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Why Doesn't LAX Work As A Hub?  
User currently offlineLindy field From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 3120 posts, RR: 14
Posted (12 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 1671 times:
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Having just read the thread about United scaling back its operations at LAX, I find myself wondering why this airport hasn't succeeded as a hub airport for the major US airlines. Delta reduced its operations there, inherited mostly from Western, some years ago. It seems that LAX can't support large operations from a single airline. But I don't see why the situation at LAX shouldn't be similiar to that at JFK, where a few airlines (Delta and American) have large operations but aren't really dominant in the way that Continental is at EWR. Any thoughts on this and on which airlines might be able to exploit United's decrease in flights?




19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHaligonian From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 1601 times:

Maybe its geographic.

As far as domestic flights are concerned LAX is literally stuck in a (far) corner of the US.


User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 1593 times:

It's all O and D traffic.
Too far west for West<--->East traffic;
Too far south for North<-->South traffic;


User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week ago) and read 1570 times:

Terrible location for a domestic hub. The same reason that Miami, Boston, and Seattle don't work as domestic hubs.

Tom in NO (at MSY)




"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6471 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1556 times:

Having a lot of flights from an airport does not make it a hub. A hub is many flights coming in from various points and cross connecting passengers back to those same points. It works best if there are destinations in all directions from the hub(360 degrees). LAX does not work as there are no domestic destinations west of there except Hawaii.

User currently offlineLGB Photos From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

LAX has worked as a hub several years ago when Western was there. Actually they were based there as was Continental back years ago. I don't know what has happened in the last few years though.

Stephen


User currently offlineLeftseat86 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1527 times:

United claims to have a hub there(  Insane )
anyway, the airport has such limited capacity, I don't think its possible, besides, not having any hub airline is what makes LAX so cool! Big grin


User currently offlineLindy field From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 3120 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1499 times:
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Yes, yes, I understand that there aren't many cities out in the Pacific Ocean, but I still don't see why LAX doesn't have the same kind of operations as JFK, which is a bit north for many people. My argument is why United or Delta couldn't make large operations work--with flights coming from all points east and north as both o/d traffic and as feeder traffic for a large number of transpacific flights (what AA and Delta do at JFK with flights to Europe). I understand that the passenger numbers to Asia are probably much lower than those to Europe, and that the prolonged Asian economic crisis probably plays a role, but I'd still love to hear from someone who is willing to provide a more detailed analysis. Thanks to all contributors thus far.

User currently offlineAirbus380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1496 times:

Too much intl. traffic and too much competition.

LAX-HNL is operated by:

AA
UA
OAI
CO
And some random airlines like

Air New Zealand
Qantas
and a few others.


User currently offlineMikeybien From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1471 times:

You can't really compare LAX with JFK. There are far more people on the east coast than the west.

User currently offlineLindy field From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 3120 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1453 times:
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But the west is the best!

User currently offlineThomacf From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1440 times:

I was in LAX three weeks ago and the United and Dleta operation looked huge. The United monitors were filled with cities throughout CA and the west coast. There were by far more United planes in LAX than CO planes in IAH when I had a layover both ways. I would think alot of the Asian traffic going into the southern half of the US would make more sense going through LAX rather than Chicago.

User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6471 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1430 times:

Thomacf,

A flight following the great circle route from Asia to nearly anywhere in the southern US would come a lot closer to Chicago than it would to Los Angeles. Check it out


User currently offlineThomacf From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1421 times:

Bobnwa-

I completely forgot about that, my bad.


User currently offlineDC-10inLB From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1418 times:

Simply put, it's a wonderful gateway city, horrible hub city...a great city geographically through which the asian traffic comes in and out of, but yes, it makes a bad hub. We're on the periferal of the country, not really centralized geographically

User currently offlineKartik97 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1414 times:

I think it's a competition thing: AA offers significant competition at LAX. More importantly WN has a huge presence. At SFO on the other hand, UA is dominant, no other carrier comes even close. I wonder though how SFO will fare in the future with the growth of OAK thanks to WN...

User currently offlineRed Panda From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2000, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

LAX is too far south for both domestic and int'l routes. JFK is a bit north for domestic routes, however, JFK's location is perfect for trans-Atlantic routes to Europe. Flights from JFK bounded to Europe have to fly even further north along the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada after departed. YVR, SEA and ANC are also hubs to Asia since they are north enough, and are on the path of The Great Circle Routes. Flights going down to S. America would use MIA as hub rather than LAX. LAX can only be the connecting point to Australia.

my 2 cents.
R Panda


User currently offlineDeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1650 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

LindyField is making a very valid point. Some of you may be missing it.

IMO, LAX is the perfect outfit for a hub for one of the majors. There aren't as many nonstops across the continent as some of you might think from LAX. Imagine having 2 or 3 banks a day where flights would all arrive at once on say airline X from PHL, BWI, ATL, MIA, MSY, MDW, IND, CLE, BNA, DFW, IAH, JFK, EWR, IAD, BOS and even STL, MCI, SLC and DEN, AND the passengers have the option of connecting to a massive west coast RJ operation to points like OAK, RNO, FAT, SBA, SJC and a handful of bigger jets continue on to SFO, SJC, LAS, SAN etc. etc. and another handful continue on to say Tokyo, Sydney, Osaka, HNL and Hong Kong. To me that business model makes sense and is identical to what CO has going at EWR. No airline, not even UAL has done this. UAL staggered its flights throughout the day from all over to LAX. There was never a one to three huge banks.

Some of you argue capacity concerns, while true, very workable. LAX is very disorganized. But there is the potential to operate extensively out of at least 2 terminals for one carrier as well as build an extension for heavies and for RJ operations out on the western end of the field.

WN seems to be focusing more on LAX w/ nonstops to BNA and HOU to name a few. I think the market is there for a major to come in and set up shop on a bigger scale.

Oh-also there are big pockets in the day where air and ground traffic at LAX is minimal, perfect times to squeeze a big time bank of flights. I know LAX has its busy moments, but not throughout the whole day.

I hope when things get better in the world, another airline, maybe CO? might explore this.


User currently offlinePHLFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 851 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1378 times:

One of the reasons JFK does so well as an Interantional Gateway is that roughly 80 million people live within an 60-90 minutes flying time of JFK. This is at least double the amount of people that live within the same distance of LAX.

If you live in Phoenix or Las Vegas and want to travel to Paris, how many people, except us airline nuts, would want to travel 1 hour West to LAX just to travel 9-10 hours East?

As stated earlier, LAX suffers from a terrible location except for Asia-Pacific traffic or Mexico-South America travel originating from the west coast


User currently offlineDeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1650 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1367 times:

LAX is a huge O&D and I think it would be the perfect gateway for Asia in addition to Australia.

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