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Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?  
User currently offlineSparkingWave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 670 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7280 times:

Los Angeles is home to two large ethnic communities, Vietnamese and Korean. So why doesn't UA have nonstop international flights between LA to Saigon, as well as LA to Seoul? It seems that there would be a lot of O&D traffic, but to travel to SGN, you have to connect on UA through HKG, and for travel to ICN you have to transit through SFO. What is UA's rationale for these routings, when nonstops seem to make more sense?

SparkingWave ~~~


Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7556 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7257 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Thread starter):
Los Angeles is home to two large ethnic communities, Vietnamese and Korean. So why doesn't UA have nonstop international flights between LA to Saigon, as well as LA to Seoul? It seems that there would be a lot of O&D traffic, but to travel to SGN, you have to connect on UA through HKG, and for travel to ICN you have to transit through SFO. What is UA's rationale for these routings, when nonstops seem to make more sense?

As for SGN, UA is restarting LAX-HKG in October with a tag-on to SGN. As for nonstop, any new nonstop destinations in Asia will be from SFO if its UA.

As for ICN, OZ does codeshare with UA on flights to ICN. I would love to see UA add LAX-ICN to their network, but they seem to prefer SFO. It was a long shot enough to get them to restart LAX-HKG which many of us in Los Angeles have been waiting for forever.

As much as I want to see it, I think it will remain the way it is.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7247 times:

Lack of aircraft is one place to start. United doesn't have enough widebodies. It is adjusting schedules and adding/deleting flights where it can maximize profits. No new aircraft orders likely this year based on UA's financials.

Secondly, large populations of people from a country does not mean high yielding passengers. Going home once every two years to visit grandma on discounted economy fares with tons of luggage does not mean the airline makes money no matter how full the flight is. If they can sell most of their first and business class seats and fill the cargo hold with freight, then maybe they'll take a look at the market.

These are just a couple of reasons to start. I'm sure others will have more.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2088 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7195 times:

There is not enough demand. Business demand drives airline routes. U.S. residents visiting relatives or something is not enough. Just because there are a lot of Koreans and Vietnamese in Los Angeles does not mean that they will yield enough to add a non-stop flight. The HKG-SGN tag-on has low loads and is made profitable only because of cargo, aircraft that would not be otherwise utilized and the high parking fees at HKG. ICN is served non-stop from SFO, UA's main Pacific hub and is not yet big enough to be served from LAX also.

LAX-HKG can connect to SIN and SGN on UA metal. ICN and SGN are endpoints. UA has stated a desire to eventually have non-stop flights from SFO to SGN however.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7141 times:

LAX-SGN is outside the range of UA's aircraft with any reasonable payload. UA might someday start SFO-SGN, but even that would be a serious stretch for range. If UA order some A350s or 787s, then SFO-SGN becomes likely. Why would anyone want to fly UA LAX-ICN when they could fly Star Alliance partner OZ on that route (which I've done)? OZ service is miles better than UA service.

User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7556 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7124 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 3):
There is not enough demand.

Yes and no. I agree that there would not be enough demand for a LAX-SGN nonstop flight. The numbers simply wouldnt be there for business and first class travel. Not to mention the flights would be weight restricted on most aircraft so Cargo couldnt be an factor so much.

As far as ICN goes, I think there is plenty of Demand to go around here in LA. There is alot of business travel between LAX and ICN (definately the largest in the county). I have some Korean clients down at Vermont and Wilshire (the center of Koreatown and the Korean Community in Los Angeles) who fly LAX-ICN in business every other month (spit between KE and OZ). They always tell me that business and first are always full. That being said, I would be mistified if UA started LAX-ICN.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8326 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7091 times:
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Koreans like their native airlines, United would be at a disadvantage. Asiana and Korean Air have double and tripple daily flights to LAX from ICN, so lack frequency would handicap UA. Asiana and Korean fly at lunch time and at midnight so they have both day and all night flights to ICN.

User currently offlineAS739X From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6124 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 7074 times:

Los Angeles-ICN is done by Asiana 10-weekly
San Francisco-ICN is done daily via SFO on United
San Francisco-ICN is done 4-weekly on OZ

Add in Korean pulling daily passengers away and there is no need. Even though there is a huge Korean population doesn't mean there are that many travelling the route.

Los Angeles-Saigon is out of the range of UA a/c as Zveda said.

Also, there are still details being worked out between VN and US goverments on open flying if i am not mistaken.


ASSFO

[Edited 2007-05-16 21:14:10]


"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1521 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6674 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Thread starter):
So why doesn't UA have nonstop international flights between LA to Saigon, as well as LA to Seoul? It seems that there would be a lot of O&D traffic

LAX - ICN is indeed a huge p2p market, and somewhat unique in that Koreans make up the bulk of that traffic in both directions. Having said that, I think JFK 777 hits the nail close to the head in saying that Koreans are partial.

Even being an Asiatic culture, the Korean culture is very idiosyncratic. And this is most certainly reflected in their attitude toward service. In a market dominated by ethic Korean travel in both directions, the American way of rendering service hasn't, and will not succeed. The first US based carrier thats able to bridge this culture gap will have success in the LAX - Korea market. IMO, that will not happen.

I think its ironic that NW retreated (save for hub services) from the SEL market in the wake of OZs growth and advance. In the late 80s - early 90s, NW served HNL, LAX, and SEA, (all U.S. points with large Korean populations) and some intra-Asia, nonstop ex-SEL - before OZ began flying internationally.

The other US based carriers make ICN services work through the hubs by not only filling the plane, but by tilting the passenger mix.



With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
User currently offlineKaitak744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2368 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6527 times:

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 1):
As for nonstop, any new nonstop destinations in Asia will be from SFO if its UA.

That is SUCH a bad policy for United.

Quoting AS739X (Reply 7):
Add in Korean pulling daily passengers away and there is no need. Even though there is a huge Korean population doesn't mean there are that many travelling the route.

But there are large amounts of Koreans flying the route. Asiana has 10x weekly, and Korean Air has 3x daily between LAX and ICN. The market exists. U.S. airlines just don't take advantage of it.


User currently offlineSparkingWave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 6481 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 9):
But there are large amounts of Koreans flying the route. Asiana has 10x weekly, and Korean Air has 3x daily between LAX and ICN. The market exists. U.S. airlines just don't take advantage of it.

With all these flights between LAX and ICN (total 31 nonstops a week), this is more than CX between LAX-HKG. It seems there would be ample room and justification for UA to do a nonstop LAX-ICN, even in addition to its codeshare with OZ. So I ask my question again.

On a side note (I don't know if this has been discussed before), but why has UA pulled out of MNL and never gone back, since NW continues to fly there?

SparkingWave ~~~



Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
User currently offlineHeeseokKoo From South Korea, joined Jan 2005, 637 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 6454 times:

Quoting Aaway (Reply 8):
In a market dominated by ethic Korean travel in both directions, the American way of rendering service hasn't, and will not succeed.

Yeah, that's what I got to know after I moved to the states. Korean airliners KE/OZ are far more expensive (20~50%) than UA/NW/AA/CO both Korea->US and US->Korea. I wonder how UA/NW (and possibly DL) makes money on ICN sector.


User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1521 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 6439 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 10):
With all these flights between LAX and ICN (total 31 nonstops a week),... It seems there would be ample room and justification for UA to do a nonstop LAX-ICN, even in addition to its codeshare with OZ.

If I may pose a question for clarity, ample room and justification based upon what?



With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1521 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 6413 times:

Quoting HeeseokKoo (Reply 11):
Korean airliners KE/OZ are far more expensive (20~50%) than UA/NW/AA/CO both Korea->US and US->Korea. I wonder how UA/NW (and possibly DL) makes money on ICN sector.

Not surprising that KE and OZ can command a premium (convenience premium) on those routes where they provide nonstop service and provide a level of service very amenable to their customers.



With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7556 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 6386 times:

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 9):
That is SUCH a bad policy for United.

Yep, UA has a huge following down here and I would love to see UA try a little bit harder here. But the thing is that SFO is comparatively competition free when compared to LAX. LAX has a lot more Asian traffic, but SFO is better set up to be a hub. Local traffic (LAX) vs. hub connectivity (SFO), that is the question. UA obviously made the choice (maybe the choice I would have made, but oh well).

There is one route I dont understand why UA doesnt fly, and that is LAX-FRA. Its underserved and UA could make a killing on it, but they choose not to fly it. Oh well, at least we got HKG back.  Smile



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1521 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6355 times:

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 14):
There is one route I dont understand why UA doesnt fly, and that is LAX-FRA. Its underserved and UA could make a killing on it, but they choose not to fly it.

Compare the fares from the East Coast to FRA vs. West Coast to FRA. Not much of a premium flying the additional distance.



With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7556 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 6319 times:

Quoting Aaway (Reply 15):
Compare the fares from the East Coast to FRA vs. West Coast to FRA. Not much of a premium flying the additional distance.

Yeah there is. Take NYC for example. If you select dates that are far in advance (as to do without the price being effected by availibility), the fares are much higher from LA. I checked a few dates in October on LH. The price came up almost double from LAX what it was from JFK. Another reason is that there is much more competition in JFK-FRA than there is from LAX-FRA.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineAaway From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1521 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6274 times:

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 16):
Yeah there is. Take NYC for example. If you select dates that are far in advance (as to do without the price being effected by availibility), the fares are much higher from LA. I checked a few dates in October on LH

That sure is an advanced booking window - probably a bit further in advance of what most passengers would commit to, particularly going into low season for US - Europe travel.

I plugged in some dates during mid - August:
LAX - FRA $1615.00 (LH)
JFK - FRA $1270.00 (LH)

$345.00 more for 1950 additional miles. Small premium for when flying the same same aircraft the addtional distance, providing the same amenities (yet in greater quantity due to the distance), absorbing greater fuel costs, etc.

[Edited 2007-05-18 08:09:04]


With a choice between changing one's mind & proving there's no need to do so, most everyone gets busy on the proof.
User currently offlineSparkingWave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6149 times:

Quoting Aaway (Reply 12):
If I may pose a question for clarity, ample room and justification based upon what?

Merely on the number of flights offered between ICN-LAX by KE and OZ combined.

Quoting HeeseokKoo (Reply 11):
Korean airliners KE/OZ are far more expensive (20~50%) than UA/NW/AA/CO both Korea->US and US->Korea. I wonder how UA/NW (and possibly DL) makes money on ICN sector.

That usually seems the case, but just out of curiosity, I compared economy class airfares (with currency conversions) on the airlines in question between ICN-LAX, in both directions, for a sample date of June 15, returning on June 30. Here's what I found (amounts in U.S. dollars):

June 15 ICN-LAX , LAX-ICN
UA 1489.90 , 1836.90 (through SFO)
KE 1430.96 , 1397.91 (nonstop)
OZ 1220.41 , 1402.91 (nonstop)

UA seems to be the most expensive.



Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
User currently offlineHeeseokKoo From South Korea, joined Jan 2005, 637 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6053 times:

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 18):
June 15 ICN-LAX , LAX-ICN
UA 1489.90 , 1836.90 (through SFO)
KE 1430.96 , 1397.91 (nonstop)
OZ 1220.41 , 1402.91 (nonstop)

UA seems to be the most expensive.

Well, I was talking about the most cheapest fare we can get. Since UA fare is cheap, it goes out pretty soon although they offer pretty much seats. While OZ/KE does not offer cheap fare, we don't have to book early as a matter of fact.
June 15 is right before UA's high season begins, so hard to get cheap ones. For June 15 - 30, UA/NW had around $700/$800/$1000+tax etc., while OZ/KE has $1100/$1200+tax, etc.


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