Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Axis of beDevil, revisted

It was a couple of years ago that I devoted a post to the airplanes that regularly show up at LAX that don't really fit at this airport. I recently referred back to that post, and in the process I took another look at it and realized how much has changed since then. The airplanes still don't fit here; that part hasn't changed. What has changed is how many more of them there are now, compared to just two years back. In addition, there's a new type to add to the list. So let's take another look at these monstrosities and who brings them into LAX.

I'll start off with the Airbus A340-600. We usually get four of these daily, and occasionally five. China Eastern is the first, arriving mid-morning from Shanghai. The others all arrive in the afternoon and evening from Europe: Lufthansa brings one from Munich, Virgin Atlantic brings two from London, and sometimes Iberia shows up in one from Madrid (although I can't seem to find any photographic evidence of this at the moment).

We have the same airport restrictions with the B777-300 as we do with the A340-600, but there are a whole lot more B773s than there were two years ago: sixteen carriers bring them to LAX, and at least half of those bring in more than one each day.

From an LAX controller point of view, the worst of the oversize airliners is the A380; it is fairly limited in where it can go, and requires an escort any time it moves on the field. We now see six A380s most days at LAX: Two from Qantas, and one each from Korean, Singapore, Air France, and China Southern. More are on the way: British Airways and Emirates are both expected to have A380s at LAX before the end of the year.

The new addition to the list of aircraft that don't fit at LAX is the B747-8. Lufthansa is the only passenger carrier to bring them here; all the rest are freighters, operated by Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Korean, and Nippon Cargo. Lufthansa is the only one that is regularly seen during daylight hours; the cargo carriers tend to operate at night. At LAX the B748 requires most of the same special considerations as apply to the A380, including an escort for all movements.



  1. I just saw a press release- EK begins A380 service on 12/2, looks like an early afternoon arrival from DXB

  2. Used to take bets as to how far down 25R the China Eastern would go before she'd be wheels up. Saw her lift up right across from El Al's pressure building once. Not much concrete left for her there.

    The 747-8's are really neat to watch. An elegant lady.

  3. Oh, look! A Brazilia on pic Pcv1160834.JPG ( the one with the China Eastern). On the same pic you see a person preparing a tow bar. Is this a stand where an aicraft has to be towed in? On that line of questioning, does the new Bradley Terminal extension improve on the problems with oversize aicraft? On the website of the airport operator http://www.lawa.org/laxdev/Newsletter.aspx
    there is mention of special training for airline personel. I believe three gates of the new section are already operational.

    A while ago there was talk about rearranging the north runways, to install a central taxiway so as to reduce the risk of runway incursions.
    I was under the imoression, though, that no definitive decision had been taken.
    If those plans are implemented, will this improve the situation with respect to oversize aiicraft?

    On the A340-600, I thought Cathay Pacific also had them, but I can find no trace of them ( on wikipedia). Thai International also has 6, but they allready 'bedivel' you with the 777-300ER :-)
    Others are Etihad, South African and Qatar. I guess these are out of range for non-stops to LAX. One other you might still see is Hainan Airlines, they have three. HAK-LAX is 6544 nm and they also have a hub at PEK.
    Nice private 767 on picture Pcv1140515.JPG