LAX traffic is on the upswing, airport officials told the city’s airport commission earlier this month. Staff photo of new international terminal by Brad Graverson.
A new Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners took over a couple of months ago, and the group — appointed by new L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti — wanted a full update on traffic trends at LAX.
Luckily for us, that report, delivered at the Nov. 14 meeting, is public record. There’s nothing top secret in the power point airport officials delivered, but it might help you better understand some key LAX metrics.
Let’s take a look at what airport commission members learned:
- Board members were told LAX is unique because it has no dominant airline. Instead four carriers – -American, Southwest, Delta and United — have roughly equal market shares. This pie chart is a bit misleading because American’s tally includes flights operated by its American Eagle subsidiary. United Express and Delta Connection flights, however, are not include in the larger airline’s tally. (Many of the Skywest flights in the chart, for example, are operated as United Express.)
- LAX passenger traffic peaked in 2000, but airport officials are predicting 2014 will be a big year. Also, below, you’ll see New York Kennedy got a big traffic bump from Jetblue, which began operations in 2000.
- As you can see below, LAX officials are bullish on international traffic. In the past six months, airlines have announced new flights to Stockholm, London Gatwick, Oslo, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Sao Paulo.
- Some of the airport commissioners said they’re concerned San Francisco International Airport is seeking to “steal” many of LAX’s international flights. But this slide below puts the competition in perspective. LAX still has almost twice as many international passengers as San Francisco.
- In terms of international flights, San Francisco gained on LAX during the middle portion of the 2000s, in part because United and other Star Alliance carriers increased schedules at SFO. But since 2010, LAX has been holding steady against SFO, according to airport officials.
Saudi Arabian Airlines will soon start flying to LAX. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
I’m a little late on this one, but Saudi Arabian Airlines will begin thrice weekly service between Los Angeles and Jeddah in April, according to airport and airline officials.
The airline, a SkyTeam member that goes by the brand name Saudia, plans to use Boeing 777-300ERs for the route, according to a release.
Delta unveiled the first half of its $229 million renovation Los Angeles International Airport last week, and while there’s no ‘wow’ factor in the upgrades, Terminal 5 is looking much cleaner and brighter than before.
Los Angeles World Airports, the landlord, is paying nearly all of the upgrades, with the Transportation Security Administration funding about $25 million in security improvements and Delta adding another $12 million for so-called “proprietary improvements.”
Most of Delta’s big changes will come in 2015, when Phase 2 improvements such as a wider security checkpoint and special VIP lobby will be finished. But I got a look this week at Phase 1.
Here’s what I learned:
Fiji Airways — formerly called Air Pacific — retired its final 747 this month after a flight from Los Angeles. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Last week, Fiji Airways retired its final Boeing 747-400 after a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Nadi International Airport in Nadi, Fiji.
The airplane actually carried a Air Pacific livery, as that was the name of the airline until it re-branded recently. The new Fiji Airways operates a fleet of A330s and 737s. The much more efficient A330s have taken over the Los Angeles flying.
Len Sloper, regional general manager of airports for Fiji Airways, put together a nice dossier on this final 747. Here are some of the facts he shared:
Delta is expanding, again, at LAX. Photo courtesy of the airline.
Delta Air Lines, the third-largest carrier by market share at Los Angeles International Airport, plans to begin twice daily service to Boston on April 7.