LATAM Launching Sao Paulo To Los Angeles Flight

LATAM Launching Sao Paulo To Los Angeles Flight

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LATAM has just opened bookings for an interesting new route to the United States…

LATAM adds Los Angeles route in July 2023

As of July 1, 2023, LATAM will be launching a 3x weekly service between Sao Paulo (GRU) and Los Angeles (LAX). The flight will operate with the following schedule:

LA8086 Sao Paulo to Los Angeles departing 11:05PM arriving 7:00AM (+1 day)
LA8087 Los Angeles to Sao Paulo departing 1:00PM arriving 5:20AM (+1 day)

The 6,156-mile flight is blocked at 11hr55min northbound and 12hr20min southbound. The northbound flight operates Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, while the southbound flight operates Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

LATAM will use a Boeing 777-300ER for the route, featuring 410 seats. This includes 38 business class seats and 372 economy class seats. All LATAM 777s feature the carrier’s new business class.

LATAM’s new business class product

How this fits into LATAM’s route network

LATAM currently serves Los Angeles from Lima and Santiago, so this will be the third route to Los Angeles for the South American mega carrier. Meanwhile this will be LATAM Brazil’s fifth route to the United States out of Sao Paulo, complementing service to Boston, Miami, New York, and Orlando.

It’s interesting that there’s currently no nonstop link between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo:

  • Back in the day Korean Air was the only airline to operate this route nonstop, as the airline had this as a fifth freedom flight
  • More recently, American flew the route nonstop, but it didn’t last long, and was pulled as American has scaled down its long haul presence at the airport
American Airlines used to operate this route

LATAM is no longer in oneworld, but rather Delta has purchased a stake in the airline. The two airlines have a joint venture, so presumably the airline thinks it can make this route work with connectivity from Delta.

The thing is, there’s a huge amount of demand between Sao Paulo and Los Angeles. The catch is that fares are generally quite low compared to the distance flown, and there are lots of connecting options. LATAM has the advantage of having good connectivity on both ends, though a 400+ seat plane also isn’t exactly easy to fill. I’m curious to see if this route lasts, or if it eventually gets pulled.

Bottom line

As of July 2023, LATAM is launching a new route between Sao Paulo and Los Angeles using a Boeing 777. This is a market that doesn’t otherwise have nonstop service, as other airlines haven’t been able to make this work. For whatever reason, the west coast of the United States to Brazil is tricky. Hopefully LATAM has better luck, especially with the Delta tie-up.

What do you make of LATAM’s new GRU to LAX route?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Adam D. Guest

    I flew VARIG on a DC-10 between GRU and LAX in the early 2000s as they also once operated this route.

    1. gstork Guest

      I also flew that route with Varig, but on a MD-11. Angle flat seats in business class 2-3-2, not so hot for a red-eye in each direction.

  2. PreppyRN New Member

    It seems like the B77W is too large to start this market. Perhaps they are thinking Sky Team members, DL, KE & and WJ they will get significant feed.
    Starting this new route with their B788/B789s would help this route succeed more to start.

    Additionally, I wonder if they’re considering starting LAX-BOG since AV has transitioned to a LCC & there’s demand present for those willing to pay for J & privilege want more...

    It seems like the B77W is too large to start this market. Perhaps they are thinking Sky Team members, DL, KE & and WJ they will get significant feed.
    Starting this new route with their B788/B789s would help this route succeed more to start.

    Additionally, I wonder if they’re considering starting LAX-BOG since AV has transitioned to a LCC & there’s demand present for those willing to pay for J & privilege want more of a full service carrier on this nearly 7HR flight. They could operate it with their B763ER or send a B788 like AV has been doing.

  3. Brianair Guest

    I'm guessing they started with a 777 instead of a 787 for prestige reasons. It feels like every overseas airline likes to send its "sexiest" planes to LAX.

    I also see Aerolineas Argentinas bringing their 242T A330-200s to LAX on scheduled service soon.

    1. Rudy Besikof Guest

      LAX-LIM is on a B763

    2. Brianair Guest

      The B763 is pretty sexy in my opinion. LAX will now be seeing the 767 (LIM), 777 (GRU), and 787 (SCL) from LATAM.

  4. shoeguy Guest

    The 77W is a lot of plane for this route.

  5. Peter Guest

    Alaska Miles redemption and new LAX Delta One Lounge access in 2024?

    1. Sam Guest

      Hopefully. They're pretty stingy with LAX-SCL availability.

  6. SamB Gold

    I'm surprised they didn't use a 787. Seems like it'd be a better fit with fewer seats and more fuel economy. Although there's probably a fleet usage reason.

  7. GGC New Member

    3xweekly doesn't seem to be the best way to catch premium demand.

  8. gstork Guest

    And WAY back, in the 80’s, United for a short time flew the route with a 747SP.

  9. Icarus Guest

    Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Varig and VASP used to have multiple flights to LAX and onwards to both Tokyo and Nagoya. At one time via Panama City, Lima and believe they also served Manaus and Rio as well as São Paulo. At one point there must have been at least 3 or 4 flights a day.

    1. Joe Jones Guest

      Nowadays, the US is the worst possible connection point for traffic between deep South America and Asia thanks to the lack of sterile transit and the need to go through US immigration. I think most people nowadays prefer to go through the Gulf or Europe or Canada, which doesn't take significantly more time and often gives you a much better choice of airline products.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Many if not most such Brazilian business travelers just procured 10yr US visas, rendering it for the most part, a non-issue.

      Tons still go to Europe and Asia via NYC, and to a lesser extent, MIA/ORD/ATL/DFW, at least as of immediately pre-pandemic.

    3. TyL New Member

      Visa is not the problem, but the transit process is. International transit through US is like a nightmare compared with other options they have, where they don't have to wait in a long immigration line for ~1 hour, then transit through terminals and wait in the long security check line again to reach the next gate.

    4. XPL Diamond

      "Visa is not the problem, but the transit process is."

      Yes. This. We're in Latin America, my wife and stepdaughter both have U.S. visas, yet we all avoid international transit through the U.S. Immigration lines for non-U.S. citizens are 1.5 to 2.5 hours long. And then there's customs and going through security again. No thank you.

      Many U.S. citizens have no idea what the experience is for non-citizens, nor how much money the U.S. economy...

      "Visa is not the problem, but the transit process is."

      Yes. This. We're in Latin America, my wife and stepdaughter both have U.S. visas, yet we all avoid international transit through the U.S. Immigration lines for non-U.S. citizens are 1.5 to 2.5 hours long. And then there's customs and going through security again. No thank you.

      Many U.S. citizens have no idea what the experience is for non-citizens, nor how much money the U.S. economy is losing because folks neither need nor want to put up with that.

    5. glenn t Diamond

      Agree 100% with @Joe on this. Coming from anywhere west of the US it's far better to be able to do a transit in Canada (check out a world globe rather than a flat map) than get caught up in the snarl of formal entry to the US.
      It's a reflection on how poor airport infrastructure in the US is these days that seamless sterile transfer facilities are non-existant.

    6. Stuart Guest

      @Icarus. Yes, those were the days! I was a teenager in the 80's and once flew Varig from LAX to NRT on the cheap. It was such a strange flight flying from the U.S. to Japan with Brazilian crews and most passengers. I recall it being an MD-11. This was long before I knew anything about airlines so was completely perplexed as to the entire fifth freedom world and how this was possible. But I...

      @Icarus. Yes, those were the days! I was a teenager in the 80's and once flew Varig from LAX to NRT on the cheap. It was such a strange flight flying from the U.S. to Japan with Brazilian crews and most passengers. I recall it being an MD-11. This was long before I knew anything about airlines so was completely perplexed as to the entire fifth freedom world and how this was possible. But I think there were maybe 50 people total on the flight so it was quite comfortable, even in economy. Which might explain a lot about the demise of Varig, lol.

  10. Jason Guest

    There's plenty of demand, but fares are low relative to the distance. Plenty of ways to get there, and no airline has been able to garner a nonstop premium. That's why.

  11. Tim Dunn Diamond

    DL also briefly flew the route about 10 years ago.
    As a hub to hub bridge flight between the DL and and Latam hubs, there is the potential for connectivity but Latam is putting a lot of capacity into the market.
    Given that DL is now the largest airline at LAX and seems focused on adding international markets including adding to DL's presence in Latin America and LA's flights to western S. America, DL/LA will have a pretty comprehensive network on the west coast.

    1. beckypaul Guest

      And lots of diluted yields. No one commands a fare premium at LAX because of all the competition. Delta is pouring billions into LAX. AA and UA see it for what it is. A useful, necessary station with strong corporate traffic, but are perfectly happy with what they have and don't see any need to make LAX into a big intercontinental station.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      BP
      your statement is not exactly accurate.
      1. All of the operators in the domestic terminals at LAX are pouring money into those terminals - because it has to be done. The difference is that DL has already gained far more space at LAX than it has ever had.
      2. United has dropped a number of longhaul markets from LAX while retaining the largest on each continent because LAX and SFO are...

      BP
      your statement is not exactly accurate.
      1. All of the operators in the domestic terminals at LAX are pouring money into those terminals - because it has to be done. The difference is that DL has already gained far more space at LAX than it has ever had.
      2. United has dropped a number of longhaul markets from LAX while retaining the largest on each continent because LAX and SFO are so close that they compete with each other for flow traffic.
      3. AA operated the largest operation at LAX for years and had the largest longhaul operation any US carrier has probably ever had but has walked away from large parts of it. Internationally, they lost boatloads of money by the admission of thier own execs and have pulled back across the Pacific, admitting that DL and UA have structural west coast advantages that AA thought it would overcome. Domestically, AA hasn't generated revenues anywhere near high enough to cover its costs using its A321T strategy and are finally walking away from that strategy; B6 and DL both generated far more revenue at lower cost per passenger and both will benefit. AA has walked away from dozens of west coast markets in favor of ceding those markets to AS and hoping a codeshare will give them enough of a presence even though there is no revenue sharing between AA and AS.
      AA and UA have both come to the conclusion through very different routes that the large LAX operation that they both have tried simply did not work.
      For very different reasons including DL's more fuel efficient widebody fleet, DL might be succeed now where AA and UA have not. Unlike AA and UA, DL has a fairly high standard of profitability before it even starts international routes and walks away much faster when AA and UA say they need to hang onto markets for "strategic reasons." Given that DL is the only one of the 3 that has consistently generated profits in all 3 global regions other than during the pandemic, if DL chooses to expand at LAX - including via its JV (they clearly had a voice in whether LA launches LAX-GRU), the chances are very high that DL will have a better outcome than AA or UA did overall at LAX.

    3. MaxPower Guest

      Delta has a structural advantage on the US west coast vs aa? What planet do you live on? Skyteam is the smallest alliance on the west coast and smaller than every other alliance at lax. And the alliances are what matter. AA has partners in all three of the largest international long haul destinations out of lax. Delta has none. Delta has no partner in Japan and no partner in Oceania. Korean is a great...

      Delta has a structural advantage on the US west coast vs aa? What planet do you live on? Skyteam is the smallest alliance on the west coast and smaller than every other alliance at lax. And the alliances are what matter. AA has partners in all three of the largest international long haul destinations out of lax. Delta has none. Delta has no partner in Japan and no partner in Oceania. Korean is a great airline but it’s not a substitute for Ana or JAL, something even delta knows since they were so desperate to buy JAL’s affection a decade ago. The only reason delta is even trying to grow at lax like they are is because they’re getting pushed out of Seattle by the new alliance AS/AA have. Delta is being forced to do what aa had to do previously, try to grow at lax because an Asian hub in Seattle is losing money. Meanwhile, aa can grow its asia hub in Seattle when the timing is right while Alaska focuses on the domestic market in the meantime. A luxury delta can’t do. Delta is significantly smaller and higher cost than Alaska in Seattle.
      Great route launch by LATAM and I hope it works for them but chill a bit on your silly spin, tim.
      We’ve talked about how international accounting works, Tim. Go back and read your notes.
      Your spin on delta is amusing, but just that. Spin.

    4. MC Guest

      What planet are YOU living on? There is literally not one item that is correct in your comment.

      Try a little research before you write such nonsense

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      MAX.
      first, DL passed AA as the 2nd largest airline on the west coast in terms of revenue and ASMs years ago. DL is just now doing it at LAX as well.
      And, no alliances don't determine how well an airline does but rather the amount of service - and revenue they get vs. costs - on their own aircraft. AA and AS don't have a joint venture - it is simply a...

      MAX.
      first, DL passed AA as the 2nd largest airline on the west coast in terms of revenue and ASMs years ago. DL is just now doing it at LAX as well.
      And, no alliances don't determine how well an airline does but rather the amount of service - and revenue they get vs. costs - on their own aircraft. AA and AS don't have a joint venture - it is simply a codeshare in which AA buys seats on AS operated flights. The amount of true joint venture capacity - not codeshare which is what AA and CX have as well as others - favors DL.
      AA sustained hundreds of millions of dollars of losses trying to develop a LAX transpac presence comparable to DL and UA; their own management has said they won't do it again. and, because you don't want to believe the numbers which AA itself has reported and the conclusions of its management doesn't change that they have given up on being more than a niche player to Asia.
      The notion that they will start, let alone succeed, at building a transpac hub at SEA on top of DL is pure fantasy.
      The transpac game has left AA behind. Move on.
      Losing Latam to DL simply opens MIA and Latin America to yet another faceoff between AA and DL. whether you want to admit it or not, AA has a very poor track record in generating comparable revenue in routes where it competes with DL and/or UA other than to Tokyo and London

    6. MC Guest

      Not sure your assessment of AA/UA’s philosophy around LAX equates to a strategic move vs a resolution that they cannot adequately grow at LAX.

      Both were huge players at LAX in the past and UA had shifted focus to SFO, while AA is all over the board and lacking any kind of strategic direction, which seems to be their
      M.O.

      With that said, I’d not equate this to being “perfectly happy” but more like throwing in the towel

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gstork Guest

And WAY back, in the 80’s, United for a short time flew the route with a 747SP.

5
Tim Dunn Diamond

MAX. first, DL passed AA as the 2nd largest airline on the west coast in terms of revenue and ASMs years ago. DL is just now doing it at LAX as well. And, no alliances don't determine how well an airline does but rather the amount of service - and revenue they get vs. costs - on their own aircraft. AA and AS don't have a joint venture - it is simply a codeshare in which AA buys seats on AS operated flights. The amount of true joint venture capacity - not codeshare which is what AA and CX have as well as others - favors DL. AA sustained hundreds of millions of dollars of losses trying to develop a LAX transpac presence comparable to DL and UA; their own management has said they won't do it again. and, because you don't want to believe the numbers which AA itself has reported and the conclusions of its management doesn't change that they have given up on being more than a niche player to Asia. The notion that they will start, let alone succeed, at building a transpac hub at SEA on top of DL is pure fantasy. The transpac game has left AA behind. Move on. Losing Latam to DL simply opens MIA and Latin America to yet another faceoff between AA and DL. whether you want to admit it or not, AA has a very poor track record in generating comparable revenue in routes where it competes with DL and/or UA other than to Tokyo and London

1
glenn t Diamond

Agree 100% with @Joe on this. Coming from anywhere west of the US it's far better to be able to do a transit in Canada (check out a world globe rather than a flat map) than get caught up in the snarl of formal entry to the US. It's a reflection on how poor airport infrastructure in the US is these days that seamless sterile transfer facilities are non-existant.

1
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