A lot of the remaining UA
International Operations from LAX
have carved a niche for United. Simply dropping a lot of those routes from LAX
would not be a good move, in my opnion.
When it comes to the international operations from LAX
(particularly to Central America, where UA
, SAL, and SJO
(1-stop)), moving these flights north to depart from SFO
would cause a significant loss of UA
presence and built-up market share from the Los Angeles market. No one is going to want to fly north on United from LA
only to connect and fly south from SFO
. United will loose out on the Mexico/Central American market in Los Angeles, and this is a very important market as these flights typically go out very, very full.
Similarly, the same can be said for LAX
operations. If UA
pulled out of the LAX
market and flew 2x daily SFO
, Qantas would have a field day as they would have a monopoly on this route. Yes, one could fly partner airline NZ
, but with a stop in AKL
first, and when it comes to flights of THAT length, more people would opt for a non-stop, in my opinion. So, without UA
or another Star Alliance carrier in that particular market, there would be a considerate amount of loss for a route that I have heard to be quite profitable for United.
I think that the LAX
international operations are, really, just right for United right now based on the international markets UA
serves from LAX
. By that I mean that the international focus from LAX
is in the right places. I don't think that any international routes need to be let go of at LAX
. On the contrary, I think UA
should focus its international ops from LAX
with more Mexican/Central American destinations from LAX
to better serve the local-area market.
1x/daily to NRT
with a 744 is a good partner to SQ
1x/daily to LHR
with a 772 keeps UA
passengers connected with Europe (as well as complement NZ
's own 1x/daily LAX
1x/daily to MEX
with an A320, I think, could stand to see a few more frequencies, perhaps with a mix of larger aircraft (757).
1x/daily to SAL with an A320 is just about right for this market.
1x/daily to GUA
with a 757 is also just about right for this market, as well.
1x/daily to SJO
(1-stop) with a 757 might be better operated as non-stop daily with a 757 or A320.
1x/daily & 3x/additional weekly to SYD
in competition and complements NZ
A model that may work (the way that would seem like the most logical way for UA
to handle, continue to handle, and expand its international operations and maintain its five US hubs is):
- Focus strength/growth on Europe, South America, Canada and operate only a few key Asia-Pacific and other Latin America markets
- Focus strength/growth on Europe, Caribbean, South America, Canada, and Latin America (Mexico/Central America) markets
- Focus strength/growth on Latin America, Caribbean, Canada and in the future operate only a few key Europe/Asia markets
- Focus strength/growth on Aisa-Pacific, Europe, Canada and operate only a few key Latin America, Mexico/Central America markets
- Focus strength/growth on Latin America, Mexico/Central America, and only operate a few key Asia-Pacific, Canada, and Europe markets
Of course, I am no route management god by any stretch of the imagination, but if United grouped its hubs to serve those destinations that already operate strongly from each of them respectively, then I think United could stand to align itself as a focused international carrier.
All this, of course, is only my humble opinion.
It's an entirely different kind of flying; all together.