And it is even aiming for routes Down Under.

British Airways Aircraft Nose Airbus A350-1000
Photo: British Airways.

The world’s 17th busiest airport, Las Vegas has its sights set on more long-haul flights, according to the airport’s Director of Aviation. These include Asia and – yes – Australia. It’s not hard to see why based on raw numbers. In 2019, over 870,000 people traveled between Las Vegas and Asia-Pacific – many more than from the likes of Dallas, Houston, and Seattle.

Las Vegas to Asia & Australia

Most airports have a route ‘wishlist’, with each route significant for different reasons, usually underpinned by an air service incentive program. Las Vegas is no different. Speaking at Routes World in Sin City, Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation, said:

“We’re eager to reintroduce ourselves to the world… We’re always looking at Asia. Japan was very, very beneficial to us [before], and we’re also interested in Australia. We’ve had our eye on Australia for quite some time.”

Currently, Las Vegas has only one nonstop route to Asia-Pacific: a 3x-weekly 777-300ER service by Korean Air to Seoul. In contrast, in pre-pandemic 2019, it had nonstop flights from Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo. Asia seat capacity is at just 16% of what it was, as shown in the figure below. As Asia (slowly) reawakens from coronavirus and restrictions loosen, no wonder Vassiliadis is keen to get moving.

Las Vegas to from Asia and Europe

Source of data: Cirium. Graph: James Pearson.

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870,000 passengers

Booking data from 2019, the last normal year unaffected by the pandemic, shows that an estimated 870,000 people flew between Asia-Pacific and Las Vegas. Split equally across the year, which is rather unfair as it doesn’t consider seasonality, means an average of 2,300 people traveled daily, a pretty significant volume. There is little point looking at data from 2020 and 2021, as Las Vegas was effectively shut down for a good chunk of time.

In 2019, Las Vegas’ largest country markets were Japan, China, Australia, South Korea, and the Philippines. The latter was because of around 150,000 Filipinos, and those of Philippine ancestry, who live in Las Vegas, by far the city’s largest Asian population.

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Top markets

“We get so many passengers on one or two stops from Asia,” Vassiliadis said. At the airport level, the largest markets were Las Vegas to/from:

  1. Tokyo Narita: around 127,000 roundtrip point-to-point passengers
  2. Seoul Incheon: 92,000
  3. Manila: 73,000
  4. Beijing: 56,000
  5. Tokyo Haneda: 50,000
  6. Sydney: 49,000
  7. Shanghai Pudong: 42,000
  8. Hong Kong: 40,000
  9. Osaka Kansai: 37,000
  10. Melbourne: 28,000

Of course, some are wholly unrealistic, while others will undoubtedly happen. But the data above is, of course, just traffic. Fares are a different story. And even though Vassiliadis said that “the leisure passenger has resumed traveling, and I think they’re all coming here,” Las Vegas isn’t necessarily as low-yielding as you might think.

For example, booking data shows that the average one-way fare, excluding taxes and any fuel surcharge, for Las Vegas-Tokyo Narita was $721. It was about the same as Los Angeles, although the California city is closer to Japan.

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Hainan Airlines 787-9 Las Vegas

What about Europe?

Las Vegas’ Europe capacity is at three-quarters of what it was. There are nonstops to:

  1. Amsterdam: currently 3x with KLM (reducing to 2x in winter and rising to 4x weekly next summer)
  2. Frankfurt: 3x weekly with Eurowings Discover (reduces to 2x weekly in winter but 4x weekly next summer) and 2x weekly with Condor (ends October 30th, returns next summer at 3x weekly)
  3. London Heathrow: 1x daily with BA, 1x daily with Virgin Atlantic (5x weekly at times in winter)
  4. Munich: Eurowings Discover (ends for winter on October 27th, returns next summer at 2x weekly)
  5. Zürich: Edelweiss (ends for winter on October 27th, 2x weekly next summer)

In 2019, Paris Orly (Level), Düsseldorf (Eurowings), Manchester (Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic), and London Gatwick (BA, Norwegian, and Virgin) were all served nonstop. Of course, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic entirely shifted from Sin City to Heathrow.

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Dublin: the largest unserved

In 2019, Dublin was Las Vegas’ largest unserved European market, with approximately 73,000 roundtrip passengers. The Nevada city was also Dublin’s largest unserved US market and was twice the size of number two, Denver. Assuming sufficient aircraft availability, might it ever materialize?

What routes would you like to see from Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments.


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