Friday, July 29, 2022

July update


We're nearly to the end of July, and I haven't posted for a month(!), so if you're going to have an update this month I'd better get on it. Let me mention that the quality of the photos lately has been disappointing because I've been unable to shoot from the tower catwalk and have had to take photos through the tower windows. The window cleaners have likewise been unable to access the catwalk, so same said tower windows are so dirty that often the camera wants to focus on the window instead of the airplanes outside. 

The opening shot is the arrival of Air Force Two; the Vice President spent the July 4th weekend in town. As usual, we had several hours of city-wide fireworks on the evening of the Fourth. Even with the dirty windows, the control tower offers a great vantage point. Too bad we have to pay attention to the airplanes! Other interesting sights:

American experimenting with alternate parking arrangements?

Two special liveries:  Allegiant featuring Winter, the rescued dolphin from the Clearwater (Florida) Aquarium; and Finnair's Kivet design created by Maija Isola from fashion company Marimmeko

We have a couple more new airlines, and a couple more returnees:

Alitalia is no more, but we have Italy's new government-owned carrier, ITA, who flies between Rome and LAX with Airbus A350-900s that are configured for 334 passengers. I like this livery! In addition to the Savoy blue and Italian tricolors, it includes a hard-to-see pattern superimposed on the aft section of the fuselage and vertical stabilizer.

If this paint scheme looks familiar, it's because we've seen it before at LAX when we had Thomas Cook Airlines. Thomas Cook shut down in 2019, but subsidiary Condor was able to continue operating. Condor has introduced a new livery, but we have yet to see it at LAX since we get Condor's B767-300s, which probably won't receive the new livery because they are being replaced by new A330-900s.

Air Canada Jazz made a brief reappearance at LAX in late spring of this year, but now that we're into summer they've disappeared again

Austrian has also returned to LAX from Vienna with 306-seat B777-200ERs

A few more items of interest:

Iberia's Stopover Madrid livery

This Emirates A380 made the news a week or two after this photo was taken when it landed in Brisbane, Australia with a hole in the wing root fairing caused by a blown tire

In May, I mentioned that Lufthansa had brought their A340-300s back to LAX. They have since also brought back their A340-600s, which have for the moment replaced their A350-900s here. Lufthansa has said that this is a temporary move, pending the arrival of more A350s. Lufthansa has both the A346 and the A359 configured for around 300 passengers. Here, we see the A346 on the taxiway in the foreground, with an A343 rolling out on the runway in the background

Before and after: Japanese carrier Zipair was introduced with a large "Z" on the tail as part of their livery. This became problematic with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as that letter has been appropriated as a pro-war symbol in Russia. Zipair has since revised the tails of their aircraft with decals that cover the offending letter:

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

We're Number 1!

Or maybe Number 5. Or 6. Or 8. Let me explain:


According to a recent report, Los Angeles leads the US as the city with the worst air quality: 


And now, on a lighter note, some gratuitous airplane photos:


 Meanwhile, in other news, another report shows that LAX is:

  • The 5th busiest airport in the world, based upon passenger count
  • The 6th busiest airport in the world, based upon aircraft operations count
  • The 8th busiest airport in the world, based upon cargo tonnage


Latest construction photos:


Friday, May 20, 2022

A340-300s return to LAX


When Air Tahiti transitioned their fleet to new Dreamliners, I thought that we had seen the last of the Airbus A340-300 at LAX. When I first started at LAX, we had over a half-dozen A343 operators. Air Tahiti was the last of those to have the small four-engine Airbus at LAX. Until, that is, this spring. As much of the world reopens after Covid, airlines have been bringing airplanes out of storage. Curiously, Lufthansa has brought the A340-300 back to LAX for one flight per day. This is in addition to their daily flights in the A350-900 and the B747-8. Lufthansa has their A340-300s in a variety of seating configurations ranging from 251 to 300 passengers. I believe that Lufthansa will be replacing the -300s at LAX later this summer with larger A340-600s. With either variant, Lufthansa is the only passenger carrier bringing the Airbus A340 to LAX at the moment. 

While I said that Lufthansa is the only passenger carrier currently operating Airbus A340s at LAX, there are a couple of cargo A340s that have been here recently:

I happened to capture both of our cargo A340s in this shot, although the European Cargo A340-600 is somewhat hidden behind the Western Global MD-11

Saturday, May 14, 2022

A new arrival, and some returns

LAX received a new airline this month, and several others have returned after their Covid hiatus. Our new arrival is French bee, who operates Airbus A350s from their home at Paris Orly airport. At the moment, they come into LAX three times a week, and that is expected to increase later this year. Los Angeles is French bee's third US destination, after San Francisco and Newark. Service to Miami is expected to start later this year. All of these are to/from Paris Orly airport, with additional service between San Francisco and Papeete in Tahiti. French bee (who started out as French Blue until JetBlue complained) operates the A350-900 in a high density configuration with a seating capacity of 411. The airline also is getting A350-1000s with 480 seats. So far, I've only seen the -900 at LAX.

Airlines returning to LAX recently include LOT from Poland, and Saudia from Saudi Arabia.

LOT operates to Los Angeles from Warsaw, Poland, using Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners. LOT was the European launch customer for the B787-8, which LOT configures for 252 passengers, while their B787-9s have a seating capacity of 294.

Saudia comes to Los Angeles from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in Boeing B777-300ERs. Saudia has nearly three dozen of these aircraft, with seating capacities from 290 to 405! The one I've pictured here wears special Formula-E livery. For those who don't happen to be car racing fans, Formula-E is run with electric race cars.

Our most recent returning airline is from Ireland. Aer Lingus was last seen at LAX two years ago, and just resumed service from Dublin this week. When we last saw them, they were in Airbus A330-200s with a seating capacity of between 260 to 271. Their returning flight was in an A330-300, wearing new paint, and seating 313 to 317 passengers. One more change for Aer Lingus is where they park at LAX; before they were at Terminal 2; now they park at the TBIT or MSC.

To wrap up, here are a couple of flashback shots from ten years ago: