Wow: American Airlines Cuts LAX As Transpacific Hub, Adds Seattle To Shanghai Flight

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has today announced its international network plans through the summer of 2021. There are some real surprises in there, especially as it pertains to Los Angeles and Seattle.

This was supposed to be an exciting year for American Airlines’ long haul routes

American Airlines was going to launch some exciting new long haul routes in 2020 and early 2021, including:

American Airlines’ network plans over the coming months have some surprises. I imagine this remains highly subject to change, given that we don’t know how international travel restrictions will evolve. I don’t envy the jobs of those working on route planning.

Regarding the above routes, here’s the latest on when we can expect them to launch:

  • The Dallas to Tel Aviv route will launch in the winter of 2021
  • The Philadelphia to Casablanca route is no longer in the cards
  • The Seattle to Bangalore route will launch in the winter of 2021
  • The Seattle to London route will launch in the summer of 2021

American will still add long haul routes out of Seattle

American Airlines will launch Seattle to Shanghai flight

It has also been revealed that American Airlines plans to launch a Seattle to Shanghai flight, in the process dropping its Los Angeles to Shanghai flight. With this, American will be the only one of the “big three” US airlines not flying between Los Angeles and Shanghai.

This comes as part of American Airlines’ new expansion in Seattle thanks to a partnership with Alaska Airlines. This route change is subject to government approval.

American really is going full steam ahead with its Seattle expansion. Keep in mind that Delta Air Lines has a major transpacific hub in Seattle, so American will go head-to-head against Delta there, including in the Seattle to Shanghai market.

Delta already has a significant presence in Seattle

American Airlines cuts LAX transpacific gateway

American Airlines spent years making LAX its transpacific gateway, and overtook both Delta and United in terms of Asia service out of LAX.

But it’s not just the Los Angeles to Shanghai flight that’s being cut. American Airlines will also be cutting:

  • Los Angeles to Beijing
  • Los Angeles to Buenos Aires
  • Los Angeles to Hong Kong
  • Los Angeles to Sao Paulo

That means American Airlines’ only long haul flights out of Los Angeles will be to:

  • Auckland (seasonally)
  • London Heathrow
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo Haneda

Wow… the airline spent years building up LAX as a long haul gateway, and that’s now being given up in favor of Seattle, it seems.

American Airlines is dropping LAX as its main transpacific gateway

Bottom line

Obviously these are crazy times for the industry, so we shouldn’t read too much into what international routes are being operated in the coming months. However, what American has announced here are largely long-term changes.

American is continuing to build Seattle as a long haul hub, even though Delta is already established there. Meanwhile American will only operate at most four long haul routes out of LAX, after years of building up the airport as a long haul gateway.

Frankly I find this to be truly bizarre:

  • I can rationalize Seattle to Bangalore because it’s possible American secured a lucrative corporate contract for that
  • Seattle to London also makes sense because of the British Airways joint venture
  • But continuing to expand in Seattle and going head-to-head against Delta, especially with the limited space at the airport, just seems like a strange move to me
  • This all comes after American has invested hundreds of millions of dollars building up the LAX hub over the past few years

What do you make of American cutting LAX flights and continuing to add service out of SEA?

Comments
  1. “That means American Airlines’ only long haul flights out of Seattle will be to”

    @Lucky, I think you mean out of LAX, no?

  2. Hi Lucky,

    Did you mean to say “That means American Airlines’ only long haul flights out of Seattle will be to”?

    I think you meant to write out of LAX.

  3. Ben, “That means American Airlines’ only long haul flights out of Seattle will be to:” I think should mention LAX not Seattle

  4. @Ben – Considering the space restrictions in Seattle, couldn’t the argument be made that this means there will potentially be a build up of long haul routes out of PHX?

  5. In normal times I’d wonder if Delta would take the opportunity to surge market share at LAX

    Now idk what to think about any industry moves atm

  6. @ Willem — In the past I could have totally seen them do that, but indeed it seems unlikely at this point. Times are different.

  7. @ Biz Guy — That seems highly unlikely to me. Even in the best of times American didn’t operate flights to Asia out of Phoenix, since clearly there’s not much premium O&D demand. I can’t imagine it will happen now…

  8. I think Alaska plays a big part in why they are building up SEA. The people I know in the areas served by Alaska have all expressed interest in Asia, a preference for SEA over LAX as the gateway, and a dislike for Delta in general. Yes, anecdotal, but it seems logical to me. Whether that translates to actual passenger counts remains to be seen.

    It also seems like playing hardball to me, the way Delta played hardball in moving in to SEA. 😉

  9. Seems like domestic feed is really what matters the most to companies when it comes to launching international routes… With Alaska, doesn’t AA have much more domestic feed at SEA than it does at LAX? AA is also focusing on building out DFW internationally, where it again dominates with domestic feed. All about domestic feed.

  10. Do we actually know if the Hong Kong and Beijing flights will move to Seattle or are they just being axed entirely?

  11. @Jackson – AA specifically only mentioned that Shanghai would move from LAX to SEA. They said that Hong Kong and Beijing would be cut. Since they didnt mention anything about moving those flights to SEA, it can be assumed that they’re just gone.

  12. If SEA becomes a new hub across the country, could we see A321T service from JFK hopefully?

  13. American is my airline of choice, but they seem to be stuck in a rut. The other airlines seem to be moving forward such as jetBlue, who is expanding its routes to the Caribbean from JFK and then American losing LATAM as its partner.

    @Jackson, I think people would probably take Cathay Pacific from LAX to Hong Kong.

  14. Its brilliant news for me as I travel a lot to PVG from SEA . Looks like AA will double up their domestic presence at LAX and will feed AA and joint partners services . QR , JAL , BA , QF , CX and ofcourse AA they all got services LAX henceforth their Pax need frequent connection options . I can see in future AA will increase their service to LHR and Japan on their metal to make LAX station premium exclusive.
    Well done AA !!!

  15. Is American giving up its Beijing slot or will they try to add service elsewhere? I know Delta fought for the LAX-PEK slot years ago. Could they try to get it back again?

  16. There is tons of competition for Asian routes out of LAX with very aggressive pricing. China Southern is currently flying LAX-PVG and is AA partner. I also assume that Cathay would continue LAX-HKG in some capacity. I think AA is betting on big tech contracts out of SEA and having London, Bangalore, and Shanghai would put then in a very strong position to secure those contracts together with Alaska. I think in SEA Alaska even offering separate kiosks for Microsoft employees to check in.

  17. Could we also see Delta adding a flight to India from Seattle in winter 2021? Since Delta has been in Seattle much longer, I’m assuming they have many more contracts including Amazon and Microsoft. Where exactly is American’s demand coming from?

  18. I’m not sure it would be the first time AA has flown to Israel – didn’t they inherit a PHL-TLV flight when they merged with US Airways?

  19. i’m very curious as to what their rationale for dismantling half of LAX long-haul overnight without a surge of competition, and at the same time, crowding into SEA.

    Sounds like UA management would be thrilled to hear DL and AA going at it against each other, slitting each other’s throats, first MIA then SEA, while the Chicagoans just sit tight stay put and enjoy unfettered access to SFO volume (whatever is left post-pandemic).

  20. Not that I have any idea when I’ll be able to go to South America next, but this means LAX loses its only nonstops to GRU and EZE, both of which seemed (anecdotally) to be doing pretty well before all this. Obviously weird times, but I’d love to see Delta/LATAM pick up at least one of those. It was great to get a whole extra day in LA before flying late afternoon to South America instead of having to leave that morning to connect in ATL/MIA/MEX.

  21. So I guess that the flagship lounge in LAX (first class dining) will be empty! Seattle to Shanghai? Come on, LAX makes much more sense! I guess they think more people will fly Alaska to Seattle and then connect rather than fly AA from anywhere in the US to LAX to connect. That really makes 0 sense.
    Also, It’s gonna be a mess. Without the 757s and 767s, AA has NO plan on how to fly to secondary markets. No plan.

  22. American is spiraling for sure, but they probably figure they can pass any non-business travel off on their Asian partners.

  23. I’m thinking that American is looking to counter in the hub war that Delta initiated at MIA before Coronavirus hit. Given that Delta may be looking to become a smaller carrier, I wouldn’t rule out their chances of winning here. Let’s call the LAX investment for what it is-a strategic mistake that they’ve cut the costs on. One would think that pushing heavy on the largest market on the Pacific coast would be a naturally good idea, and I have thought so in the past, but with so much competition there I can see why they’d rather try to go up against Delta in Seattle with feed coming in from Alaska and their own domestic network. Delta was looking to expand further into SEA before the coronavirus, but that seems unlikely now.
    The good news for Delta is that they are better able to hold out in an expansion war because of their available assets and overall cash on hand, and if the MAX issues are being resolved they could quickly modernize their fleet with a 717 for 737 MAX trade, eliminating AA’s advantage in fuel economy. They also can hurt American a lot more in Miami than American hurt Delta in Seattle. If Delta can get 40% market share in MIA, they win. if they get 30% and hold the ground in SEA, they win. American will need to hold ground at MIA and get Delta’s 20% share down to 5% or so to win in SEA. Given their debt load as of current, ,that’s a lot harder than it sounds.

  24. This makes great sense. AA is leveraging partners internationally and domestically better than DL or UA have, plus these partners are strong. LAX, JFK/LGA, DCA and BOS are local focused with some key international and OneWorld (except for DCA) connections. PHL; CLT; MIA; ORD; DFW and PHX are the true hubs for AA and SEA (even SFO and POR) will be strong hubs/partnership with Alaska.

    This strategy should serve AA well into the future as well as help support IAG, Qantas, Qatar, JAL into the future and hopefully, China Southern joins OneWorld too.

  25. @Ben FYI SEA-LHR is Summer 21 not 20, which makes more sense. I think BA can handle all the traffic needs this summer.

  26. The Asian population in the LA area is many times over Seatle. AA will lose most if not all Asian PAX for this inconvenience.

  27. They will experience the same regret several years down the road just like United did when they cut LAX-HKG and SQ when they cut LAX-SiN.

  28. The international flights out of LAX that were cut have been hemorrhaging money even before COVID-19, from what I’ve heard. So this came as no surprise to me. China is tough place to make money, the Chinese carriers who are government owned can charge low fares and in order to compete, you have to offer the same fare.

  29. AA is still rebuilding the terminals at LAX with construction between 4-5 The Bengaluru ( Bangalore until 2014) service actually starts /terminates at LAX with the same aircraft Therefore it’s LAX TO BLR via SEA
    The LA metro area has almost 14 million people and 19 million in the region versus 5 million in Seattle Tacoma
    LAX is also a focus city for Alaska

  30. I believe there are no direct flights from LAX to PVG now. ( UA and DL suspended service and no Chinese Carries doing that either) why couldn’t AA just resume LAX to PVG?

  31. This is a time that airlines will rely on their partners for survival. I think you’ll see a ton of American flights to London and Madrid as they retreat a bit to 2nd and 3rd tier markets in Europe. They’ll let passengers connect on British Airways and Iberia to their destinations without the cost. The Seattle push is definitly because of Alaskan in One World. They’ll be able to get a huge portion of local and connecting passengers without the huge investments needed to grow a hub. This works for Alaskan too because this allows them to offer huge international connections without the investments. American can provide the aircraft and crews and their experience in the international department. I had heard rumblings for a long time now of LAX being downsized. It is just too oversaturated. They simply can’t compete with the Asian airlines and make a profit. It’s a great domestic hub but international is just too crowded. I knew they’d keep Philly as their European hub – they make just as much money in Philly as Delta does in the entire NY region because of the cost of operations there. Philly has wide open air-space and an airport that isn’t overcrowded. Though, Philly will be really stagnant until European travel comes back. Surprised about Morocco, though. Maybe they’ll get Air Maroc to fly into Philly for connections. AA did get rid of their 757 which they were going to fly there – maybe they are waiting for aircraft orders to come in to fly there. All-in-All I think this is a great survival strategy. The world has changed and you gotta change and adapt with it to survive.

  32. Wow, a very interesting development lucky.

    So it seems that American has placed all its emphasis on Dallas for Europe and Asia service.
    It also seems that AA has decided that CLT will simply be a domestic hub to the Caribbean, with a tiny amount of transatlantic service.

    Chicago and Phoenix seem completely left in the dust. Has American given up Chicago to United for International Routes, it certainly seems so!

    And JFK and LGA are left on their own to serve the nations largest capital.

    Its clear AA is focused on their balance sheet, looking domestically.

  33. With MAX and a321XLR entering service in the early 2020s this sounds like it could actually be the right move. Using SEA as the tpac gateway puts most japanese, korean, and other north asian cities well within the range of that aircraft.

    More fuel efficient, more flexibility, new route possibilities… Imagine seasonal or even year-round leisure flights to Osaka/Kyoto area, Okinawa, Taiwan.

    That said, divesting from LAX outright seems unwise, but with the state of AA’s premium products right now, I can’t imagine they’re too competitive with high-value LA-originating travelers. May make sense to cut their losses and rely on CX/JAL.

  34. @ks
    I suggested that as a condition of Delta winning this hub war. I did not make claims as to feasibility. Delta’s network to South America is not super strong, but even with LATAM restructuring they should be able to make a dent. They’re at 12% right now.

  35. Does American fly the dreamliner from SEA to PVG ? Or do they try and flex with a 77W ?

  36. Technically American Airlines has served TLV once before -See your blog from Aug 20, 2015. October 17, 2015 was the day US disappeared, so AA operated the flight from PHL for a couple of months..

  37. AA is making the same mistake on the west coast that it made on the east coast: downsizing their operation in the largest city. Just as they cut back in New York, now they’re cutting back in Los Angeles. What is wrong with them that they can’t make money in the two largest cities in the entire country?

    This whole “fortress Dallas” concept is crazy. Two months ago they started using Dallas as a European gateway, making east coasters to fly three hours west to connect to a flight heading back east to Europe. Who wants to fly from the east coast to Dallas to catch a plane to Madrid? And that plane from Dallas will fly past four of AA’s east coast hubs (JFK, PHL, CLT, and MIA) on its way to Madrid. Much faster and easier to fly United, Delta, or a European carrier and connect to Madrid from a European city.

    Now they’re turning Dallas into a Pacific gateway? All those west coasters will have to fly east several hours to catch a long flight heading west to Asia?

  38. The one thing missing in all these prophecies is the main ingredient, the consumer. Until the majority feel comfortable flying again or flying to or not to specific countries what routes were are no more and may be never more. Most airlines are hoping it will only take 3 years to get back to 2019 levels If they are still in business. Here is another what if, not much mention of the companies that lease planes to the airlines, which are being financially squeezed at the moment if one of these goes bust your favourite airline may no longer have your favourite bird. 3 months into something the main players say could be three years till recovery? Makes the predictions less reliable than the astrology columns.

  39. It always seemed to me that many Chinese airlines dumped capacity into LAX where sometimes you could see random Chinese cities to LAX for 300 some Dollar RT on airlines you hardly ever heard about outside of China. Maybe there´s just no money to be made at LAX by flying to Asia.

  40. They should get rid of Vasu Raja before Doug Parker. IMO he doesn’t know how to properly plan the routes. He only choose to open the routes when their competitor is doing well on it e.g. LAX-PEK. Under Vasu Raja’s watch AA does not even have a single route from East Time Zone to Asia.

  41. Vasu Raja is an asshole. He never think that the company can thrive better on advantageous hubs but new market. LAX-PEK is a monopoly by Air China because of its frequency and Chinese language service given most of passengers on this route are wealthy (but with middle to poor English level) Chinese. They do not care about price. They care about Chinese language and frequency. How come AA can compete with CA with less frequency, same shitty service and poor Chinese service. Same on CLT-MUC. Why should BMW take AA instead of their own country’s airline? However as someone living in Upstate NY and have frequent travel need between East Coast and China, I can find NO WAY traveling without two or more transfers from my home to Beijing on OW thanks to AA’s historical nonexistent Eastern Time Zone to China routes. Yeah they have Philly, but they NEVER use it. Well, what can I expect more on some airline that even cannot run JFK-TYO well……

  42. @ Charlie
    Attended some conference by airlines before. Yeah, airlines *hardly make money in NYC*. This is because of the great cost of parking and utilities. Not only AA, DL as well. DL spent tremendous amount of money to ensure their position in NYC. OD-ize NYC now is every US Airline’s goal. UA is cutting branch routes at EWR and AA already did it. However, I cannot understand why AA is doing it in LAX, given LAX-PEK/PVG’s seat occupation data is even better than JFK LHR……AA’s style is basically: Find a developed market->join the game->get f-ed by early players->pull out. Man, they have CZ at Beijing Daxing now! Why aren’t they use it?

    @Karen Fisher
    AA’s 77W reverse herringbone is not that bad. Seems AA has a matching tactic on each 77W route so the food are basically same. Service depends which style people like, say I am Asian so I definitely like JAL more. CX is basically BA colony style with better equipment on business class.

  43. Good luck with that! They’ll regret that decision if they actually end up acting on it. But the US will bail them out in perpetuity no matter what, so hey, why not take risks? It’s no risk when they can pass it on to the customers and taxpayers.

  44. @Jason So let me get this straight – Vasu Raja only knows how to open routes when their competitor is doing well on it?

    LAX-CHC
    PHL-DBV
    PHL-BLQ
    PHL-CMN
    PHL-TXL
    ORD-PRG
    ORD-VCE
    DFW-TLV
    DFW-MUC
    DFW-DUB
    DFW-PEK
    DFW-HKG
    DFW-PVG
    SEA-BLR

    …and many more. They don’t have direct competitors on these routes.

    If he didn’t open LAX-PEK in 2017, when would he have opened it? Air China would never have dropped the route.

    What exactly do you mean “LAX-PEK/PVG seat occupation data is even better than JFK-LHR”? Are you saying LAX-PEK/PVG have higher load factors?

    You do realize during the peak season AA operates 4 daily JFK-LHR flights which sees competition from dozens of other flights from Norwegian, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic?

  45. As a SoCal resident who likes to visit China and lives about an hour from LAX, allow me to offer that this completely sucks. Guess I’ll be vacationing in Seattle a bit.

    It’s a little hard for me to understand how AA is planning to funnel all of the Bay Area and SoCal and DFW people who need to go to China through Seattle.

    I’m an AA EXP. Can anyone suggest another airline that will offer nonstop LAX-PVG service and has a status match worth matching into?

  46. The most important thing to remember about a route’s profitability is the yield, not the load. So potentially a flight from LHR to JFK that’s full in first, full in business and just 50 people in economy could make more money than a full flight to PEK with bargain basement fares competing with a Chinese government-owned carrier. The winter can be slower on JFK-LHR, but the Wall Streeters continue to fill the premium cabins even more in the winter months than the summer.

  47. @Jason

    In your first post, you lambast AA for not being able to run JFK-TYO.

    In your next post, you respond to someone else noting that there is hardly any money to be made in NYC.

    You make no sense.

    Also, if AA doesn’t fit your travel patterns, you literally do not have to fly AA.

  48. @Kendor – don’t let the door hit your behind on the way out. I’m sure you’ll find that the grass isn’t so much greener on the other side. :p

    If your #1 consideration is direct flights between LAX and PVG, you could try MU (Skyteam member), but I’m not sure that they do status matches. If you’re dead set on matching, try matching to delta and crediting your MU flights to Delta.

    As someone based in the PDX area, I’m strongly considering doing a status match to AA from United 1k.

    Karen

  49. @Karen Fisher I have family in Seattle and indeed lived there for almost 30 years so I suspect this just means my trips to SH will become more leisurely affairs. My first few AA trips to Shanghai in 2011 were via Chicago, prior to AA getting the LAX-PVG routing, so it’s not like this is a complete deal-killer. It was just kinda nice to have a quick overnight flight and wake up well-rested (more or less) in the world’s most interesting city.

    That said I find the decision to vacate LAX for SEA somewhat bizarre. I hope AA rethinks this post-COVID-19.

  50. Cleveland to Hong Kong through Seattle is 800 miles (@10%) shorter than through LAX. For connecting traffic, Seattle is the best possible location for a west coast hub.

    Have we not learned that the most dependable market is domestic and it’s the feeder network that matters on international flights?

  51. @ DMNYC
    NYC itself does not make money but NYC OD does. That is why all big three are OD-izing NYC to make better profit.

    Sometimes a nice FFP program counts. The reason I choose AA is they have decent award miles value, relevantly cheaper OW Emerald as US based traveler and better upgrade possibilities. My travel pattern is still flexible so I may take CX or JL instead on Asia routes, but I will consider AA if an East Coast to China route is available. JFK to Tokyo is AA’s legacy routes with a nice partner which means AA is the first comer in the game.

    @AAnonymous

    This is why premium passengers matter. However, first a 85% full flight is hard to be unprofitable as DOT data says, second I do not see any possibility to make money by short term at SEA-PVG. It is a completely new hub for AA and the competition on this route is very harsh: DL and HU have daily flight. DL has MU as preferred partner hub @ PVG and HU is basically playing everywhere in China. AA’s mainland partner CZ has hub in PKX and CAN. No US airlines ever played CAN and AA is still in PEK. That is why I find it weird.

    Plus, US-China right of flights is half-open. Smaller cities in China are open to US while bigger Chinese cities are limited. AA currently has 6x daily zone 1(BJ, SH and CAN) rights and they are only using 3 after schedule change. UA and DL plans to take over AA’s right NOW. UA is planning on second EWRPVG and DL is planning on MSPPVG. It would be hard for AA to take them back if all slots are occupied.

    @ Ishrion

    Again, AA is the old player in JFKLHR.

    “If he didn’t open LAX-PEK in 2017, when would he have opened it? Air China would never have dropped the route.”
    – AA’s West Coast hub is at LAX. My take is AA should at least try to add some frequencies given they have 2 zone 1 slots unused by current schedule instead of simply drop it. LAX is the biggest city with China born population (and second in Chinese-Americans). Raja should consider further about why that route does not perform well before simply dropping it. Same challenge may happen in Seattle too, and how can AA face the problem?

    My biggest concern on Raja is (especially on Asian routes) he dropped the U.S. origins with significant geological advantage and connectivity and played on some routes the company not good at. I flew from some places in East Coast to DFW by AA. I found that it is way harder flying from East Coast to Asia by AA network because it contains either overnight transfer or early morning flight. I miss ORD-PEK, ORD-PVG.

  52. @Jason Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t LAX to China fares crazy low because of the massive capacity Chinese airlines are adding to secondary cities? AA will have to compete against this, hence why they likely lost money on the routes even before COVID-19?

    I’m sure they have considered the why it’s best to drop the route before actually discontinuing it. You know how precious these slots are given that they’re so limited, and what AA did to stop Delta from flying LAX-PEK in 2016/17.

    As for AA moving to PKX, I’m sort of surprised they haven’t transitioned over as well. China Southern will introduce A380 service on PKX-CAN/SZX, which really shows the strength of their new hub. Perhaps AA is simply waiting for recovery before moving to PKX, or who knows, they’ll maybe go head to head with Delta again and launch SEA-PKX.

    If American fails in Seattle, well, that’s unfortunate. Is sacrificing O&D for Alaska Airlines’ massive connections worth it? We’ll find out.

    When you say “geological advantage”, I assume geographical? Does Seattle not earn this title? And SEA definitely has more connections with Alaska over AA’s LAX hub. It’s geographically more convenient compared to the old TPAC ORD flights before 2017 because you won’t have to backtrack if you’re living in the Pacific Northwest.

  53. @Ishrion
    “As for AA moving to PKX, I’m sort of surprised they haven’t transitioned over as well. ”
    -> I don’t know why AA give Beijing only one DFW route after the change. They should at least have two for transfer in Beijing, given China has “one company per route” regulation on Chinese airlines on USA route.
    “You know how precious these slots are given that they’re so limited, and what AA did to stop Delta from flying LAX-PEK in 2016/17.”
    ->however I don’t see AA recycling those slots as for now. By the new schedule AA uses 3/6 slots. The other 3 are threatened by UA and DL.
    “If American fails in Seattle, well, that’s unfortunate. Is sacrificing O&D for Alaska Airlines’ massive connections worth it? We’ll find out.”
    ->This is an uncertain topic as for now. Let us see.
    “Does Seattle not earn this title? And SEA definitely has more connections with Alaska over AA’s LAX hub. It’s geographically more convenient compared to the old TPAC ORD flights before 2017 because you won’t have to backtrack if you’re living in the Pacific Northwest.”
    ->make sense but how many possible passengers live in US side of Pacific Northwest comparing to East Coast? I live in Upstate NY and I find it impossible to fly AA to China conveniently. As an OW FF, my take is always: Upstate-BOS-NRT-PEK or Upstate-ORD-HND-PEK. I have to say I am lucky since my residence in China is a gateway city. As we all know AS’s coverage is great on West but poor on East. AA’s Dallas hub overflies comparing to East Coast and it’s even longer – comparing to PHL. NY-NJ metro circle has the biggest Chinese American and China-born population in the US, so I cannot understand why don’t they use that slot to at least run a daily PHL-PKX? given Philly is a river to NJ.

  54. @Ishrion
    As far as I know, some local govs in China simply pay for airlines on US and Canada route for its annual scoreboard – “hey we’re finally an international city since we fly US from our (random ShiTiTown)!” in some officers’ annual report, given CCP requires every local government report to its upper level authorities each year. For ethnicity and range reasons, LAX and YVR are top selections. If they make the price low enough, there would finally have some people taking that flight. So it’s not really some communist party’s conspiracy stuff, just some foolish local authorities’ excuse for their report……

  55. I flew on AA to TLV in June/July of 2015.
    Therefore it’s not their first time flying to Israel.

  56. The Chinese routes are not cancelled, they are just temporarily stopped due to the limitations that airlines have at flying to China. The major carriers can only fly once a week to China and perhaps an extra time if one of the other major carriers decides not to fly. In the future, after the virus when regular travel resumes, then this will be different. China was never as big of a market for AA as it is for UA and DL. It is also interesting to note about Cathay because with CZ China Southern joining OneWorld, southern China has become a OneWorld hub. CZ’s base is Guangzhou. AA does not have the approval yet to fly to China. I think they are still working out meeting the procedures to fly and how they will handle quarantine of crew. UA and DL solved this with a stop in ICN and a change of crew. Perhaps AA will use Tokyo due to their partnership with JAL. I have had better experiences with DL than AA. I tend not to fly UA anymore. It does help that I’m at a Skyteam hub anyway.

  57. AA merged first with TWA, which serviced JFK-TLV, but dropped the route. USAir then merged with AA, which serviced PHL-TLV, but dropped TLV once again.

    DFW-TVL service should launch in Winter 2021.

    When is Winter 2021? Q1 or Q4? Winter technically begins on December 21, 2020 and goes through March 20, 2021.

  58. @Jason: I don’t think any US-China slot will be ‘threatened’ by UA and DL anytime in the near future. There is going to be plenty of available slots for any airline to launch service – just wait till UA and DL relinquish a few of their slots as well.

    By their choice of SEA-PVG and not attempting SEA-PEK, it is clear that AA is after the business customer. As for the west coast, they are just trying to offer customers broad connectivity (together with their partners) from LAX/SFO/SEA to business hubs of TYO/HKG/PVG. I don’t think ICN or TPE or PEK are any airline’s priority for the near future. By now it is more than clear that there is no money to be made on US-China VFR traffic.

  59. @KS I’m not speaking about PEK but PKX. PVG is not a hub of any Oneworld company or AA’s partners. China Southern has hub in Beijing Daxing (PKX not PEK), Guangzhou, Urumqi and Shenyang. Just wondering why AA does not move its flight to PKX till now.
    I still think PHL-PKX and PHL-PVG is necessary. There’re plenty of opportunities in the place given most random Chinese airlines cannot fly East Coast and Philly is apparently a better choice than Dallas on connectivity, given Dallas to China is consisting mainly of transfer passengers.
    “ I don’t think ICN or TPE or PEK are any airline’s priority for the near future.”
    For delta it is. Delta is de-hubing TYO to collaborate with Korean Air. JAL relies on MU on Chinese routes since Kazuo Inamori’s strategy is to cut routes with smaller profit margins. However AA cannot sell JL coded MU in a reasonable price and MU is in Skyteam.

  60. @Jason China no longer has the one route one airline policy on flights to/from the United States. This was removed a while ago. However, I don’t believe any airlines have taken advantage of this yet?

    No offense, but PHL-PKX may not do well. Rather limited connections. If AA wanted to launch PHL to Beijing, they would’ve requested to transfer ORD-PEK to PHL, but that didn’t happen.

    PHL-NRT/HND would likely come first, similar to DFW, JFK, and LAX. When AA dropped ORD to Asia, Tokyo was the last one standing until it was completely dropped in January 2020. JFK only saw Tokyo, but it was dropped. LAX is now left with one East Asian destination, Tokyo.

  61. American has never made money in Asia. They feel like they need to be in that market because it’s so large and potentially lucrative, and they are afraid that if they abandon it altogether that they will be left at the altar at some point in the future when US carriers are Asian ones link up. I think carriers out think themselves with this stuff. They should simply see where they are making money and have an advantage and focus on that.

  62. I could see AA buying AS when things (hopefully) improve within 5-6 years from now! SEA is a congested airport and if they were to buy AS they would own the ENTIRE west and east coast! Just my 2 cents here!

  63. I’m confused…I had Lax-LHR-LIN booked and same on the way back. Travel end of August. I had already paid and cleared my upgrades from coach to biz with miles and copay. Today I checked and it shows coach lax-Dallas-lhr-lin…..? Is this related? What rights do I have? Help a brother out

  64. Sorry for coming into this conversation late. AA is correct in downsizing LAX knowing SEA will become another oneWorld hub. There’s no sense cannibalizing each other’s bread and butter, so better to build on each other’s strengths. AS does not have planes to fly long distances over oceans. So, best to build on top of partner’s existing infrastructure.

    I’d rather clear immigration/customs at SEA/HNL/PDX anyday over LAX/SFO/LAS. Just imagine when all immigration checkpoints at LAX consolidate into TBIT during peak arrivals….

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