Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Channel Islands ANG 115 AS C-130J-30 Hercules (L-382) (c/n 382-5576) 05-1466 departs John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) on April 24, 2012.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Japan Airlines operates inaugural 787 service to Boston

 "JAL8" arrives from Narita International (NRT/RJAA) at 11:37 est.
 Taxies at Boston-Logan International (BOS/KBOS).
Japan Airlines 787-846 (34832/23) JA822J operated the first scheduled 787 service to North America today, April 22, 2012.

(Photos by Eric Trum)

Lovely G550 takes a late Saturday afternoon spin

 Short final to Rwy 30.
G550 (c/n 5251) N251GV, ex HZ-ALFA, and N351GA returns to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) smoking the mains on Rwy 30 at 16:14 pst on April 21, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Investigation begins into crash of Bhoja Air 737-200

Pakistani officials on Saturday promised a full investigation into the crash of a Bhoja Air domestic flight that killed 127 people, saying they were examining all possibilities, from a technical fault to the age of the Boeing 737 to sabotage.

Grieving relatives claiming the remains of loved ones at a hospital expressed grief and anger over the crash in a storm as the plane approached Islamabad on a flight from Karachi, Pakistan's commercial hub.

Armed police kept media out of the Institute of Medical Sciences in the capital where the remains were stored.

With wreckage scattered over a square km of wheat fields, officials said there were no survivors.

"We are trying to find out whether the life of the plane was over, whether it was a technical fault, whether it was sabotage or any other reason," Interior Ministers Rehman Malik told reporters.

The Boeing 737-200 was more than 27 years old, according to AviationSafety.net.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, speaking outside the hospital, said: "Until investigations are completed, we cannot jump to any conclusions."

Malik said the owner of Bhoja Air, Farooq Bhoja, had been barred from leaving the country to ensure his cooperation with the investigation. "Action will be taken, and will be seen to have been taken, I promise you," he said.

Bhoja Air started flights in 1993 but suspended operations eight years later because of financial problems. It resumed domestic flights only last month.

The plane's "black box", which records flight data, was recovered last night, rescue authorities said.


Many of the relatives gathered at the hospital had flown up from Karachi on Saturday morning for the task of identifying victims. Women and men sobbed openly and pushed reporters away.

"My brothers are gone! My brothers are gone!" cried Mohammad Shahzad, slumping to the ground by the hospital entrance.

One brother had been identified, he said, the other remained missing. Both had been on a day-long business trip linked to the transport company run by the three siblings.

"We don't know what to tell the kids, we don't know what to tell my mother," Shahzad said. "They keep calling. I told them there was an accident and we don't know anything yet."

Ayesha Ishaque pressed her face against a light brown wooden coffin labelled "Body 140". Her brother, Mohammad Saud Ishaque, had been returning home from studies in Karachi.

"Why has God done this to my brother," she wailed.


Visible were clear plastic containers with bone fragments with labels such as "bone from foot", "bone from arm" and "rib".

Three men from the national database agency were taking a cigarette break from identifying the bodies from fingerprints.

"We've identified at least 73 bodies so far, and at least 25 will have to be sent for DNA testing because their hands and digits could not be read," said one man, clearly exhausted, his latex gloves and blue overalls covered with blood stains.

A coffin periodically passed through the crowd with a piece of paper on top bearing the victim's name and identification number. Bystanders threw rose petals over the grim procession.

Security was intensified at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto Airport. Some women had their bags emptied and each item checked.

"I'm feeling okay to fly," said Mohammad Ehsan, 47, an engineer who had been scheduled to travel on the plane on the return flight to Karachi that it never made.

"I was in shock last night. When I saw the pain and grief the relatives were feeling I just couldn't think of taking a flight last night. I am grateful for being alive."


Air Force Two suffers bird strike

Air Force Two, the plane carrying Vice President Joe Biden, suffered a bird strike in California on Thursday, a spokeswoman for his office said, but it landed without problem and all on board were safe at all times.

The incident occurred on Thursday night as Air Force Two was landing in Santa Barbara. A person familiar with the situation said the landing felt normal to people on board.

"The vice president left Santa Barbara this afternoon as scheduled, aboard an alternate US Air Force aircraft," the spokeswoman said.

Lieutenant Gregg Johnson of the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, which is responsible for transporting the president, vice president and other senior US officials, said the crew and passengers of Air Force Two had been "safe at all times."

"There was no emergency - no emergency landing declared," he said, adding it was not possible at this stage to determine the level of damage, if any, that the modified Boeing 757 aircraft sustained in the bird strike.

Another bird strike on Thursday forced a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Los Angeles to make an emergency return to New York's John F Kennedy Airport.

In January 2009, a US Airways flight made a successful emergency landing in the Hudson River after it struck a flock of geese shortly after take-off from New York's LaGuardia Airport. All 155 passengers and crew survived.


Friday, April 20, 2012

American Airlines employees support merger with US Airways

The three main unions at bankrupt American Airlines on Friday said they have reached a tentative agreement with US Airways, putting pressure on American to start merger talks with its rival.

The unions said they support a possible merger that would preserve jobs that otherwise would be lost if American's parent AMR sticks to its plan to restructure as a stand-alone airline. American so far has shunned merger interest from US Airways.

"We are pleased to confirm our support of a possible merger between our airline and US Airways," the unions representing American's flight attendants, pilots and ground workers said in a statement.

The unions said a deal with US Airways would save at least 6,200 American Airlines' jobs that would have been shed under the company's standalone strategy. American has said it wants to cut 13,000 union jobs, or roughly 15 percent, of its work force, as part of an overall drive to save USD$1.25 billion in annual staff costs.

Pilots at American Airlines are represented by the Allied Pilots Association. The flight attendants are represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants. The Transport Workers Union represents seven groups of ground workers at American.


Bhoja Air 737-200 crashes in Islamabad

A Pakistani airliner with 127 people on board crashed in bad weather as it came in to land in Islamabad on Friday, scattering wreckage and leaving no sign of survivors.

The Boeing 737, operated by local airline Bhoja Air, was flying to the capital from Pakistan's biggest city and business hub Karachi. It crashed more than 5 miles (about 9 km) from the airport.

Aviation official Pervez George gave no details of casualties. Rescue workers, who combed muddy fields at the crash site, said there was no chance of finding survivors.

Body parts and personal effects lay among wreckage strewn in a small settlement just outside Islamabad.

Residents said they had seen a ball of fire in the sky when the plane crashed. Parts of the aircraft crashed into electricity poles, blanketing the area in darkness.

Bhoja Air said the plane crashed during its approach into Islamabad due to bad weather. There was no indication from the government that it could have been the result of foul play.

A man who had been waiting at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto Airport for the flight yelled "my two daughters are dead".

In a state of shock, he then slumped on the floor and sat silently as other relatives of passengers crowded around lists of those on board.

The uncle of the sisters, 18 and 20, said they were supposed to return to Islamabad on Sunday but flew early to see an aunt who is visiting from London.

"We don't even know when or where we will get to see their bodies," said the uncle, Qamar Abbas

Nearby, relatives of passengers hugged each other and sobbed. One man cried "my kids, my kids".

Among them was Zarina Bibi, desperate to determine whether her husband was on the flight. "He called me before leaving Karachi but I don't know if he was on this flight or not," said Bibi, whose eyes were red from crying.

The last major aviation accident in Pakistan was in July 2010, when a commercial airliner operated by AirBlue with 152 people on board crashed into the hills overlooking Islamabad.

In 2006, a Pakistan International Airlines aircraft crashed near the central city of Multan, killing 45 people.

State television reported that all hospitals in Islamabad and the nearby city of Rawalpindi had been put on high alert after Friday's crash.

At Islamabad's main hospital, rescue workers brought in remains of the passengers placed under white sheets that were soaked in blood.

"Two years later the same story is being repeated in my house again," said Nasreen Mubasher, who was at the hospital waiting for the remains of her brother-in-law, who was a passenger. Another brother-in-law died in the AirBlue crash.

Boeing said in a statement on its website that it "wishes to extend its profound condolences to the families and friends" of the Bhoja Air passengers.

At Karachi airport, Asim Hashmi complained the airline's counter was shut and he had no way of obtaining information on his aunt and cousin, who were on flight B4-213.

"We don't know anything," he said. "Just pray for the souls of the departed. That is all we can do now."


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Jetstar captain wins the Homer Simpson "Dope" award of the week win he forgets to lower landing gear

We all know that playing on a cell phone while driving a car is a no-no. So, it stands to reason that commercial airline pilots would abstain while flying. Never assume, folks. Never assume.

In a story that is sure to cause no small amount of outrage, a Jetstar pilot was forced to abort his Singapore landing when he realized at the last moment (the plane was 392 feet from the ground) that he'd forgotten to put the landing gear down. His excuse: He was distracted by incoming text messages to his phone.

The incident, which took place on a 220-seat Airbus A320, occurred on May 27, 2010. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recently released the findings of its investigation. The captain was no rookie. He had more than 13,000 hours of flight experience, while the co-pilot had around 4,000 hours.

According to the investigation's findings, the plane's co-pilot turned off the automatic pilot in preparation to land. At this point, the captain's cell phone started making noises. The captain apparently tried to turn it off, but had trouble unlocking it.

As the plane descended farther, neither was aware that the landing gear had yet to be lowered. The co-pilot looked at the instrument panel, saw that "something was not quite right," but was unable to determine what that was.

At around 720 feet above ground, the plane let off an alert that the landing gear had not been deployed. The captain tried to lower it, but by then the plane was too low for the landing gear to be extended and locked into place. At 392 feet, the captain elected to abort the landing and return to the skies. The plane later touched down safely.

Fatigue was apparently also a factor in the mistakes. The previous night, the captain was woken twice by hotel fire alarms while the co-pilot was disturbed by housekeeping at 4:30 a.m.

The Safety Bureau didn't issue fines against Jetstar, a budget airline associated with Qantas, or the two pilots.

(Mike Krumboltz - Yahoo Travel News)

Southwest Airlines reports 1st quarter profit

Southwest Airlines Co. today reported its first quarter 2012 results. First quarter 2012 net income was $98 million, or $.13 per diluted share, which included $116 million (net) of favorable special items. This compared to net income of $5 million, or $.01 per diluted share, in first quarter 2011, which included unfavorable special items totaling $15 million (net). Excluding special items, first quarter 2012 net loss was $18 million, or $.02 loss per diluted share, compared to net income of $20 million, or $.03 per diluted share, in first quarter 2011. This compared favorably to Thomson's First Call mean estimate of $.05 loss per diluted share. Operating income for first quarter 2012 was $22 million, compared to $114 million in first quarter 2011. Excluding special items, operating income was $10 million for first quarter 2012, compared to $110 million for the same period last year. Additional information regarding special items is included in this release and in the accompanying reconciliation tables.

Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Despite a modest loss, excluding special items, our first quarter results were notable, with outstanding revenue production and, except for jet fuel, better-than-expected operating costs. Record first quarter revenue results were produced with strong revenue management and network optimization, along with benefits from the AirTran acquisition and All-New Rapid Rewards. First quarter 2012 passenger revenues, on a unit basis, increased five percent compared to first quarter last year, representing a 15 percent improvement over two years, and over 30 percent improvement since first quarter 2009 (as compared to combined results, as defined below). Traffic and booking trends, thus far in April, are solid.

"The decline in operating income was driven by a $478 million increase in our first quarter economic fuel costs, compared to first quarter last year. Energy price increases continue to pressure costs, which only serve to reinforce our commitment to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency throughout our Company."

Financial Results and Outlook

AirTran Airways, Inc. became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company on May 2, 2011. Results discussed in this release and provided in the accompanying unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements and Comparative Consolidated Operating Statistics include the results of operations and cash flows for AirTran beginning May 2, 2011, including the impact of purchase accounting. Periods presented prior to the acquisition date do not include AirTran's results. However, the Company believes the analysis of specified financial results on a "combined basis" provides more meaningful year-over-year comparability. Financial information presented on a "combined basis" is the sum of the historical financial results of the Company and AirTran for periods prior to the acquisition date, but includes the impact of purchase accounting beginning May 2, 2011. Supplemental financial information presented on a "combined basis" and the accompanying reconciliations are included in this release.

The Company's total operating revenues in first quarter 2012 increased 28.6 percent to $4.0 billion, compared to $3.1 billion in first quarter 2011, and increased 5.9 percent year-over-year compared to $3.8 billion, on a combined basis. Operating unit revenues increased 4.6 percent from first quarter 2011, on a combined basis.

Total first quarter 2012 operating expenses were $4.0 billion, compared to $3.0 billion in first quarter 2011, and compared to $3.7 billion in first quarter last year on a combined basis. Excluding special items in both periods, first quarter 2012 unit costs increased 6.7 percent from first quarter 2011 combined unit costs, largely due to a 16.6 percent year-over-year increase in economic fuel costs per gallon. First quarter 2012 economic fuel costs of $3.44 per gallon included $0.12 per gallon in unfavorable cash settlements for fuel derivative contracts; however, fuel derivative contract premium costs decreased $25 million year-over-year, as described below in the discussion of other income. Based on market prices as of April 16th, the Company expects second quarter 2012 economic fuel costs, including fuel taxes, to be in the $3.40 to $3.45 per gallon range, with minimal impact from cash settlements for fuel derivative contracts. Second quarter 2012 premium costs, recorded in other gains/losses, are currently estimated to be approximately $12 million, compared to premium costs of $26 million in second quarter 2011.

As of March 31, 2012, the fair market value of the Company's hedge portfolio was a net asset of $184 million, compared to a $44 million net liability at December 31, 2011. Additional information regarding the Company's fuel derivative contracts is included in the accompanying tables.

Excluding fuel and special items in both periods, first quarter 2012 unit costs increased two percent from first quarter 2011's combined 7.83 cents. Based on current cost trends, the Company expects another year-over-year increase in its second quarter 2012 unit costs, compared to second quarter 2011's combined unit costs, excluding fuel and special items in both periods.

Operating income for first quarter 2012 was $22 million, compared to $114 million in first quarter 2011. Excluding special items in all periods, operating income was $10 million for first quarter 2012, compared to $110 million in first quarter 2011, and compared to $86 million in first quarter last year, on a combined basis.

Other income for first quarter 2012 was $137 million compared to $96 million of other expenses in first quarter 2011. This $233 million swing primarily resulted from $170 million in other gains recognized in first quarter 2012, compared to $59 million in other losses recognized in first quarter 2011. In both periods, these gains and losses primarily resulted from unrealized gains/losses associated with a portion of the Company's fuel hedging portfolio. Excluding these special items, other losses were primarily attributable to the premium costs associated with the Company's fuel derivative contracts. First quarter 2012 premium costs were $6 million, compared to $31 million in first quarter 2011.

The Company's return on invested capital (before taxes and excluding special items) was approximately six percent for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012. Additional information regarding pre-tax return on invested capital is included in the accompanying reconciliation tables.

AirTran Acquisition

Kelly continued, "First quarter marked another key milestone in the integration of AirTran with the approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of our Single Operating Certificate (SOC). While we continue the process of welcoming AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, we have now begun converting AirTran 737 aircraft to the Southwest paint and interior configuration. We will begin transitioning AirTran airport facilities to Southwest later this year, beginning with Seattle and Des Moines.

"In February, we were thrilled to introduce Southwest's legendary low fares and outstanding Customer Service to Atlanta, Georgia. We initiated service to Southwest's 73rd city with 15 daily flights to five nonstop destinations. By August 2012, we will grow Southwest's Atlanta service to 26 flights and eleven nonstop destinations, with AirTran offering over 165 daily flights and 47 nonstop destinations. Customer response to Southwest's entrance in the market, in less than three months' time, has been exceptional. We also introduced Atlanta Customers to Southwest's award winning Cargo service, with the opening of a brand new Cargo facility in Atlanta.

"As we continue to optimize and align the two airlines, both airlines benefit. AirTran's strong revenue performance continues to improve. While there are no plans to connect the two separate brands and networks until next year, we are actively optimizing AirTran's stand alone network. By repurposing less profitable flying, we have created the opportunity to improve network returns. AirTran launched new service from Denver to Cancun this week, and will begin service from San Antonio to Mexico City and Cancun next month; Austin to Cancun next month; and Orange County to Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas in June 2012. AirTran also recently received route authority to commence service between Chicago Midway and Cancun, beginning June 2012, pending Mexican government approval.

"The Flight Attendants and Flight Instructors from both airlines reached agreements regarding seniority integration during first quarter 2012, joining the Pilots from both airlines that reached their seniority integration agreement in December 2011. I commend these Employees for successfully reaching a key step in the integration process. We continue to work and make progress on seniority integration agreements with our remaining unions.

"We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us to complete the integration in 2014, but we are very pleased with our progress. In 2011, we produced $80 million in net pre-tax synergies, and we produced approximately $40 million in net pre-tax synergies in first quarter 2012, alone. We expect to realize total net pre-tax annual synergies of $400 million in 2013 (excluding acquisition and integration expenses)."

The Company incurred $13 million in expenses (before taxes) associated with the acquisition and integration of AirTran during first quarter 2012, representing a cumulative total of $155 million in acquisition and integration costs. The Company expects total acquisition and integration costs will be approximately $500 million.

Aircraft Fleet

"We celebrated the momentous arrival of our first Boeing 737-800 in March, which entered revenue service last week," stated Kelly. "The -800 is an integral component of our fleet modernization plan, bringing 38 more seats than a Boeing 737-700, lower unit costs, and enhanced scheduling flexibility to consider exciting new opportunities. We expect to take delivery of 33 -800s this year.

"We also began to retrofit our 737-700 fleet with an updated cabin interior. Evolve: The New Southwest Experience enhances Customer comfort, personal space, and the overall travel experience. It also allows for six additional seats. We currently anticipate that all 372 -700s in the Southwest Airlines fleet will receive the Evolve makeover by first half 2013."


Net cash provided by operations for first quarter 2012 was $1.2 billion, and capital expenditures were $127 million. As a result, the Company generated $1.1 billion in free cash flow* in first quarter 2012.

On August 5, 2011, the Company's Board of Directors authorized a share repurchase program to acquire up to $500 million of the Company's common stock following such authorization. As of March 31, 2012, the Company had purchased approximately 33 million shares of common stock under such authorization for approximately $275 million. The Company repaid $431 million in debt during first quarter 2012, and is scheduled to repay approximately $130 million in debt for the remainder of 2012. As of April 18th, the Company had approximately $3.9 billion in cash and short-term investments. In addition, the Company had a fully available unsecured revolving credit line of $800 million.

(Southwest Airlines - Press Release)

Summer add campaign puts Burbank back in Bob Hope Airport.....what?

Bob Hope Airport will soon be known as Burbank Bob Hope Airport as part of a new summer ad campaign to drive more passengers to the regional airfield during its peak travel time of the year.

The temporary name change comes as officials respond to airline concerns about the lack of a city identifier in the name of the airport, said John Hatanaka, the airport’s senior deputy executive director.

Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director, said that, for now, the name change was only for the summer advertising campaign.

“Our airport customers don’t know where Bob Hope Airport is,” Feger said.

He added that the Hope family recognized back in 2009 that many local residents still called the airfield the Burbank Airport.

“But they understood there should be a linkage between Burbank and the Bob Hope Airport name,” Feger said. “We’ll continue to have discussions with the Hope family about this notion of marrying the two concepts together and the reasons why we’re going to do that.”

Feger said an official name change would require a great deal of time, effort and approval by the three respective city councils.

“[It] would far eclipse our ability to do it and still capture the summer traffic,” he said.

The airport has had six different names since its opening in 1930: United Airport, United Air Terminal, Lockheed Air Terminal, Hollywood-Burbank Airport, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport and Bob Hope Airport, which it has been called since 2003.

Airport Commissioner Steve Madison said he doesn’t think the airport’s brand should just develop itself.

“We should really make the decision to have a brand,” he said. “Everyone in my circles, we just call it Burbank. So I agree that perhaps the Bob Hope legacy hasn’t taken root.”

The authority should choose a name that will attract customers, Madison added.

“Choose the brand that is going to help us pursue the message the best,” he said.

Commissioner Chris Holden asked if the ad campaign is being developed too late to capture a large amount of summer travelers.

“[Some families] may have already set their travel plans in motion,” Holden said.

The campaign will target three of the airport’s top four markets offering direct flights to the airport — the North Bay area, Sacramento and Phoenix, said Steve Forsythe, president and chief executive of Las Vegas-based FFE Group, which is creating the ad campaign. The other top market, Las Vegas, will not be targeted because its travelers to Burbank are made up of mostly local residents who already know about the airport.

Secondary markets to be hit with ads will include Atlanta, Chicago and Houston, Forsythe said during a meeting on Monday of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, the tri-city agency that owns and oversees the airfield.

The $445,200 campaign will consist of a combination of online and print advertising, but the majority — $290,500 — will be directed to online media, including travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz.

Feger agreed the campaign is getting off the ground late, but airport officials had hoped more airlines would add flights or another air carrier might come onboard to offer nonstop service to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

American Airlines, which has a hub in Dallas-Forth Worth, moved out of Bob Hope Airport in February.

Forsythe said he will return for a meeting scheduled on Monday with more details about the ad campaign so it can launch sometime next month.

(Mark Kellam - L.A. Times / Glendale News Press)

Southwest Airlines and Amadeus IT Group ink deal

Southwest Airlines and Amadeus IT Group announced today that they have entered into a joint contract for Amadeus' Altea reservations solution that would support the carrier's international service. Now that the contract is finalized, the two companies will work closely together to implement Amadeus' technology to allow Southwest to operate international flights in 2014.

AirTran Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines, currently serves international destinations. As the AirTran international flights transition to Southwest, Amadeus will support Southwest's international flying.

While the Amadeus IT Group agreement focuses on the international element of Southwest's reservation system, the contract also provides the option for Southwest to convert its domestic business to Amadeus in the future.

"We could not be more impressed with the experience and knowledge Amadeus IT Group brings to the table," said Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly. "They are a premier technology provider, and we are confident in their ability to meet and exceed our needs as we prepare for the exciting opportunity to extend the Southwest brand into the international marketplace."

(Southwest Airlines - Press Release)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photo of the Day / Continental Airlines DC-9-14 N626TX

Continental Airlines DC-9-14 (45726/36) N626TX "City of Brownsville" is captured at Denver Stapleton International (DEN/KDEN) in August 1985.

 It was originally delivered to Air Canada as CF-TLF on June 6, 1966. On November 23, 1968 Texas International Airlines bought the aircraft and re-registerd it as N5726 "City of Dallas/For Worth Metroplex."

Sadly this aircraft crashed at Stapleton International on November 15, 1987.

(Photo by Bob Gerrard)  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

jetBlue "Boston Red Sox" A320 visits Long Beach

 Arrives at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Las Vegas (LAS/KLAS) at 0902 PST as "JBU279." 
 Taxies on "lima" towards a Rwy 30 departure.  
Holds short of Rwy 30 as it readies to depart to Chicago (ORD/KORD).

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

AirTran Airways / Southwest Airlines release Orange County-Mexico schedules

Fly to Cabo San Lucas or Mexico City beginning Sunday, June 3, 2012 when AirTran Airways begins offering Orange County travelers the first international flights from John Wayne Airport to Mexico. The new service will make it easier and more convenient than ever to get to these popular business and leisure destinations.

Via AirTran Airways - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines - travelers can now book flights between Orange County and Cabo San Lucas/San Jose del Cabo or Mexico City* by visiting www.airtran.com. Effective June 3, 2012, AirTran will operate daily flights with the following schedules:

Cabo San Lucas

Depart Orange County (SNA) 12:16 p.m.

Arrive Cabo San Lucas (SJD) 3:32 p.m.

Mexico City* (Suject to Government Approval)

Depart Orange County (SNA) 10:21 a.m.

Arrive Mexico City (MEX) 3:56 p.m.

"We are thrilled that AirTran Airways is bringing Orange County our first-ever non-stop service to Mexico," said Alan L. Murphy. "Our recently-opened Terminal C, along with beautiful and efficient new international arrivals facilities, will make JWA the airport of choice this summer for travel to Mexico, Canada or any one of our 20 non-stop destinations."

AirTran Airways will serve passengers from Terminal C at John Wayne Airport. Passengers will see the name AirTran on signage and aircraft until its integration with Southwest Airlines is complete.

(John Wayne Airport - Press Release)

Westjet to resume Calgary - Orange County service

April 29, WestJet will resume daily, non-stop international service between Orange County's John Wayne Airport and Calgary, Alberta, Canada. WestJet currently operates daily, non-stop service between Orange County and Vancouver.

"Orange County is a very popular destination for Canadian travelers - our beaches, shopping and attractions are a big draw for our neighbors to the north," said Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with WestJet to provide convenient, low-cost direct service north- and south-bound between Orange County and Canada."

WestJet began service at John Wayne Airport in May 2011 with one daily non-stop flight to Vancouver, British Columbia and began non-stop service to Calgary, Alberta, Canada in June 2011.

Passengers traveling south from Canada to the United States will be able to take advantage of the customs preclearance system in Canada. For faster service, NEXUS members flying to the United States are also now able to use NEXUS cards in designated security lines for pre-board screening at airports in Vancouver and Calgary.

Effective April 29 

Calgary Service - Daily

Depart Calgary (YYC) at 9:30 a.m.
Arrive Orange County (SNA) at 11:43 a.m.
Depart Orange County (SNA) at 12:30 p.m.
Arrive Calgary (YYC) at 4:35 p.m.

Vancouver service - Daily

Depart Vancouver (YVR) at 11:00 a.m.
Arrive Orange County (SNA) at 1:48 p.m.
Depart Orange County (SNA) at 2:30 p.m.
Arrive Vancouver (YVR) at 5:30 p.m.

(John Wayne Airport - Press Release)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Global Express" BD-700s at Fort Lauderdale (FLL/KFLL) April 11, 2012

BD-700-1A10 "Global Express" (c/n 9073) N338TP is operated by Times Aerospace USA LLC.
BD-700-1A10 "Global Express" (c/n 9050) N502JL is operated by Hanover Aviation Inc.

Also spotted on the Bombardier ramp at FLL:

N700GX (c/n 9014)

N416BB (c/n 9043)

N899WW (c/n 9092)

(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Gulfstream action at Long Beach Airport today, April 13, 2012

 G550 (c/n 5360) N360GA returns from a customer acceptance flight.
 G-V (c/n 674) N36GV parked on the AirFlight ramp.
 G550 (c/n 5288) N552GA rotates from Rwy 30.
 G550 (c/n 5357) N757GA taxies on "Lima" as she prepares to leave on a quick trip around the pattern and then home.
G-IISP (c/n 57) N605RA taxies on "Lima" as she prepares to depart to an unknown destination.

(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Airliner action at Orange County (SNA/KSNA)

 Alaska Airlines 737-790 (29751/313) N607AS "Portland Timbers" rolls for takeoff on Rwy 19R on March 31, 2012.
 United 737-724 (28768/48) N23707 performs engine runs on the run-up pad April 2, 2012. 
Delta Connection Embraer ERJ-170-200LR (175LR) (c/n 17000225) N625CZ climbs from Rwy 19R bound for Salt Lake City (SLC/KSLC) on April 2, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Bizjets at Orange County April 2, 2012

 Dassault Falcon 50EX (c/n 267) D-BETI on the Signature ramp.
Gulfstream G200 (c/n 60) N703QS operated by Netjets rests on the Signature ramp. 
Jet Suite Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 (c/n 50000140) N584JS captured on the Atlantic Aviation ramp on a lovely evening in SoCal.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5357) N757GA performed a customer acceptance flight today, departing Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) at 10:51 PST returning at 16:14 PST. In the above photo, she is captured on short final to Rwy 30. According to sources at Gulfstream this aircraft is going to a Chinese customer but a livery has not been decided.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Global Express visits Long Beach

 Short final to Rwy 30.
Smokes the mains.

This gorgeous Bombardier BD700 Global Express XRS (c/n 9381) C-GBTY arrived from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT/KICT) at 16:39 PST and parked at Signature.

(Photos by Michael Carter)