Could United Airlines be planning an Asian expansion from Los Angeles International Airport?
Perhaps yes. Perhaps not. But a decision reached recently by the airline suggests it could at least be a possibility. United will be adding a Boeing 787 pilot base at Los Angeles International Airport, according to a report. That means pilots will no longer need to be flown in from Houston before they fly 787s onward from Los Angeles.
This information comes from reporter Edward Russell of airline trade-website Flight Global, who noted that Los Angeles will be only the second 787 based for United.
For now, United flies to Shanghai and Tokyo using the 787. Airline officials have not suggested that Los Angeles will receive more 787 flights, but you never know. Airline executives talk often about using the 787 – with its excellent fuel economics — to open up new routes from the United States to Asian cities not currently served with non-stop service. United recently announced a new flight from San Francisco to Chengdu, China using the 787.
“Our 2014 international schedule has the 787 flying many routes to Asia,” Howard Attarian, senior vice-president of flight operations at United, wrote in a letter to employees obtained by Flight Global. “In August, we told you that we believe this amount of flying warrants a west coast 787 base to reliably support our network. We have decided that LAX is the right location for this 787 base.”