3 Links I Love: The Mysterious Air Sinai, Beech 1900 Love, Long Beach Slots

Links I Love

This week’s featured link

The Ghost Airline That Has Linked Cairo and Tel Aviv for DecadesAtlas Obscura
I have always been fascinated by Air Sinai, the airline that only exists for political reasons. This story explained more than I knew, including that as of this year, you can finally book online.

Video of the Week: That’s some quality graffiti right there.

Two for the Road

Long Beach Airport Award of Seven Permanent Flight Slots Long Beach Airport
The slots that JetBlue abandoned have been awarded with Delta and Southwest each picking up three while Hawaiian picked up one. Slot usage rules are suspended into late October, so this doesn’t mean much now, but it’s still odd. Southwest and JetBlue now are tied for the most slots with 17 each. Delta has a whopping 12. What the heck is it going to do with those other than prevent Southwest from going? And Hawaiian? I’ll be surprised if that airline comes back at all, let alone uses two slots.

Dueling Trip Reports Along the Canadian Coast:
Low cruising on Pacific Coastal produces stunning views, induces gulpsRunway Girl Network
3 AVGEEKS. 2 BEECHCRAFT 1900DS. 1 OUT OF COUNTRY ADVENTURE.AirlineReporter
What happens when airline dorks get together? Dueling trip reports!

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22 comments on “3 Links I Love: The Mysterious Air Sinai, Beech 1900 Love, Long Beach Slots

  1. It’s interesting to look at the Long Beach departure board for today. Eleven departures listed — 8 on Southwest, 2 on Delta, and 1 on Jet Blue. Four of the Southwest flights are cancelled. The NIMBY crowd must be in heaven.

    1. The, “we’re not going to stand by while JetBlue behaves like assholes” crowd is quite ambivalent about it, actually. Despite what you seem to have convinced yourself of, we who live near LGB are not anti-airport, in fact it is quite the contrary. LGB is my absolute favorite airport anywhere. We ARE against JetBlue bullying their way into getting anything they demand. If you cannot understand the difference, that’s your issue.

      The quiet is noticeable and actually disconcerting, but I’d be lying if I said it would break my heart if JetBlue pulled out completely. Again, they’re a bad neighbor and bad partner to the people of this city. They’re also a shadow of the airline they started out as.

  2. The “interesting” relationship between Egypt and Israel goes back to biblical times and Air Sinai reflects it. Thanks for highlighting something most avfans would know nothing about.

    As for LGB, I think it is clear that DL will push for a greater position on the west coast as the virus crisis recovery plays out. LGB seems indicative of its unpublished but obvious strategy of not giving low cost carriers any wiggle room and competing directly against LCCs even if AA and UA have no interest in a market.

  3. 12? Twelve? What the hell was DL going to do with 12 before this pandemic? 4xLAS, 4xSLC, and 4xSEA? Were they planning on closing more gates at LAX to accelerate some of the construction and move some flights southbound temporarily?

    It’s going to be interesting to see how long this recovery takes, and when airports are going to start enforcing the slot rules. I can’t see Delta keeping 12. No matter how bad I’d want LGB-SEA/ATL/SLC and maybe MSP.

    1. I will go out on a not very long limb and bet that Delta intends to use its A220s, the only fleet it is currently operating at 100%, to start serving LGB and other small markets from the eastern US, esp. competitive with B6.
      Delta’s first A220-300, built in Mobile, Alabama, supposedly just came off the assembly line and B6 is supposed to receive the A220 this year as well. In the low demand environment we will see in the near future, the A220 is the ideal aircraft to serve long, thin domestic routes.

  4. I cant figure out how LGB survives literally being in the shadow of LAX. At least SNA is a fare distance to the south & has a built in market thanks to everything around Disneyland, be it commercial or residential. Can someone explain what I’m missing? OTOH, I get Bur & ON & why they both exist.

    Thanks.

    1. SEAN – LA traffic. Driving is tough around here, so it’s far better to stay close to home if you can. It doesn’t do as well as others because of its proximity to the other airports, but there is some demand. It’s particularly appealing for short day trips. And FYI, LGB is about the same distance from Disneyland as Orange County is.

      1. Thanks Cranky & Chet, explains a lot. The aunt of my ex-girlfriend lived on the east side of Long Beach for decades & when we saw her in 2005 I noticed every few minutes a jet would roar overhead. She mention she was in the flight path & I thought to myself… well at least it’s not as bad as being in the rockaways where my grandmother use to live.

    2. LGB is tiny and easy in, easy out. You save 45-90 minutes of “airport time” with LGB over LAX, and probably 30-60 over SNA. So even if LGB is a bit farther away, it’s a great option. LGB is also a fantastic airport.

  5. Thanks for the Air Sinai link, Cranky. Really fascinating stuff.

    Unrelated, but will you be writing any follow-up to your Boeing post from this week, now that they’ve apparently raised $25 billion and will probably walk away from any Treasury programs?

    Also unrelated, I just opened up my CF mug. Can’t wait to use it for tomorrow’s coffee!

    1. Itami – Thanks for buying the mug! Nothing for me to update on Boeing.
      They should still do something bold. They now just don’t need the money from the feds to do it.

  6. Hi CF, As I recall you doubted that HA would come to LGB at all….but they did.  And I’ll take your bet; I say they will come back.  May not be right away though since travel to Hawaii is likely to have a slow recovery.  As to the second slot, I suspect that is just a contingency, maybe for an OGG flight?

    1. Jin – I hope they do come back, but if they aren’t back by end of October, they’ll lose their slots. And you can’t just get a slot there for a contingency. If you don’t utilize it, you’ll be out.

      1. CF- Sure, I understand, and my bet is that they won’t use the second slot.  But hey, if I’m an HA planner, I’d rather have the slot and not need it rather than the reverse.  Jim

        1. Hawaiian passed on the opportunity to claim that second slot previously. My guess is that HA was planning to add LGB-OGG before everything fell apart.

          I’m a bit more optimistic that Hawaii’s recovery won’t be too bad. Being a domestic destination is will be perceived as safer compared to traveling internationally and once people become comfortable flying again, I think it will be a popular leisure destination, not to mention the family connections between Hawaii, California, and Las Vegas.

          1. Yeah, LGB-OGG would also be my guess for the second slot.  I also agree that domestic vacation  destinations like Hawaii should recover more quickly than international travel.  That still may not be so fast though.  Local UH modeling still has a wide band ranging from 40% worst case to 80% best case by year-end.

  7. Cranky do you know if airlines are still involved in the oil futures markets and if so what effect has the current craziness had?

    1. I assume there are plenty on the hook still who will be underwater. I don’t know how many are actually currently purchasing contracts.

  8. LGB is a horribly run airport keeping arcane flight rules in place. Just look at the history of LGB commercial air service and a cursory look will see that EVERY airline that made come in to serve LGB, eventually pulls out. Why? Limited slots that no one can make a competitive schedule, hard to get, easy to lose, poor facilities, even now it looks nicer than before but no FIS as a SOCAL airport?! Cmon! What a joke, they really only keep commercial service to milk the airlines for money for their stupid local library, its a sham! They are going to look even more foolish when B6 takes the inrta west coast flights and make a move into SNA and LAX when that becomes inevitable available to them. Southwest yield data at LGB look horrendous and are losing money at LGB on all their flights and now even more with 8 empty flights a day being dispatched. They must love burning through that big cash reserve they have. Then what? As far as B6 is concerned this is a win for them, they can have more loss making flights cause LGB airport is not made to have an airline come in and build a competitive sched. Everything about LGB that is today is because B6 made it possible. now they are taking a hike, and going a short hop up the road. Its like when Letterman walked off NBC and walked across the street and made a better deal with CBS. Good for B6. It will be interesting to see Their west coast strategy as gates open up out west on other surrounding airports.

  9. Everyone makes the same mistake regarding the catchment area of LGB. They all show a circle around LGB overlapping half of LAX’s and SNA’s circles, plus the ocean! The “true” catchment area of LGB is NOT a circle around LGB! IT’s like a bubble or rectangle leaning right, containing Norwalk, Fullerton, Whittier, Covina, Azusa areas to the northeast (east of Downtown LA, and west 57, north of the 91, south of the 210) with the western half of Orange County.

    The problem with LGB is money. Frying from DFW, it’s 1/3 of the price to flying into LAX, so I fly into LAX and rent a car – still lower than flying to LGB. I understand – airlines don’t want to match the low DFW fares to LAX, when they can fill up the plane at the connecting hub with other cities that pay more revenue – I understand revenue management.

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