American Airlines and subsidiary American Eagle will increase departures by 28 percent at Los Angeles

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

American will add service to the new cities begining April 5, 2011. The new domestic destinations include Albuquerque, El Paso, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Boise, Houston (Intercontinental), Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Tucson. The new international destination served by American Airlines aircraft will be Shanghai, People's Republic of China, a nonstop service previously announced. The new flights will account for an additional 33 roundtrips from LAX. In addition to the new cities, American will add another seven roundtrip flights from Los Angeles to existing destinations: two each to Dallas/Ft. Worth and MIami, and one each to to Chicago O'Hare, Las Vegas, and Orlando. The new schedule will boost American's departures at Los Angeles to 153 daily departures.

Los Angeles is one of the most competitively balanced cities in the US domestic aviation landscape. No carrier operates a large hub at LAX, and market share is split fairly even. Americans market share at 19.09% is the largest at LAX for a single operating airline, however when United's 16.60% is combined with United Express services operated by SkyWest which account for 6.67% of the city's share, American is handily beat by its Chicago based rival. Southwest and Delta round out the top four with 16.19% and 12.37% shares, respectively. All four airlines consider LAX, the fifth busiest airport in the country, to be a focus city for their networks.

Also of note, American Airlines announced it is awaiting regulatory approval to begin placing it's code on Alaska Airlines flights departing Los Angeles for Mexico. The August shutdown by OneWorld partner Mexicana left American with a significant gap in service to Mexico. Mexicana operated significant service at LAX, at one time holding the distinction of being the busiest non-US carrier at the airport. American's codeshare and frequent flier agreement with Alaska Airlines dates back to the 1990s, and the two airlines operated interchange services as early as the 1980s.

American will place its code on Alaska Airlines flights to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, and Manzanillo. Flights to these cities will be sold only as connecting service through Los Angeles from another AA destination. Alaska AIrlines flights to Mexico City and Guadalajara will be available for sale as an AA coded flight for Los Angeles originating passengers in addition to connecting passengers. Horizon Air flights to Loreto and La Paz will be sold as AA flights for connecting passengers.

Alaska Airlines had already signed a larger marketing and frequent flier agreement with Delta Air Lines for feed mostly in the Pacific Northwest. Delta and SkyTeam partner Aeromexico operate their own service to Mexico from LAX.

American, which opened a new terminal at LAX in 2009, also announced a $20 million dollar refurbishment to American and American Eagle facilities, including an expansion to include four additional gates by the end of 2011 to support the additional nonstop flights.