jayunited wrote:Cointrin330 wrote:MEL is an interesting one. If UA consolidates the Melbourne service to SFO, they will compete directly with QF, which they do already on SYD, although not right now, as QF is not flying overseas. At LAX, if and when MEL resumes, it will be about the same in terms of competitive dynamic, since Virgin Australia is in reorganization and off the market so perhaps a split operation by UA between LAX and SFO to MEL will remain in place. Not sure about HND. Did UA get a slot for it?
UA was awarded EWR, IAD, ORD and LAX back in 2019. The plan was LAX and EWR would serve both NRT and HND, while ORD and IAD would shift over to HND service only. As far as I know that is still the plan I just haven't heard when UA intends to launch EWR, LAX, and IAD - HND service. Of course I'm not expecting any of those announcements to come any time soon but at the same time I do know UA is not walking away from HND or Tokyo in general.tphuang wrote:I would be very surprised if UA's pre-COVID LAX LH international schedule comes back in tact. I remember Kirby said that they closed the widebody bases because he doesn't see LH flying out of there anytime soon. Or something to that affect. It shouldn't have really surprised anyone that AA would cut back on LAX, so I'm surprised that UA management was caught off guard by that. Keep in mind with AS partnership, OW carriers would still be the largest force at LAX. By next summer, UA would be much smaller vs pre-COVID and international demand will still be very low. I can't see NRT or MEL coming back at all. I think it would be crazy to bring PVG back. Given AS's expected cuts at SFO, UA's best bet is to bring back its SFO hub to full capacity first. Duking it out at LAX seems to be very unwise.
The thing people keep getting wrong about UA at LAX is UA transitioned LAX into an O&D hub some years back. With the exception of LAX-MEL most of our international and domestic flights were filled with O&D passengers very few connectors. LAX-Tokyo is a huge O&D market UA is not walking away from this market and UA is not giving up a HND slot. LAX-PVG is set to resume in October although service is less than daily. I expect LAX-LHR will probably be back up and flying in time for IATA spring 2021 provided UA can get a dormancy extension. And even if we are denied an extension LHR slots are so valuable I don't see UA giving walking away from that slot. We know know LAX-SYD is coming back this fall at 3x weekly (AA isn't resuming service until spring 2021). LAX-SYD is an interesting route because this route clearly suffered when UA launched IAH-SYD. IAH-SYD O&D market is minuscule compared to LAX-SYD so UA pushed a ton of connections from the Atlantic to the Rockies through IAH. But it wasn't all bad news, yields out of IAH were much better than they were out of LAX where at one point roundtrip coach tickets cost less than $700 dollars. Whereas through IAH even on a connecting flight ticket prices were over $1100 dollars in coach. If UA has decided to bring back one of its weakest performers (LAX-SYD) then NRT, PVG, and LHR all of which were much stronger performers will be back in time. The difference is those routes depended more heavily on corporate O&D travel while SYD and MEL catered to more leisure travelers. LAX-MEL was probably around 65% connectors 35% O&D which isn't great but we were competing against QF and VA. When UA launched SFO-MEL we still pushed most of the connecting traffic through LAX especially during the busy season(December-February) when we were running LAX-MEL daily and SFO-MEL 3x weekly. It is my understanding yields were much higher out of SFO. In fact before COVID SFO-MEL was slated to resume in late October of this year although now that probably isn't going to happen. I think the earliest we will see UA return to MEL will be October 2021 and I'm not convinced LAX-MEL will come back I think UA may move the route to SFO and make it daily year round.
People have taken the base closure to mean UA is totally walking away from long haul flights out of LAX and that simply isn't true. Lastly people really have to stop comparing AA to UA that was another issue made clear on the call yesterday stop comparing UA to AA and instead try to understand that these are two completely different airlines with completely different networks. Even UA employees (myself included) continue to make that mistake and we have to stop and learn to look at each airline separately. While UA may not be looking to capitalize on AA's slight reduction at LAX it doesn't mean UA is throwing in the towel on international long haul service from LAX either. In my opinion it does seem like UA was caught off guard by AA's moves at LAX and it does seem like UA has a solid plan for every hub expect LAX, one thing that was made clear is LAX remains a UA hub and an important part in our network.
I tend to agree with this. I have no doubt that UA will fly LAX-LHR/HND and a combination of SYD/MEL. I am only doubtful about one thing: Is there going to be sufficient demand to be flying LAX/EWR-NRT on top of LAX/EWR-HND, when NH already served JFK/LAX-NRT on its metal? As much as UA felt it could add capacity at that time, I doubt the current conditions actually make sense for that; especially when all the carriers have to try hard to even use all their HND slots. TYO-USA is going to be a bloodbath.