In mid-January I wrote about the rumor of American launching flights between Los Angeles and Hong Kong, operated by their flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
American 777-300ER business class
At the time the rumor was that American would announce the new flight the following week, which also happened to match their announcement of huge expansion at LAX. While they did in fact announce expansion at LAX, the Los Angeles to Hong Kong flight wasn’t among it.
My post about the Los Angeles to Hong Kong flight was based on several credible sources, or else I wouldn’t have posted it. And at the time I know for a fact that American was planning on announcing the route the following week. But as is the case when governments are involved, everything is subject to approval.
Apparently American ran into issues with getting a slot for their second flight to Hong Kong, which explains why there hasn’t been an announcement yet.
Via UAL1200 on FlyerTalk, it seems like American had updated their “Explore Asia” page at some point yesterday to include the following:
Starting September 7 we’ll offer nonstop service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Hong Kong (HKG) on our Flagship international aircraft, the 3-class Boeing 777-300ER.
Not surprisingly, they’ve since removed the above reference from the page. However, American has confirmed to me that they do in fact plan on announcing the Los Angeles to Hong Kong route shortly, and the above was just published prematurely.
It’s a weird route on the surface, given that their partner Cathay Pacific operates the route four times per day, and they codeshare on those flights (though don’t operate a joint venture).
Cathay Pacific 777-300ER
The reason for the route is simple — American’s existing Dallas to Hong Kong route has terrible aircraft utilization, given that the plane sits overnight in Hong Kong. It operates with the following schedule:
AA137 Dallas to Hong Kong departing 11:30AM arriving 6:35PM (+1 day)
AA138 Hong Kong to Dallas departing 1:40PM arriving 2:20PM
Airshow between Dallas and Hong Kong
Not only is that a waste of a plane, but Hong Kong is also one of the most expensive airports in the world at which to park. With the new Los Angeles to Hong Kong route they’ll apparently have incredible aircraft utilization, meaning there will be very little downtime, which should lower the breakeven point for the route.
You can expect the Los Angeles to Hong Kong route to depart out of Hong Kong in the late evenings (departing Hong Kong after the 6:35PM arrival from Dallas), and depart Los Angeles in the early hours of the morning (arriving in Hong Kong prior to the 1:40PM departure to Dallas).
I’m certainly looking forward to this new route!
At first I would have assume the page being updated was an error altogether, though American has confirmed that the route is in fact happening. Stay tuned over the coming days, as the flight should become bookable.
Are you excited about American’s new Los Angeles to Hong Kong route?
@Mike and Lucky:
Schedule from SABRE:
07SEP WED LAX/PDT HKG/‡15
1AA 193 F LAXHKG 155A 810A‡1 77W
77W BOEING 777-300ER JET
285-305 STD SEATS
I just flew CX Business last week from HKG to EWR. Outstanding service in CX Business. I cannot remember any AA flight with service like that, and I am AA Platinum for life. Also, I know others have mentioned the temperature on CX flights, but I didn't see any issue on any of the four flights I had on CX during the past two weeks.
I've flown CX Business class many times from LAX to HKG. Last year decided to try the return on the new AA HKG-DFW route. There was ABSOLUTELY no comparison in service between the wonderful crews on CX vs. the surly, why are you bothering me crew on AA. When I fly through HKG again I will always try to fly CX first.
AA has wifi and the temperature in the cabin can be cooler, but otherwise CX excels in all other areas (generally speaking).
Personally, I'd take AA for the wifi -- I'm over the food and beverage on planes since it would be considered average (at best) on the ground, and consumption at altitudes can be painful on the stomach.
Really wish this were ORD -- CX used to operate 2x daily but went back to 1x when they added EWR (I think).
The argument for AA over CX is that AA has wifi, whereas CX does not.
Why not phx? Or clt? Or mia?
Dallas? Seriously Lucky?
Well there goes my LAX-DFW-HKG once a year mileage run (more like status run with the devalue coming). That's 18,660 miles RT from LA via DFW.
Unless AA price is WAY lower than CX I would never chose AA over CX.
Nothing flying in or out of the hell hole of LAX excites me. Rudest airlines staff, rudest immigration staff, rudest TSA staff. I deliberately avoid the LAX cesspit at all times.
@ Lucky......How does first class on the AA 777 stack up vs. Cathay first class?
might as well make the LAX-HKG a midnight departure than a 6am departure...
@ mike -- I'm guessing that's what it will be.
Any sense of whether or not there will be more AA Asia expansion from LAX? Since they will have LAX-HKG and LAX-PVG, maybe they'll start LAX-PEK? Though I know Air China flies the route already.
@ Michael C -- In theory I know they're open to more routes to Asia from LAX, though haven't heard LAX-PEK specifically. I wouldn't count on more flights to Asia short term, though you never know, I guess.
I was in HKG last weekend and was stunned at how many flights AA codeshares on from HKG. Dozens and dozens in the 8 hours I was there. I guess they want to feed more passengers to those.
having a choice, I would still take CX