sparkingwave
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Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 3:01 am

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 ~~~
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LAXdude1023
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 3:08 am

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.
It is what it is...
 
Bicoastal
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 3:11 am

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.
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AADC10
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 3:34 am

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.
 
zvezda
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 3:48 am

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.
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 3:52 am

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.
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jfk777
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 4:04 am

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.
 
as739x
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Thu May 17, 2007 4:13 am

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]
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aaway
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 9:27 am

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.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
kaitak744
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 12:04 pm

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.
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 12:44 pm

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 ~~~
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HeeseokKoo
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 1:00 pm

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.
 
aaway
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 1:04 pm

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?
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
aaway
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 1:19 pm

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.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 1:33 pm

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
It is what it is...
 
aaway
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 1:56 pm

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.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 2:25 pm

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.
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aaway
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 3:01 pm

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]
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
sparkingwave
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Fri May 18, 2007 11:48 pm

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!
 
HeeseokKoo
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RE: Why No Nonstop UA LAX-SGN And LAX-ICN?

Sat May 19, 2007 2:46 am

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.