Fire trucks spray water over the JetBlue airplane that made the first trip from New York City to Bob Hope Airport in 2005.

Fire trucks spray water over the JetBlue airplane that made the first trip from New York City to Bob Hope Airport in 2005. (Times Community News / December 5, 2012)

Bob Hope Airport officials approved additional parking rate increases this week to tackle steady revenue drops caused by declining passenger activity that’s expected to be exacerbated by JetBlue’s decision to eliminate all daytime flights at the airfield as of Jan. 6.

The decision will eliminate one daily flight to JFK International Airport in New York City and another to Las Vegas. JetBlue’s evening service to JFK will continue.

A spokeswoman for the airline, Tamara Young, said in a statement that customer demand is “the ultimate factor in determining a route or flight schedule.”

And despite cutbacks in Burbank, JetBlue’s overall network continues to expand, Young said.

“Our ongoing commitment to the Los Angeles metro area remains strong, with plans to operate over 40 flights a day during peak,” she said.

In addition to the Bob Hope Airport, Jet Blue operates six daily flights to JFK from Los Angeles International Airport and two from Long Beach.

The cutback at Bob Hope only adds to the pain felt when American Airlines withdrew completely from the airfield. Officials attributed a steep drop in passenger use and parking revenues this fall in large part to the American’s departure.

Amid the prolonged month-after-month drops in parking revenues, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has been adjusting rates at its various lots in an attempt to maximize revenues from shrinking number of passengers using the airfield.

The latest round of increases, which will take effect on Jan. 15, include upping the daily rate at Lot B from $10 to $12 and bumping the rates for Lot E and valet parking from $21 to $23 a day.

The daily rate for Lot A will remain at $10 and it will still cost $31 day to use the parking structure.

The increases come after a daily rate hike for Lot C from $10 to $12, approved last month by the airport authority.

The rate hikes, officials said, are needed because monthly parking revenues have come in significantly below budget projections since February — a troubling trend given how important the income stream is for the airport.

All of the rate increases — along with Lot C — are expected to generate about $1.3 million a year, said Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director.

The revenue boost, he added, “is very much needed revenue to offset the loss…we’re expecting at the end of this year from parking compared to budget.”

As for JetBlue customers who have daytime JFK flights that will be affected by the Jan. 6 change, Young said they will be given a $50-credit and have the option to be switched to the same day's evening service, re-booked to LAX or Long Beach departure or receive a refund or credit for a future flight.

Customers booked to fly from Burbank to Las Vegas will also be given a $50-credit plus the option to be re-booked to fly from Long Beach or receive a refund or a credit for a future JetBlue flight, she added.

-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam