Can we interrupt this diversionary discussion about seat assignments on LAX-LHR so that I can note that anyone that has access to any kind of data knows that AA does very well on LAX-LHR. And seat assignments provide no insight into how well a flight does. Individual flights aren’t representative of much more than, at best, the individual flight which is why there is aggregated data on US carrier performance even on international routes.
Given AA's track record of competing alongside DL and UA to Asia, it is very much a legitimate question to ask if AA will do more than just fly another route to Asia or if they will ever be financially viable and profitable - which is the requirement that they have to their shareholders.
You think no - others think so. The end. Can we stop this now?
I am more than happy to respect other people’s belief about how well a route is going to do… but I and no one who rationally participates in a discussion about airline performance can clap their hands over their ears and call other people’s posts non-sense just because they don’t like the factual information others bring to the table. Is it too much to ask that the same respect that some people want given regarding support for the development of AA’s Pacific network should also apply to those who might bring an opposing point of view? Honestly, I’m not sure some people think they should be free to trash other people’s opinions and then expect their points of view to be treated as sacrosanct.
I offered before and I will say again that I am happy to put the discussion on ice until some sort of firm development is reached.
Given that data shows that AA does well on LAX-LHR and I’m not afraid to give them credit for that, I’m not sure why some people are so afraid to hear/read that there is also data that shows that AA has underperformed DL and/or UA on every route where AA directly competes against them to Asia. All of the pleading that “it takes time to develop a route” has to be viewed in that data-based reality.
Further, there are plenty of failed hubs/gateways including AA’s SJC gateway and DL’s PDX gateway. The difference is simply that DL regrouped, built SEA and now indeed has a hub where it offers the only US carrier transpacific service, just as UA does in SFO – which is what I said above.
In contrast and, what some people can’t accept, is that AA has chosen to build an Asia gateway at LAX where DL and UA not only have Asia flights but are both committed to growing their operations there – which is why it is highly relevant, that AA not only will have to compete directly against DL and UA on routes where it does not have a verifiable track record of comparable financial performance on routes competitive with DL and UA even where AA has a joint venture partner but DL does not. I’m still waiting for someone to explain how AA manages to underperform DL and UA on routes to Japan – but I’d settle for an admission that they do.
It is also worth noting that AA’s revenue performance to Asia is best from DFW – where they face no direct US carrier competition. I’m not sure why some people can’t connect the fact that AA does well where it doesn’t have to compete against DL and UA but can’t accept that the very same principle applies at LAX.
DL and UA simply never said they intended to pull down LAX to Asia – that is what this route case is about. While so many were so quick to argue that DL is trying to block competition, that is in fact what is happening with AA’s desire to serve the route – whether that is what they wanted or not. DL would have been operated the route for over 7 months if AA had not applied. DL will expand its presence in the LAX to China market. There will be an expansion of the US-China bilateral that will allow additional routes including expansion of LAX to Beijing, currently the largest route with the least amount of US carrier service. AA’s single flight even if it ultimately starts will not put the market back in balance with the amount of capacity the market needs and secondary China routes are no more of a substitute for increased PVG and PEK service than it is logical to argue that increased service to DTW and ORD is a reasonable substitute for growing NYC and LAX.
And no one has yet to admit that, AA will never be able to start service to CAN to connect with China Southern’s hub as long as there are zero no new flights to PVG, PEK or CAN.
Instead of pridefully beating one’s chest and talking about how great one carrier does and attempting to shut down anyone that has actual proof to the contrary is hardly the recipe for informed, respectful dialogue.
When AA successfully operates LAX-PEK long enough to generate revenues comparable to other US carrier west coast to Asia flights, or more likely, directly competitive w/ other LAX-PEK flights, then there will finally be the basis to argue that bringing up uncomfortable realities and details is no longer needed.