Friday, May 20, 2022

A340-300s return to LAX


When Air Tahiti transitioned their fleet to new Dreamliners, I thought that we had seen the last of the Airbus A340-300 at LAX. When I first started at LAX, we had over a half-dozen A343 operators. Air Tahiti was the last of those to have the small four-engine Airbus at LAX. Until, that is, this spring. As much of the world reopens after Covid, airlines have been bringing airplanes out of storage. Curiously, Lufthansa has brought the A340-300 back to LAX for one flight per day. This is in addition to their daily flights in the A350-900 and the B747-8. Lufthansa has their A340-300s in a variety of seating configurations ranging from 251 to 300 passengers. I believe that Lufthansa will be replacing the -300s at LAX later this summer with larger A340-600s. With either variant, Lufthansa is the only passenger carrier bringing the Airbus A340 to LAX at the moment. 

While I said that Lufthansa is the only passenger carrier currently operating Airbus A340s at LAX, there are a couple of cargo A340s that have been here recently:

I happened to capture both of our cargo A340s in this shot, although the European Cargo A340-600 is somewhat hidden behind the Western Global MD-11

Saturday, May 14, 2022

A new arrival, and some returns

LAX received a new airline this month, and several others have returned after their Covid hiatus. Our new arrival is French bee, who operates Airbus A350s from their home at Paris Orly airport. At the moment, they come into LAX three times a week, and that is expected to increase later this year. Los Angeles is French bee's third US destination, after San Francisco and Newark. Service to Miami is expected to start later this year. All of these are to/from Paris Orly airport, with additional service between San Francisco and Papeete in Tahiti. French bee (who started out as French Blue until JetBlue complained) operates the A350-900 in a high density configuration with a seating capacity of 411. The airline also is getting A350-1000s with 480 seats. So far, I've only seen the -900 at LAX.

Airlines returning to LAX recently include LOT from Poland, and Saudia from Saudi Arabia.

LOT operates to Los Angeles from Warsaw, Poland, using Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners. LOT was the European launch customer for the B787-8, which LOT configures for 252 passengers, while their B787-9s have a seating capacity of 294.

Saudia comes to Los Angeles from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in Boeing B777-300ERs. Saudia has nearly three dozen of these aircraft, with seating capacities from 290 to 405! The one I've pictured here wears special Formula-E livery. For those who don't happen to be car racing fans, Formula-E is run with electric race cars.

Our most recent returning airline is from Ireland. Aer Lingus was last seen at LAX two years ago, and just resumed service from Dublin this week. When we last saw them, they were in Airbus A330-200s with a seating capacity of between 260 to 271. Their returning flight was in an A330-300, wearing new paint, and seating 313 to 317 passengers. One more change for Aer Lingus is where they park at LAX; before they were at Terminal 2; now they park at the TBIT or MSC.

To wrap up, here are a couple of flashback shots from ten years ago: