JetBlue Airways is to use all 27 of its Long Beach, California, departure slots six months earlier than planned as it tries to head off American Airlines, which has been pressing the airport to adopt a "use it or lose it" slot policy. The decision requires JetBlue to place Airbus A320s into Long Beach, instead of its New York Kennedy base, and shelve near-term plans to boost frequencies in already served markets. Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are seeking to secure permanent Long Beach slots. American argues the deal between Long Beach and JetBlue giving the low-fares carrier the rights to 27 slots - even though it currently only uses five - is illegal and has allowed JetBlue to circumvent the "use it or lose it" rules, which dictate a carrier must begin serving a route within 90 days of receiving its slot. JetBlue says it will not give up its Long Beach slots.

Source: Flight International