LondonXtreme
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Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:19 pm

I am very curious to figure out how come UA chose LAX over SFO for their first nonstop flight to MEL? Given 2 reasons:

1. SFO is the major hub for UA in west coast and UA usually starts a new long haul flight from SFO before reaching LAX
2. The LAX-Australia market has more competition as QF and VA serve this route for decades.

QF started SFO-MEL 2 months ago and is there any chance for UA to switch the departure of MEL flight to SFO just like the way they do on 2nd daily SIN-SFO flight or launching a new flight?
 
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SFOA380
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:35 pm

Because O&D LAX to OZ is that massive... this flight isn’t about connections...
 
benjjk
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:39 pm

United have been serving MEL from LAX for years with a stopover in SYD. They are much better established in that market than even VA, who pulled out for a few years until last year, and they are not even daily.

Besides, someone else will have the figures but the Australia-LAX market is much, much bigger than Australia-SFO. There is more than enough room for QF and UA to own the route with VA supplementing a little bit.
 
SonaSounds
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:45 pm

LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:16 pm

When I first started reading flight schedule books, I noticed right away that Australia-LAX seemed to be HUGE. Even after United took over the Pacific routes from Pan Am, the build up of SFO didn't seem to include much (if anything) to Australia. Everything went in and out of LAX. QANTAS has had a major maintenance base at LAX, as their planes sit there for a significant period of time before heading back down under.

Ironically enough, the populations of both Australia and "Southern California" are roughly equal, at around 25,000,000 (depending on the definition one uses of Southern California). Not really relevant to the topic, but something I found interesting.
 
LondonXtreme
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:57 pm

SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD
 
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FA9295
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:09 am

LondonXtreme wrote:
SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD

IAH-SYD is what relies on connections, mainly from the east coast.
No, "FA" in my username does not stand for "flight attendant"...
 
LondonXtreme
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:15 am

FA9295 wrote:
LondonXtreme wrote:
SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD

IAH-SYD is what relies on connections, mainly from the east coast.

I think UA can sustain a daily SFO-MEL which also carries the connection traffic throughout the rest part of country.
 
stlgph
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:26 am

It's in the details.

UA traffic does pass through SFO, but not at the right time.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
kriskim
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:35 am

I think if UA is to expand into Australia, it will be MEL-SFO next. UA has had an established presence in MEL for well over two decades now and will probably need to consider expanding the market beyond daily flights to LAX, with MEL-SFO starting to grow, UA might be waiting to see how well QF does on the route.
A world built upon connectivity.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:05 am

LondonXtreme wrote:
SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD


Look at a UA route map and see the cities connected to LAX. No, not as many as at SFO - but still plenty of passenger traffic.
 
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SCFlyer
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:12 am

LondonXtreme wrote:
SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD


IAH or elsewhere may require feed. However, LAX is one of the larger O&D markets in the world. Also, UA is not doing too badly on the Australian end despite no Australian partner (only limited third party travel agent interlines on QF or VA).
 
SonaSounds
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:18 am

LondonXtreme wrote:
SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD


That is O&D numbers I quoted......a quick google search would show you that LAX is offering ~3,300 seats a day one way this November to Australia. Only ~35% is originating in SoCal. 65% is connecting
 
babastud
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:20 am

Historically LAX has been the connection route to Australia, even though SFO was the first port of departure to Australia. SFO was shortchanged and could have supported more routes to Australia. All the players choose to funnel through LAX to play it safe and frankly Austrians got used to it. The mentality was that if you wanted to travel to the USA, it was LAX or nothing and that mentality stuck. Finally Qantas has come to there senses and is reaping dividends since there SFO-SYD route is very profitable for them. I'm sure there MEL-SFO route will also do well. United could also add a MEL from SFO and it would do fine. Now with DFW and IAH flights also people are looking and more open to options rather then LAX. LAX will always have plenty of flights as it is the O+D leader but in terms of connections other airports are better.
 
910A
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:29 am

babastud wrote:
Historically LAX has been the connection route to Australia, even though SFO was the first port of departure to Australia. SFO was shortchanged and could have supported more routes to Australia. All the players choose to funnel through LAX to play it safe and frankly Austrians got used to it. The mentality was that if you wanted to travel to the USA, it was LAX or nothing and that mentality stuck. Finally Qantas has come to there senses and is reaping dividends since there SFO-SYD route is very profitable for them. I'm sure there MEL-SFO route will also do well. United could also add a MEL from SFO and it would do fine. Now with DFW and IAH flights also people are looking and more open to options rather then LAX. LAX will always have plenty of flights as it is the O+D leader but in terms of connections other airports are better.

It was in the early 1980's when QF started LAX..SFO is very useful to QF for passengers connecting to the east, to the northwest, and parts of Canada. Personally SFO is easier to transfer than LAX. Side note: back in the day while on duty the Air New Zealand (TE was the code at that time) DC-10 and the QF bird were like clock work flying over the Harbor Fwy, one day I noticed the QF 742 to far north, as they attempted to land at Hughes Aircraft. One R/T on a QF 763 from SFO-HNL-SYD was enough...15 hours in a 767 is way too much.
Last edited by 910A on Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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mercure1
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:41 am

Let's not forget that Los Angeles basin is home to largest Australian diaspora in the US along with pretty much every other Pacific islander including Kiwi's.
Many Australian companies have set up their US regional offices in LA area as well and the LA region which is home to largest ports for trade to Australia as well from then US.
Simply put the numbers are far larger out of LA then Bay Area.
 
questions
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:37 am

babastud wrote:
Historically LAX has been the connection route to Australia, even though SFO was the first port of departure to Australia. SFO was shortchanged and could have supported more routes to Australia. All the players choose to funnel through LAX to play it safe and frankly Austrians got used to it. The mentality was that if you wanted to travel to the USA, it was LAX or nothing and that mentality stuck. Finally Qantas has come to there senses and is reaping dividends since there SFO-SYD route is very profitable for them. I'm sure there MEL-SFO route will also do well. United could also add a MEL from SFO and it would do fine. Now with DFW and IAH flights also people are looking and more open to options rather then LAX. LAX will always have plenty of flights as it is the O+D leader but in terms of connections other airports are better.


There’s really not an easy and quick way to fly from Austria to Australia. Glad the Austrians got used to flying through LAX.
 
babastud
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:03 am

questions wrote:
babastud wrote:
Historically LAX has been the connection route to Australia, even though SFO was the first port of departure to Australia. SFO was shortchanged and could have supported more routes to Australia. All the players choose to funnel through LAX to play it safe and frankly Austrians got used to it. The mentality was that if you wanted to travel to the USA, it was LAX or nothing and that mentality stuck. Finally Qantas has come to there senses and is reaping dividends since there SFO-SYD route is very profitable for them. I'm sure there MEL-SFO route will also do well. United could also add a MEL from SFO and it would do fine. Now with DFW and IAH flights also people are looking and more open to options rather then LAX. LAX will always have plenty of flights as it is the O+D leader but in terms of connections other airports are better.


There’s really not an easy and quick way to fly from Austria to Australia. Glad the Austrians got used to flying through LAX.



Nice catch :) I never knew I could be so passionate about Austrians flying to Australia.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:12 am

I can see UA adding SFO-MEL in the near future to match the new Qantas 787 service, while also retaining LAX-MEL. I thought IAH-SYD was being reduced somewhat, during low season Southern Hemisphere winter months as traffic falls off a bit. Qantas relies on AA feed at SFO, which is not as strong and the connections from T2 to the International Terminal are not optimal, and neither are the lounges.
 
TWA85
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:20 am

Also keep in mind, despite UA's lack of focus on LAX over the past several years, it is still a hub for them. Although LAX is a much smaller hub for UA than SFO is, the significantly larger amount of O&D traffic will more than offset the smaller amount of connecting traffic. Also, the markets that are unique to SFO provide only a minimal amount of additional feed. Final thought, it is more economical to fill a flight with more higher yielding O&D traffic vs. lower yielding connecting traffic.
 
AirbusA322
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:40 am

If the AA/QF upcoming agreement is not approved then we might see some movement from UA as QF has indicated they will pull back, with AA expected to pull out all together
 
gaystudpilot
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:02 am

babastud wrote:
questions wrote:
babastud wrote:
Historically LAX has been the connection route to Australia, even though SFO was the first port of departure to Australia. SFO was shortchanged and could have supported more routes to Australia. All the players choose to funnel through LAX to play it safe and frankly Austrians got used to it. The mentality was that if you wanted to travel to the USA, it was LAX or nothing and that mentality stuck. Finally Qantas has come to there senses and is reaping dividends since there SFO-SYD route is very profitable for them. I'm sure there MEL-SFO route will also do well. United could also add a MEL from SFO and it would do fine. Now with DFW and IAH flights also people are looking and more open to options rather then LAX. LAX will always have plenty of flights as it is the O+D leader but in terms of connections other airports are better.


There’s really not an easy and quick way to fly from Austria to Australia. Glad the Austrians got used to flying through LAX.



Nice catch :) I never knew I could be so passionate about Austrians flying to Australia.


Those crazy, fun-loving Austrians! :D
 
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psa1011
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:07 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
I can see UA adding SFO-MEL in the near future to match the new Qantas 787 service, while also retaining LAX-MEL. I thought IAH-SYD was being reduced somewhat, during low season Southern Hemisphere winter months as traffic falls off a bit. Qantas relies on AA feed at SFO, which is not as strong and the connections from T2 to the International Terminal are not optimal, and neither are the lounges.


Doesn't Qantas also codeshare with Alaska? And from what I've heard the AA lounge in T2 is pretty nice.
 
cedarjet
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:21 am

Not every airline passenger is connecting, and O&D traffic is always higher yield, people will always pay a premium for nonstop. LA is a far bigger draw for Australians, both for work (especially in cultural industries — so many Aussies working in Hollywood, or in bands) and tourism (Southern California is an enormous draw).
babastud wrote:
Historically LAX has been the connection route to Australia, even though SFO was the first port of departure to Australia. SFO was shortchanged and could have supported more routes to Australia. All the players choose to funnel through LAX to play it safe and frankly Austrians got used to it. The mentality was that if you wanted to travel to the USA, it was LAX or nothing and that mentality stuck. Finally Qantas has come to there* senses and is reaping dividends since there SFO-SYD route is very profitable for them. I'm sure there* MEL-SFO route will also do well. United could also add a MEL from SFO and it would do fine. Now with DFW and IAH flights also people are looking and more open to options rather then LAX. LAX will always have plenty of flights as it is the O+D leader but in terms of connections other airports are better.

Typical misunderstanding, LA took over from SF because there’s much more money to be made, not because airlines are big meanies. “Play it safe” = fly where people want to go.

* their (and no Austrians)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
qantas747
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:29 am

I heard a rumour that UA was considering ADL. ADL is very keen to have a service to North America, so perhaps a SFO/LAX-ADL will beat a potential SFO-MEL?
 
crazyplane1234
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:38 am

qantas747 wrote:
I heard a rumour that UA was considering ADL. ADL is very keen to have a service to North America, so perhaps a SFO/LAX-ADL will beat a potential SFO-MEL?

Why would they start ADL before BNE?
 
smi0006
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:13 am

crazyplane1234 wrote:
qantas747 wrote:
I heard a rumour that UA was considering ADL. ADL is very keen to have a service to North America, so perhaps a SFO/LAX-ADL will beat a potential SFO-MEL?

Why would they start ADL before BNE?


During the last South australian state election one party can’t recall which promised direct services to the US from ADL to stimulate tourism- I’d imagine they were planning on sponsoring them and had begun preliminary talks with UA/AA/DL. Fortunately they either lost the election or sanity prevailed and it was realised NZ/QF and VA provide sufficient connections to the US.

Given how long it’s taken QF or UA to start MEL-SFO, I’m not sure how big the market is, I think UA may have missed the boat on this one. There were rumours 12months ago, but not for a while.

I think if the QF/AA JV is approved QF will drop their 789 frequencies to LAX leaving 380s only ex-MEL, and MEL-SFO will go daily although it’s an odd timing for AU-US traffic. I also see potential for MEL-DFW on QF, or AA to drop a 787 LAX-MEL to replace the QF flights. But credit UA holds their own where they are pretty much locked out of the AU domestic market VA/DL(not sure much happens there pretty stagnant) and QF/AA.

I could actually see value in NZ and UA expanding their JV to include AU. AKL allows for UA/NZ connections to ADL,OOL,CNS,PER,MEL,BNE. I’m sure that wouldn’t canabalise MEL/SYD-LAX/SFO/IAH. I’m sure NZ gets loads of feed from UA in LAX/SFO/IAH/ORD on the other end.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:14 am

psa1011 wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
I can see UA adding SFO-MEL in the near future to match the new Qantas 787 service, while also retaining LAX-MEL. I thought IAH-SYD was being reduced somewhat, during low season Southern Hemisphere winter months as traffic falls off a bit. Qantas relies on AA feed at SFO, which is not as strong and the connections from T2 to the International Terminal are not optimal, and neither are the lounges.


Doesn't Qantas also codeshare with Alaska? And from what I've heard the AA lounge in T2 is pretty nice.


The AA Admiral's Club lounge in T2 is indeed nice and it has a shower that is much cleaner, larger, and more user friendly than the Cathay shower facilities. The issue with SFO on AA/QF is the transfer from T2 to the International Terminal. It's 10 minutes on the monorail and you have to go back through security. The international terminal itself is not very nice.
 
sabby
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:23 am

In terms of recent times, Australian Govt are giving big tax cuts to the film makers which resulted in more movies being shot in Australia, so the O&D traffic is only increasing between LAX and Aus.
 
nadavatar64
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:55 am

kriskim wrote:
I think if UA is to expand into Australia, it will be MEL-SFO next. UA has had an established presence in MEL for well over two decades now and will probably need to consider expanding the market beyond daily flights to LAX, with MEL-SFO starting to grow, UA might be waiting to see how well QF does on the route.


IMO BNE will come before MEL from SFO.
 
kriskim
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:19 am

nadavatar64 wrote:
kriskim wrote:
I think if UA is to expand into Australia, it will be MEL-SFO next. UA has had an established presence in MEL for well over two decades now and will probably need to consider expanding the market beyond daily flights to LAX, with MEL-SFO starting to grow, UA might be waiting to see how well QF does on the route.


IMO BNE will come before MEL from SFO.


Why's that?
A world built upon connectivity.
 
LAXLHR
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:28 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
LondonXtreme wrote:
SonaSounds wrote:
LA has ~1200 passengers a day going to Australia. SF bay area has ~400. The O&D markets aren't really comparable

Is that means UA's Australian network relies heavily on O&D traffic and doesn't need any feeds on US side?Otherwise, it's pointless to start such network as IAH-SYD


Look at a UA route map and see the cities connected to LAX. No, not as many as at SFO - but still plenty of passenger traffic.


Even though O&D is the focus, UA still connects alot of traffic through LAX on to OZ. Many Aussies like to stop in LA for a break after coming in from NYC, AZ all over the USA and London too. LA holds strong in the minds of those out in Ozland.
BA JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO W7 WN NW DL QQ UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR PG MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN PC LO OK OZ UL SQ LA

707 727 L10 732-NG 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 787 DC8 DC9 DC10 M80 M11 100 AB3 310 318 319 320 321 332 333 342 343 380
 
QF742
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Re: Why UA chose LAX-MEL over SFO-MEL?

Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:43 pm

Does anyone have any information on how the new QF service is performing on MEL-SFO and whether loads are healthy?

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