MIAMI – After American Airlines (AA) removed Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as an international hub earlier this month, United Airlines (UA) has decided to re-open its Boeing 787 Pilot base at the airport.

United announced a close of its 787 base at LAX just a few months ago but in a crew resources update shared with Pilots they said, “In response to a changing competitive environment in LAX, our International Planning team has decided to resume international 787 service in September.”

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. | Airways Magazine File Photo

Route Opportunities for United

United will resume this international service in September with flights from Los Angeles to Sydney (SYD).

The decision for UA to resume comes ten days after American pulled out of flights from LAX to Beijing (PEK), Buenos Aires (EZE), Hong Kong (HKG), São Paulo (GRU) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG) — the former pending government approval according to The Points Guy.

American will only have Auckland (AKL), London Heathrow (LHR) and Sydney (SYD) as remaining destinations from LAX after the pandemic. UA has yet to announce if they will take over American’s routes once demand picks up.

American Airlines Boeing 787-8. | Photo: © Jakkrit Prasertwit

United Still Struggling

Unfortunately, as demand remains low for air travel through the pandemic, UA will still leave some Pilots out of work but it expects some improvements as time moves on.

“We initially forecast [canceling] 20 Captain and 35 first officer displacement awards out of LAX 787, but now will cancel and additional five Captain and 15 First Officer displacements out of LAX 787,” said the Crew resources update via Brian Sumers on Twitter.

Even with warnings of possible furloughs going to some 2,500 Pilots on July 8, UA’s Crew resources update shows it is willing to change its plans quickly in response to the market.

According to United CEO Scott Kirby, low demand has pushed the airline’s revenue down some 80%. Its August schedule will be at 35% when compared to August 2019 and this is now brought down from the initial plan of 40%.

United 787 Air-to-Air. | Photo: © United Airlines

The Boeing 757 To Join the 787

Also in the Crew update, UA mentioned it will bring the Boeing 757 back into service to join the 767 on domestic routes.

The challenge with the industry seems to be continuing restrictions on international travel – a market where airlines can make more money.

The day when governments give the green light to international travel is the one everyone in the industry seems to be looking forward to.