United Cancels Los Angeles To Auckland & Brisbane Routes

United Cancels Los Angeles To Auckland & Brisbane Routes

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United Airlines will be pulling the plug on two seasonal routes to the South Pacific, as flagged by @IshrionA. I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s just another reminder of how no US airline can seemingly make Los Angeles work as a long haul, international hub.

United cuts two seasonal South Pacific routes

United has by far the most impressive long haul network of the “big three” US carriers. In the northern summer, the airline of course has no issue focusing heavily on transatlantic flights, given the unlimited demand among consumers for this service. However, it’s a bit trickier to fill those planes counter seasonally, in the northern winter.

This past year, United massively expanded in the South Pacific, increasing service by 40% year over year, and even offering more seats between the United States and the South Pacific than Qantas. Unfortunately this expansion didn’t work out quite as well as United had hoped, as the airline struggled with a reduction in load factor and yields. So United is now updating its schedule for the upcoming season.

For this upcoming northern winter (so late 2024 and early 2025), United no longer plans to operate the following seasonal routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland (AKL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE)

With these cuts, United’s long haul international destinations out of Los Angeles will include Hong Kong (HKG), London (LHR), Melbourne (MEL), Sydney (SYD), and Tokyo (HND & NRT). United also plans to resume Shanghai (PVG) flights as of August, though let’s see how that goes, as Delta recently revealed it wouldn’t bring back that route.

United continues to serve both Auckland and Brisbane out of San Francisco (SFO).

United is cutting two routes out of Los Angeles

My take on United’s South Pacific route cuts

I can’t say I’m surprised by United’s route cuts, since these were definitely United’s two most questionable South Pacific routes.

In the case of the Los Angeles to Auckland flight, this is a route that has gone from no US carriers to three US carriers within the past year, as American, Delta, and United, all added this route.

All three of those airlines have a significant but not dominant presence in Los Angeles, so it almost seems like the airlines were all just copying one another and didn’t want to be left out, rather than independently seeing the demand for the route, especially when factoring in the competition. Delta was going to take the lead by operating this route year-round, but recently revealed it would only operate the route seasonally, so clearly it’s not performing great for Delta either.

You would think that if one of the “big three” US carriers could make the Los Angeles to Auckland route work, it would be United, given the carrier’s partnership with Air New Zealand, so that there’s connectivity on both ends. But I guess that wasn’t enough to save it.

The Los Angeles to Brisbane route was questionable in the first place, but is even more questionable now that American and Delta are both launching flights to Brisbane as well. The reason we’re seeing this huge expansion in service to Brisbane is because of major incentives being offered to US airlines. You can bet that as soon as those incentives run out, most of the service will as well.

I have to imagine that either United only got these incentives on one of the two routes, or that the incentives for the Los Angeles flight only applied for the first season.

The biggest takeaway here is that as much as US airlines all try to establish a dominant position in Los Angeles, none actually succeed. We’ve seen each of the US carriers grow long haul service there, only to cut it later.

In the case of United, the airline at least has the advantage of having a hub in San Francisco, which is just over 300 miles away. For the purposes of connecting travel, that’s a really efficient hub, given the size of United’s presence there. So as much as Los Angeles is a major origin and destination market, a heavy focus on the local market doesn’t seem to be able to sustain many of these routes.

United has a hub in San Francisco, not far away

Bottom line

United is canceling two transpacific routes out of Los Angeles, as the airline will cut flights to Auckland and Brisbane. Last year, United massively expanded in the South Pacific, and increased capacity by 40%. That growth wasn’t good for yields, so now the airline is canceling some of the more poorly performing routes. Not surprisingly, those are out of Los Angeles.

What do you make of United’s South Pacific route cuts?

Conversations (50)
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  1. Cyberderm Guest

    Delta is stopping the LAX AKL route this summer. Was booked via Sydney with last leg being on Qantas.

  2. Fred M Guest

    It was ever so. Since the 1960s, only Air NZ has consistently served AKL-LAX and return year round. 60s through 80s, Pan Am contested Air NZ, both with Pacific island/HNL stops, till the long range 747-400 made a single shot to LAX possible.
    AA service came and went in the 1960s, Pan Am morphed into UA in 1986, and they finally pulled the plug in 2003, leaving ANZ the sole option across the Pacific...

    It was ever so. Since the 1960s, only Air NZ has consistently served AKL-LAX and return year round. 60s through 80s, Pan Am contested Air NZ, both with Pacific island/HNL stops, till the long range 747-400 made a single shot to LAX possible.
    AA service came and went in the 1960s, Pan Am morphed into UA in 1986, and they finally pulled the plug in 2003, leaving ANZ the sole option across the Pacific for Kiwis. Qantas, early 2000s, briefly operated the route as part of a code share with BA which had axed its Auckland flights in 1993 to the anger of a local CEO sitting on a heap of summer season forward bookings and many loyal British expats. BA had been coming out via Asia and Australia since its BOAC days.
    From ‘86 to ‘03, UA provided an always-cheaper way for Kiwi expats in England like me to get home and back quickly with one LAX transit stop.
    I endured just the one, cramped ANZ 777 economy round trip from London in the 2010s as it was then the fastest one stop route (HKG out, LAX back).
    Later, seeing the returns of AA and UA and, surprise, DL, to the AKL-LAX run, I was surprised and pleased for my fellow Kiwis that there were now so many ‘via LAX’ alternatives to the ANZ monopoly but clearly the US three could not make the economics work any more than ANZ discovered with its short lived HKG-LHR route so the plug has been pulled. At least seasonal service may bring some competition and lower fares.
    Many Kiwis prefer the Asian/Chinese routes to London served well by many airlines including QF, SQ, CP and at least two of the more recent Chinese airlines to add NZ to serve a large expat community.
    And then there’s relatively recently arrived EK. After the cramped 777 ANZ trip, I abandoned the NZ flag carrier for the new rival which offers twice daily service from my local English airport to Dubai and a 180 minute connection on to AKL on an A380. For a short time, pre-Covid, an all-A380 service was available. For a lowly steerage passenger, a no brainer.

  3. SQ Kris Flyer Guest

    I think since Dreamliner deliveries are also delayed, this route modification allows UA to utilise the plane better and more profitably specifically into China. As the US DOT and China bilateral agreements recently allowed both countries to increase their weekly flight capacity, I have a feeling this would only make sense to add another China destination out of LA outside of the already announced Shanghai. Gut feeling is Beijing but, that's just a guess.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Cranky Flier noted that Beijing had below average load factors for UA in the the first quarter on their one flight/day. There is probably good reason why AA and DL have not confirmed flights going to Beijing. Shanghai is more of a business destination. Also, it takes longer to fly to Beijing than Shanghai now due to Russia airspace restrictions on top of the usual N. Korea issues.

      DL will be back to daily DTW-PVG...

      Cranky Flier noted that Beijing had below average load factors for UA in the the first quarter on their one flight/day. There is probably good reason why AA and DL have not confirmed flights going to Beijing. Shanghai is more of a business destination. Also, it takes longer to fly to Beijing than Shanghai now due to Russia airspace restrictions on top of the usual N. Korea issues.

      DL will be back to daily DTW-PVG in a couple weeks on top of SEA-PVG while UA will fly SFO and LAX to PVG. UA is focused on the west coast while DL, for now, has the only US carrier service to any city in E. Asia in the eastern US other than Tokyo with service to ICN from 3 hubs and PVG from DTW.

      US carriers were trying to kill any more access and UA hasn't asked for anything else so it probably tells you that capacity to China meets demand right now.

  4. dwondermeant Guest

    Can't speak for others But when I see what United gets for revenue or award Double & triple in business class I always book another carrier.And I have heard they aren't that good quality wise with dining or customer service
    I can book with another carrier to Sydney and go back to Auckland for far less just not flying United or their partners.So when you overprice everything you sell or offer on award including...

    Can't speak for others But when I see what United gets for revenue or award Double & triple in business class I always book another carrier.And I have heard they aren't that good quality wise with dining or customer service
    I can book with another carrier to Sydney and go back to Auckland for far less just not flying United or their partners.So when you overprice everything you sell or offer on award including partners whats the incentive to book United?
    They need to do better

    1. SQ Kris Flyer Guest

      I agree but I also feel its a fundamental cultural issue where American carriers cannot adequately compete on service compared to Asia or ME. This is not to say people that work in the cabin are not nice or hard working but the whole idea of serving others is not an American ideology. It only takes a quick Instagram reel or YouTube search to see how attendants see the clients and consumers as cattle and...

      I agree but I also feel its a fundamental cultural issue where American carriers cannot adequately compete on service compared to Asia or ME. This is not to say people that work in the cabin are not nice or hard working but the whole idea of serving others is not an American ideology. It only takes a quick Instagram reel or YouTube search to see how attendants see the clients and consumers as cattle and not people. America is the land of the individual and the 'I' and not the collective 'we' like in Japan or Singapore etc... They are overworked, underpaid, low benefits, no social safety net and in a union (for good or bad, DL attendants excluded).

      But, the counter argument is in other countries you can openly discriminate on who you hire. IE, age restriction, weight restriction... (qatar and emirates career page).

  5. Lachlan Sykes Guest

    Brisbane isn't really a tourist city. This is why we bidded for the 2032 Olympics in the first place. Other than infrastructure upgrades, it was always to put us on the world map. Currently 84% of people living outside of Australia don't know exactly where in Australia Brisbane is and a further 61% have never even heard of Brisbane. The only people you currently find on international flights out of Brisbane are locals going overseas....

    Brisbane isn't really a tourist city. This is why we bidded for the 2032 Olympics in the first place. Other than infrastructure upgrades, it was always to put us on the world map. Currently 84% of people living outside of Australia don't know exactly where in Australia Brisbane is and a further 61% have never even heard of Brisbane. The only people you currently find on international flights out of Brisbane are locals going overseas. Never have I once seen a foreign passenger on a Brisbane-bound flight. Also Brisbane is a scam anyway. Instead of beaches as shown in ads and beautiful green space, Brisbane is in a reality just a gridlocked concrete hellscape with vacant shopfronts in the CBD and is basically just a country town trying very hard to be a world class city.

    1. Leigh Guest

      I'm not sure what generation you might be, as you are woefully out-of-date with your perception, and the data and facts also reflect that you are talking complete nonsense. How about you go to either Tourism Australia Corporate site or Tourism and Events Queensland Corporate site for the real data, as well as local visitor experiences to be enjoyed. You think all of the HUGE hotel developments (especially the multi-5 star hotel Queens Wharf project)...

      I'm not sure what generation you might be, as you are woefully out-of-date with your perception, and the data and facts also reflect that you are talking complete nonsense. How about you go to either Tourism Australia Corporate site or Tourism and Events Queensland Corporate site for the real data, as well as local visitor experiences to be enjoyed. You think all of the HUGE hotel developments (especially the multi-5 star hotel Queens Wharf project) and 19AUD billion in various tourism developments are happening in a backwater?

  6. Andrew (SJC) Guest

    How is SFO-CHC (Christchurch) doing? This seems more obscure than LAX-AKL.

    It has a decent load on my single experience in Y. 85% full

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      Really bad. I believe it was around the 60% or less range. Definitely among the worst.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you are right.
      Cranky Flier said that CHC had a 58% load factor in the first quarter

  7. Leigh Guest

    Hi find these individual route updates to paint an incomplete picture, especially as it relates to related alliance structures and more critically JV's.

    So in this case, I don't see the big deal.

    UAs JV with NZ fully sustains the AKL market opportunity even if operated by NZ. NZ will have 2 773s operating daily from LAX during that season, and UA/NZ will combine to operate 2 services daily from SFO.

    USs JV with...

    Hi find these individual route updates to paint an incomplete picture, especially as it relates to related alliance structures and more critically JV's.

    So in this case, I don't see the big deal.

    UAs JV with NZ fully sustains the AKL market opportunity even if operated by NZ. NZ will have 2 773s operating daily from LAX during that season, and UA/NZ will combine to operate 2 services daily from SFO.

    USs JV with NZ also satisfies the BNE market with 2 daily connections over AKL, including one connection that's 773-773 (and it's actually 3 connections to BNE via AKL, but that just involves a slightly later single aisle fm AKL).

    Finally this talk about BNE subsidies is completely factually overstated and mostly false. It's the state government of Queensland that maintains the fund, it's usually applied USD50k per weekly frequency (e.g., USD350k annually for daily), and it is SOLELY MARKETING SUPPORT. NO, ZERO dollars are contributed to operating costs! The route must be accessed as commercially viable, or that marketing support subsidy never even comes up in the conversation. And marketing support is about destination messaging primarily, not tactical sales offerings...that's between the airline and their travel industry partners. Same for all AU state & territory subsidy programs, and the state home of MEL (Victoria) actually offers a bit more than QLD. My lack of knowledge does come into play with SYD/New South Wales, as they generally don't need to offer higher levels of marketing support, given that the prominence/strength of their gateway.

    This relates to long-haul, and I have no subsidy information related to short/medium-haul international, nor domestic. That's more usually left to the airports, such as the Sunshine Coast (just north of Brisbane) subsidy for start-up, now defunct Bonza airlines.

    Same deals are offered globally, each relevant government authority will use the same template for all route acquisition, though some may actually offer support of operating cost to attract an airline, usually in smaller domestic markets, in the form of achieving revenue minimums.

    @Ben, you should get yourself invited to the annual Routes conference, where all the major airline and airport operators meet to promote new route acquisition. It's considered a prestigious event for the designated host city.

    1. Leigh Guest

      sorry for some quick typos...ooops

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Leigh,
      that is all correct but UA DID fly routes that its JV partner also flew - and it hurt UA and NZ's own performance.
      UA flew every route it added from LAX from SFO.
      They don't NEED to fly from LAX to Asia/Pacific. They are doing it to try to ensure no other US carrier builds a presence but it is hurting UA more than "the other guy"

      Yes, context is necessary but some things can be taken at face value.

    3. Jason Guest

      Delta did the same on LHR-LAX. Its JV partner flies LAX-LHR. Delta tried it, failed miserably, hurting them both.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      DL and VS have the same number of flights to LHR as they have had. They have swapped slots including between hubs but, in total, DL and VS, have not added any more flights because they do not have the slots to do so.

      The real issue that you can't accept is that UA dumped a bunch of capacity into Asia/Pacific, other sources including CF saw how poor UA performed and UA profitability data from...

      DL and VS have the same number of flights to LHR as they have had. They have swapped slots including between hubs but, in total, DL and VS, have not added any more flights because they do not have the slots to do so.

      The real issue that you can't accept is that UA dumped a bunch of capacity into Asia/Pacific, other sources including CF saw how poor UA performed and UA profitability data from the DOT shows it.

      UA threw a bunch of capacity into the S. Pacific esp. and it hurt UA - and UA is blinking.

    5. James Guest

      Leigh, I think what you have provided is interesting context. But I still think these route announcements/cutbacks are interesting in their own right as they signify a change in strategy or a failed strategy. Sure, United passengers from LA will be able to go to Brisbane via Auckland on Air NZ and still be in the same JV. But clearly United thought they could sustain LA to Bris direct. That they can't is notable.

    6. Leigh Guest

      Hi James, fair comments and thinking! I also wonder if UA got spooked by the new seasonal services by DL ex-LAX and AA ex-DFW, so are retrenching with SFO as their sole BNE gateway. - their primary Pac hub, as it is.

      QF gets ongoing marketing support by the Fed and State/Territory governments (driven by substantial politics stakes involved), but the T&C's are different from the AAIF contracts.

  8. Mark Guest

    Regarding BNE, per JonNYC, UA was receiving subsidies for SFO but not LAX. DL and AA are receiving subsidies for their LAX flights, so UA’s consolidation makes sense.

    UA is also upgauging SFO-BNE to a 777-200 and -300 from the 787-9 that had been flying, so some of the lost seats are recouped.

    When subsidies end, I predict AA and DL also pruning BNE service, with MEL potentially gaining more service. Until then, I’m sure UA is enjoying having MEL to itself.

  9. Manny Guest

    I was hoping to score a saver J in the AKL flight. So those hopes come dashing down. Other than that i am okay with any airlines cutting unprofitable routes.

  10. Tim Dunn Diamond

    First, as OTHERS have totally predicted, the fake accounts are out in full force again because a handful of people cannot accept that 1. United’s performance is not anywhere near it should be and 2. Someone else accurately has said that would be the case.
    I have been following the AIRLINE BUSINESS for almost 50 years – before the US deregulated domestic air travel. There is enormous amount of data and personal knowledge of...

    First, as OTHERS have totally predicted, the fake accounts are out in full force again because a handful of people cannot accept that 1. United’s performance is not anywhere near it should be and 2. Someone else accurately has said that would be the case.
    I have been following the AIRLINE BUSINESS for almost 50 years – before the US deregulated domestic air travel. There is enormous amount of data and personal knowledge of the airline industry that indicates how well airlines are doing despite the incessant cries from a few that the data is all wrong.
    United has long been focused on status more than profit. They flew round-the-world flies because Pan Am did; UA and CO separately and then combined put far more into international flying than serving the entire US and THEN the world as it makes economic sense to do.
    During the pandemic, UA execs touted their plan to hold onto old generation aircraft so they could rapidly grow when post-pandemic demand returned – and yet they got just one quarter’s worth of financial advantage over their competitors even though they added far more capacity to Europe and then the Pacific. UA execs THEMSELVES said that UA’s transatlantic network underperformed; given that DOT data shows they had just 40% of DAL’s profits on much more capacity validates that UA execs are seeing what a number of people on airline social media don’t want to see.
    They threw a lot of capacity on the Pacific because Asia-Pacific was finally opening including adding a bunch of new routes last fall well before peak winter season that many thought were “so sexy” UA has a perfectly good and profitable hub at SFO but they wanted to dominate LAX as well because they 1. See development of US carrier service at LAX as a threat to them and 2. They can’t fly a number of eastern US to Asia flights because of Russian airspace restrictions so they are trying to make up for on the west coast what they can’t do in the eastern US.
    In contrast, AA has proven incapable of making money to continental Europe and across the Pacific despite cutting their TPAC presence to bare bones.
    DL has proven over and over and over again that they are more committed to running a best-in-class business and THEN adding the “sexy” routes that wow aviation geeks. If those sexy routes don’t make money, DL doesn’t do them. If other airlines make dumb decisions that cost them money and would cost DL money if they tried to respond, DL steps back and concentrates on its eastern US hubs . Just as we saw with AA in both NYC and LAX, AA pulled back and THEN DL ramped up its growth. UA is now doing the same thing at LAX – and it has not worked – which Cranky Flier and the DOT can easily see – and yet so many argue is just all “made up and biased.”
    UA has no choice but to grow its domestic presence which it ignored for years but UA Next will be much more difficult and slow to pull off than UA imagined. Where there is money to be made internationally, DL and other airlines will add service. DL has dozens of widebody aircraft in the next few years -far above its replacement needs. They will add service including across the Pacific and to S. Asia. There is a far greater chance of DL being significantly larger to Asia/Pacific than for UA to be significantly larger domestically.
    UA will do what it rationally has to do which means far less aggressive growth including stopping trying to block other airline growth even at LAX – because it hurts UA itself as much if not more than stops anyone else. UA execs committed to matching DL’s profitability but they can’t do that unless they manage their international network for maximum profitability rather than for status that appeals to avgeeks.

    1. KK Guest

      https://as1.ftcdn.net/v2/jpg/03/16/01/06/1000_F_316010690_Wm9W2fSc2KTVvuyuJDZSb7xDNZ77q0qC.jpg

    2. cicchiolina Guest

      Stupid analysis, per usual.

    3. Jason Guest

      could say the same thing about Delta on LAX-LHR. They didnt NEED to fly the route, but they did, and it hurt both them and VS their JV partner. Get over yourself.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      tell us the number of flights involved between DL/VS on LAX-LHR and on UA/NZ between LAX-AKL and you will see why your statement misses the core issue.
      UA added capacity ON TOP OF ITS JV partner.
      VS is replacing a flight that DL operated.

    5. Jason Guest

      Delta added a flight ON TOP OF VS.

      Also, you're wrong. Prior to Covid, Air New Zealand flew two daily flights from LAX to AKL.

      This year, they flew 10 weekly. United flew 4 weekly. The two combined flew the exact same number of frequencies as before.

      So you get your stories right, MR!!

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      see above.
      UA's capacity additions weren't just in the LAX market.

    7. Jim LeJeune Guest

      Non-sequitur to the 'point' you tried making before. Since United is beating delta transpac I am vexed as to what your feckless rant-cum-analysis is supposed to show.

    8. Tim Dunn Diamond

      as is true around the world, UA has more capacity but makes less money in the process.

      UA, just like every other US airline and nearly all global airlines worldwide, is a for-profit company.
      They moved a bunch of capacity from the Atlantic which their management was not producing decent results in 2023 to the Pacific and cratered results there.

      UA will not be flying all of the capacity in the winter of 2024-25....

      as is true around the world, UA has more capacity but makes less money in the process.

      UA, just like every other US airline and nearly all global airlines worldwide, is a for-profit company.
      They moved a bunch of capacity from the Atlantic which their management was not producing decent results in 2023 to the Pacific and cratered results there.

      UA will not be flying all of the capacity in the winter of 2024-25. They simply have too much capacity to profitably deploy. They have some tough decisions to make but retiring a bunch of their aging 777-200s or 767-300ERs would be a good way to get rid of some capacity and then shift some of their fuel inefficient 200ERs to domestic use if they REALLY need a dedicated domestic widebody aircraft - which AA, DL and HA do not see as necessary.

  11. Steve C Guest

    Took the LAX-AKL flight back in March. The flight was maybe 1/3 full. The flight back to SFO was packed.

  12. NPS-CA Guest

    Sorry, but this is a bit of bunk. US long haul carrier do well on routes out of LAX when they aren't trying to bite off more than they can chew. QF has BNE, NZ - their own partner has AKL - why were they competing year round? LAX is more O&D and there is demand - but NOT YEAR ROUND on many routes.

    BNE might be interesting seasonal but the demand is not their...

    Sorry, but this is a bit of bunk. US long haul carrier do well on routes out of LAX when they aren't trying to bite off more than they can chew. QF has BNE, NZ - their own partner has AKL - why were they competing year round? LAX is more O&D and there is demand - but NOT YEAR ROUND on many routes.

    BNE might be interesting seasonal but the demand is not their year round. SYD and MEL work well for the US carriers year round like LHR and HND - even with all the competition.

  13. Tim Dunn Diamond

    as noted, NZ is part of a joint venture with UA but UA has proven time and time again that it will add its own capacity and hurt the performance of itself and its partners before being content to serve a market through its JV partners \

    and domestically, the big 3 are NOT comparably sized at LAX. DL is more than 10% larger than AA while UA is 15-20% smaller than DL depending on...

    as noted, NZ is part of a joint venture with UA but UA has proven time and time again that it will add its own capacity and hurt the performance of itself and its partners before being content to serve a market through its JV partners \

    and domestically, the big 3 are NOT comparably sized at LAX. DL is more than 10% larger than AA while UA is 15-20% smaller than DL depending on the month. DL is 15-18% larger than UA in NYC based on number of flights as well.
    DL has done a masterful job of growing its presence in major coastal markets and is now focusing on rebuilding its core hubs.
    UA is trying to hold onto its international position but has once again proven that it will lose money to do it. Its domestic expansion can't happen because of Boeing delivery delays and Airbus' inability to crank out more airplanes to offset Boeing's problems.
    AA has largely recognized domestic is its future but still hangs onto large TATL and TPAC networks that don't make money.

    It isn't just low cost carriers that have failed strategies. Neither AA or UA have proven they have sustainably profitable strategies including market leadership in the top markets of the US.

    1. Mitchell Guest

      Does Delta pay you to ride them so hard? Or do you just ride them out of the kindness of your heart? Even when people pose counter points, your "love" for Delta prevents you from seeing other perspectives.

    2. MaxPower Diamond

      Oh tim
      If only only delta metal mattered in today’s world then your tired arguments might mean something… but sadly delta has the worst partners at lax and couldn’t even fly its own metal to London (read that again… delta didn’t have enough LA demand to sustain its own metal to the number one LA destination and had to rely on Virgin with more LHR-POS) much less sustain any international growth or even fly...

      Oh tim
      If only only delta metal mattered in today’s world then your tired arguments might mean something… but sadly delta has the worst partners at lax and couldn’t even fly its own metal to London (read that again… delta didn’t have enough LA demand to sustain its own metal to the number one LA destination and had to rely on Virgin with more LHR-POS) much less sustain any international growth or even fly to China after your much maligned critiques of AA ditching LA-China

      As you well know. Delta is in the smallest alliance at LAX and SoCal, has the worst west coast network of the three alliances, and has the smallest loyalty in SoCal
      Facts are tough for you, we know, thankfully delta evidences their own weakness in LA with their international pullbacks.
      Hell, after your grandstanding about Delta’s preeminence in Dallas with one Love Field, delta couldn’t even sustain LAX-DAL (their own stock ticker!! lol)
      And your stats of size for metal anyway are stupid. It ignores delta’s pullback, United’s new terminal, and AA’s gate constraints during construction

      We all know you’re crying in your mom’s basement somewhere but go find a photo of a Delta L-1011 to cry to rather than wasting everyone else’s time with your nonsense

    3. MaxPower Diamond

      Delta is just playing darts with their network at LAX at this point or else their data sources are abysmal at providing strategy. Hoping something sticks and backing out before it’s even flown, at times

      United was pretty obviously backing up their JV partner at AKL. NZ was short widebodies and United helped with a route
      You say United is dumping capacity despite their JV with no facts whatsoever except your broken brain rants

    4. Mark Guest

      Tim, why do you always focus on the number of flights DL operates when they carry less passengers than UA. Those contradicting statistics highlight DL’s reliance on RJs in the competitive NYC market, while also detailing the power of UA’s EWR hub that can take you so many places in the world, while DL didn’t even bother to apply for JFK-HND.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I guess CF's response to you that the number of flights and the destinations served DOES MATTER didn't stick so you are trying AGAIN to make an argument that nobody except you disputes.

      UA is the largest carrier in TOTAL TRAFFIC through NYC.
      DL is the largest carrier in the DOMESTIC LOCAL MARKET from NYC.
      UA carries more TOTAL REVENUE to/from/through NYC.
      DL operates more flights from 3 airports.

      Not sure why...

      I guess CF's response to you that the number of flights and the destinations served DOES MATTER didn't stick so you are trying AGAIN to make an argument that nobody except you disputes.

      UA is the largest carrier in TOTAL TRAFFIC through NYC.
      DL is the largest carrier in the DOMESTIC LOCAL MARKET from NYC.
      UA carries more TOTAL REVENUE to/from/through NYC.
      DL operates more flights from 3 airports.

      Not sure why it is so hard for you to understand reality or your need to keep arguing for legitimate reasons why EACH STATISTIC matters.

      and why can't UA fly EWR-China while DL can manage to fly DTW-PVG?

      You put hubs on pedestals because you can't accept reality.

      UA CHOSE to prioritize its west coast to E. Asia network TO THE EXCLUSION of UA's eastern US network - which consists solely of Tokyo.

      Delta serves Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai from a combined THREE airports in the eastern US.

      NYC is a great hub but quit clinging to a reality which even UA execs don't see as worth pursuing.

    6. Mark Guest

      Tim, if the point you’re making involves the ones you just said in your reply, then say those. Your comments about 18% more flights is misleading and implies more total traffic is carried than is accurate.

    7. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Mark.
      you and you alone are the only one that is confused or misled about who is in what place in NYC.
      As much as you want to believe otherwise, DL and UA EACH have several legitimate claims to being in first place.
      DL has managed in 10 years to get into first place in domestic revenue and total number of flights.
      Add in that DL's flight counts at LGA and...

      Mark.
      you and you alone are the only one that is confused or misled about who is in what place in NYC.
      As much as you want to believe otherwise, DL and UA EACH have several legitimate claims to being in first place.
      DL has managed in 10 years to get into first place in domestic revenue and total number of flights.
      Add in that DL's flight counts at LGA and JFK are currently capped because of the FAA's slot exemptions due to low ATC staffing, DL has the potential to grow to 25% larger than UA in NYC - unless UA manages to get back into JFK which it has so far not succeeded in doing and wont' as long as AA sticks around.
      Considering that DL plus Latam has just passed up UA from NYC to Latin America and it is certain that DL will relaunch JFK to Asia with the A350, UA will not only be smaller than DL in flight size but have lost its strategic advantages.
      When you factor in that DL made 2.5 times more money flying the Atlantic in 2023 than UA, the chances are that DL made more on its smaller JFK to Europe operation than UA.

      I get that you vocalize the fears that UA execs actually have but UA's plans to dominate international market after market are not working while UA is having a much harder time growing domestically - where DL is stronger - than UA ever imagined.

  14. Alec Member

    Time to try more long haul out of Denver? Funnel more connections through there and leave EWR/SFO for more high yield direct fares?

  15. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Cranky Flier's insightful analysis of UA's load factors over the Pacific for the first quarter showed that UA's 60% increase in capacity was not commercially successful and very likely unsustainable on a financial basis.
    The DOT just released profitability by global region data for the 4th quarter of 2023 and it shows that UA lost money flying the Pacific. the only consolation for UA is that AA lost money flying BOTH the Atlantic and...

    Cranky Flier's insightful analysis of UA's load factors over the Pacific for the first quarter showed that UA's 60% increase in capacity was not commercially successful and very likely unsustainable on a financial basis.
    The DOT just released profitability by global region data for the 4th quarter of 2023 and it shows that UA lost money flying the Pacific. the only consolation for UA is that AA lost money flying BOTH the Atlantic and Pacific for the entire year. DL, who UA clearly tried to block from expanding at LAX, managed to make $100 million in the 4th quarter flying the Pacific and was the only US airline that made money in all global regions - including domestic - in the 4th quarter. on a systemwide international basis, UA made just 2/3 of what DL made for the whole year even though DL flew 30% less capacity.

    In the 2017-2019 period, UA flew tons of capacity to China and HKG and didn't make money flying the Pacific. UA touted that it held onto widebodies so it could expand post covid but said that its performance across the Atlantic in 2023 was not where it needed to be; DOT data confirms that by showing that UA made just 40% of what DL made despite UA's larger size.

    Impressive route systems don't make money. Flying where you can make money at rates of capacity that ensure a profit is all that matters is all any -for-profit company should care about.

    UA will pull back at LAX; S. Pacific revenue performance for all carriers will improve, UA's financial results over all will improve, and DL will expand at LAX while UA will still have the largest west coast hub even as DL spreads its TPAC network more evenly across multiple hubs including flying from the eastern US to multiple cities in E. Asia, something UA cannot or is not doing.
    '

  16. axck Guest

    None of these Brisbane routes are very sustainable. There’s just not that much demand for nonstop service to/from Brisbane. Auckland is a bit more surprising though.

  17. Bgriff Guest

    And SFO is actually closer to Australia than LAX is!

  18. Anthony Diamond

    I find the focus on who can “dominate” LAX kind of pointless. Delta, United, American, Southwest all have strong operations there, because it is a big local market and also people in their networks want to get to LA. That’s fine, no one needs to make it is super profitable hub. Not every hub needs to be some kind of fortress cash cow. In terms of long haul flying, you just need more organic demand...

    I find the focus on who can “dominate” LAX kind of pointless. Delta, United, American, Southwest all have strong operations there, because it is a big local market and also people in their networks want to get to LA. That’s fine, no one needs to make it is super profitable hub. Not every hub needs to be some kind of fortress cash cow. In terms of long haul flying, you just need more organic demand between Asia and the US for it to really be profitable for everyone, and for a variety of reasons, it’s not there at the moment. No biggie, let it develop organically

  19. ImmortalSynn Guest

    Well, before this thread inevitably gets segued into being about Delta, then spammed by a dozen imitation accounts, I guess I'll join the chorus that this is no surprise.

    With two partners in the region, and a less competitive hub in the same state, United has the least incentive to tolerate losses.

  20. stogieguy7 Diamond

    Wouldn't LAX-AKL be covered by ANZ anyhow? As they're Star Alliance, UA fliers based near LAX won't be losing all that much really. Probably get better food on board too.

  21. shoeguy Guest

    Not at all surprising. The LAX-to Austalia/New Zealand market got close to saturation this past winter. BNE will end up losing all US carrier service eventually and I bet DL never launches LAX-BNE or if it does, runs it for a season and that's it. The market is not there. AKL is also no surprise. Pure leisure and seasonal only. Further proof that LAX long haul for US carriers is limited to LHR, HND, SYD.

    1. Jeremy Guest

      The issue is New Zealand isn't a big standalone tourist + business market for the US - in 2023 there were ~600k total visitors and the pre-pandemic 2019 peak was ~800k. On the other side, NZ had ~300k total visitors to the US pre-COVID and ~200k in 2023. Combined that's 1.1M total visitors pre-pandemic peak and ~800k last year.

      There were 1.3M total seats capacity nonstop from US-New Zealand scheduled in 2024 across 5 carriers...

      The issue is New Zealand isn't a big standalone tourist + business market for the US - in 2023 there were ~600k total visitors and the pre-pandemic 2019 peak was ~800k. On the other side, NZ had ~300k total visitors to the US pre-COVID and ~200k in 2023. Combined that's 1.1M total visitors pre-pandemic peak and ~800k last year.

      There were 1.3M total seats capacity nonstop from US-New Zealand scheduled in 2024 across 5 carriers from 4 cities. If every US and NZ visitor travelled nonstop between the countries, that's an avg. LF of 62% - given limited connecting traffic, high likelihood Air NZ will dominate the local market, and fact that many travelers will be price-conscious and choose connecting itineraries for the lowest price, it's hard to see how any US carrier can operate more than 1-2 seasonal routes successfully.

    2. A. Guest

      DL has an agreement with the Queensland State Government to provide LAX-BNE service under the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF), with the aim of "providing Tourism and Jobs for Queensland". The AAIF also subsidises numerous other routes out of Queensland. I'd predict that most of those AAIF airlines will eventually withdraw out of Queensland as the funding dries up. Only route I can see surviving is BNE-SFO at x4 weekly year round (rather than Daily...

      DL has an agreement with the Queensland State Government to provide LAX-BNE service under the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF), with the aim of "providing Tourism and Jobs for Queensland". The AAIF also subsidises numerous other routes out of Queensland. I'd predict that most of those AAIF airlines will eventually withdraw out of Queensland as the funding dries up. Only route I can see surviving is BNE-SFO at x4 weekly year round (rather than Daily in the NW), AA's DFW I can see lasting two seasons at most, courtesy of their JV with QF, and I can't see DL lasting past two seasons either with a weaker local partner (Rex/ZL).

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ImmortalSynn Guest

Well, before this thread inevitably gets segued into being about Delta, then spammed by a dozen imitation accounts, I guess I'll join the chorus that this is no surprise. With two partners in the region, and a less competitive hub in the same state, United has the least incentive to tolerate losses.

3
Jeremy Guest

The issue is New Zealand isn't a big standalone tourist + business market for the US - in 2023 there were ~600k total visitors and the pre-pandemic 2019 peak was ~800k. On the other side, NZ had ~300k total visitors to the US pre-COVID and ~200k in 2023. Combined that's 1.1M total visitors pre-pandemic peak and ~800k last year. There were 1.3M total seats capacity nonstop from US-New Zealand scheduled in 2024 across 5 carriers from 4 cities. If every US and NZ visitor travelled nonstop between the countries, that's an avg. LF of 62% - given limited connecting traffic, high likelihood Air NZ will dominate the local market, and fact that many travelers will be price-conscious and choose connecting itineraries for the lowest price, it's hard to see how any US carrier can operate more than 1-2 seasonal routes successfully.

1
Anthony Diamond

I find the focus on who can “dominate” LAX kind of pointless. Delta, United, American, Southwest all have strong operations there, because it is a big local market and also people in their networks want to get to LA. That’s fine, no one needs to make it is super profitable hub. Not every hub needs to be some kind of fortress cash cow. In terms of long haul flying, you just need more organic demand between Asia and the US for it to really be profitable for everyone, and for a variety of reasons, it’s not there at the moment. No biggie, let it develop organically

1
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