A Good Day for International Travelers in LA

Frontier, Kingfisher, LAX - Los Angeles, MAXjet, Southwest, United, Virgin America

It’s a pretty rare day when you get a new international flight at your home airport, so today is especially rare. There were two new international flights announced as well as promises of a third!

MAXJet to London
MAXJet, the all-business class airline that currently flies from New York/JFK, Washington/Dulles, and Las Vegas to London/Stansted, announced it will begin flights from LAX to London/Stansted four times weekly on August 30. Flights will be out of the Bradley Terminal on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

In other news, MAXJet will go from 3 to 4 weekly flights from Vegas to London. Also, Washington/Dulles to London will resume on May 24 and will now be four times a week year-round.

I agree with MAXJet that the longer hauls are the way to go. The business class product becomes even more valuable the longer you stay on the plane. There’s also a decent amount of demand for this type of product. American, Virgin, and BA all fly twice daily. United and Air New Zealand fly it once daily. It will be interesting to see if MAXJet can siphon off just enough to make it work without disturbing the big guys too much.

United to Hong Kong
I have to admit, this one really caught me off-guard. After ignoring LAX for quite some time, United has decided to begin daily flights between LAX and Hong Kong in October. They tried this before and it didn’t work. My guess now is that the Hong Kong-Ho Chi Minh City flight makes it more attractive. Actually, that’s not much of a guess. It basically says as much in the release. It could also be an attempt at trying to jump in before Delta does. Delta has made it quite clear they want to build up Asian flights from LAX in the future.

United also said they’ll start Washington/Dulles – Rio de Janeiro flights in October. This flight is only for the southern summer season, and it replaces the one stop flight through Sao Paulo that operates now.

Jet Airways to Brussels
In what could be characterized as another very interesting move, India’s Jet Airways has announced that they’ll build a hub in Brussels to connect North America with India. From the Indian side, they’ll fly Mumbai (Bombay), Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai (Madras), and Ahmedabad. From the North American side, they’ll fly to LAX, New York/JFK, Toronto, and Chicago/O’Hare. They’ll also be able to carry local passengers between North America and Brussels. The CEO of Jet quipped, “Now the people of Belgium no longer have to feel they can’t have their own long-haul carrier without having to subsidize it.” Ouch.

Meanwhile, Jet’s competitor, Kingfisher, is up to some snarky marketing tricks. Check out this picture.

07_05_03 wemadethemchange

This has made its way to Digg, so definitely head over there and Digg It. Pretty funny stuff.

So, good news for LA today. The only bad news is that Frontier has decided to drop LAX-SFO flights in July, according to PlaneBuzz. That leaves United and American with a token presence by Alaska. Talk about rolling out the welcome mat for Southwest and Virgin America. . . .

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