MIAMI — American Airlines recently rolled out a new advertising campaign, touting its customers at the “world’s greatest flyers.” Now, those flyers can travel with American non-stop from Los Angeles to Hong Kong.

In the early hours of Wednesday, September 7, American launched its inaugural Los Angeles-Hong Kong flight. Scheduled to depart at 01:55, AA 193 pushed from the gate early at 01:46 on its maiden voyage. It is scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong (HKG) at 08:10 local time.

The new route marks the second non-stop destination served from Hong Kong by American. The airline initiated service to its Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) hub back in 2014.

The new flight will operate daily using a Boeing 777-300ER. The return trip departs Hong Kong at 20:20 local, and arrives in Los Angeles at 18:40.

American celebrated the launch with a concert by Empire of the Sun prior to the flight’s departure.

Hong Kong is a key new market for us here, as we strengthen Los Angeles as our Pacific gateway – added to the destinations that we already serve in the region: Shanghai, China; Narita and Haneda in Japan; Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. We are growing in Los Angeles and it is thanks to our customers that we are able to do this,” Senior Vice President of Hubs and Gateways, Suzanne Boda said at the gate event.

The crew of the first American Airlines Los Angeles - Hong Kong flight crew. (Credits: American Airlines)
The crew of the first American Airlines Los Angeles – Hong Kong flight crew. (Credits: American Airlines)

At the time the route was announced, American championed the move as a response to strong demand in the market. “Customers let us know they wanted more great service to even more destinations,” said chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella back in March.

“This route connects customers in Los Angeles with one of the world’s most important business markets and provides convenient connections to important business and leisure destinations across the Pacific.”

Hong Kong now represents the fourth East Asian destination served by American from Los Angeles, with the others being Shanghai (PVG), Tokyo-Haneda (HND), and Tokyo-Narita (NRT).

The airline has also applied with the Department of Transportation to begin serving Beijing from Los Angeles beginning on December 16. Should it receive the route distribution, it would bring American’s East Asian flight count up to five.

Delta Air Lines has also applied to serve the route, with service planned to start on the same day. Only one of the two carriers will ultimately acquire the opportunity to fly to Beijing from Los Angeles.

For American, the new Hong Kong flights signal continued transpacific growth in Los Angeles. Only the airline’s Dallas/Fort Worth hub currently serves more East Asian destinations than Los Angeles. American has added several new routes to East Asia from DFW over the past few years.

With all of the major bases covered from its Texas headquarters, American has now looked to round out its profile from LAX. With the recent launch of new flights down under to Auckland (AKL) and Sydney (SYD), American’s move in Hong Kong can be seen as just the latest piece in its transpacific strategy from Los Angeles, which has become a competitive war ground among the Big Three carriers.

With the launch of American’s newest flight, its customers in the Los Angeles area and across its network have a new option to get to Hong Kong. The new route continues American’s pursuit to be the “Best in LAX.”