze recently picked up two flight slots at John Wayne Airport, a short drive up the 405 Freeway from Long Beach. The startup airline will fly to Provo, Utah, and Orlando, Florida, out of Orange County beginning in February.
Out of LAX, Breeze also flies to Provo as well as New York and South Carolina. The company also has one daily flight from San Bernardino to San Francisco.
Thursday’s memo came a day after Southwest announced a new route to Utah, with service beginning in January.
Southwest, the airport’s largest carrier, now holds 40, or 75%, of the airport’s daily flight slots. The offers nonstop service to 16 U.S. cities, including Nashville, which started this month, and New Orleans, which begins early next year.
The remaining flight slots are flown by Delta Airlines (7), American Airlines (3), Hawaiian Airlines (2) and UPS (1).
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information from Breeze Airways, including a correction to its Orange County services.