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Why So Few Los Angeles Based Airlines?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3758 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 16368 times:

There has been a good amout of New York base airlines though the years ( Pan Am, TWA, AA, Tower Air and Jet blue), but there do not seem to be that many airlines base in Los Angeles over the years. I know Western Airlines was base in LA and I believe CO was base in LA at one time, but why so few airlines was base in Los Angeles?

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesurfandsnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2908 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 16334 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
There has been a good amout of New York base airlines though the years ( Pan Am, TWA, AA, Tower Air and Jet blue)

Well, if we are going back to the days when Pan Am, TWA, and AA were based in New York, please remember than the demographics of the country were very different back then. The vast majority of Americans lived East of the Mississippi, many of them clustered in and around New York in places like Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, etc. It wasn't until the 1960s and 70s that cities like Miami, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles emerged as wealthy, sophisticated major cities home to dynamic, thriving economies and huge populations. It made a lot more sense to base your operations on the Eastern seaboard since most of the folks were flying in the triangle between Boston, Washington, and Chicago back then. A route like Los Angeles-Las Vegas or Phoenix-Seattle would have been a cowtown route, while even something like Pittsburgh-Indianapolis or Buffalo-Hartford would have been highly popular. Times have really changed!

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I know Western Airlines was base in LA and I believe CO was base in LA at one time, but why so few airlines was base in Los Angeles?

There just wasn't much out West back then - you had a few notable cities in Coastal California, but the desert Southwest and the Rocky Mountain region was nothing like it is today. Before the widespread advent of air conditioning and posh ski resorts, respectively, nobody had a reason (or could even tolerate) either place!



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26169 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15859 times:

Los Angeles area has had a fair share of airlines being based here over the years.
Off the top of my head can think of the following.

Continental (moved HQ to Houston when purchased by Texas Air)
Western (merged with Delta)
Flying Tigers (merged with Fedex)
AirCal (Merged with AA)
Total Air (Ch11)
MGM Grand (Ch11)
Airspur (Ch11)
Los Angeles Airways (first scheduled helicopter service, merged with Golden West)
Hawaii Express (Ch11)
Total Air (Ch11)
Aero Commuter (merged with someone)
Pacific East (Ch11)
WinAir (Ch11)
President (Ch11)

If you want to add in San Diego environs you can add;
PSA (merged with US Air)
Air Resorts (Ch11)

Today we have one remaining;
Ameriflight (US largest Part-135 cargo airline with ~170 aircraft).

Airlines or not, the SoCal area however is very rich in aviation history from the countries first air races in 1910, to either being home or major production center for nearly the entire US aerospace industry over the years. SoCal also was the home for lots of America's great aviation pioneers over the years.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinebigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15796 times:

Add Jetamerica, based in Long Beach and was later acquired by Alaska.

From a broader sense, I do believe Virgin America is the only scheduled passenger airline based in California.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Airlines or not, the SoCal area however is very rich in aviation history from the countries first air races in 1910, to either being home or major production center for nearly the entire US aerospace industry over the years. SoCal also was the home for lots of America's great aviation pioneers over the years.

  
I still remember driving by the McDonnell Douglas plant and seeing rows of unpainted/partially painted jets.

Weren't the L1011s built in Southern California?


User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15756 times:

Quoting bigGSFO (Reply 3):
Weren't the L1011s built in Southern California?

Yes, at PMD (Palmdale).


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User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26169 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 15740 times:

Quoting bigGSFO (Reply 3):
Add Jetamerica, based in Long Beach and was later acquired by Alaska.

How could I forget. Had a friend work there on top of it   

Quoting bigGSFO (Reply 3):
I still remember driving by the McDonnell Douglas plant and seeing rows of unpainted/partially painted jets.

Before the move to LGB, Douglas was based at Santa Monica. Last SMO built plane was was the DC-7, but the HQ remained in Santa Monica till 1976 before going down to LGB.

Quoting bigGSFO (Reply 3):
Weren't the L1011s built in Southern California?

Yes up in Palmdale , while the skunk works and other Lockheed work remained in Burbank.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 3016 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15681 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):

Champion was based out of LAX, right? They actually shut down the right way, to Chap. 11 or 7.......



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlineaf773atmsp From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2716 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15630 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 6):

The Champion Air HQ was in Minnesota and I don't think they had many flights at LAX.



It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26169 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15605 times:

Champion Air no, they were based on Minnesota.
Only real LA connection was they acquired the MGM certificate after they had shutdown already, but Champion was a totally separate company - except the irony that the last CEO of Champion which had the job of shutting down the place by chance had been a VP at MGM about 10 years earlier.

[Edited 2010-04-10 09:56:32]


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15567 times:

Los Angeles area has had a fair share of airlines being based here over the years.
Off the top of my head can think of the following.

Continental (moved HQ to Houston when purchased by Texas Air)
Western (merged with Delta)
Flying Tigers (merged with Fedex)
AirCal (Merged with AA)
Total Air (Ch11)
MGM Grand (Ch11)
Airspur (Ch11)
Los Angeles Airways (first scheduled helicopter service, merged with Golden West)
Hawaii Express (Ch11)
Total Air (Ch11)
Aero Commuter (merged with someone)
Pacific East (Ch11)
WinAir (Ch11)
President (Ch11)

AirCal may have had more operations out of LAX, but it's headquarters and "spiritual" base was SNA.  

BTW, wasn't Hughes Air West also based at LAX?


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26169 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15398 times:

Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 9):
AirCal may have had more operations out of LAX, but it's headquarters and "spiritual" base was SNA.

Which is =

Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 9):
Los Angeles area

For Hughes, they were based in the Bay Area with HQ in San Mateo County.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26021 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15292 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 5):
Quoting bigGSFO (Reply 3):
I still remember driving by the McDonnell Douglas plant and seeing rows of unpainted/partially painted jets.

Before the move to LGB, Douglas was based at Santa Monica. Last SMO built plane was was the DC-7, but the HQ remained in Santa Monica till 1976 before going down to LGB.

Quoting bigGSFO (Reply 3):
Weren't the L1011s built in Southern California?

Yes up in Palmdale , while the skunk works and other Lockheed work remained in Burbank.

Burbank was Lockheed's headquarters for many years, almost from the time it was founded. Thousands of Lockheed aircraft, including all the Constellation series and L-188 Electra, and their various predecessors and many military types during WWII, were built at BUR. Lockheed also owned BUR airport for 38 years (1940-78). It was called "Lockheed Air Terminal" from 1940 to 1967 (BUR airport has had about 7 official names since it opened 80 years ago).


User currently offlinemurchmo From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 14874 times:

Quoting surfandsnow (Reply 1):

this is a good explanation. Given the history of the US population it makes sense. It's not like LA isn't a major hub. It's a focus city for AA, UAL, SWA, AS, CO, DAL, VX, amongst others. And LGB is a hub for Jetblue.



to strive to seek to find and not to yield
User currently offlineWeAreUnited From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 12702 times:

Quoting murchmo (Reply 12):

this is a good explanation. Given the history of the US population it makes sense. It's not like LA isn't a major hub. It's a focus city for AA, UAL, SWA, AS, CO, DAL, VX, amongst others. And LGB is a hub for Jetblue.
Hubs for United and Alaska according to each company;

From united.com:

United Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of UAL Corporation (Nasdaq: UAUA), operates approximately 3,300* flights a day on United and United Express to more than 230 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

http://www.united.com/page/middlepag...76,00.html?jumpLink=%2Faboutunited


From alaskaair.com:
Hubs: Seattle (main hub); Anchorage, Alaska; Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.

http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/company/newsroom/ASfact-sheet.asp


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10350 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 11336 times:

Although Los Angeles has been the 2nd largest city in the country for awhile now, in 1920, it was 10th.

1930 & 1940 - 5th
1950 - 4th
1960, 1970, 1980 - 3rd

It wasn't until the 1990 census that it took over 2nd from Chicago. As has been noted, while many eastern cities have been growing for well over 100 years, Los Angeles is very much a 20th century city, in terms of when it started attaining prominence.

I would also hazard a guess that the vast majority of US intercontinental air travel when it was first established was to/from Europe. And those flights would leave from the east coast.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Airlines or not, the SoCal area however is very rich in aviation history from the countries first air races in 1910, to either being home or major production center for nearly the entire US aerospace industry over the years. SoCal also was the home for lots of America's great aviation pioneers over the years.

Worth noting that SoCal is still a major aerospace player (probably the biggest in the country, if I had to guess).

Between the numerous military installations (Edwards, Miramar, March, China Lake, 29 Palms, Pendleton, North Island, LAAFB, SD Naval Base, etc.), and the private industry (NG, Boeing, Aerospace Corp., SpaceX, Scaled Composites, Lockheed, Raytheon, etc.), and of course the dozens of airports, SoCal is still extremely rich in aviation.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineHawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3212 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10226 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
WinAir (Ch11)

Although the hub for their scheduled service was LGB, wasn't the company actually based in Salt Lake City?


User currently offlineflyfree727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 687 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10022 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Los Angeles area has had a fair share of airlines being based here over the years.
Off the top of my head can think of the following.

Continental (moved HQ to Houston when purchased by Texas Air)
Western (merged with Delta)
Flying Tigers (merged with Fedex)
AirCal (Merged with AA)
Total Air (Ch11)
MGM Grand (Ch11)
Airspur (Ch11)
Los Angeles Airways (first scheduled helicopter service, merged with Golden West)
Hawaii Express (Ch11)
Total Air (Ch11)
Aero Commuter (merged with someone)
Pacific East (Ch11)
WinAir (Ch11)
President (Ch11)
Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 9):
Los Angeles area has had a fair share of airlines being based here over the years.
Off the top of my head can think of the following.

Continental (moved HQ to Houston when purchased by Texas Air)
Western (merged with Delta)
Flying Tigers (merged with Fedex)
AirCal (Merged with AA)
Total Air (Ch11)
MGM Grand (Ch11)
Airspur (Ch11)
Los Angeles Airways (first scheduled helicopter service, merged with Golden West)
Hawaii Express (Ch11)
Total Air (Ch11)
Aero Commuter (merged with someone)
Pacific East (Ch11)
WinAir (Ch11)
President (Ch11)

Wow, off the top of your head your guys think exactly alike! impressive

AA ORD


User currently offlineTomassjc From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 909 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9781 times:
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Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 9):
Aero Commuter (merged with someone

Merged with Cable Commuter (Upland) Skymark (Sacramento) and the original Goldern West (Van Nuys) to become Golden West. (Newport Beach, CA) They then had a huge Twin Otter operation with dozens of flights a day out of LAX. GW's Mx base was the original Mines Field terminal @ LAX on Imperial Highway.

>Quoting AirCalSNA (Reply 9):
Los Angeles Airways (first scheduled helicopter service, merged with Golden West)

GW also took over Catalina Airlines and their Goose operation at LGB.



Tomas

[Edited 2010-04-11 19:54:25]

[Edited 2010-04-11 19:55:52]


When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
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