Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This is turning into a week of disappointments: I had plans to go to AMVIV, but the scheduling at work has been particularly whack, so that isn't working out. I was intending to mow the yard this morning and then fly to Catalina for lunch (mmm, Buffalo Burgers!), but it's raining in LA today, so that's out too. Of course, I'll take any excuse to not mow the yard, but really - rain in LA in mid-May?! I didn't approve that!

Mind you, it's the perfect excuse for staying inside and eating cookies while writing a blog entry. Too bad there aren't any cookies in the house . . . I'll have to talk to somebody about that. Meanwhile, there have been some recent developments at LAX worth mentioning:

First is the arrival of two new regional carriers at LAX: Great Lakes Airlines started service here Sunday, flying out of Gate 65 in Terminal 6. They were formerly at Ontario, but reportedly have moved to LAX in expectation of better loads via their codeshare with United. Currently, they fly to Visalia, California, and then continue on to Merced - destinations not formerly served out of LAX. Great Lakes also flies to Prescott, Arizona, a destination that had Horizon service out of LAX for a while last year. Great Lakes (radio callsign: Lakes Air) flies 19-seat Beech 1900Ds. The only other Beech 1900 operator at LAX is Ameriflight, who uses 1900Cs for cargo. Much as I like Beech products, I must say that the D-model is not an aesthetically pleasing airplane, although Great Lakes' paint scheme is one of the more attractive 1900 liveries I've seen:

Our second new arrival is Mesaba Airlines (radio callsign: Mesaba), who flies 76-seat CRJ9s as Delta Connection out of Terminal 5. We already have SkyWest operating Delta Connection flights using all three CRJ models, and we've heard that Compass Airlines, another Delta Connection operator, will be showing up this summer. So far, I've seen Mesaba flights to/from San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Spotters tips: All the Mesaba aircraft that I've seen so far have registrations ending in "XJ"; many SkyWest aircraft, although not all, have registrations ending in "SK" or "SW", and some of the SkyWest planes may also have "SkyWest" under the cockpit windows.

While we've had Spirit Airlines at LAX for some time, it's been a while since they were seen here during daylight hours. Spirit has augmented their service to Detroit and Fort Lauderdale with several daily flights to Chicago O'Hare and Las Vegas. I must be feeling snarky today, because I have to say that I like Spirit's old livery (pictured above) much more than the new (seen below). Spirit has also added A320s to their fleet:

Here are a couple of additions to the "Seen at LAX" file:

This National Air Cargo DC-8 showed up one evening

Not being a major league soccer fan, I will confess that I'd never heard of the Portland Timbers until this Alaska B737 appeared. Since the LA Galaxy beat them 3-0 when they played here in April, you'd think they'd fly that plane somewhere else . . .


  1. The top picture almost looks like it's landing on Westchester Parkway.

    Btw, Does the appearance of these regionals mean that slots are coming cheap at LAX? I.e., the economy has hit the mainstream airlines so hard that LAX is scrounging for new 'tenants.'

  2. Anon -

    Yes, it does! I hadn't really noticed that.

    I wouldn't know about the cost thing - that's not something that we encounter as controllers. That said, in the case of Great Lakes, they were already a LAWA user, as Ontario is also operated by LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports). Mesaba is operating flights out of Delta gates to destinations formerly (and/or still) served by mainline Delta flights, so presumably Delta has got that covered.

    I would personally venture a guess that LAX is not having a fire sale on gates and slots, since we don't currently have any unused gates. More gates are being added on the west side of the TBIT, but that won't have much effect on the domestic carriers, who frequently have aircraft arrive and then wait for their gate (or any gate) to become available. In fact, that happened to the first Great Lakes flight that came in Sunday morning: Their gate was still occupied by another carrier, I forget whom, who was late departing.

    Of course, this is not the time of year for needing to fill the airport, anyway: Besides the additions mentioned in this post, American, Delta, Continental/United, Virgin America and Volaris have all added flights at LAX within the last month or two. We'll be busy for the summer months; the real time to look for new business will be after Labor Day. We'll have to wait and see . . .

  3. As a GA airport manager, the hideous Beech 1900Ds are the biggest type of airliner I would ever have a chance of seeing at my airport. (Last service we had were 9-seat Pilatus PC-12s). Love your blog, love the photographs, please keep it coming because you have loyal fans. Seeing all the heavy iron is airliner porn for me--just love them! And I'm a 48-year-old mom!

  4. I started going to MLS games with my dad when I was 6 and I've had season tickets for the San Jose Earthquakes since 2001. I wish the Quakes had a jet like the Timbers...

  5. Did this DC-8 take off from 25R?? if so i saw this DC-8 on a LAX webcam :-)

  6. McD D - I don't recall if it did or not, but there's a very good chance that it did.