LAX takes top flight

Air cargo is on the up at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). While some US airports suffered dramatically during the economic downturn, LAX has actually been experiencing strong growth in overseas air service for the last three years with airlines adding over 150 international weekly flights. Karen E. Thuermer reports.

“In fact, LAX has seen more new international flights than any other US airport, except for New York (JFK),” reports Mark Thorpe, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Air Service Development Director. According to Thorpe, six international carriers now service LAX that did not prior to 2008 – Emirates, V Australia, Volaris, Alitalia, Turkish, Iberia. During the last three years, 11 airlines began nonstop service to never-beforeserved overseas destinations: Air New Zealand to the Cook Islands; Alitalia to Rome; Emirates to Dubai; Korean Airlines to Sao Paulo, Brazil; Volaris Airlines to Guadalajara, Morelia, Mexico City/Toluca and Zacatecas – all cities in Mexico; United Airlines to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; V Australia (Australia’s newest international airline operated by Virgin Blue) to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney; Virgin America to Cancun, Mexico and Toronto; and West Jet to Edmonton, Canada. ANA and Delta Airlines recently commenced daily flights between LAX and Tokyo-Haneda; Emirates, a second daily flight between LAX and Dubai. ANA’s daily service, which commenced on 31 October, operates from Tokyo’s near downtown Haneda International Airport’s newly opened international terminal. Delta’s LAX-Haneda flight commenced on 29 January and is the result of a US Department of Transportation (DOT) decision to give Delta and its global alliance SkyTeam their first opportunity to compete across the Pacific from Haneda. Delta’s new Haneda service complements the airline’s existing service between Tokyo’s Narita Airport and 11 US cities, including one daily flight to/from LAX. The take-off and landing slots for the new international routes to and from Haneda were made possible by the opening of a fourth runway at Haneda last year. Already this year a number of other airlines have announced new service to/ from LAX. They are: Turkish Airlines, nonstop four times a week to Istanbul; American and United daily nonstop to Shanghai; Iberia to Madrid; Delta Airlines daily to Mexico City; Air China with a second daily flight to Beijing; and Continental daily to Guadalajara. “Mexicana says it will return to LAX with three dailies to Mexico City and one daily to Guadalajara,” reveals Thorpe.