Southwest Airlines has been awarded two more flight slots out of Long Beach Airport, meaning it now holds 86% of the daily allocation at the small municipal airfield.
The slots became available at the beginning of May, when Delta Air Lines informed airport staff that it would relinquish two of its seven daily flights and the strictly noise-controlled airport. At that time, three slots previously held by American Airlines were awarded to Southwest.
Flight slots are allocated using a waitlist system, which, in order, consisted of Delta, Canada-based Swoop, Breeze Airways, Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest. With all other airlines declining the slots, Southwest was awarded both.
The waitlist order was unchanged by the allocation.
Since beginning service at Long Beach in 2016 with a meager four daily flights, Southwest has quickly established itself as a dominant player at the airport that is allowed a limited number of commercial flights each day. With the new allocation, Southwest holds 50—or 86%—of the airport’s 58 slots.
“We’re grateful for the continued demand for flight slots at Long Beach Airport and the interest demonstrated by Southwest Airlines to enhance their offerings at our convenient and easygoing airport,” airport director Cynthia Guidry said in a statement.
The remaining flight slots are held by Delta (5), Hawaiian (2) and UPS (1).
Delta has previously said it hoped to reclaim its two surrendered flight slots in the future.
When it first arrived, Southwest focused its limited service out of Long Beach to the Bay Area, but now services 24 cities across the country with nonstop flights.
Over the past year, Southwest has announced service to 10 destinations, some seasonally, including Nashville, New Orleans, Salt Lake City, Orlando, Kansas City, Colorado Springs, El Paso, Albuquerque, Boise and Portland.
No destinations have been announced for the company’s latest flight slots.