Sunday, November 2, 2008

Arrivals and Departures

It's been a busy week at LAX tower, my home away from home. Besides the first real rain of the season, and the transition off of Daylight Savings Time, we've had several notable comings and goings:

As mentioned in an earlier post, Qantas began scheduled service here with the first of their A380's. So far we get one flight a week each from/to Sidney and Melbourne. The new is starting to wear off now, and the day-to-day reality is that this thing is a royal pain. By sheer luck of the draw, I have yet to actually work the Super, as we have to call it (mere B747's and such are 'heavies'), but I have gotten to observe as various of my coworkers have worked it. 'Worked around it' is closer to the truth - there are a number of airport restrictions that apply to and/or because of the A380 that I'll enumerate some other time.

Emirates began their service to Dubai, UAE, this week, using B777-200's. I think we're getting three flights a week. This has doubled our offerings to the Middle East; previously all we had was El Al's flight to Tel Aviv, Israel, also using B777-200's. So far, whether by plan or chance I can't say, they aren't both here at the same time.

Midwest has started using a regional carrier partner for its LA to Kansas City route - currently the only service they have out of LA. The Midwest 106-seat B-717 (nee MD-95) has been replaced with the 70-seat E-170, operated by Republic Airlines (based in Indianapolis, their callsign is "Brickyard"). During the summer Midwest also went from here to Milwaukee with MD-88's; that went away along with many other flights from many other carriers right after Labor Day. The E-170 is the smallest of Embraer's "E-jet" family; there's also the 100-seat E-190, which we see at LAX in Air Canada colors:
A pair of Air Canada E-190's; the Northwest is an Airbus A319, seating capacity 124.

Aer Lingus, whom we know as 'Shamrock', flew its final flight out of LA yesterday. There was to be a ceremonial send-off water spray from the fire trucks, but as it was already raining, I think they called it off. I've been told that they have plans to resume their LA to Dublin service in the spring. However until then, we've no direct service to Ireland.

The rumor was true - American Eagle flew one of their SF-340's out this afternoon, destination the boneyard in Kingman, Arizona. Hopefully there'll be more. No word yet on if they're being replaced with something else. I heard that DFW's Eagle Flight Saabs were replaced with ATR's, which would be nice - those are much more compatible with the rest of our traffic mix. They're also a good deal bigger than the Saabs though, so unless they're adding capacity (not the prevailing trend in the industry right now) it's not likely.


Today (November 2nd) is the anniversary of the first (and only) flight of Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose in Long Beach harbor.

The Republic Airlines mentioned above flying for Midwest is not the Republic of old, which became part of Northwest Airlines in 1986. This Republic Airlines operates or has operated regional flights for flag carriers, including Delta, Continental, US Air, American, Frontier, and United.

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