Delta Axes Los Angeles To Shanghai Route Plans

Delta Axes Los Angeles To Shanghai Route Plans

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After delaying the launch of this service several times, it looks like Delta is throwing in the towel on a planned transpacific flight out of Los Angeles…

Delta no longer plans to resume LAX to PVG route

Before the pandemic, Delta operated a flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and Shanghai (PVG). That was of course cut at the start of the pandemic. Flights between the United States and China have been slow to return, given the huge limitations there have been on frequencies between the two countries.

Even with the increases we’ve seen, capacity between the United States and China is still only a fraction of what it was pre-pandemic.

In 2023, Delta announced plans to resume flights between Los Angeles and Shanghai as of late March 2024. The launch date for that was postponed multiple times, and now it seems like Delta has axed these plans altogether.

As flagged by @IshrionA, Delta has updated its schedule to completely remove plans for a Los Angeles to Shanghai route. Most recently, the route was supposed to relaunch as of late October 2024, but that’s no longer in the cards. So while the route could make a comeback at some point, there’s no indication of when.

Delta will continue to serve Shanghai out of both Detroit (DTW) and Seattle (SEA), with up to daily frequencies planned in each market.

With this update and the current planned schedule for this upcoming winter, United will be the biggest airline between Shanghai and the United States, as the airline has plans to offer two daily flights from San Francisco (SFO) and one daily flight from Los Angeles (LAX). Meanwhile American is of course in last place, with daily flights from Dallas (DFW).

Delta flies to Shanghai out of Detroit & Seattle

United is pulling ahead of Delta at LAX

Los Angeles is a market where all of the “big three” US carriers have a significant network, yet no airline has a dominant presence. We’ve seen all three US carriers try their hand at expanding service there, with limited success. However, as we look at how things have evolved, United is definitely pulling ahead at the airport when it comes to the number of long haul international destinations.

United’s long haul international destinations out of Los Angeles include Hong Kong (HKG), London (LHR), Melbourne (MEL), Sydney (SYD), and Tokyo (HND & NRT), on a year-round basis, as well as Auckland (AKL) and Brisbane (BNE), on a seasonal basis. Shanghai (PVG) service is planned to resume as of August, also on a year-round basis.

Meanwhile Delta’s long haul international destinations out of Los Angeles include Paris (CDG), Sydney (SYD), and Tokyo (HND), on a year-round basis, as well as Auckland (AKL), Brisbane (BNE), and Tahiti (PPT), on a seasonal basis.

Now, I don’t think United will actually permanently succeed with increased service in Los Angeles, but Delta’s reductions are still noteworthy. The airline is handing over its London service to joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic, the airline no longer has plans to fly to Shanghai, and the airline is transitioning Auckland flights to seasonal.

United has an impressive network out of Los Angeles

Bottom line

Delta has shelved plans to resume its Los Angeles to Shanghai route, as the airline instead focuses on offering Shanghai service out of Detroit and Seattle. I can’t say I’m surprised, as Delta will still have a respectable network to Shanghai. However, it’s still kind of amazing how US carriers don’t seem to be able to succeed in the LAX to China market.

What do you make of Delta’s Shanghai updates?

Conversations (118)
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  1. iamhere Guest

    You do not comment about partner airlines that fly between the US and China and US carriers can sell seats on those airlines. Some do fly to LAX out of Beijing and Shanghai and other cities.

  2. Tim Dunn Diamond

    first, Ben did what he wanted which was to stimulate conversation and page clicks.
    I am happy to do it for him because it invariably highlights the ignorance of some of the people who comment.
    As is perfectly apparent, he has multiple groups of readers - and airline employees are part. Invariably, the AA and UA come out swinging every chance they get to find something wrong w/ DL and to tell us...

    first, Ben did what he wanted which was to stimulate conversation and page clicks.
    I am happy to do it for him because it invariably highlights the ignorance of some of the people who comment.
    As is perfectly apparent, he has multiple groups of readers - and airline employees are part. Invariably, the AA and UA come out swinging every chance they get to find something wrong w/ DL and to tell us why the facts of how poorly AA and/or UA are doing or have done isn't true.

    The simple fact is that UA has been dumping high amounts of capacity into the Pacific for 2 years. They held onto planes during the pandemic so they could jump back into international markets as soon as demand recovered. They got precisely ONE QUARTER's worth of profit advantage over the Atlantic and made less than half Delta made in 2023 over the Atlantic even though DL flew less capacity so UA pulled back capacity over the capacity in 2024 and through it onto the Pacific esp. in the 1st quarter. The results were horrific as Cranky highlighted. UA is still trying to find a place to fly all of that capacity that doesn't work to Europe or the N. Pacific in the winter when UA's finances are traditionally weak.

    Since the beginning of aviation, there have been alot of people that are wowed by sprawling route maps and long destination lists. Pan Am was the poster child of this - and they are gone - carved up mostly between DL and UA.

    EVERY US large jet airline is for profit and also publicly traded which means they have to report huge amounts of very specific data, most of which becomes public eventually.
    AA, DL and UA's first job is to generate a profit for their owners - shareholders. Creating massive route maps is nowhere on the list of responsibilities for any of those airlines and yet UA is still infected with a healthy dose of arrogance that they and they alone can make international networks work - and lots of people believe them.

    The SOLE reason why UA makes so much less money than DL is because UA refuses to fly ONLY the capacity makes the most money.
    DL, in contrast, is surgical at eliminating money-losing routes and those that don't even meet its financial goals, even if they are marginally profitable.

    The internet is full of people trying to argue that DL loses money in multiple coastal hubs and yet DL manages to make more money than any other US airline. If DL loses as much money as some believe in BOS, NYC, LAX or SEA, then why can't AA and UA make so much more money in some of their hubs to offset the obvious losses which they have in some parts of their network?

    DL runs its business and its strategies for the long term. DL has already become the largest airline at LAX and has a viable gateway to E. Asia at SEA with the 2nd largest number of destinations - behind UA at SFO.

    UA cannot fly large portions of its pre-covid network from the eastern US to Asia because of Russia airspace closures and yet DL manages to fly from ATL and DTW to some of those same cities.
    DL's new A350s will have the capability to fly from the Eastern US to any place in Asia even w/ Russia airspace restrictions.

    UA knows full well that its 787s cannot do what DL's A350s can do so UA is trying desperately to block DL from growing on the west coast which is the only operationally possible part of UA's TPAC network to all of Asia.

    Just like AA, UA will stop this foolishness of dumping capacity including in LAX because UA is now run by people that have been saying for years that UA would match DL's profitability.
    Doing that wont' happen as long as UA does stupid stuff such as dumping capacity into markets to try to keep competitors out.

    And, as a reminder, UA has still not raised the pay of its FAs which means their costs are hundreds of millions of dollars less than DL's and they will likely shell out hundreds of millions in retro pay. DL employees are now about to receive their 3rd post covid pay raise while UA FAs have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for WN and AA to settle. UA's costs are nowhere near settled and UA's profits will fall.

    DL will grow to Asia using the range of the A350 that UA can't match and when UA realizes that it hurts itself more by dumping capacity that it stops DL. DL will continue to focus on its eastern US to Asia hubs including from JFK.

    Lots of people get all excited when the leader in anything appears to stumble and yet DL is where it is at the top of the heap because it has outstrategized AA and UA for decades. That has not changed.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      tl;dr
      Ben did what he wanted which was to stimulate conversation and page clicks.

      Easier than what Kevin Costner did.
      "If you Delta it, he will come".

  3. Jkjkjk Guest

    DL APAC routes are very unfortunate.
    PVG should be a very profitable market from LAX.
    DL had a couple very good mandarin speaking FA and if culturally trained towards the chinese could make a very profitable route over China Eastern.
    A lot of rich chinese buy houses in LA area.

    People flying to DTW are mostly students and mid level professionals and perhaps some midwest company managements.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      "Midwest company managements." Think the car industry and other U.S. manufacturing companies, at least those who haven't yet left communist China.

  4. Brianair Guest

    It’s amazing how United seems to be the only stateside airline that’s remotely interested in having their own workable global network out of the biggest and highest profile markets in the US, namely NYC, LA, Chicago, DC, and SF. The other two seem to only be interested in doing that from places like DFW, Charlotte, Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis where they can avoid competition from foreign airlines, and outsourcing the rest to their foreign partners....

    It’s amazing how United seems to be the only stateside airline that’s remotely interested in having their own workable global network out of the biggest and highest profile markets in the US, namely NYC, LA, Chicago, DC, and SF. The other two seem to only be interested in doing that from places like DFW, Charlotte, Atlanta, Detroit, and Minneapolis where they can avoid competition from foreign airlines, and outsourcing the rest to their foreign partners. And even from those hubs with less competition, all they do, save for London and Tokyo, is fly to partner hubs.

    1. ImmortalSynn Guest

      But on the other hand, look at the money Delta consistently makes, versus United, American or any other longhaul airline. As much of a letdown as Delta's chosen model may be for aviation fans, it unfortunately might be "the" way to run a publicly-traded airline.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Delta's chosen model may be for aviation fans, it unfortunately might be "the" way to run a publicly-traded airline.

      I'm not so sure that it's their chosen model, versus making the best out of the hand that they were dealt.

      In the post-dereg decades, DL has attempted to establish/gain hubs in Dallas, Chicago, Houston, D.C., and Miami... and failed at each one.

      Now to be fair, though it took multiple tries, but they...

      Delta's chosen model may be for aviation fans, it unfortunately might be "the" way to run a publicly-traded airline.

      I'm not so sure that it's their chosen model, versus making the best out of the hand that they were dealt.

      In the post-dereg decades, DL has attempted to establish/gain hubs in Dallas, Chicago, Houston, D.C., and Miami... and failed at each one.

      Now to be fair, though it took multiple tries, but they were able to eventually muscle their way to the top of Boston and (the NY-state side of) metro New York City.

      But suffice to say, that if even half of the aforementioned attempts had gone the way that Delta had wanted, then they wouldn't be able to do the thing of "make money at uncontested hubs" to shore up the rest of their operation.

    3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Good point. Unless I'm wrong, the only major airport where Delta truly competes against foreign airlines is JFK.

  5. Straight Tim Dunn Guest

    That's a shame they're going to cancel this flight. I booked a sweet 1,340,000 Skymiles one way trip in Economy.

    1. Tim Done Guest

      That's a bargain for such an elite experience on the world's premiere airline.

  6. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Cranky Flier 4/22/2024
    PVG 76, NRT 75, AKL 68, PEK 67, MEL 66, HND 64, SYD 62, CHC and BNE 58, KIX 56, PPT 48

    There is little chance that UA made money in any cities below 75%
    There is no chance they made money in any cities below 65%.

    add up the amount of metal that UA has committed to cities that generated unprofitable performance and the number is not insignificant.

    While...

    Cranky Flier 4/22/2024
    PVG 76, NRT 75, AKL 68, PEK 67, MEL 66, HND 64, SYD 62, CHC and BNE 58, KIX 56, PPT 48

    There is little chance that UA made money in any cities below 75%
    There is no chance they made money in any cities below 65%.

    add up the amount of metal that UA has committed to cities that generated unprofitable performance and the number is not insignificant.

    While it is fashionable to find fault with DL, the problem is overcapacity.
    DL just simply won't play UA's stupid games and UA won't continue w/ the capacity it deployed.

    When UA gets past its deep-seated urge to throw capacity into markets thinking it will keep DL out, DL will re-enter.

    IN the meantime, UA can lose all the money it wants.

    1. Jeremy Guest

      OK so with that logic Delta didn't make money on LAX - Sydney or LAX - Papeete (and likely LAX - HND). That's half of their international routes from LAX so that tells us how their international strategy from LAX is faring - a failure.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      CF looked at DL's load factor to SYD and its LF was 68%. which is statistically higher than UA's.
      DL had one route w/ two flights for the winter and DL is cutting back one of those two flights to less than daily.

      The whole issue is that UA thinks that it can throw a bunch of capacity into markets to try to keep DL out. They hurt themselves more than anyone else.

      It...

      CF looked at DL's load factor to SYD and its LF was 68%. which is statistically higher than UA's.
      DL had one route w/ two flights for the winter and DL is cutting back one of those two flights to less than daily.

      The whole issue is that UA thinks that it can throw a bunch of capacity into markets to try to keep DL out. They hurt themselves more than anyone else.

      It is the same thing that happened w/ AA at LAX. They jumped into a bunch of markets for size - and ended up pulling most of them down.

    3. Jeremy Guest

      I love how you continue to ignore Delta's own international LAX routes. Yes Delta's LF to Sydney as per Cranky at LAX was 68% vs United's 66% from LAX - slightly higher.

      They're both below the 75% LF threshold you are claiming to make money - Tahiti is below the 65% LF so as per you assuredly doesn't make money (true for all the US3 however), and HND is around that mark.

      Delta also reduced...

      I love how you continue to ignore Delta's own international LAX routes. Yes Delta's LF to Sydney as per Cranky at LAX was 68% vs United's 66% from LAX - slightly higher.

      They're both below the 75% LF threshold you are claiming to make money - Tahiti is below the 65% LF so as per you assuredly doesn't make money (true for all the US3 however), and HND is around that mark.

      Delta also reduced their frequency to CDG earlier this year from daily to 4x (and 3x in the offseason) to go with the Auckland scale-down. London and Shanghai have been cancelled.

      So EVERY Delta long-haul route from LAX has either been: 1) cancelled or 2) reduced frequencies, the lone exception being Sydney w/ its <75% LF suggesting does not make money. A week ago you a poster claimed Delta's entire LAX long-haul operation was unprofitable - you called that impossible. With your own logic, it appears that is true.

      The LAX story is repeating itself - every 5-10 years some airline decides to throw $$ to capture share, realizes it is too competitive, and scales down. Delta was the latest and is pulling back somewhat - they've built a good domestic network (mostly to their hubs), but as the renovations continue and AA recovers some gates, AA will likely throw $$ and gain share (likely unprofitably). The cycle will repeat itself - no carrier can dominate it as a hub.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta still managed to get better loads on larger aircraft.
      And Cranky’s analysis was for cities. United harmed its SFO routes in order to try to keep Delta out of LAX.

      Let’s see where it all ends up but United isn’t winning anything by dumping capacity into LAX and when United acts rationally, Delta will add flights.

      And Delta will grow to partner hubs in peak season. United simply competes with its...

      Delta still managed to get better loads on larger aircraft.
      And Cranky’s analysis was for cities. United harmed its SFO routes in order to try to keep Delta out of LAX.

      Let’s see where it all ends up but United isn’t winning anything by dumping capacity into LAX and when United acts rationally, Delta will add flights.

      And Delta will grow to partner hubs in peak season. United simply competes with its partners while Delta works with its partners

      And Delta will grow where the A350 can operate but the 787 cannot

      It’s a marathon and not a sprint

    5. Jeremy Guest

      You can continue rambling but the result is clear: Delta is pulling back at LAX. American, United, and now Delta have tried this same game, and it always goes the same way - someone will dump capacity to make it unprofitable like crabs pulling each other down. Delta is finding out what American found out pre-COVID - if not United it will be someone else.

      American and Delta have the same problem in the Pacific:...

      You can continue rambling but the result is clear: Delta is pulling back at LAX. American, United, and now Delta have tried this same game, and it always goes the same way - someone will dump capacity to make it unprofitable like crabs pulling each other down. Delta is finding out what American found out pre-COVID - if not United it will be someone else.

      American and Delta have the same problem in the Pacific: no viable long-haul West Coast hub. LAX is not the answer, and Seattle doesn't have sufficient O&D or feed (the LFs to Asia for the other carriers are not exemplary and there is already competition). We shall see how Seattle - Taipei fares, but United's long-term position is strong, and they are more than happy to dump capacity to take short-term losses to box American and Delta out.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta has 3 viable west coast hubs. LAX and SEA
      And UA can’t dump capacity and get to margins like Delta
      If United can make money so can Delta.
      If United chooses to lose money, Delta will back off and let them

      The bleeding stops. It always does

    7. Tim Dunn Diamond

      should say 2 west coast and one mountain hub - a similar structure to UA. DL has a decent western US presence but its strength is in the eastern US.
      The converse is true for UA.
      AA is much more heavily focused on southern US hubs with its weakness resulting in share in its northern and coastal hubs.

      As much as some want to think that airline X has the best plan, there...

      should say 2 west coast and one mountain hub - a similar structure to UA. DL has a decent western US presence but its strength is in the eastern US.
      The converse is true for UA.
      AA is much more heavily focused on southern US hubs with its weakness resulting in share in its northern and coastal hubs.

      As much as some want to think that airline X has the best plan, there are way too many moving parts to argue for one model over the other. The proof is in the bottom line as a reflection of how well they pull it all together.

    8. Jeremy Guest

      LOL so you're calling Delta's WC long-haul hub at LAX a strong, viable one?

      They're the same as American: both operate to Sydney, Tokyo, and seasonally to Tahiti and Auckland. Delta serves to Paris while American goes to London. In fact, American is probably better positioned b/c of its JVs vs Delta.

      And again it's misleading to say Delta and United have the same structure on the West Coast:

      - SFO >>> SEA both for...

      LOL so you're calling Delta's WC long-haul hub at LAX a strong, viable one?

      They're the same as American: both operate to Sydney, Tokyo, and seasonally to Tahiti and Auckland. Delta serves to Paris while American goes to London. In fact, American is probably better positioned b/c of its JVs vs Delta.

      And again it's misleading to say Delta and United have the same structure on the West Coast:

      - SFO >>> SEA both for O&D (leisure & business), and competition (Alaska is still the dominant #1 domestically - Delta has been unable to change that meaningfully after its initial ramp-up)

      - DEN >>> SLC also for O&D (leisure & business) - Denver has competition w/ Southwest but it's just much, much bigger

      - United is slightly ahead of Delta at LAX for long-haul - while Delta has done well to capture domestic share today, that can change once American gets gates back before 2028

      Delta is the top performing airline overall today, but they have structural issues that will prevent them from beating United on the West Coast and especially the Pacific. That doesn't mean they can't be the most profitable, but that's the struggle when the industry consolidated - it's almost impossible to change share meaningfully vs similar behemoths.

  7. John Guest

    ConcordeLadyBoy has found a brand 'new' toy - boldface.
    Awww....widdle goo goo baby wuvs her new toy...

    1. ImmortalSynn Guest

      This one is unique, as it's the only repetitive troll here who's obsessed with someone other than Tim Dunn. Kind of random, but it does give a fairly good idea of who is behind it.

  8. Fordamist LeDearn Guest

    Interesting. Wonder why Delta is making so much money??

    1. ImmortalSynn Guest

      Its profits come from its "core hubs" (what it calls them in its financial statements) where they dominate without any competition strong enough to influence the overall metropolitan markets. Delta has that in Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City. American only really has it in Charlotte (arguably Philadelphia), and United doesn't have that in any of its hub metro areas. Otherwise NYC, California, Texas, Florida, Chicago, Denver and others are rife with competitors' hubs...

      Its profits come from its "core hubs" (what it calls them in its financial statements) where they dominate without any competition strong enough to influence the overall metropolitan markets. Delta has that in Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City. American only really has it in Charlotte (arguably Philadelphia), and United doesn't have that in any of its hub metro areas. Otherwise NYC, California, Texas, Florida, Chicago, Denver and others are rife with competitors' hubs within the same city-metros or even airport.

    2. yoloswag420 Guest

      Umm this is very wrong. AA has DFW, the 2nd biggest hub in the world and also MIA. And while the other captive hubs aren't as strong, UA has other smaller fortresses like IAH and IAD.

      AA and UA do have more contested hubs on average, but they each have fortresses.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Umm this is very wrong.

      No it isn't. Pay attention to what s/he actually wrote: "hub metro areas"

      DFW, MIA, IAH, and IAD all have competing airline hubs within the same metro area. ATL, MSP, and DTW do not.

      Having multiple hubs like that, is something unique to Delta, among the USA3. It's not really anything that they planned, but it *is* something that they can take advantage of.

    4. yoloswag420 Guest

      It's wrong because if you want to compare those, these are all hubs w/ similar % market share around 70%.

      CLT is the definition of an AA fortress hub and has 69.91% , DFW is 69.18%. Not to mention DFW literally has the second most traffic in the world. Dallas Love Field is a flop, so the siphoning isn't happening. CLT also has RDU in the "vicinity" if you want to go that route.

      The...

      It's wrong because if you want to compare those, these are all hubs w/ similar % market share around 70%.

      CLT is the definition of an AA fortress hub and has 69.91% , DFW is 69.18%. Not to mention DFW literally has the second most traffic in the world. Dallas Love Field is a flop, so the siphoning isn't happening. CLT also has RDU in the "vicinity" if you want to go that route.

      The only thing that's unique about Delta's hub is that they are cities that no one cares about. So they never get any new international service or routes. SLC/MSP/DTW are boring, but yes big money makers.

    5. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      You continue to miss the point: it's not about percentage of traffic AT A SPECIFIC AIRPORT, it's the ability to price the origin traffic WITHIN THE LOCAL MARKET.

      Percentage of traffic at 1 airport isn't going to be all that affective when (1) another airport is right there, with (2) a hub/focus another carrier that can challenge your pricing capability over that market on every level.

      That's something that DFW, MIA, IAH, and IAD...

      You continue to miss the point: it's not about percentage of traffic AT A SPECIFIC AIRPORT, it's the ability to price the origin traffic WITHIN THE LOCAL MARKET.

      Percentage of traffic at 1 airport isn't going to be all that affective when (1) another airport is right there, with (2) a hub/focus another carrier that can challenge your pricing capability over that market on every level.

      That's something that DFW, MIA, IAH, and IAD have to face, for their O&D.

      ATL, MSP, and DTW do not.

  9. MarcoLA Guest

    United has been the traditional dominant airline at LAX. Over the last 20 years Delta increased domestic flights but has always lagged behind United with long haul international flights out of LAX.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      An accurate assessment.
      Delta is substantially larger domestic at LAX than AA or UA.
      United is flying from the west coast to Asia because their eastern US hubs don’t work for anything other than Tokyo.
      Delta manages to fly to ICN and PVG plus Tokyo from Eastern US hubs.
      UA is likely to pull down some of its SFO to China flights because they can’t fill them.
      DL’s China partner...

      An accurate assessment.
      Delta is substantially larger domestic at LAX than AA or UA.
      United is flying from the west coast to Asia because their eastern US hubs don’t work for anything other than Tokyo.
      Delta manages to fly to ICN and PVG plus Tokyo from Eastern US hubs.
      UA is likely to pull down some of its SFO to China flights because they can’t fill them.
      DL’s China partner is at PVG. UA’s is at PEK where they operate just one flight with low loads.
      Delta and United may both add more China service in time but the demand isn’t there now.
      Delta has far more growth potential at ICN than UA has at any Asian airport

    2. shoeguy Guest

      No it has not. UA was as recently as pre-pandemic, #3 at LAX, behind AA #1 and DL #2. UA had trimmed LAX, then standardized all long haul on the 787-9 but for Hawaii, and then began adding back some domestic capacity incrementally. AA was the largest by market share, but has slipped due to cuts, partly driven by profitability, handing traffic to AS, terminal projects reducing gates, and the challenges of the LAX market.

  10. Terence Guest

    UA also seem likely to reduce 2x SFO-PVG to 1x daily. The second daily is Y/B/M (and higher) fare only as of today. That will leave DL and UA with 2x daily each to PVG, from respective hubs.

    That said, UA's LAX growth is more of a matter or ORD/EWR routes being unviable. UA have a larger and more global flyer base that historically has more demand of Asia flying in general. LAX-HKG/PVG are both substitutes for EWR/ORD-HKG-PVG.

  11. sunvking82 Guest

    It sad that DL purchased NWA in the 2000s to build on there Pacific network and now it's almost all gone. Not sure DTW to China will have long term legs and DL is struggling in SEA too. DL strengths are NYC, ATL, DTW and MSP after that it falls off quickly. Sorry SLC, your the Memphis of the west compared to PHX, DEN, SEA, SFO and LAX.

    AA / BA / JAL / Qantas is the best combo out of LAX and once AA gets all their gates back will regain #1 stats at LAX.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Not sure DTW to China will have long term legs

      Based on what exactly?

      DTW-China has been flown for decades on end; and in contrast to the NRT hub, what catalyst would cause DTW-China to suddenly be an issue now?

      Sorry SLC, your the Memphis of the west compared to PHX

      Huh? What exactly does PHX bring that SLC doesn't or couldn't duplicate.... few tertiary Mexican destinations?

    2. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      A war. More geopolitical tension. Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Any number of reasons. Delta screwed themselves by largely pulling out of Asia in favor of China Eastern and Korean. South Korea is demographically dead. China is persona non grata.

    3. MaxPower Diamond

      PHX brings local population Concorde
      5M vs 1.3M

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      PHX brings local population Concorde
      5M vs 1.3M

      Sure, but that's actually a counterpoint.

      A bigger city with less longhaul service/destinations, isn't exactly a proficient way to put down SLC, for whatever reason this user seems to want to do that.

    5. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      I can remember Delta as recently as 2015 or 2016 saying they were 100% committed to Narita, the Pacific islands, etc. Delta even said the pull-out from Hong Kong and then Singapore were temporary.

      The reality is Delta's product isn't competitive with the airlines that fly these routes. Who is really going to do Delta One business from JFK to Singapore –– assuming Delta flew it –– over Singapore Air?

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The same could be said about every US carrier compared to Asian carriers. As much as some would like to believe otherwise, Delta service is considered better than American or United.
      US carriers compete on the ability to carry corporate travel which heavily favors US carriers.
      As for the history of Delta and Northwest, some either don’t know or ignore that the Japanese government gave Delta the option to keep a hub at...

      The same could be said about every US carrier compared to Asian carriers. As much as some would like to believe otherwise, Delta service is considered better than American or United.
      US carriers compete on the ability to carry corporate travel which heavily favors US carriers.
      As for the history of Delta and Northwest, some either don’t know or ignore that the Japanese government gave Delta the option to keep a hub at Narita or move its US flights to Haneda. Delta chose Haneda and its decision is being proven correct. Narita average fares continue to fall as high value traffic moves to Haneda. Narita as a hub is not viable economically any longer. Delta has moved its hub for connections to ICN which is a larger local market than Narita.

    7. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      A war. More geopolitical tension. Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

      So, two things that haven't happened yet (if ever), and one thing that's been the case for more than 70yrs. Hmm.

      Who is really going to do Delta One business from JFK to Singapore –– assuming Delta flew it –– over Singapore Air?

      Why do people ask this question, when the answer is always the same, regardless of any airline?

      Those with a...

      A war. More geopolitical tension. Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

      So, two things that haven't happened yet (if ever), and one thing that's been the case for more than 70yrs. Hmm.

      Who is really going to do Delta One business from JFK to Singapore –– assuming Delta flew it –– over Singapore Air?

      Why do people ask this question, when the answer is always the same, regardless of any airline?

      Those with a corporate contractual obligation, personal preference, FFP opportunities, departure timings, arrival timings, etc etc etc.

      Would that be sufficient to sustain the service? Who knows-- I don't, and you sure as hell don't either. But that's the thing that keeps the biz interesting.

  12. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    It's amazing how basically nobody, not Delta and just about no commentator or writer, talks about Delta and China Eastern anymore. This was supposed to be the deal that expanded Delta's footprint in Asia. Between the pandemic and the geopolitical tensions with China, touting or expanding a partnership/joint-venture (whatever it was technically considered) with a communist state-owned airline is hardly a good idea these days. Right now, United owns Asia and the Pacific.

    It's amazing how basically nobody, not Delta and just about no commentator or writer, talks about Delta and China Eastern anymore. This was supposed to be the deal that expanded Delta's footprint in Asia. Between the pandemic and the geopolitical tensions with China, touting or expanding a partnership/joint-venture (whatever it was technically considered) with a communist state-owned airline is hardly a good idea these days. Right now, United owns Asia and the Pacific.

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      Yes, UA owns TPAC with their 50% load factors on half their routes. UA will be axing routes soon, not profitable to fly half empty planes.

      Certain routes are strong like TPE and MNL, but many others are not doing well.

    2. Jeremy Guest

      What routes are you talking about? The LF data everyone is referencing on Cranky only has 1 United TPAC route w/ sub 50% LF out of 17 - within those routes Cranky notes there is significant variation (i.e., Sydney is 62% overall but 72% from Houston): https://crankyflier.com/2024/04/22/united-struggles-to-fill-all-those-seats-down-under/

      The only ones that are sub 60% in LF:

      - Brisbane: bad for every airline but will last b/c subsidies - once they're gone everyone will pull out

      ...

      What routes are you talking about? The LF data everyone is referencing on Cranky only has 1 United TPAC route w/ sub 50% LF out of 17 - within those routes Cranky notes there is significant variation (i.e., Sydney is 62% overall but 72% from Houston): https://crankyflier.com/2024/04/22/united-struggles-to-fill-all-those-seats-down-under/

      The only ones that are sub 60% in LF:

      - Brisbane: bad for every airline but will last b/c subsidies - once they're gone everyone will pull out

      - Osaka: United is the only US airline offering service here via Guam and SFO - they may want to wait for a rebound in the yen before making a decision, but SFO - KIX is probably at risk

      - Christchurch: another United only seasonal destination from SFO - they probably will wait a bit longer but is likely at risk

      - Papeete: another low performer across the board for all the airlines w/ United struggling the most b/c they serve it the most

      So overall, Asia-Pacific is fine - unlikely we see any cuts beyond Osaka. South Pacific is an issue for United which is true for everyone.

    3. yoloswag420 Guest

      If you look at the data, half of their TPAC routes are below average in performance. Your link shows that Auckland and onwards to Papeete are below UA's 70% TPAC LF.

      The fact they can't even make AKL and HND work despite having two very strong JV partners says it all.

      UA's TPAC growth has been impressive in terms of route expansion, but they are having a hard time filling up their seats. They will 100% be scaling back frequencies and routes.

    4. SEASFO Guest

      There's a lot of "UA TPAC is massive but unprofitable" knee jerk reactions to that article without looking at the nuance. Based on Cranky's data, the majority of issues are in the South Pacific, which UA just flooded with a ton of new capacity last winter. 2 daily 777-300ERs between SFO-SYD is a lot of seats, and LAX-AKL/SYD/BNE are crowded markets with AA/DL/QF/NZ also in the mix. They probably should scale back LAX to avoid...

      There's a lot of "UA TPAC is massive but unprofitable" knee jerk reactions to that article without looking at the nuance. Based on Cranky's data, the majority of issues are in the South Pacific, which UA just flooded with a ton of new capacity last winter. 2 daily 777-300ERs between SFO-SYD is a lot of seats, and LAX-AKL/SYD/BNE are crowded markets with AA/DL/QF/NZ also in the mix. They probably should scale back LAX to avoid cannibalizing SFO where they can generate more feed and have less competition. This was a risk that didn't pan out, and UA can adjust accordingly going forward.

      Tokyo is an issue of overcapacity due to that city's fragmented dual hub strategy. Haneda is really about O&D, it is still not the connecting hub for intra-Asia that UA/NH need. The outcome is they still maintain NRT service while fighting tooth and nail for every slot they can get at HND. For example, LAX and EWR each only had a single daily flight to NRT pre-pandemic, and UA added a Haneda flight on top of that for each city. More generally, there's a lot of unprofitable/duplicative flying out of Haneda because slots make airlines do stupid things and eventually it will right-size. Either NH moves more intra-Asia traffic to HND and adjusts connecting banks to feed into North American flights (not an easy feat at a busy slot-controlled airport) or some of that duplicative flying will get pulled down or downgauged. By contrast, Delta can consolidate everything at HND (and still struggled because it squatted on unprofitable slots like PDX/HNL).

      UA's TPAC network serves many different types of markets with different competitive landscapes and consumer behavior. The crown jewel of UA's TPAC network is significant East Asian markets that no other US carrier seems to have the hub structure to compete in (places such as SIN/TPE/HKG). United also has the advantage of a long historical presence in these cities, which isn't everything, but can certainly help.

    5. Jake212 Guest

      @yoloswag420 which UA TPAC routes are flying with 50% load factors?

    6. Jason Guest

      Their loads are mostly well north of 50%, especially to china/japan/ Hong Kong/ Singapore/ Korea

    7. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Correct. United is not making money with load factors below 70%. CF did not analyze routes but cities. AKL was pathetically low. Even PEK was low. This wasn’t just a South Pacific problem. United threw tons of capacity on the Pacific after making just 40% of what Delta made over the Atlantic in 2023.
      United simply is flying too much international capacity to make industry leading profits
      Delta makes industry leading profits because...

      Correct. United is not making money with load factors below 70%. CF did not analyze routes but cities. AKL was pathetically low. Even PEK was low. This wasn’t just a South Pacific problem. United threw tons of capacity on the Pacific after making just 40% of what Delta made over the Atlantic in 2023.
      United simply is flying too much international capacity to make industry leading profits
      Delta makes industry leading profits because it won’t be sucked into United’s money losing ways
      Once again United made just 60% of what Delta did in 2023 on nearly identical passenger revenue.
      Delta is running a good business while UA tries to dominate markets and makes far less than Delta

  13. yoloswag420 Guest

    Ben must get so excited any time Delta announces news like this. The views and comments are through the roof.

    1. MaxPower Diamond

      The epic meltdowns from Tim dunce never disappoint

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Ben knows what pays the bills and it isn't trip reports from Middle Eastern airlines.

    3. MaxPower Diamond

      You have such a big heart to pay Ben’s bills, tim
      And an unmerited ego even larger

    4. Creditcrunch Diamond

      So why do you rise to the bait?

  14. digital_notmad Diamond

    It was obvious to anyone that DL's skittish and haphazard management were never going to make this and AKL work as planned, funny to watch it unfold though.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta and United got almost identical amounts of revenue per flight on LAX-PVG pre Covid.
      If the market was there now, Delta would fly it

    2. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      DL was the most profitable TPAC US carrier, now they’re not. DL flew to HKG, KIX, NGO, FUK, PEK, NRT, MNL, etc. and now they don’t.

      That’s because the TPAC market is there and other carriers took advantage. The death by a thousand cuts for DL TPAC continues.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      according to DOT data for the 1st 3 quarters of 2023, DL still earned more per ASM than UA. AA is still not profitable despite the million cuts.

      Delta runs a business which happens to involve air transportation.

      United runs an airline that might or might not be successful as a business.

      Comparing the 2, DL is the better run business strategically and financially. Anyone that is remotely aware of business outside of the insular...

      according to DOT data for the 1st 3 quarters of 2023, DL still earned more per ASM than UA. AA is still not profitable despite the million cuts.

      Delta runs a business which happens to involve air transportation.

      United runs an airline that might or might not be successful as a business.

      Comparing the 2, DL is the better run business strategically and financially. Anyone that is remotely aware of business outside of the insular aviation world knows that.

      the only people that struggle to accept that reality are airline employees that have no clue about how business works.

    4. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      DL underperformed both AA and UA in the first quarter 2023, 40% less profitable than UA while flying only 7% less ASMs. The reason why you need to remind everyone that you have “50” years “following” the industry is because you have nothing else to show for it. You can’t read financials, you misinterpret aviation metrics, and your input is constantly rejected and refuted by those more knowledgeable. Stick to SeekingAlpha where you have to...

      DL underperformed both AA and UA in the first quarter 2023, 40% less profitable than UA while flying only 7% less ASMs. The reason why you need to remind everyone that you have “50” years “following” the industry is because you have nothing else to show for it. You can’t read financials, you misinterpret aviation metrics, and your input is constantly rejected and refuted by those more knowledgeable. Stick to SeekingAlpha where you have to comment on your own posts since you can’t even generate engagement organically.

    5. Jake212 Guest

      @DL Marketing Premium

      THANK YOU for calling that moron Tim Dunn out. I hope he remembered to take his blood pressure meds cause I know he’s seething right now

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      the only people that are seething are the United fans that can't stand to hear that their size isn't translating into industry leading profitability.

      Delta generates more revenue per seat mile across its entire network including the Pacific.

      It is perfectly obvious that some people CAN'T stand to hear that reality but United's size simply translates into more routes burning more fuel at a faster rate and lower profit sharing for its employees.

      United very...

      the only people that are seething are the United fans that can't stand to hear that their size isn't translating into industry leading profitability.

      Delta generates more revenue per seat mile across its entire network including the Pacific.

      It is perfectly obvious that some people CAN'T stand to hear that reality but United's size simply translates into more routes burning more fuel at a faster rate and lower profit sharing for its employees.

      United very well COULD generate profits as high as Delta but UA would have to stop doing dumb stuff to try to block competitors and put the right amount of capacity into markets and not what it has just because it held onto a bunch of widebody dinosaurs

    7. cairns Guest

      Thank you for setting the record straight and putting that idiot in his place.

    8. ZTravel Gold

      Exactly! Why would I fly a business that just happens to fly airplanes and run credit cards. When I want to fly, I fly an airline.

    9. digital_notmad Diamond

      Tim it's fine man! they swung and missed, like most of us said they would.

      it happens! no hard feelings, i hope you have a great weekend, friend!

  15. NotTimDunn Guest

    First London, then Auckland, now Shanghai. Delta cannot make flying out of LAX work because they are a terrible airline with a rubbish loyalty program.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      And/or, who's flying Delta LAX to LHR when they can fly Virgin Atlantic? Delta's product doesn't beat the other airlines. Sure, United still sucks domestically but they're at least ascending. Has anyone seen the Polaris wine selection of late? Average bottle cost retail is probably $12-$20 on Delta's selection. Delta is selling $5,000+ Delta One tickets and serving $8-$15, maybe $20, wine.

    2. yoloswag420 Guest

      Well I'm flying Delta over the VS 787s. And I think many other people would too.

      I have no idea why VS hasn't retrofitted their 787s. It's a completely uncompetitive product and it actually holds them back significantly.

    3. Clyde Guest

      2 out of their 3 daily flights are on the 350

  16. Lasdiner Guest

    I took it a few times and it was a rather avoidable flight
    Skicoffins in the 777, insufficient food for the flight length, FAs tended to be very senior and not so motivated, arrival in PVG always on a bus gate, security/passport in PVG took forever making connections to intra Asia or Intra China flights a nightmare often with a long walk for terminal change (and this has obviously nothing to do with DL)
    Not that great of an experience

  17. A220HubandSpoke Member

    International flying from LAX is notoriously tough due to lowish fares so I'm not surprised DL can't make this work.

    Even with the lack of capacity dumping, demand as fallen so these flights just aren't as valuable as they should be.

  18. Lucile Bluth Guest

    The recession or period of demand reduction is starting and DL, having a much stronger leadership team, is the first to respond. Demand is strong through July, but I suspect by September, we will be seeing the culling of much of the November-onwards incremental TATL capacity.

  19. DL Marketing Premium Guest

    DLs TPAC network continues to erode. We’ve seen KIX, NGO, HKG, PEK, and BOM cut recently along with the dismantling of NRT and HNL flights to Japan other than HND. DL was the most profitable US carrier TPAC precovid, but now it’s a shell of its former shelf all the while UA is grew its presence in nearly every TPAC market. CrankyFlier also pointed out that DL only has a 5% load factor advantage in...

    DLs TPAC network continues to erode. We’ve seen KIX, NGO, HKG, PEK, and BOM cut recently along with the dismantling of NRT and HNL flights to Japan other than HND. DL was the most profitable US carrier TPAC precovid, but now it’s a shell of its former shelf all the while UA is grew its presence in nearly every TPAC market. CrankyFlier also pointed out that DL only has a 5% load factor advantage in SYD and AKL even when UA operates 50% more flights to AKL and 100% more flights to SYD during peak season.

    UA is the TPAC behemoth because of SFO just like AA is the Latin Goliath because of MIA. But even excluding that West Coast dominance

    Beyond the West Coast, AA is a larger carrier to PVG and China than DL.
    Beyond the West Coast, AA and UA operate more flights to the South Pacific and have JVs to support unlike DL.
    Beyond the West Coast, DL operates less Tokyo flights than UA and the same as AA.
    Beyond the West Coast, AA and UA operate more TPAC flights than DL outside of Seoul. In fact DLs only TPAC advantage is Seoul.
    From the Northeast, DL operates no flights to Asia while AA and UA do.
    To India, DL has no flights unlike AA and UA.
    To the Middle East, DL is the only US3 carrier that doesn’t serve a market outside of TLV.
    DL no longer has more flights to Haneda than UA and operates only one additional frequency from the CONUS than AA.
    Excluding East Asia, DL serves no Asia destinations.
    Excluding East Asia, DL serves no TPAC destination from any hub other than LA.
    DL operates no flights to SIN, MNL, DEL, DXB, DOH, MEL, CHC, and all of greater China excluding Shanghai.

    DL is still heavily weight restricting flights from the Eastern US to Asia despite all the MTOW boosts to the A359. Solution? Trade 30 economy seats for 0 additional premium cabin seats and now the A359 which burns 30% less fuel than the 777-300ER is now configured with a third less seats than UAs present config and AA’s future config, all while carrying less cargo on routes flown by both aircraft. Also the A350-900 which is already a larger plane and burns more fuel than the 787-9, now has less seats than either AA or UA’s configuration.

    The ex-LA A350 are significantly underperforming on revenue since they carry less premium cabin seats by a significant margin than other US international widebodies. It’s almost 3 years and DL still hasn’t been able to reconfig a single A350 all the while UA was able to reconfigure the entire widebody fleet in twice that.

    1. ZTravel Gold

      Completely agree! Delta starts a route and if it’s not profitable on day 1, the route will quietly disappear. After 2MM with Delta in about 8yrs, I moved in to foreign carriers and/or UA - actually flying them next week to HND and then connecting with ANA to Nagoya (not an option with DL)

    2. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      You make a great point. The weakness of the KE/DL JV is the huge disadvantage and the lack of penetration in the Japanese market. HND is great for Tokyo O&D but it also wipes the floor against ICN for onward connections in Japan, both in number of destinations and frequency. Having a JV with KE does nothing for onward HND connections. Even connecting in ICN to fly backward to Japan means more routing circuity that...

      You make a great point. The weakness of the KE/DL JV is the huge disadvantage and the lack of penetration in the Japanese market. HND is great for Tokyo O&D but it also wipes the floor against ICN for onward connections in Japan, both in number of destinations and frequency. Having a JV with KE does nothing for onward HND connections. Even connecting in ICN to fly backward to Japan means more routing circuity that is exacerbated by Russia overflight restrictions which impact Japan much less than Korea. On the flip side, connecting in Tokyo to get to Seoul requires much less circuity with the added opportunity of flying into GMP which is closer to city center but doesn’t have US service unlike HND. Seoul IS the South Korean market, JL/NH don’t even bother to serve other Korean cities. Whereas multiple Japan cities have service to the US. Korea also lags Japan as both a leisure and business destination.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta operates the most flights from the US to Haneda and ICN
      The DL KE JV is the largest TPAC JV

      Facts are so inconvenient

    4. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      Delta isn’t even the largest US carrier to Tokyo, yet alone Japan, East Asia, or TPAC.

      No, the largest TPAC JVs are the NH and NZ JVs since DL doesn’t have any South Pacific JVs like AA and UA.

      When the facts don’t lie, Tim always cries. All hail the Hanger Queen, Tim Dunn!

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Delta is the largest US carrier at HND.
      Read what is written.

      KE is much larger than NH or JL.

      Large parts of UA's network are not part of the NH JV.

      The NH and NZ JV is not one for UA.

    6. JN Guest

      @Tim Dunn

      Korean Air (at least in terms of intl network) is sure bigger than JAL, but I wouldn't be so sure about ANA. And although Korean Air is also a five-star airline, it's still at a one level below JAL/ANA in terms of their on-board product quality.

    7. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      UA operates just as many flights at HND as DL. DL was awarded more HND route authorities but couldn’t operate PDX profitably so surrendered that to AA. HNL isn’t doing great either for DL who can’t compete with NH/JL on Japanese POS or HA on US POS. If it was performing well, they wouldn’t have asked the DOT to shift only to get rejected.

      You’re correct that UA has two JVs for TPAC just...

      UA operates just as many flights at HND as DL. DL was awarded more HND route authorities but couldn’t operate PDX profitably so surrendered that to AA. HNL isn’t doing great either for DL who can’t compete with NH/JL on Japanese POS or HA on US POS. If it was performing well, they wouldn’t have asked the DOT to shift only to get rejected.

      You’re correct that UA has two JVs for TPAC just like AA but unlike DL. DL used to have two JVs but got stuck with VA who abandoned DL for UA. DL got the leftover partners and now they’re paying for it with a thousand cuts to its TPAC network including all of Japan that isn’t Haneda.

    8. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      The weakness of the KE/DL JV is the huge disadvantage and the lack of penetration in the Japanese market.

      Don't know if you're trolling or not, as that's what this site has sadly devolved into...

      ...but that statement couldn't POSSIBLY be farther from reality.

      One of big incentives for the Japan returning Haneda to longhaul international service, is how badly the Korean carriers were siphoning off international-bound traffic from secondary and tertiary Japanese...

      The weakness of the KE/DL JV is the huge disadvantage and the lack of penetration in the Japanese market.

      Don't know if you're trolling or not, as that's what this site has sadly devolved into...

      ...but that statement couldn't POSSIBLY be farther from reality.

      One of big incentives for the Japan returning Haneda to longhaul international service, is how badly the Korean carriers were siphoning off international-bound traffic from secondary and tertiary Japanese cities, versus the inconvenience of an airport-switch at Tokyo.

      To even insinuate a "lack of penetration in the Japanese market" by KE/OZ, is so inaccurate as to be laughable.

    9. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      The KE JV was approved in 2018 and the most recent full round of Haneda route authorities were allocated in 2019. So assuming that you’re correct about KE’s strength due to the lack of Haneda long haul, that advantage for the KE JV only lasted for around a year. Only FUK, KIX, NGO, and TYO are timed for US connections in ICN. Tokyo is well served. Osaka has long haul service on JL/AA and NH/UA...

      The KE JV was approved in 2018 and the most recent full round of Haneda route authorities were allocated in 2019. So assuming that you’re correct about KE’s strength due to the lack of Haneda long haul, that advantage for the KE JV only lasted for around a year. Only FUK, KIX, NGO, and TYO are timed for US connections in ICN. Tokyo is well served. Osaka has long haul service on JL/AA and NH/UA JVs in addition to having NRT connections timed for US arrivals. NGO and CTS also have NRT connections timed for US arrivals. You’re right that KE was in a much stronger position in Japan several years ago before the addition of Haneda flights, even operating flights to the US out of more than one Japanese city. Same could be said for DL. But that doesn’t change that there’s around 50 or so cities that KE/DL doesn’t serve in Japan that NH/UA or JL/AA do, and the cities that KE does serve receive a tiny fraction of the frequencies to compete with NH or JL.

      I always respect your perspective regardless if it contrasts mine.

    10. 305 Guest

      And they killed the NRT-Asia hub. My company used to fly to MNL via NRT on DL all the time. Have since switched to OW combo of Cathay/Qatar.

    11. shoeguy Guest

      DL's pre-merger TPAC network was meager at best. Part of the merger's benefits touted in 2008 was the strength and coverage of NW's TPAC network, but the problem then was that NW's TPAC network was built essentially around a NRT hub, which was increasingly being overflown by other carriers. A lot of the one stop service via NRT NW could either not do nonstop or could not do it profitably. The rest was DTW/MSP connecting...

      DL's pre-merger TPAC network was meager at best. Part of the merger's benefits touted in 2008 was the strength and coverage of NW's TPAC network, but the problem then was that NW's TPAC network was built essentially around a NRT hub, which was increasingly being overflown by other carriers. A lot of the one stop service via NRT NW could either not do nonstop or could not do it profitably. The rest was DTW/MSP connecting traffic and some P2P routes. So the merger didn't ultimately give DL the assets to become a really significant TPAC player. In the last few years, it mended fences with KE and leverages the ICN hub for that, but with the optimal set up at HND for Tokyo service, can't really make that advantage work for it there. The rest of DL's Asia network is designed to feed connectivity. It is not so much an O&D one that some here like to waive as DL's key strength.

      UA owns the Pacific because it has the planes and the optimal gateway to make it work (SFO), to some extent, but it too doesn't perform all that well on all the TPAC capacity it added in 2023 and some pruning there will come as well.

      At LAX, DL is realizing quickly there is no profitability in long haul beyond some core markets that connect to partner hubs, for the US3. CDG and AMS are routes that AF and KL can cover. There is no real need for DL to fly them out of LAX unless there is an extended operational need. With what's left, SYD is clearly a struggle for DL, given it has no meaningful partner on the Australia end (REX is too small), reiles presumably on US point of sale, which skews with seasonality. AKL is pure leisure and DL quickly found that out, even after putting a capacity dump in the form of a high volume long haul jet. Now it will pare it back substantially. BNE is all about a subsidy and DL, then AA will be the last of the US3 to pull out completely. So what is DL left with at LAX, PPT?

    12. Tim Dunn Diamond

      UA acquired the Pan Am Pacific network in 1987 *(or so) and had a huge headstart including building SFO into a formidable hub.

      DL merged w/ NW in 2009 knowing that NRT wasn't profitable on a consistent basis.
      The Japanese government fairly quickly rolled out its plan to re-open HND to longhaul US and other country longhaul flights. That completely changed the ability to even try to turn NRT as a hub around for...

      UA acquired the Pan Am Pacific network in 1987 *(or so) and had a huge headstart including building SFO into a formidable hub.

      DL merged w/ NW in 2009 knowing that NRT wasn't profitable on a consistent basis.
      The Japanese government fairly quickly rolled out its plan to re-open HND to longhaul US and other country longhaul flights. That completely changed the ability to even try to turn NRT as a hub around for DL.

      Too many people cling to 10 even 15 years of DL history in Asia and draw inaccurate conclusions because of the HND reopening and covid interruption of TPAC travel. Add in the stronger relationship with KE and now the KE/OZ merger and there have been many balls up in the air for DL TPAC. on top of that, DL restructured away from the 777 to the A350 and 339 and then ordered the 35K which is going to be heavily TPAC focused.

      DL never said that it wouldn't rebuild its TPAC network but it did manage to make it profitable even on a smaller basis.

      DL and UA will both grow TPAC; DL has a lot more low-hanging fruit that can bear fruit faster using more efficient airplanes while UA will find it much harder to grow at the rate it once did; the 1st quarter performance of all of UA's TPAC additions.

  20. ZTravel Gold

    It feels that execs at Delta are in it for the short run, some of these routes need to be invested in. Longevity pays off. Just like the seasonal service that was announced yesterday from TPA to AMS, I live there and I’ll never take the route because it’s not consistent.
    I think Delta should just settle for domestic routes, hopefully JV will break and let European and Middle eastern /Asian carriers serve our...

    It feels that execs at Delta are in it for the short run, some of these routes need to be invested in. Longevity pays off. Just like the seasonal service that was announced yesterday from TPA to AMS, I live there and I’ll never take the route because it’s not consistent.
    I think Delta should just settle for domestic routes, hopefully JV will break and let European and Middle eastern /Asian carriers serve our markets.

    I know someone on here will say oh delta has the best 350-1000s on order and stuff - well, let’s circle back in 2030 and look at deltas network but for now, I’m out!

    1. jedipenguin Guest

      They can trade those A350's for A321s.

  21. Powerball Winner Guest

    Aren't US carriers still limited on the number of flights they're allowed to China currently? I would guess this is related to that.

    1. Colin Guest

      There is a limit, which is 50 flights per week per side. But at this time US only used 42 out 50, and China used up all 50 out of 50, so basically DL gave up by itself.

  22. UA-NYC Diamond

    LAX is a very premium market. So it only makes sense that the US’ most premium airline, United, is the one leading the way there.

    DTW? Not so premium.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Love the NYC tag. United abandoned its massive EWR to Asia operation except Tokyo. Not so premium
      DTW has 3 destinations in Asia on DL. Very premium

    2. Jason Guest

      United flew to Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong. That's not so massive. The only reason they haven't restored Shanghai and Beijing is due to restricted entries into
      China/ maybe Russia overflight. They'll be back. That's not massive never was

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      There are 2 hubs now with service on the same airline tob4 or more cities in E Asia. SFO for UA and SEA for DL. EWR was on that list.

    4. Jason Guest

      There are only so many permitted frequencies to china right now. Airlines put their limited assets where there is the biggest opportunity for profit. San Francisco, with its huge local demand, is where United chose for now. I don't see this being a forever thing. Eventually Newark and most like Chicago will see the flights return. Not sure why that's a hard concept for you to grasp. And again, Newark was never "massive"

    5. lavanderialarry Guest

      No Tim, UA can't fly EWR-HKG due to Russia overfly issues, and PVG/PEK are markets that no longer work the way they did in 2019. Wake up. Delta has ZERO TPAC out of JFK.

    6. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      DL hasn’t resumed JFK-BOM and gave up on competing for JFK-HND.

      AA and UA both have Tokyo, India, Middle East excluding TLV from greater NYC. DL does not from anywhere on the Northeast.

      So much for being premium!

    7. JN Guest

      I'm not defending Tim Dunn here, but I wouldn't call UA a "premium airline" even as a joke.

  23. Anthony Diamond

    Interesting discussion regarding Delta at LAX. Delta has clearly invested in the experience there, with a number of flight attempts, a fairly unique Delta One check in experience (I'm not aware of any of the other US3 having such an offering in the US), a big flashy SkyClub with a D1 lounge coming. I think the challenge is simply that Delta's strength in terms of passenger base is in the Eastern half of the country,...

    Interesting discussion regarding Delta at LAX. Delta has clearly invested in the experience there, with a number of flight attempts, a fairly unique Delta One check in experience (I'm not aware of any of the other US3 having such an offering in the US), a big flashy SkyClub with a D1 lounge coming. I think the challenge is simply that Delta's strength in terms of passenger base is in the Eastern half of the country, plus SLC/SEA, and they haven't really been that strong across the Pacific in a while (SEA to HKG cancellation years ago was the tell). Plus demand to some of these TPac destinations seem to be limited vs Pre-Covid. I was somewhat surprised with the LAX to LHR cancellation, but with the JV, Virgin/Delta are basically interchangeable on the route, so that is really less of an issue. LAX is mainly going to be an O&D market, and Delta will continue to call it a hub, because Delta likes to compete - but some of these wide body planes may just be better used on additional transatlantic frequencies or wherever where Delta knows they have the customer base and demand.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      >blockquote>I'm not aware of any of the other US3 having such an offering in the US

      DL wasn't even the first of the US3 to offer such a service at LAX, much less nationwide.

      AA was ahead of them by years, in that.

    2. Anthony Diamond

      Does AA offer a *pre-check-in* lounge with champagne, snacks and such at JFK or LAX anymore, complete with exclusive TSA screening? AA had “Flagship Check-In,” but I don’t think their offering compares to what Delta has now at LAX (or is planning at JFK). I know at JFK now, they have a little lounge area, but without drinks/snacks.

    3. Creditcrunch Diamond

      The Virgin Atlantic CEO hinted to a new Clubhouse coming to LAX, I doubt it will be a new space but maybe repurposing/co-branding of the current DL offerings.

  24. lavanderialarry Guest

    More evidence that Delta's Los Angeles hub, and specifically its long haul flying from there bleeds money, just like everyone else. SYD frequencies cut. AKL will eventually be cut to seasonal, as it should. The rest is just fluff.

  25. Tim Dunn Diamond

    and as Ben notes, DL operates DTW-PVG, which is one of a half dozen DL flights from the eastern US to E. Asia. UA operates precisely ZERO flights from its hubs in the Eastern US to E. Asia other than to Tokyo.
    The Pacific will be rebuilt with DL taking advantage of its stronger position in the Eastern US and the longer range of the A350.
    UA will TRY to monopolize the west coast to E. Asia and S. Pacific while AA will throw in a few token flights from DFW.

    1. Gull Air ACK Guest

      So at this point in time, UA is in the strongest feed position to capture all of the US via the western hubs while DL leaves a substantial portion backtracking. When the Far East demand returns, United can resume connectivity to previously served mainland US markets to Asia. Sounds like UA has it right with their SFO and LAX dominance.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Except UA did fly multiple flights from its eastern US hubs to Asia but don’t now. And SEA is on the west coast. Geographically better positioned than LAX or SEA

    3. Jason Guest

      You do understand that everybody only has very limited frequencies to china now, right? United's strongest/ biggest demand market to Asia is ssn Francisco. So it allocates capacity there. Once the us and china negotiate for more frequencies, United will be back in its flights from the east. Not sure why you get so hung up on what's obviously a temporary solution

    4. DL Marketing Premium Guest

      ANC is geographically better positioned than both SFO or SEA but that doesn’t mean much. Plus SEA isn’t positioned well to South Pacific flying and competes with the stronger YVR network.

      UA does fly to Asia even outside of East Asia from the Northeast whereas DL used to but no longer.

      DL TPAC continues its death by a thousand cuts.

  26. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Cranky Flier just did an analysis of United's transpacific route performance by load factor and showed how many markets were way below THEIR average LF let alone what was necessary to break even. In every market that CF checked, DL had higher LFs than UA.
    Load factors don't equate to profits but DL and UA generally get pretty comparable average fares worldwide - which also matters given that DL uses the A350 and A330-900,...

    Cranky Flier just did an analysis of United's transpacific route performance by load factor and showed how many markets were way below THEIR average LF let alone what was necessary to break even. In every market that CF checked, DL had higher LFs than UA.
    Load factors don't equate to profits but DL and UA generally get pretty comparable average fares worldwide - which also matters given that DL uses the A350 and A330-900, both of which seat more passengers than UA's 787-9s. In order to use a larger plane, UA uses its 777-300ERs which burn about 30% more fuel than an A350-900.

    The fall was never a great time to start a TPAC route.

    UA will do what UA has long done - chased market share including by trying to block a competitor.

    DL, meanwhile, will chase profits. DL's international system made more money flying 30% less ASMs in 2023 than UA. DL systemwide made $2 billion - 40% - than UA in 2023.

    And UA might not actually start LAX-PVG given that they are under FAA restrictions as part of their safety audit.
    About the time you thought you could breathe and there would be no more incidents, UA does something else - like letting passengers sit in Captain seats on an aircraft.

    1. Gull Air ACK Guest

      So at this point in time, UA is in the strongest feed position to capture all of the US via the western hubs while DL leaves a substantial portion backtracking. When the Far East demand returns, United can resume connectivity to previously served mainland US markets to Asia. Sounds like UA has it right with their SFO and LAX dominance.

    2. Jeremy Guest

      And you failed to mention Cranky's comment on why Delta's LFs were lower than Uniteds right (which isn't b/c of performance):

      "Delta has much less frequency. All their flying is from LAX and during the peak they do 7x weekly (LAX) to Auckland, 2x daily to Sydney, and 3x weekly to Papeete. That’s it. United does 11x weekly to Auckland (1x SFO/4x weekly LAX), 4x daily to Sydney (1x IAH/1x LAX/2x SFO), 10x weekly to...

      And you failed to mention Cranky's comment on why Delta's LFs were lower than Uniteds right (which isn't b/c of performance):

      "Delta has much less frequency. All their flying is from LAX and during the peak they do 7x weekly (LAX) to Auckland, 2x daily to Sydney, and 3x weekly to Papeete. That’s it. United does 11x weekly to Auckland (1x SFO/4x weekly LAX), 4x daily to Sydney (1x IAH/1x LAX/2x SFO), 10x weekly to Brisbane (1x SFO, 3x weekly LAX), 3x weekly to Christchurch, 2x daily to Melbourne (1x LAX/1x SFO), and 5x weekly to Papeete."

      LAX is Delta's only destination to get those locations and Delta is struggling to make those routes work there. United is struggling for some of these routes as well, but some are doing well. Delta's Sydney LF is 68% while United has 72% at Houston (HIGHER than Delta), 66% in LAX (marginally behind Delta), and 57% in SFO driving the underperformance.

    3. Jeremy Guest

      Switched it up - meant to say Delta's LFs were HIGHER not lower but point still holds - you're picking and choosing which of Cranky's commentary to use when they have access to the full data and we only have access to what they tell us.

    4. James Guest

      Tim Dunn does his homework better than anybody, when studying aviation metrics. I don't always agree with his methodology, but i do give him credit for understanding the entire picture of aviation.
      Delta Air Lines is profitable due to market strength and customer service. United Airlines may have a larger presence, but rarely do we see great customer reviews of United operations on this blog. I am not defending Delta Air Lines, but their...

      Tim Dunn does his homework better than anybody, when studying aviation metrics. I don't always agree with his methodology, but i do give him credit for understanding the entire picture of aviation.
      Delta Air Lines is profitable due to market strength and customer service. United Airlines may have a larger presence, but rarely do we see great customer reviews of United operations on this blog. I am not defending Delta Air Lines, but their management team tries to find the opportunity from gateway cities. As for Asia, it seems that luxury goods have rebounded quickly, not so for airline operations.

    5. yoloswag420 Guest

      Idk Delta's in an awkward spot. They're premium for the US. And maybe arguably TATL.

      But TPAC is a whole different game. I'd expect that ANA's JV is cannibalizing UA's loads. UA has an abyssmal 64% LF for HND. UA's TPAC strength shines against competitors that are of similar quality, which is why it does well in MNL, China, Delhi, and ICN.

      The same goes for DL, where most people are going to end...

      Idk Delta's in an awkward spot. They're premium for the US. And maybe arguably TATL.

      But TPAC is a whole different game. I'd expect that ANA's JV is cannibalizing UA's loads. UA has an abyssmal 64% LF for HND. UA's TPAC strength shines against competitors that are of similar quality, which is why it does well in MNL, China, Delhi, and ICN.

      The same goes for DL, where most people are going to end up having a better time flying with JAL, ANA, SQ, and other 5 star airlines.

  27. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Cranky Flier just did an analysis of United's transpacific route performance by load factor and showed how many markets were way below THEIR average LF let alone what was necessary to break even. In every market that CF checked, DL had higher LFs than UA.
    Load factors don't equate to profits but DL and UA generally get pretty comparable average fares worldwide - which also matters given that DL uses the A350 and A330-900,...

    Cranky Flier just did an analysis of United's transpacific route performance by load factor and showed how many markets were way below THEIR average LF let alone what was necessary to break even. In every market that CF checked, DL had higher LFs than UA.
    Load factors don't equate to profits but DL and UA generally get pretty comparable average fares worldwide - which also matters given that DL uses the A350 and A330-900, both of which seat more passengers than UA's 787-9s. In order to use a larger plane, UA uses its 777-300ERs which burn about 30% more fuel than an A350-900.

    The fall was never a great time to start a TPAC route.

  28. ConcordeBoy Diamond

    I was to be on it next week, but my flight is (of course) now routed via SEA.

    Was given the option of China Eastern (no thanks) nonstop PVG-LAX, so at least for Delta the latter option does exist for its LAX customers, despite the two not being able engage in a revenue-sharing J/V.

    Still, this is sad to see. The Chinese went from almost comical over-expansion (and sub $499 roundtrip flights) to capacity...

    I was to be on it next week, but my flight is (of course) now routed via SEA.

    Was given the option of China Eastern (no thanks) nonstop PVG-LAX, so at least for Delta the latter option does exist for its LAX customers, despite the two not being able engage in a revenue-sharing J/V.

    Still, this is sad to see. The Chinese went from almost comical over-expansion (and sub $499 roundtrip flights) to capacity so restricted that Premium Economy is routinely selling for higher than Business did a few years ago.

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Jake212 Guest

@DL Marketing Premium THANK YOU for calling that moron Tim Dunn out. I hope he remembered to take his blood pressure meds cause I know he’s seething right now

4
lavanderialarry Guest

No Tim, UA can't fly EWR-HKG due to Russia overfly issues, and PVG/PEK are markets that no longer work the way they did in 2019. Wake up. Delta has ZERO TPAC out of JFK.

4
Tim Done Guest

That's a bargain for such an elite experience on the world's premiere airline.

3
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