By Steven Piper
If locals’ summer vacation plans are still in the works, then utilizing JetBlue’s new, seasonal route to Anchorage, Alaska out of Long Beach Airport (LGB) might be worth taking advantage of. The inaugural flight to the airline’s new destination was Monday afternoon, and one-way tickets will be as low as $119 each way until Friday, Oct. 29.
Commemorating the airline’s new route to the last frontier, numerous community representative were in attendance at the airport, including: Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, LGB Director Mario Rodriguez, JetBlue Senior Vice President of Marketing and Commercial Strategy Marty St. George, and President and CEO of Long Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Stephen Goodling.
Also in attendance were Miss Long Beach, Miss Alaska and Miss Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, symbolizing the new connection between the northernmost major city in the United States and the “City by the Sea.”
“We’re thrilled to add Anchorage to our growing list of destinations,” said St. George. “Summer is the best time to visit our northernmost state, and we’re proud to offer our customers another option in the LA Basin, as the only airline flying to Anchorage out of Long Beach and the southern Los Angeles region. Plus, with the extended daylight hours, our customers can look forward to playing midnight golf soon after they touch down in Anchorage.” On summer solstice, Anchorage offers 24 hours of functional daylight.
“JetBlue’s new Anchorage service connects visitors to the world-class amenities of both Long Beach and Anchorage,” Rodriguez said. “Whether travelers are looking for Southern California sun or the nature of Alaska, Long Beach Airport will get you there.”
Meanwhile, Foster recognized other, ongoing projects at LGB in conjunction with the addition of the new route. “Congratulations to JetBlue on the new service for the Long Beach Airport,” Foster said. “The airport is undergoing several new changes such as a new parking structure and terminal building. This new route to Anchorage, Alaska is another great addition for Long Beach residents and visitors alike.”
Similarly, Sullivan also shared complimentary sentiments regarding the new destination for Anchorage’s citizens, which comprises more than 40 percent of the state’s total population. “We are very pleased to welcome JetBlue Airways to Anchorage,” said Sullivan. “They will enjoy Anchorage’s welcoming business climate and be another successful addition to our growing air passenger and cargo industry. Anchorage is known as the ‘Air Crossroads of the World,’ and every new airline that makes Anchorage a destination enhances that reputation.” Sullivan also said that Alaska has the highest population of certified pilots in the country. The state has 14 times as many pilots than the rest of the US, according to Sullivan.
On February 11, 2000, JetBlue entered the industry, offering service between New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Now, the airline offers 600 flights, employs 600 crewmembers at LGB, and serves 64 destinations in 20 states and 12 other countries.
By Steven Piper