Saturday, July 2, 2011

Airbus Arrivals

It was a big day for Airbuses at LAX today (well, yesterday now that I'm writing this). Singapore finally began their much-anticipated scheduled A380 service to Tokyo, which means we now have two carriers bringing the A380 into LAX.

Seen with a KLM B747-400

With an Air France B777-300

With a Southwest B737-300

With a Volaris A319

Unexpectedly, Aeroflot also showed up in a new Airbus model. It wasn't all that long ago that they replaced their B767-300s at LAX with A330-200s; this was the first A330-300 that I've seen in Aeroflot colors. This is also the first A333 I've seen at LAX that wasn't a Northwest/Delta aircraft; we have a number of A332 operators, but until now Northwest/Delta was the only one to bring in an A333.

Another surprise was this Iberia A340-300. Iberia started flying into LAX just a couple of months ago, but this was the first time I've seen them show up on a Friday:


  1. Another great post! Thanks


  2. What the....??! I just googled 'A380 Singapore LAX' this morning, and the most recent article I could find was just after the Japanese earthquake and the article said that Singapore was going to wait until October to commence service. Oh well, can't argue the evidence.

    That SW737 looks like a toy next to the 380.

  3. I always wondered if Ilyushins or Tuplovs passenger aircrafts fly into LAX or allowed to flying to LAX? I realize most airlines that buy those planes are based in countries that are not exactly allies. I noticed Aeroflot used to fly in 767's and now the A330, but I know they have Russian made jets as well with long range capabilities like the Il-96.

  4. At one time, Aeroflot did bring in the IL-96. I've been at LAX since 2002 and have never seen one, but some of the old hands have mentioned them. Although I have no personal knowledge, they reportedly were noisy and troublesome. We do occasionally get an AN-124, which is itself an operational nuisance because it requires four minutes in position on the runway before beginning its roll for takeoff. Four minutes is an eternity to a tower controller, and yet nobody has ever been able to give me a satisfactory explanation as to why this has to be done.


  5. Thanks for the nice pix. With the increasong A380 traffic, is taxiing them around the tarmac still the chore that it once was? I see tugs on most of them. What gives? Thanks.

  6. Thanks for the explanation. Also from SIA A380 pictures it looks like there is a whole motorcade following the plane and it's being pulled to the runway. Is there a reason for that?

  7. There often is a parade of vehicles following any A380 moving at LAX because the wingspan is so great that the airport operations guys block the vehicle access roads around the A380. The traffic will pile up around the aircraft, and then move with it as it proceeds.

    As for the tugs, that's just a side effect of when I took the photos. The shots in this posting were all taken as the aircraft was departing and are not all published in the correct time sequence (i.e. the Volaris shot happened before the Southwest shot). Because of the locations of the gates and the positions of the aircraft, the A380 never just pushes off its gate; instead it gets pushed off the gate and then towed to some more convenient spot for the disconnect and engine start. While there has been some discussion of towing aircraft all the way to the runway here, it has not yet come to pass and is not expected to happen anytime soon.

    Also, further questioning of some of our senior folks has also revealed that, in the late 1980s and/or early 1990s, LAX was served by the Polish airline LOT, who most likely brought in some model of Ilyushin or Tupelov.

  8. Thanks again for the explanation. Great blog I enjoy reading it!

  9. Hi Captain Vector:
    Were u actually the local controller on runway 24s when the singapore super was departing? I guess i heard your voice on as i was listening to the tower at that time.
    Really enjoy your blog. Thanks.