|Southwest launched LAX-SFO services in November 2007. During 2009, both Southwest and United have gained market share at the expense of American and Virgin America.|
Air traffic between the biggest airports serving arguably California’s two most famous cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, has been stimulated in the last two years by the addition of Southwest and Virgin America into the market. In 2006 just under 1.8 million passengers flew between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco airport (SFO). Last year that figure had jumped to just over 2.7 million.
United experiences market share erosion
Virgin America launched flights on 8 August 2007 (the day the airline started operations), while Southwest followed suit on 4 November 2007 with the introduction of eight daily flights.
|Virgin America launched LAX-SFO services on the day it started operations in August 2007. Last year more than 2.7 million passengers flew between Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco airport.|
United saw its share of the market fall from around 60% in early 2007 to just 40% in 2008 while American’s share fell from 25% in 2007 to around 20% in 2008. However, United’s passenger numbers fell just 7.6% from 1.163 million in 2007 to 1.075 million in 2008, while passengers choosing to travel with American Airlines actually increased by 1% in 2008 to 551,586.
During 2009 both United and Southwest have gained market share at the expense of American and Virgin America, while Alaska Airlines with its single daily flight continues to take a 3% share of the market. Total passengers on the route in the first half of 2009 are up just 1.9% versus 2008.