PHOTO: An Austrian Airlines Boeing 777 in flight. (photo via Flickr/Austrian Airlines)
Los Angeles International Airport scored something of a coup as two major European airlines announced they're beginning service at LAX this week.
Poland’s LOT Polish Airlines put the finishing touches on its new acquisitions of Boeing Dreamliner 787s and launched service between Warsaw and Los Angeles on Monday. The service will be four times a week.
This coming Monday, April 10, Austrian Airlines will launch LAX service with five flights a week between Los Angeles and Vienna until June 12, and then daily after that using Boeing 777-200s.
“After Chicago, Newark and Miami, Los Angeles is now the fourth new flight destination and the so far biggest leap into the USA,” Austrian Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Andreas Otto said in a statement when the service was announced last year, according to the L.A. Business Journal. “We will fly to the West Coast with our existing fleet and are already very excited about this new venture.”
For both airlines, it is the first direct route to the US west coast and the significance is duly noted. No longer will European passengers in Austria and Poland need first to fly to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris or London to then fly on to Los Angeles via KLM, Lufthansa, United, Air France or British Airways.
READ MORE: Alaska Airlines, Virgin America to Begin East Coast Service
Still, direct service from Vienna and Warsaw also requires something of a leap of faith—although, obviously, a copious amount of research most certainly went into the decisions—because the routes will need transfer passengers to fly into Vienna and Warsaw in order to be successful.
This new addition of more than 2,000 one-way trips between Los Angeles and Europe could create a saturation of the market, or the new flights may offer enough incentive to fly direct to central and eastern Europe.