Monday, July 21, 2008

More airline rumors

I went on a tour of the airport last weekend with one of the airport operations guys. We get to do this every now and then for training: It's a chance for us to see the airport from the pilots' perspective. Along the way, I picked up some bits of news:

Our first Airbus 380 flight is expected in September; it'll be a one-time special operated by Emirates. Regular scheduled service is to start in October with Qantas. Singapore is also going to start A380 service later this year. Emirates is expected to start scheduled service this fall.

Air Lingus, callsign "Shamrock', will be pulling out of LAX in September. This will end the only direct service from LAX to Ireland.

Also in September, Delta will discontinue their Delta Connection operations operated by ExpressJet. As far as I know, the Delta Connection flights operated by Skywest will continue. ExpressJet, callsign 'Jetlink', also operates under their own name out of Long Beach and Ontario airports in the LA area. Along with their Delta Connection flights, ExpressJet will shut down its own airline operations on September 2nd, although their corporate charter arm will continue. ExpressJet also operates as Continental Express, although not at LAX, and this part of their operation will continue as well.

Along the same lines, we've heard rumblings that the American Eagle operation here may go away. I can't say that we'll miss their Saabs, as they're the pokiest things on the airport. I've heard that their DFW operation is replacing the Saabs with ATR's, and that would be an improvement here, too. If Eagle stays, they will eventually have to move, as their current terminal facility is slated to be replaced with a new North-South taxiway.

Several airlines are about to move terminals. Virgin America,which is currently at terminal 6, is going to move to terminal 3. Also expected later this year is service by Virgin Blue, out of Australia. They will also be at terminal 3. No word if the Virgin Atlantic operations will move from terminal 2. Several of the airlines currently at terminal 3 will be displaced to terminal 6 by the Virgin move. Among these are Frontier, Midwest, Spirit, and Sun Country.

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