Saturday, February 15, 2014

So what is special about these pictures?

I'm going to cheat today and cover both of the "What's special" shots from earlier this week in one post. Lots of you guys had ideas for the first shot (above), including what I saw: This was the first time I can remember seeing three B777-300s side-by-side at Terminal Two. It's a daily occurrence to have two B777s, most often at gates 21 and 25. Other times, we'll have a pair of B777s at 21 and 23, with an A340 at 25. Also noteworthy, as several of you noted, is the Air Canada B777 - which is not a normal Air Canada aircraft at LAX.

A number of you figured out the second photo as well. It was a lucky shot early one morning last week; if I hadn't been in the tower at the time, I would've missed it because the opportunity only lasted for about ten or fifteen minutes. What's happening here is a test-fitting of a US Airways A321 at Terminal Three's gate 31A; so far as I know it was the first time that an A321 has been put on that gate. Prior to this point, all the carriers who've been at gate 31A have used B737s (Alaska), A320s (Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, and Virgin America), or MD-80s (Alaska and Allegiant). A few days later, US Airways moved from Terminal One to Terminal Three. Here is another sunrise shot, showing US Airways Airbuses at gates 30, 31A, 31B, and 32:


  1. I would never have solved the "What's so special?" with the Boeing 777s. With Boeing building more than eighty 777s per year, it is fast becoming the standard long-range airliner, so the presence of three aircraft at Terminal 2 is unremarkable. I was under the impression, that the number of 777-300ER built, allready exceeded the number of Boeing 747-400 in passenger version, but that will have to wait another year or so.
    However, if we are talking about the number of aircraft presently in service, then the number of 777-300ER allready exceeds the passenger 747-400, because many 747s were converted to freighters. There are also 60 777-300 non ER, or A-models, but these are regional aircraft, used mainly in Asia.
    The use of the 777 by Air Canda is also unremarkable. When a flight with a narrow-bodied aircraft is cancelled due to technical reasons, it can be combined with the next flight. Long-range aircraft sometimes have extensive downtimes at an airline's hub, because travellers prefer to fly during certain times of the day. Another reason can be curfews at destination airports. If no maintenance is scheduled or necessary, then it is available for the substitution. The larger capacity of the widebody then ensures no passengers have to be bumped off.

    1. What made it remarkable in my eyes was that there were three together at that terminal (Gates 21/23/35). It's quite common to have two, either at 21 and 23 or 21 and 25; it's sort of a LAX-geeky sort of thing, I suppose. You can certainly see three side-by side on the west side of the TBIT, or out at the west remote gates. Probably happens everyday.

      Yes, the B777 is fast displacing the B747 in the pax fleets. We've heard that United is going to quit using B747 on the KLAX-YSSY flights this spring, to be replaced with B777s and later this year, Dreamliners. They've already discontinued the B747 on the flights to Heathrow. We do see a number of cargo-converted B747-400s, which can be distinguished by the long hump on the upper fuselage; purpose-built cargo B747-400s (and -8Fs) retain the short hump design from the early B747 models. Cathay Pacific, Air China, and EVA are some of the operators who bring converted B744s into LAX.

      The Air Canada B777 is rather unusual at LAX; I've seen it maybe three or four times so far. We also got (only once that I saw) an Air Canda A330; I forget now if it was a -200 or -300. We do get Air Canada B767-300s on a regular basis, however.