Air India is dropping its three weekly round-trip flights, which along with cuts by other foreign carriers is really bad news for an airport that has been pushing more international business. In fact, much of the capital improvement program has been aimed at expanding the Tom Bradley terminal and adding a Midfield concourse that would accommodate overseas flights (I'm told the Midfield idea is dead in the water for now). The Indian carrier will still fly out of SF - and that's also bad news because LAX officials have been competing with San Francisco for the lucrative overseas business. All told, international air carriers are expected to slash 213 weekly takeoffs and landings at LAX by November, an 11 percent drop from a year earlier. From the Daily Breeze:
"Air India's flights out of LAX were light, they were not daily and they competed with nonstop service to India out of San Francisco, so this was not much of a surprise," said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that operates LAX. Earlier this week, Cathay Pacific Airways announced plans to suspend one of three daily round-trip flights between Hong Kong and LAX beginning Oct. 26. The Hong Kong-based carrier is also dropping 10 weekly flights to Canada as it tries to beef up service between Australia and North America.
But the biggest cuts are coming from domestic carriers that offer overseas flights. Delta Airlines plans to pull 106 weekly international flights by November, an 81.5 percent drop compared with last year. United Airlines will cut 40 international flights, a 31.25 percent decline. "The fuel prices, combined with the declining value of the dollar, is a double whammy for the domestic carriers who offer international flights," Lindsey said. "The international carriers offering overseas flights are actually seeing less of a hit in comparison."