LOS ANGELES, CA – MetroAir Virtual announced today that all international operations at Ontario Int’l Airport will be moved to Los Angeles Int’l Airport over the next month and a half. Chief Operating Officer William Hogarth said operational congestion and strong results with the Shanghai flight are the reasons for moving the international operations to LAX. The airline released a timetable for the transitional period, showing at least two flights moving to LAX per week.
|June 10th||June 13th||June 20th||June 27th||July 4th||July 11th||July 18th||July 25th|
|Bangkok||Tahiti||Beijing||La Paz||Nassau||London||Calgary||Buenos Aires|
|Singapore||Tokyo||Maui||Cancun||Mexico City||Hong Kong||Vancouver||New York|
When asked why the domestic and international operations in Southern California would be split between LAX and ONT, Hogarth replied, “It comes down to two things, space at Ontario and success with our LAX – Shanghai flight that exceeded our expectations.” Currently, MetroAir flies to 14 international destinations from Ontario, utilizing two international gates. “We have reached the point in Ontario where our international gates are reaching 100% utilization and we no longer have gates available to board our passengers,” said Fleet Director Zak Winnick, “With the way the gates are striped at Ontario, our Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft render the two adjacent gates unusable due to wingtip clearance problems. This means that our operational capacity is significantly reduced when we have an international flight on the gate.” By moving all international flights out of LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal, MetroAir will be able to operate at a higher capacity in a dedicated international terminal. This also means that a substantial number of gates will be freed up at Ontario, allowing for additional frequencies on existing routes and opening up the door for expansion to new markets.
The MetroAir operations department was optimistic after receiving positive financial reports from the first month of service to Shanghai from LAX. “Initially, we weren’t too sure about how our LAX operation would perform, “said Hogarth, “We jumped in with both feet at LAX by starting a few domestic flights as well. It turns out that despite being detached from the Ontario hub, we have still had over 90% load factors most days.” While the seats are full, the freight below deck contributes to a big part of the success of the route. Shanghai and Los Angeles are home to two of the busiest ports in the world and play a vital part in the worldwide movement of freight. Across all carriers, approximately half a million pounds of freight are carried between LAX and PVG each day.
Despite being domestic flights, service to Maui (PHOG) and New York – JFK (KJFK) will be operated out of LAX. The Airbus A330 airframes on these routes are also utilized on flights to international destinations.