COPA is Panama's flag carrier, and at one point had Continental as its majority stake holder. They still share a marketing and operating alliance, as reflected in the similarity in their paint schemes. LA is one of five US destinations for COPA; we get one flight a day (one per night actually, as can be seen by the picture) from/to their hub in Panama City, Panama. COPA uses B737-800's for this route; flight time is about six hours.
Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines is transitioning to this new livery, although I still see the old silver scheme a lot here. Currently, Spirit flies to LAX from their hubs in Detroit and Fort Lauderdale, using Airbus 319's. This is not a recent picture, as like COPA, right now LAX only sees Spirit planes well after dark.
Okay, I'll concede that this was being sneaky, as the tail logo I showed you isn't an airline but instead the logo of Star Alliance, which was the first airline alliance. Currently there are three main airline alliances, and Star Alliance is the largest. Besides United, whose B744 tail was featured, LAX sees at least a dozen of the other twenty-odd Star Alliance members. The last photo shows a Singapore B744 in the Star Alliance livery; Singapore is the only airline that has their own tail logo on their Star Alliance-scheme aircraft.
In an earlier edition, I showed you a World Airways cargo B744. This time it was a MD11 in passenger configuration, although World uses MD11's for cargo as well. World does exclusively charter work, sometimes operating for other airlines. For instance, Lufthansa Cargo flights are operated by World, using German-registered MD11's like this one:
New York-based North American is another charter airline, seen here represented by a B763. North American and World are both owned by the same parent company, Global Aviation Holdings, Inc. Barack Obama used a North American B752 for his 2008 presidential campaign.
Despite only showing up at LAX twice a week, China Southern is Asia's largest airline. Los Angeles was China Southern's first US destination, and with a flight time of 14-15 hours, is currently their longest flight. China Southern also holds the distinction of having been the first airline to fly the B777 non-stop across the Pacific. This shot shows a B772 about to touch down on runway 24 right.
Finnair is not regularly seen at LAX; this was only the second or third time I've seen them here, and the only time in a MD11. Finnair was the launch customer for the MD11, although at this point I think they're down to just this one, which passed through on a charter.
Saudi Arabian Airlines doesn't operate scheduled service into LAX, but we see them here on a regular basis nonetheless. The aircraft in the first picture is an oddball these days: a B747SP. The second shot is a MD11, which along with the B747SP's (they have three) is assigned to the Royal Flight. In addition, we also see Saudi B772's. In the past they brought in L1011 Tristars, but those have since been phased out.
While we don't receive service from Shanghai Airlines, we do have Shanghai Airlines Cargo. Not a large operator, they have a fleet of six, including four MD11's like this one, which had the misfortune to ingest a bird on departure and is seen here being towed over to the Delta maintenance ramp after an emergency return the day before. Shanghai Cargo comes in from their base at Shanghai's Pudong airport, usually by way of Anchorage, and returns via the same route. Flight time to Anchorage is just under five hours.
This one was a bit of a trick question, as it's Southern Air, but in the colors of Cargo 360. Cargo 360 was another small (fleet of 3) cargo carrier, which after about a year of operation, was merged with Southern Air. Cargo 360's radio callsign was Longhaul, and they usually appeared at LAX under contract with Korean Air Cargo.
USA3000 Airlines (callsign: Getaway) is a small carrier that has some scheduled routes east of the Mississippi as well as to Mexico and the Caribbean. The airline started out in 2001 as a charter carrier with a fleet of two, and now has a fleet of eight A320's. I've only seen them here a few times, usually on a sports charter.
Miami-based Miami Air International (callsign: Biscayne) is another charter airline that serves primarily professional sports teams, vacation/cruise operators, and the US military. At one time they had a fleet of B727's, but now have various newer B737's like this -800. I think I've worked Miami Air planes at every facility I've been assigned, including my first duty station in Monroe, Louisiana.
Yet another small cargo carrier, Centurion Air Cargo (callsign: Challenge Cargo) is not a regular operator at LAX. Based in Miami, they have four DC10's like this one, along with a MD11 or two.
So how did you do? As you can see, this week's selection was comprised mostly of carriers that for a variety of reasons are not often seen at LAX. If you thought this was tricky, get ready - for the final edition, there are no rules . . .