Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will have to negotiate tough times with domestic US carriers announcing deep cuts in their operations from the airport along with other foreign carriers. The reductions in the frequency of services offered through LAX is bad news for an airport that has been pushing for more international business in recent times.
International air carriers are expected to slash 213 weekly takeoffs and landings at LA International by November, an 11 per cent reduction from a year earlier. Flag carrier Air India will drop its three weekly round-trip flights, even as it continues to fly out of San Francisco. This is also bad news for LAX for it is competing with San Francisco for the lucrative overseas business.
Earlier in the week, Cathay Pacific Airways announced plans to suspend one of three daily round-trip flights between Hong Kong and LAX, beginning 26 October. The Hong Kong-based carrier is also dropping 10 weekly flights to Canada.
The biggest cuts are coming from domestic US carriers that offer overseas flights. Delta Airlines plans to pull 106 weekly international flights by November, an 81.5 per cent drop compared with last year. United Airlines will cut 40 international flights, a 31.25 per cent decline.
For LAX all this is particularly bad news as much of its capital investment programme was aimed at expanding the Tom Bradley terminal and adding a Midfield concourse that would accommodate overseas flights.
Officials from Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that operates LAX, were a bit sanguine about Air India's decision, however, saying that the carrier's flights out of LAX were not daily and they also competed with the non-stop service to India out of San Francisco. For these reasons, officials said, the decision did not really surprise.