The inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service and Republicans in the House of Representatives are targeting $76 million in annual subsidies that lower the cost of shipping goods to Bush Alaska, saying the struggling postal service needs to cut expenses.
Lawmakers from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on the program Tuesday entitled "Alaska Bypass Mail Delivery: A Broken System." The chairman of the committee, California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, is pushing measures he said would reduce the subsidy and let more air carriers into the program.
Issa said the cost of the subsidy amounts to postal customers buying a giant new bridge for Alaska every six years.
"Every six years the American ratepayer is buying a new bridge to nowhere," he said.
Members of Alaska's congressional delegation defended the program during a sometimes contentious hearing. Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young accused Issa of meddling in his state, and said Issa's plans would backfire and make the program even more expensive for the postal service.
Young said the postal service is $15 billion in debt and Congress should focus on issues other than this $76 million cost.
"That's what you call picking at peanuts when you have a forest fire in your backyard," Young said.
The bypass mail system is unique to Alaska. The postal service subsidizes the shipping of pallets of goods and mail to remote rural Alaska villages by commercial air carriers.
Alaska Democratic Sen. Mark Begich said 80 percent of Alaskan communities are off the road system, so groceries and other necessities have to be shipped by mail. The bypass mail system is cheaper than if the postal service had to ship the items itself, he said, and lets Alaskans have universal postal service in the most cost-effective way.
"It's not broken, despite the title of this committee hearing," Begich said.
Begich said a bipartisan postal reform bill is moving in the Senate that deals with broader problems faced by the postal service without messing with the Alaska bypass system.
The postal service's inspector general criticized the Alaska bypass mail system in a 2011 report, saying the program has gone beyond its original purpose and seems to benefit air carriers paid to carry the goods more than anyone else.
Deputy Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb suggested at Tuesday's hearing that the state of Alaska could reimburse the postal service for its losses. She said the nearly $50 billion Alaska Permanent Fund earned $2.9 billion last year and the money could come from those earnings.
Young criticized the inspector general's report.
"He's full of it, right up to his eyeballs," Young told the committee.
The postal service's Alaska district manager, Ronald Haberman, supported the bypass mail system in his testimony. Haberman said it works well and is the most efficient way to handle the goods headed to rural Alaska. He said the postal service has a mission to provide reliable service to everyone, even if that delivery comes at a loss.
Issa said the system forces America's postal ratepayers to subsidize a select set of air carriers, and that if nothing else it needs to be opened to competition from other carriers. Begich said letting carriers in that don't have a solid share of the rural Alaska market would lead to unreliable service and higher costs.
(Sean Cockerham - Anchorage Daily News)
Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/03/04/3357460/postal-service-official-lawmakers.html#storylink=cpy
Qantas A380-842 (c/n 074) VH-OQL "Phyllis Arnott" smokes the mains on Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on January 25, 2012.
(Photo by Michael Carter)
John Hempton, fund manager at Bronte Capital has argued that it is time to let Qantas fail.
At this stage, it seems Qantas is not going to get any help from the government, with both Labor and the Greens opposed to any changes to the Qantas Sale Act, and the Coalition unwilling to give the airline a loan or even a debt guarantee. Qantas appears stuck trying to sort its own issues out.
In his blog, Mr Hempton says the company has been mismanaged for many years.
“Decades of incompetence has left them with the most amazingly heterogeneous fleet in the world. This airline deserves to go bust,”he says.
Mr. Hempton cites one example where Qantas uses ageing four-engined Boeing 747s on the Sydney to Los Angeles route, whereas most other airlines are using more advanced twin engine planes, that are much more fuel efficient.
Fuel is a huge cost for airlines, Qantas’s fuel bill for the last six months was $2.3 billion alone. Perhaps no surprise given the airline still uses gas-guzzling 747s.
Add in the fact that Qantas flies 11 different types of aircraft, and you can imagine the cost in spare parts, maintenance and training are likely to be much higher than if the airline had say just five or less different types.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says they are trying to rationalise the aircraft fleet, reducing the number of types down to 7.
In my view, that’s just one of the issues plaguing the airline. Buying new aircraft is hugely expensive, and airlines typically use debt or equity to buy new planes. The problem is that at the end of their active life, the planes are virtually worthless, and newer planes are much more expensive than they were previously.
As a result, most airlines build up huge piles of debt, which costs them hundreds of millions in interest costs each year, and they have no real way of making a significant dent in the debt pile. That is, unless they raise cash from shareholders of course.
Virgin Australia Holdings has split itself into two companies to cope with this issue. The domestic operation can now have significant foreign ownership, and Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad have wasted no time taking control of over 60% of Virgin. They have also injected much needed capital into Virgin, but are likely to be forced to continue injecting capital.
Nippon Cargo Airlines 747-8KZF(SCD) (36136/1421) JA11KZ turns off Rwy 25L at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX) on December 12, 2013.
(Photo by Michael Carter)
Global air freight grew 4.5% in January over the same month in 2013, a marked improvement on the sluggish growth that has plagued the air cargo market over the last couple of years.
The IATA figures for January show growth outpaced the 2.2% increase seen in December, itself an improvement on a growth rate of just 1.4% in air freight as a whole during 2013.
IATA reports growth was solid across all region. While the Middle East carriers, led by the fast-expanding Gulf airlines, continue to grow at the fastest rate at nearly 11% in January, but there were positive signs for European and Asia-Pacific operators too.
European air freight levels were 6% higher in January as the region continues to step out from recession. "Surveys of business activity in the Eurozone show the strongest rate of increase in two-and-a-half years. If these feed through into trade volume growth, then it should be positive for European air cargo in the coming months," says IATA.
Asia-Pacific carriers - which account for around 40% of the global air freight market - increased air cargo traffic nearly 4%. This compares to a decline of more than 1% in 2013. "Trade volumes in the region have rebounded as demand from Europe and North America for Asian manufactured goods improves," IATA says.
But it was not all good news for Asia-Pacific carriers. IATA points to indications that the Chinese economy could be slowing down which would impact cargo in the coming months, while the early falling of the Chinese new year in 2014 is likely to see slower comparable growth for February.
And while the region's carriers returned growth in January, freight traffic among Asian operators continues to fall short of the additional capacity - almost 10% - added during the month.
"The improvement in demand is good news. It is a step-up in pace from the mild strengthening that we saw towards the second half of 2013. And in real terms, volumes are similar to the 2010 post-recession peak," says IATA director general Tony Tyler.
IATA has over the last six months been flagging that while passenger business fortunes have been improving, air freight has remained sluggish as global trade has not picked up in line with the economic improvement.
"Protectionist measures are part of the reason for a slower expansion of world trade than we would expect from current levels of industrial production. Companies continue to re-organise supply chains in their efforts to move manufacturing on-shore," says Tyler.
Qatar Airways has unveiled the cabin interior of its Airbus A380s at the ITB travel trade show in Berlin today, which features a new first-class product. The airline plans to put the superjumbo into service this summer between Doha and London Heathrow. Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker revealed the cabin layout at the show. The airline is configuring its A380s with a three-class, 517-seat layout incorporating first and business class on the upper deck and economy on the upper and main deck.
The first-class cabin features an all-new lie-flat seat offering 90in pitch
The six-abreast business-class cabin is similar to that introduced on Qatar’s 787s
The economy cabin on the main deck has 10-abreast seating
The eight-seat first-class cabin is at the front of the upper deck and features a brand new lie-flat design offering 90in (229cm) pitch and equipped with a 48cm screen. The A380 is expected to be the only aircraft in Qatar’s fleet to feature a first-class cabin once its four A340-600s have been retired.
"It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new first class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin, the perfect event at which to announce such important innovations to our global audience," says Al Baker.
The A380’s 50-seat business-class cabin is in a six-abreast layout with seats similar to those on the airline’s Boeing 787s. Again, the seats are a lie-flat design.
The economy cabins occupy the entire main deck and part of the upper deck, comprising 459 seats in total. The main deck incorporates a 10-abreast 3-4-3 layout. The upper-deck economy cabin seats 40 passengers, with the airline's frequent flyers being given priority for these seats.
Qatar Airways is due to take delivery of its first three A380s in June, to coincide with the opening of the new Doha International airport. The delivery of the first two aircraft has been pushed back from April and May to allow the airline to introduce the type when its new hub is operational. The airline has firm orders for 10 A380s and options for three more.
Qatar Airways will bring an A380 to the Farnborough air show in July, where it will also display a Boeing 787-8 and a sharklet-equipped A320. The airline’s line-up will be completed by Airbus displaying an A350-900 in a hybrid scheme featuring Qatar Airways titles.
Russian investigators have concluded that an unstable approach at high speed contributed to the fatal Red Wings Tupolev Tu-204 overrun at Moscow.
The aircraft’s approach speed, up to 24kt higher than it ought to have been, prolonged the Tu-204’s float before it made contact with the runway.
This resulted in a reduction in available landing distance, while the soft 1.12g touchdown in a crosswind meant weight-on-wheels switches did not activate, and the spoilers did not deploy.
This also meant the thrust-reverse system could not deploy, owing to safety logic which prevents activation while the aircraft is airborne. However, the crew did not wait for confirmation of reverser deployment before engaging high engine power, which instead accelerated the Tu-204 forwards.
Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee, in its final report into the 29 December 2012 accident, says the crew’s failure to engage reverse thrust correctly meant the aircraft did not decelerate and eventually overran, colliding with a highway embankment.
The crew demonstrated poor resource management which allowed the approach to become unstable, the inquiry states, adding that an inadequate level of flight operations monitoring meant such deficiencies went undetected.
Despite another serious landing incident involving a Red Wings Tu-204 at Novosibirsk nine days earlier, which also related to weight-on-wheels switches, the inquiry says no “timely preventative measures” were taken.
Five of the eight occupants of the aircraft, which had been operating a positioning flight, were killed in the crash.
NASA has threatened to ground a vintage Boeing 747SP equipped with an astronomical observatory unless more funding is raised by partner Germany or new sources.
The possible grounding marks the most serious threat to the Stratospheric Observation For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) project since NASA suspended funding to the programme for five months in 2006 following a long series of delays and cost increases.
The 2.7m (100in) infrared telescope aboard SOFIA has been operational for nearly four years, but pressures on NASA’s $5 billion science budget have forced the agency to consider shelving the project, says NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a teleconference with reporters on 4 March.
“We have a $5 billion science budget, but we – even with that large amount of money – we have to make choices,” Bolden says, explaining the decision.
Bolden says NASA already operates the world's “foremost” astronomical observatory with the Hubble Space Telescope. It is scheduled to be replaced in 2018 by the James Webb Space Telescope, which Bolden describes “the most incredible astrophysics instrument” in development by any country.
NASA will ground the SOFIA aircraft after 1 October without additional funding from sources outside the agency’s budget, he says.
Germany’s aerospace research center (DLR) contributes 20% of the cost of operating the SOFIA laboratory and NASA covers the remaining 80%.
Germany’s contributions include the assignment of 15 staff members to the SOFIA base at NASA’s Dryden Research Center in Palmdale, California, according to DLR’s web site. The DLR also pays for spare parts for the telescope and the 747SP’s engines, as well as the fuel cost for the 30% of flights assigned to German research missions.
Conceived in the late-1980s to replace a NASA-owned Lockheed C-141 equipped with a flying telescope, SOFIA has survived many delays and threatened cancellations. The reunification of Germany delayed the DLR’s involvement until 1996, when it signed an agreement with NASA to launch the project.
NASA acquired a used 747SP that originally formed part of Pan Am’s long-range fleet, and was christened the Lindbergh Clipper. But the task of installing the 19t telescope and installing an exterior door in the aft fuselage led to several delays. Plans to launch science missions were delayed from 2004 to 2010, as costs more than trebled.
British Airways 787-8 "Dreamliner" (38611/114) G-ZBJC smokes the mains as it arrives at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS/KAUS) from London-Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) as "Speedbird191" on the inaugural flight between the two cities on March 3, 2014.
United Airlines is getting tough on passengers with oversized carry-on bags, even sending some of them back to the ticket counter to check their luggage for a fee.
The Chicago-based airline has started a push to better enforce rules restricting the size of carry-on bags — an effort that will include instructing workers at security checkpoint entrances to eyeball passengers for bags that are too big.
In recent weeks, United has rolled out new bag-sizing boxes at most airports and sent an email to frequent fliers, reminding them of the rules. An internal employee newsletter called the program a "renewed focus on carry-on compliance."
The size limits on carry-on bags have been in place for years, but airlines have enforced them inconsistently, rarely conducting anything beyond occasional spot checks.
United says its new approach will ensure that bags are reliably reviewed at the security checkpoint, in addition to the bag checks already done at gates prior to boarding.
Passengers are typically allowed one carry-on bag to fit in the overhead bin, which can be no larger than 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches. Fliers can also bring one personal item such as a purse or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front of them.
People flying with oversized bags can have the suitcase checked for free at the gate, a longstanding practice. But those who get halted at the entrance to security must now go back to the ticket counter and pay the airline's $25 checked-luggage fee.
Some travelers suggest the crackdown is part of a larger attempt by United to collect more fees. The airline says it's simply ensuring that compliant passengers have space left for them in the overhead bins. In recent years, the last passengers to board have routinely been forced to check their bags at the gate because overhead bins were already full.
"The stepped-up enforcement is to address the customers who complained about having bags within the size limit and weren't able to take them on the plane," United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson said. "That is solely what this is about."
It has nothing to do with revenue, Johnson said, adding that one non-compliant bag takes up the same space as two compliant ones.
But the airline is likely to benefit financially if more passengers are turned back at security.
"This new program is primarily to drive new revenue and will likely delay the boarding process even more unless better education is provided around what is and is not acceptable," said Brian Kelly, an industry watcher who writes about flying trends at ThePointsGuy.com.
But, he added, having fewer bags on board could also be good for passengers.
"I've been whacked more times than I can count by people loaded down with their life's worldly possessions," Kelly said.
United collects $638 million in checked-bag fees a year but wants to increase that figure. In a January earnings call, the airline's chief revenue officer, Jim Compton, said United hopes to collect an extra $700 million over the next four years from extras such as baggage fees and the sale of extra legroom.
Those fees have helped the airline industry return to profitability even as the price of fuel has climbed. While airfare has risen faster than inflation, it could have risen faster still without the added revenue.
Other airlines have bag sizers at checkpoints, but enforcement was sporadic at best.
American Airlines asks staff at some of its largest airports "to do an eyeball test" of carry-ons. The airline has even used tape measures to enforce polices.
Delta Air Lines puts agents near security to look for oversized carry-on bags "during peak times at hubs and larger airports." It has also improved technology to check bags faster at gates.
United is going further than other airlines. Its bag sizers have a space for bags going in overhead bins and another for those items going under the seats.
Christina Schillizzi, a frequent United flier from New Jersey, said she was shocked to see the flight crew stringently forcing people to check carry-on bags on a recent flight. They even questioned if her laptop would fit under the seat.
"Fliers were naturally annoyed" and did not want to give up their luggage, she said. "Ultimately, the less-than-friendly flight attendants won out." United has also updated its website, telling passengers to use the new sizers to test their luggage "so you can check any bags that are too large right there in the lobby."
"You may have purchased a bag that claims to be 'official carry-on size,'" the airline cautioned. "However, this labeling can be misleading because it doesn't specifically represent United's size restrictions."
The process of getting on a plane dramatically changed in 2008, when U.S. airlines started charging extra to check a suitcase. To avoid the fee, more passengers started bringing suitcases into the airplane cabin, many of them overstuffing the bags. Suddenly there was not enough room in the overhead bins.
Airlines now sell priority boarding passes guaranteeing those who pay extra get some space in the overhead compartments. Everybody else is left jockeying for a position at the gate, hoping to get on board before the bins filled up.
Once on the plane, passengers take longer to sit down because they are trying to cram over-packed suitcases into the already overflowing bins. Airlines have been installing new, larger overhead bins, but it has not entirely solved the problem.
"It was getting out of control with how much people were bringing on board," said Michel Jacobson, a frequent United flier who works for a Washington D.C.-based trade group.
Jacobson isn't so worried about paying the $25 checked-bag fee — it's waived for him as an elite member of United's frequent-flier program. Instead, he fears needing to show up at the airport earlier to check a bag he's used to bringing onboard.
When Spirit Airlines started charging passengers in 2010 to place bags in the overhead bin — something only Spirit and Allegiant Air do — executives said the move helped improve on-time performance. Spirit charges $5 more for carry-on bags than checked bags.
Last year, United reconfigured its gate areas to separate the people in boarding group 1 from those in group 2 and group 3 and so on. The goal was to instill some order and speed up boarding.
Then on Feb. 21, Aaron Goldberg, United's senior manager of customer experience planning, notified frequent fliers that the airline was launching "a broad communications campaign to support awareness of our carry-on baggage policy."
And for those fliers with non-compliant bags there was a link offering discounts — and the ability to redeem frequent-flier miles — on suitcases from Tumi, Samsonite and Hartmann.
Beginning August 10th, the Dallas-based airline will operate daily service from Cancun, Mexico to Atlanta and Baltimore BWI, along with Saturday service to Milwaukee. San Jose del Cabo will receive daily service from Santa Ana, while Nassau, Bahamas will see Saturday only service to Atlanta.
The carrier will further expand international flights in October, operating daily service from Cancun to Denver starting on the 7th, and San Jose del Cabo to Denver on the 11th.
All of the routes are currently serviced by merger partner Air Tran. Consequently, Southwest will be assuming operations from the subsidiary as the post-merger integration continues.
The flights will be available for purchase through October 31, though post-Wright Amendment flights from Dallas Love remain unavailable.
The airline announced its first international routes in late January of 2014, all to the Caribbean. The flights, also all current Air Tran routes, will service Aruba, Montego Bay, and Nassau from several east coast cities. CEO Gary Kelly reported in a January press conference that 2015 would be the earliest it would consider adding new international destinations, stating that it would be focusing on absorbing the Air Tran network in the meantime. Houston is likely to become the first hub in 2015, followed by Fort Lauderdale, which is currently under construction to accommodate the growth, in 2017.
Craft beer fans should dust off their Southwest free-drink coupons: The airline has announced a partnership with New Belgium Brewing that means craft beer will finally be available at 30,000 feet.
The Colorado brewery’s flagship Fat Tire will join the usual macro-brewed subjects like Miller Lite and Heineken as the only craft-brewed option the airline offers. Fat Tire — known for its success as a “gateway” beer for those new to craft brews — is one of the most popular craft brands in the country, and the malty amber ale is now available on all Southwest Airlines and AirTran flights.
Blow all your free-drink vouchers on tiny bottles of Wild Turkey? The cans of Fat Tire will set you back just $5 — the same as the insipid light lagers that Southwest has offered for years.
Recent months have seen more craft brews being offered at airports, with locally brewed craft beers available at LAX, and Stone Brewing opening a bar in the San Diego International Airport.
Hopefully this is just the beginning for craft beer in the friendly skies. Asked if there will be more craft brewed offerings in the future, a Southwest spokesperson responded with this canned but encouraging statement: “Southwest and AirTran continually looks for opportunities to refresh and add variety to its onboard offerings to meet its customers.”
You have a choice when you fly, and now you can choose craft beer if you’re flying Southwest.
Our Seattle reporter Joe G. Walker captured these 737-700's at Paine Field (PAE/KPAE) on February 17, 2014. All appear to be destined for Southwest Airlines as most have tapped on Southwest registrations. I do know we are picking up used -700's. Two are coming from China Southern, two, possibly three from Alaska Airlines, one from Virgin Australia and as you can see by the photos one from Inerjet. There are another 10 coming from WestJet but don't know the exact time frame on those.
Ex Inerjet 737-73V (30249/1128) C-GZEJ tbr N559WN.
Don't know what airline N7815L is from possibly Virgin Australia.
Ex Alaska Airlines 737-790's (30166/700) N623AS tbr N557WN and (30778/724) N624AS new Southwest registration unknown at this time.
There are 11 Boeing 787 Dreamliners parked on the tarmac at The Boeing Co. plant near Seattle that have been rejected by the airlines that placed the original orders. Normally, Boeing would just march down its order backlog and find another buyer. But these planes are special.
These 11 planes are early versions of the Dreamliner and are heavier than the model now available and also require a number of repairs in order to meet federal standards. Bloomberg cites unnamed sources who say Boeing built a “record inventory” of the planes before getting certification in 2011 and that there are “dozens of older versions” that the company has recently begun upgrading the last of the early versions.
The 11 planes that are available were originally ordered by Russia’s Transaero Airlines (4 planes), Indonesia’s PT Lion Mentari Airlines (5 planes), and RwandaAir (2 planes). Boeing is expected to sell the planes for more than 50% off the list price of $211.8 million.
PT Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia Airline System Bhd are among potential buyers, with Garuda now reported to be considering the 787 alongside the Airbus A350.
If Boeing can’t find buyers for the planes it will have to write them down, and even at a discounted $100 million per aircraft that’s $1.1 billion against the company’s bottom line at some point. Given the difficulties Boeing had getting the 787 in the air that’s just more embarrassment it really doesn’t need.
Another potential impact is that the low-priced planes could hit margins when they are sold and unit costs could pile up, at least briefly.
Boeing’s shares are down about 0.8% in the noon hour Tuesday at $128.50 in a 52-week range of $75.14 to $144.57.
Anyone who can afford to purchase a personal luxury jumbo jet shouldn’t have to climb steps to board his $500 million plaything. At least that’s the pitch from Greenpoint Technologies, which is developing a personal elevator that descends from the belly of a customized Boeing 747-8 to whisk presidents, princes, and tycoons from the tarmac to the plane’s main deck.
Greenpoint’s Aerolift is aimed at customers who are spending up to $250 million to outfit one of Boeing’s iconic humpbacked, four-engine aircraft with wood paneling, bedroom suites, and home theaters. That’s on top of the $356.9 million list price for the unmodified 747. There’s a “cool factor of pulling up to my 747, and out pops an elevator,” says Bret Neely, vice president of sales for Kirkland (Wash.)-based Greenpoint, which creates custom interiors for Boeing’s VIP jets. “We’re trying to sell prestige here as well.”
There is a practical side to the four-person elevator, whose design Greenpoint patented in January: It spares infirm and security-conscious passengers from trudging up a steep flight of rolling stairs, Neely says. VIP aircraft tend to park away from the jet bridges at airport terminals. Greenpoint developed the device at the request of a wheelchair-bound customer shopping for a 747-8 who previously was forced to perch precariously atop forklifts and catering trucks to board smaller jets.
Neely isn’t discussing pricing, citing confidentiality agreements with Boeing and buyers. Christine Hadley, Greenpoint’s senior manager for marketing, would say only that the total cost to install an Aerolift would run in the “tens of millions of dollars.”
A belly-mounted elevator seems a natural fit for the “small but very profitable market” of high-end private jets, says Richard Aboulafia, an analyst at aerospace consultant Teal Group. “One of the missing pieces in making jet travel luxurious is that interface between terminal and airplane.”
A decade ago, an elevator would have been too heavy. That barrier fell, thanks to new, lightweight composite materials. Working with Boeing, Greenpoint found the one place on a jumbo’s underbelly where it could install the device without disturbing flight controls, fuel systems, and landing gear.
The elevators are designed solely for the latest 747 model, the 747-8, and not Airbus’s rival A380 superjumbo. Since 2011, Boeing has delivered eight VIP versions of the 747-8 to completion centers such as Greenpoint for extensive makeovers of cabin interiors that take two years, says Karen Crabtree, a spokeswoman for the planemaker. The posh add-ons can include granite kitchens and even fireplaces. The first of those ultraluxe jumbos is to be handed over to customers this year.
Private use by the wealthy wasn’t the intended mission for the plane, which typically carries 467 passengers. But sales of Boeing’s largest aircraft remain stalled, so anything that spurs demand is helpful, Aboulafia says: “With the 747-8, every plane counts.”
So far, Greenpoint has one elevator customer; it needs another to make a product launch financially feasible. “We have a couple of customers that are looking at purchasing 747-8s and want the Aerolift on board their aircraft,” Neely says. “If that occurs, we’ll go forward.”
Arriving from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP/KMSP) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 at 07:58 pst as "POT4702."
Over the Long Beach Tower and C-17A facilities on short final to Rwy 30.
Rotating from Rwy 30.
An environmentally friendly Russian aircraft to be sure!
Polet Airlines Antonov AN-124-100 "Ruslan" (c/n 9773051359127) RA-82068 spent a few days here in Long Beach following its arrival on Tuesday due to weather conditions in Minneapolis. It finally departed yesterday February 21, 2014 at 11:22 pst as "POT4704."
Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov AN-124-100 "Ruslan" (c/n 9773054155101) RA-82043 arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Winnipeg International Airport (YWG/CYWG) as "VDA1604" at 08:48 pst on Monday February 17.
In the above photos the aircraft is captured departing the following day bound for Tulsa International Airport (TUL/KTUL) at 08:10 pst as "VDA1605."
Polet Airlines AN-124-100 "Ruslan" RA-82068 and Volga-Dnepr Airlines AN-124-100 "Ruslan RA-82043 shared the ramp at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) for about 15 minutes on Tuesday February 18, 2014 a most unusual occurrence.
I will post more individual photos of each aircraft later.