Friday, August 28, 2009

Who's That? Part 13 - Baker's Dozen delivered

This week's entries were whomever I found that I hadn't already included, so the theme could be 'The Left-Overs'. As promised, there will be one more edition to wrap up this series, but first you need the answers:

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 . . .

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Who's That? Part 13 - Baker's Dozen

Here we go again! This week's edition is a hodge-podge, made up of left-overs or oddballs that haven't already been included. Some of these are carriers that you've seen before, and most of the rest are charter or cargo operators, arranged in no particular order whatsoever. I thought that this would be the final time for this series, but I think I can scrape together one more batch . . .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Who's That? Part 12 Answers

Finally! This week's answers have been slow in coming because I lost track of the originals for a couple of the shots. After posting the tails, I subsequently discovered that I didn't have complete photos for all of this week's answers. As I may have mentioned a while back, I've been slowly transitioning from my old G4 iBook to a new MacBook. Photos taken this year are on the MacBook; earlier shots are all on the iBook - and it's been getting a bit temperamental lately. Thanks to the recent return of 'June gloom', make-up photo opportunities have been limited and there is a definite gray tendency evident in the shots I have gotten. Anyway, without further ado, here we go:

Air Berlin, Germany's second-largest airline, flies from LA to Dusseldorf, Germany, using Airbus 330-200's. This route was originally flown by LTU, which has been taken over by Air Berlin. I got lucky with this shot and caught the mains just touching down on runway 24 right.

This was the shot that I had most of the trouble with: Air India has merged with Indian Airlines, and this is the new livery. I've only caught it once with the camera, and they have since quit flying into LAX. I like this new scheme, and hopefully we'll get to see it here again someday.

I've previously shown you Allegiant's current paint scheme; this was the previous livery.

Bogota-based Avianca is Columbia's flag carrier. In case the third picture didn't make it obvious, the airline is partly owned by the National Federation of Columbian Coffee Growers. A close inspection reveals that the first and third shots are of the same aircraft, a year or two apart.

LAN, which formerly stood for Linea Aerea Nacional, is Chile's flag carrier. We also get service from subsidiary LAN Peru (callsigns LAN Chile and LAN Peru, respectively). Both fly from LAX to Lima, using B763's and A343's with apparently identical paint schemes: If there's a difference between them, I haven't spotted it yet.

MasAir is a Mexican cargo carrier based in Mexico City. According to my sources, they have a fleet of two B763's, and at times they're both on the ground here at once. Here they are, although not together.

Mexicana, the first airline established in Mexico, has the distinction of being North America's oldest airline. This A318 models their latest paint scheme, featuring a stylized eagle.

Swiss International Air Lines was formed from the former Swissair, and is a subsidiary of Lufthansa. They fly from here to their Zurich hub using A343's like this one.

I've shown you TACA before, but this is their new livery. TACA, like LAN, is a branded group of airlines, two of which fly into LAX (TACA and LACSA). TACA is from El Salvador, while LACSA is from Costa Rica.

This was a sneaky one, as I haven't mentioned these guys up til now: Volaris is a fairly new Mexican airline based at Toluca, west of Mexico City. Los Angeles was their first US destination, with service starting earlier this summer. Like some other airlines, each of their aircraft has a name.

Calgary-based WestJet is Canada's second-largest airline. In addition to Calgary, they
have recently added service from LA to Edmonton, using B737's. They use both B737's and the larger B738's on the flights to/from Calgary.

Yangtze River is a Chinese cargo carrier based in Shanghai. They've got three of these B744's, and I've seen at least two of them here at one time. Besides Shanghai, they also fly from here to DFW, which I believe is the only other place they can be seen in this country.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Who's That? Part 12

I keep thinking that I've reached the end of this series, but it seems to have turned into the Labors of Hercules. This week's entries are arranged in alphabetical order; for once the company names and radio callsigns coincide. Some of these carriers have already appeared in this series; their entries here are either new or old liveries. Good luck!