Seattle will be the main American Airlines Asian gateway. American Airlines explains that they are able to make money when there is little competition. They perform poorly against Asian airlines. This is the future for the LAX hub and the airlines Asia flying.
View From The Wing reviewed the recording of an employee question-and-answer session that was held last week. An LAX-based pilot asked Robert Isom, President of American Airlines, about his plans for Los Angeles. Brian Znotins (American Vice President of Network Planning), answered the question. He made five key points.
American Airlines LAX
Heres Znotins longer explanation,
LA has been a problem for us in Asia for many years. Because every Asian carrier feels they must serve LA, even though we had previously served Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and Shanghai before the pandemic, we have been faced with profitability challenges. All of them performed poorly for us, as every Asian carrier also served these routes. There was also far too much capacity on the LA market.
American Airlines normally generates profits by being different. We differentiate ourselves through different schedules. In this case, we were among dozens of nonstops.
We have decided to reduce LA widebody flying. Shanghai will move to Seattle. Dallas will be more of a focus for Beijing. Hong Kong will also be focusing more on Dallas. The Sydneys and Heathrows will still be in LA, as these markets aren't overserved.
We will continue to concentrate on the 321T flying transcons, and then we have added a few small [regional jet] routes from LA to support the hub. LA is a domestic hub that does well for us, but not as an Asian hub. We really concentrated on the profitable part of mainline narrowbody and regional, with some long-haul flying such as Sydney and Heathrow. Tokyo Haneda will have two trips to Tokyo once the pandemics are over.
We think that thats about the run rate size. So we will focus our efforts with our Seattle partner on Alaska, adding long haul routes to Shanghai and Bangalore from Seattle. Once the Chinese bilateral opens that is a whole other ball of wax. That will be the Asian gateway that we use more than LA going forward.
To put it simply, South America was also underperforming routes. You are in the wrong place to serve South America. From Buenos Aires you don't connect any passengers. It is better to focus on DFW and Miami, as these points can be used to connect to Latin America. It's a challenge for the Asian side, and a challenge for the Latin side.