Long Beach, CA - Southwest Airlines today announced that it will begin daily, nonstop flights from Long Beach Airport (LGB) to five new cities, beginning in March 2021. The new destinations, which significantly enhance nationwide connections from LGB, are Chicago (MDW), Dallas (DAL), Houston (HOU), Reno (RNO) and St. Louis (STL). Flights go on sale today at southwest.com.
“We’ve been working with Southwest and are very pleased to see a diversity of destinations for residents and travelers,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Once this pandemic is over we look forward to our airport playing a key role in our economic recovery.”
Following last month’s news that LGB will serve as Southwest’s only nonstop connection between Hawaii and the Greater Los Angeles area, the Dallas-based airline will now fly nonstop to 13 U.S. citiesfrom LGB. Of the 53 daily flights available at the slot-controlled airport, Southwest holds 34. With today’s announcement, the airline will likely operate approximately 25 daily flights in March and 34 starting in April. Flight slot utilization requirements at LGB have been temporarily waived for all airlines due to the pandemic.
“We encourage our passengers to follow current travel advisories, but that doesn’t stop us from looking forward to the day when travel returns around the country,” said Airport Director Cynthia Guidry. “When the time is right, Long Beach Airport is here to welcome our travelers with even more destinations and connections than before.”
Like airports across the nation, Long Beach Airport has seen a steep decline in passenger traffic as a result of COVID-19. Approximately 20 flights per day are currently operating and October passenger numbers were down 81% compared to the same period last year. Southwest’s new service will significantly boost these numbers when it begins in March 2021.
“These new routes bring more reach for Long Beach with nonstop service to mid-continent business centers and offer our Customers in the eastern half of the country the ease of experience of Long Beach Airport,” said Vice President of Network Planning for Southwest Airlines Adam Decaire. “Our plan forward for Long Beach Customers contemplates an anticipated recovery in travel paired with best use of slots for which we are, again, so grateful.”
Southwest Airlines first began service from LGB in 2016. In early September, the air carrier gained an additional 17 flight slots. In addition to 34 flight slots held by Southwest, Delta Air Lines holds 12, American Airlines holds three, Hawaiian Airlines holds two and FedEx and UPS each hold one.
Currently, all of Southern California is under a Regional Stay at Home Order, and all non-essential travel is temporarily restricted. For those who have essential travel needs, LGB has instituted a number of measures to enhance passenger safety, including physical distancing, new disinfecting protocols and a face covering requirement. Readabout these measures and watch a videoof what it’s like to fly through LGB with the current precautions in place.
The City of Long Beach offers free COVID-19 testing at a number of sites, including at Long Beach City College Veterans Stadium, located just one mile from the Airport.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly rated school district, Long Beach Airport and the Port of Long Beach. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas and bike paths.
About Long Beach Airport
Founded in 1923, Long Beach Airport (LGB) is the oldest airport in California. Among its many awards, LGB was named a Top 10 airport in the 2020 USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest for Best Small Airport. LGB offers non-stop service to several U.S. cities while supporting a healthy general aviation community with more than 300,000 annual operations. The airport is also a source of substantial economic activity and employment, with the LGB Aviation Complex generating $8.6 billion in economic impact and supporting 46,000 jobs. LGB is a self-supporting enterprise of the City of Long Beach and does not receive local tax dollars. The Airport prides itself in preserving its esteemed historic legacy and maintaining a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible operation. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LGBAirport.