Wall Street Journal: LAX was barely profitable for American Airlines in 2013

American wants to add $400 million in revenue by optimizing its schedule. Photo credit: American

American wants to add $400 million in revenue by optimizing its schedule. Photo credit: American

The new American Airlines thinks it can squeeze out $400 million in annual revenue with some basic changes to its schedule, Susan Carey of the Wall Street Journal reported this morning in the Wall Street Journal.

For local readers, the most interesting tidbit could be the fact that Los Angeles has not been performing as well as American’s other hubs:

Mr. Kirby said American’s operations at Los Angeles International Airport are improving now that it is the largest carrier there with the highest offering of premium seats. He said Los Angeles was profitable last year but “not by much,” while this year he expects it “to be nicely profitable.” He also said American is focused on winning back business from corporations that switched their travel away from the old American in recent years.

As we’ve reported here in the past, Los Angeles is a fiercely competitive market when it comes to business travel, which provides much of the revenue for major airlines. United has long battled with American for these contracts, and Delta is once again becoming competitive in L.A., having added many routes in the past year or so. American seems to be banking in part on its new A321s, which are serving the New York-L.A. market with many state-of-the-art premium seats. 

In recent weeks, the new American has altered its schedule in New York and Washington, D.C., a step it had to take because of its pre-merger agreement settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. But eventually, I expected it to make some similar tweaks here in Los Angeles, adding some cities and taking away others.

What cities might you expect American to add from L.A. now that it is under new management?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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