Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL:US) is adding 17 flights a day in Los Angeles in a bid to win passengers away from competitors who dominate service at the nation’s third- busiest airport.
The flights will boost the number of seats in Los Angeles by more than 10 percent, and include new service to eight destinations such as Seattle, New Orleans and Nashville, Tennessee, said Bob Cortelyou, senior vice president of network planning at the Atlanta-based carrier.
Delta, the world’s second-largest airline, is trying to woo fliers away from other airlines including American Airlines and United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL:US), which both use Los Angeles as a hub. The expansion also helps Delta funnel passengers into that airport for connecting international service to cities such as London, where its new partner Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. has its hub.
“It’s the largest domestic revenue market and one of the largest in the world,” Cortelyou said today in a telephone interview. “It’s a strong economy in southern California.”
By July, Delta will have 118 daily departures in Los Angeles, up from 107 a year earlier. Delta has deepened its ties to the city in recent years by sponsoring events such as the Grammys and professional sports teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings.
All Los Angeles flights are being flown with dual-class aircraft and about half of the new flights will be operated with Delta’s main jet fleet, Cortelyou said. Delta got rid of its last coach-only 50-seat regional jet in the Los Angeles market in June 2012.
AMR Corp.’s American and United dominate service at Los Angeles, with about 19 percent of passengers each, followed by Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV:US) with 16 percent and Delta with 13 percent, according to data by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Delta said last month it will add amenities on transcontinental flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, such as sparkling wine and newspapers in business class and expanded movie and on-demand TV choices, in a bid to compete with United and others.
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