Oh yes. Because the other airlines have been foaming at the mouth and clamoring over eachother to grab any available LGB slots for years. NOT.
You're right that the supply of slots at LGB was far greater than demand up until B6 made an agreement with the City in 2001 to take all the then-unused slots. At the time, the City changed the rules to help JetBlue so they wouldn't have to ramp up service overnight, and there were lawsuits filed by other carriers over that sweetheart deal. But times change, and by the time additional slots became available through the noise budgeting process, B6 had long been underutilizing its portfolio of slots at LGB. They had about a dozen slots they weren't even using, and yet they requested all nine supplemental slots? Seems like they were more interested in keeping out competition than serving the citizens of Long Beach.
AS didn’t see these slots as valuable assets, neither did F9, NK, AA, DL, UA or anyone else for that matter. And I highly doubt WN will take all the remaining slots especially if there’s an B6 exit altogether,only to poach on a higher the yielding SNA and LAX ops.
And all those other carriers gave the slots they weren't using back to the airport, rather than slot-sitting and complaining about proposed rule changes to discourage slot-sitting. I agree completely that WN is exceedingly unlikely to backfill all the B6 capacity if they were to indeed exit LGB, but I could easily see WN growing to ~20-25 daily departures to some combination of OAK/SJC/SMF/LAS/PHX/DEN
Yes, this is kind of crazy, but maybe LGB is starting to fall into debt. I also think about the economy. So, LGB falling into debt might be one reason. I personally dont know.
Yes, it is crazy. The fines aren't about raising money. They are about trying to discourage undesirable behavior. Many Long Beach citizens are vocal in their opposition to airport noise, so this intended to reduce the number of complaints by reducing the number of times B6 busts the curfew.
B6 knows it's on it's way out, but it will drag things on and make WN loose as much money here as possible building up. The more WN looses on the west coast, the less it will be able to do on East Coast.
If they wanted to distract WN from building up on the East Coast, they'd give back slots at LGB since aircraft capacity deployed at LGB isn't flying routes back east. It's generally easier for WN to make money at LGB thanks to their ability to flow connections over virtually any station they'd end up connecting to LGB; they also have a unit cost advantage over B6 in the short-haul markets they'd operate at LGB. WN has far deeper pockets than B6 and burning cash at LGB won't make JBLU investors happy.
B6 has nobody else but itself to blame for this LGB mess. If it had made a commitment to LAX earlier, it wouldn't be operating with just 2 gates.
B6's business model has changed since they made their commitment to LGB. At the time, they positioned themselves as an upscale discounter. They are in the process of morphing to a legacy carrier. LGB made sense with the old business model but it doesn't work as a legacy hub.
And WN is immune from post curfew operations? I was at BUR last week and there were 4 post 10pm arrivals alone. They will be paying those fines too at LGB. Just because they don’t offer transcons doesn’t mean squat. A good portion of their flights have multiple segments. If the origin city or even 2 of the 3 have delays that flights isn’t getting in till late.
They're not, but they're the largest carrier at SNA and the curfew at SNA is a hard curfew. If you're after hours, you don't land there. WN hadn't had an arrival after 11 PM at LGB in the first 8 months of 2018. Guess they don't know how to operate with a curfew, though.