American Airlines pilots, as a group, aren’t happy. Their union advises people not to come work for the airline. Usually unions want.. more members, not fewer.
In Los Angeles, though, their pilots have a special beef: they don’t get to fly as many places as they used to. In particular, widebody pilots have almost nowhere to go. American dropped LAX as its Asian gateway and decided to focus on domestic flying there instead.
- American Airlines was losing money on it’s Los Angeles – Asia flying before the pandemic, because these markets were too competitive.
- South America doesn’t work for them out of LA, either.
- There will still be some long haul – like Sydney, London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda – where there’s less competition (and joint venture partner hubs). But Sydney is suspended right now due to lack of widebody aircraft.
American Airlines saw too much capacity in most routes from Los Angeles to Asia. They don’t want to fly where others are flying, because they don’t earn as much as on routes where they’re the only one in the market. Who’s going to choose to fly American Airlines from Los Angeles non-stop to Singapore at the same price and for the same cabin?
A memo went out to LAX-based pilots last week laying out the future at the airport, suggesting there’ll be more flying from Los Angeles in the future. Right now even Boeing 737 pilots are unhappy, because they’ve been flying more Airbus narrowbodies from the airport. They suggest there are lots of planes coming into the fleet, and that Sydney at least will return – and that the airline will be at full strength in LA “just in time for the Olympics.” That’s in 2028.
LAX is a highly constrained airport and American’s real estate there is valuable. It won’t be abandoned but it’s transitioned to mostly domestic flying, and some long haul international. Expect to see flights to Sydney, Tokyo, and London which are home to joint venture partners. Those are the core long haul cities for American from LA.
Here’s the memo, via the esteemed JonNYC:
AA: discussing AA’s stagnation at LAX pic.twitter.com/6NxqQkIhta
— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) April 10, 2022