Thursday, May 31, 2012

New G550 performs test flight at Long Beach

 Taxies on "Delta" towards a Rwy 30 depature.
 Rotates from Rwy 30 bound for "Shots" intersection.
Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5370) N570GA tbr N721MM returns to Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) following a successfull pre-delivery test flight on May 31, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter) 

New Gulfstream G450 at Long Beach

 Taxis on "Delta" towards a Rwy 30 departure. 
Gulfstream G450 (c/n 4244) N125TF rolls take-off on Rwy 30 bound for an unknown destination.

(Photos by Michael Carter) 

Gulfstream G-IIB arrives in Long Beach

Gulfstream G-IIB (c/n 140) N159NB operated by Tikchik LLC of Anchorage, Alaska arrives at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on May 30, 2012 from Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS/KSTS) at 15:42 pst.

(Photo by Michael Carter)  

jetBlue "Boston RedSox" returns to Long Beach

 Over the numbers!
 Short final to Rwy 30.
jetBlue A320-232 (c/n 2368) N605JB "Boston RedSox" arrives from Salt Lake City (SLC/KSLC) as "JBU235" at 18:07 pst.

(Phptps byMichael Carter) 

Alaska Airlines announces new San Diego - Orlando service

Alaska Airlines announced today it will launch nonstop service between San Diego and Orlando, Fla., beginning Oct. 11, 2012. The carrier will fly between the two cities five times a week.

"We're thrilled to announce our fourth new market in San Diego in just four months," said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "Our customers will not only enjoy nonstop access to one of the ‘Happiest Places on Earth,' but they'll also benefit from convenient connections to Honolulu and the Pacific Northwest."

Summary of new San Diego – Orlando flights

Start dateCity pairDepartsArrivesFrequency
Oct. 11San Diego-Orlando 10:35 p.m.6:30 a.m.Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Oct. 12Orlando-San Diego8:05 a.m.10:40 a.m.Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
All times are based on local time zones

Alaska Airlines previously announced new nonstop daily service from San Diego to Fresno/Yosemite, Monterey and Santa Rosa/Sonoma County, which starts June 4 and 5.

"Just after the exciting announcement of three intra-California routes, Alaska Airlines has done it again," said Thella F. Bowens, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. "Orlando was the largest market without nonstop service to San Diego, and today's news is a welcome bridge between two beloved, sunny cities."

The flights will be operated on Boeing 737-800 aircraft, accommodating 16 passengers in first class and 141 in the main cabin. All flights will offer Alaska's Northern Bites meal service, which provides passengers in the main cabin with a hot meal for $6 or a cheese and fruit platter for $7. The flights also will offer Alaska's digEplayer inflight entertainment system, a handheld video-on-demand device featuring first-run movies, television programs and other entertainment. The digEplayers are complimentary in first class and available for $10 in the main cabin.

(Alaska Airlines Press Release)

Allegiant Air Announces new Honolulu service

Allegiant Air announced yesterday (May 30, 2012) that it will begin new service to Honolulu International Airport (HNL/PHNL) from Monterey Regional Airport (MRY/KMRY) on November 16, 2012 with a once weekly service. The flights will be operated with the carriers 757-200 aircraft.

The schedule is as follows:

Flight 1060
Depart Honolulu: 09:00am
Arrive Monterey: 4:00pm

Flight 1061
Depart Monterey: 5:15pm
Arrive Honolulu: 8:40pm

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Southwest Airlines and Houston cozy up in airport deal

Southwest Airlines has agreed to invest USD$100 million to expand Houston's William Hobby Airport as it looks to offer international flights to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Mayor of Houston Annise Parker detailed a deal with the carrier that requires Southwest to design and build five new gates and a customs facility at Hobby in line with city specifications.

In return for its investment, Dallas-based Southwest would have preferential scheduling rights and would pay no rent for its use of international gates or the customs facility, according to a statement from the City of Houston.

Southwest earlier this year asked Houston officials for permission to study construction of an international facility at Hobby, where it has operated since 1971.

The Hobby expansion, which requires Houston City Council approval, would likely take two years, with international flights likely to begin in 2015, Southwest said.

Southwest's plans for Hobby have been opposed by United Continental, which released a report earlier this month saying international service at Hobby would drain passengers from George Bush Airport and lead to job losses. George Bush is the largest hub for United.


In service A380 wing crack repairs to commence in early 2013

Modifications to repair wing rib cracks on in-service Airbus A380s will begin in the first quarter of 2013 and the composite material at the root of the problem will no longer be used on new-production aircraft delivered from 2014.

The cracks issue, discovered early this year, resulted from a carbon fiber-aluminum material known as 7449 that was used in A380 wing rib feet construction. The material was selected because it is both lightweight and strong, but it is now known that it becomes brittle during the production tempering process. Although the problem did not show up on computer modeling during the A380’s design and development or on demonstrator aircraft, it is now known that the material is affected by natural up and down wing movements during flight and also by extreme temperature variances.

The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an airworthiness directive, extended to all in-service A380s, ordering mandatory inspections of the wing ribs.
EADS CEO Louis Gallois has said the fix for the 71 A380s in service will cost €105 million ($138 million) and will be borne by Airbus.

Briefing reporters in Toulouse, France on Wednesday, Airbus EVP-programs Tom Williams said a demonstrator aircraft with the modifications would begin flying from around the third quarter this year and parts for the retrofits would be available to airlines from early 2013. Williams said the repairs could be done in one of two ways—either as a single, nose-to-tail program or in a series of repairs fitted into routine C check maintenance schedules. “We are still working out how long the aircraft will need to be grounded,” he said.

Lufthansa German Airlines CEO Carsten Spohr stated last week that he expected repairs to put each aircraft on the ground for four weeks. “Next year, one of our A380s will always be on the ground. We are in talks with Airbus about compensation for the non-production of our aircraft when they are not flying," Spohr said.

The A380s delivered from early 2014 will have a new all-aluminum rib design.
Williams admitted that Airbus was “pretty concerned” when the cracking problem was first discovered but was now confident it understood the issue and had the solution. “It was very disappointing and embarrassing in front of our customers, who have been extremely supportive in terms of the inspection process,” he said.

(Karen Walker & Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

First 787 built in South Carolina takes to the skies

Boeing announced that the first 787 built in its South Carolina facility for launch customer Air India (AI) completed a five-hr. test flight Tuesday May 22, 2012.

The production flight tested the controls and systems in all stages of flight as the crew checked the functionality of onboard systems at high and medium altitudes. They also checked backup and critical safety elements including cabin pressurization, avionics, and navigation and communications systems.
 In addition, they shut down and re-started each engine during flight, according to Boeing.

"The airplane performed exactly as we expected," pilot Tim Berg said.

Boeing said the aircraft will fly to Ft. Worth, Texas to be painted with AI’s livery before returning to South Carolina for a mid-2012 delivery.

(Linda Blachly - ATWOnline News)

Indonesia's Lion Air looks to be new 787 customer

Indonesia's Lion Air is close to signing a deal for 10 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner passenger jets, with a total list price of USD$1.9 billion, as the budget carrier aims to tap the long-haul market.

Two sources involved in the deal told reporters that Lion Air prefers the newer carbon-composite 787 to the Airbus A330. The deal is expected to be signed in Jakarta on June 8 as Lion Air celebrates its 12th anniversary.

Such a move by Lion Air would put more pressure on Garuda Indonesia and Malaysia's AirAsia because it would be able to serve a broader range of destinations.

Lion Air's founder and chief executive Rusdi Kirana said in February the Indonesian low-cost carrier was in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing to buy Airbus A330s or Boeing 787s.

One of the sources said the 787 would help Lion Air's marketing campaign with an image of fuel efficiency and the latest technology.

"Dreamliner is a new design, it is based on the latest technology, while the A330 is basically an old (design)," said one of the sources, who declined to be identified because of the confidentiality of the talks.

If the financing terms from both manufacturers are equal, he said, Lion Air would choose the 787 over the A330.

A deal would mean Boeing had managed to keep Airbus away from its top customer. Lion Air recently signed a record order for USD$22.4 billion worth of Boeing 737 single aisle jets.


ATI DC-8-62CF returns home to Long Beach Airport

 This sight takes me back to the late 1960's when I was a 9 year old kid hanging around LGB and watching DC-8s depart on and return from pre-delivery test flights.  
 Taxies on "Delta" towards a Rwy 30 departure.
 Rolling on Rwy 30.
 Climbs from Rwy 30 above the old commercial flight ramp in the distance from where she took her first flight in December 1967.
A real airplane is never hard to find!

(Photos by Michael Carter)

ClassicJet Tours operated a special flight today for 36 lucky aviation enthusiats aboard an Air Transport International (ATI) Douglas DC-8-62CF (Combi) between Sacramento, California and Long Beach, California .

The aircraft departed from Sacramento - McClellan Airport (MCC/KMCC) at 09:30am as "ATN207" arriving at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) at 10:34am. 

Following a tour of the C-17A production facilities the group boarded the DC-8-62CF (Combi) for the return flight to Sacramento, departing Long Beach at 13:03pm as "ATN208."

 This lovely DC-8-62CF (45922/335) was origianlly delivered to Scandinavian Airlines on February 29, 1968 as OY-KTE "Skjold Viking." The aircraft has served numerous carriers during its carrier; Scanair as "Turid Viking," Arista International as "Marco," Northeastern International Airways, Thai Airways International, Royal Thai Air Force as 60112, Arrow Air as N799AL, Hawaiian Airlines, Air Marshall Islands, and Zantop International Airlines prior to its current operator ATI.

Sadly she is scheduled to be retired by years end and will more than likey be broken-up, such a sad end for such a historic aircraft. I sure wish I had the finances to buy and keep this gorgeous aircraft in one piece if not flying at least preserved for future generations to enjoy and explore.

Michael Carter
Aero Pacific Flightlines

Southwest Airlines to lease MD-95s (717-200) to Delta Airlines

As many of you know, I was born, raised and still live in Long Beach, California where to MD-95 (717-200) was built. As a longtime employee of Southwest Airlines I was very excited when the company announced the purchase of AirTran Airways because at that time it was said we would keep this great aircraft in our fleet, I mean a DAC aircraft sporting Southwest Airlines "Canyon Blue" just totally awesome! But during the past year and a half since that announcement, the 737 "experts" have decided that the MD-95 is not that great of an airplane and will now unload them to Delta Airlines over the next 3 years. I guess I wasn't surprised though with this announcement, but I am truely disappointed that my company didn't realize the true value and operational reliabilty of this remarkable DAC aircraft.

Michael Carter
Aero Pacific Flightlines

Southwest Airlines (SWA) has reached a tentative agreement with Delta Air Lines (DL) and Boeing Capital Corp. to sublease all 88 AirTran (FL) Boeing 717 aircraft to DL, transitioning three aircraft per month over a three-year period beginning in the second half of 2013.

DL and SWA are still in talks to reach a final agreement with all parties related to aircraft leases. Once final, all 717s would depart the fleet by 2015.

"This is a very complex transaction that requires time and close coordination with multiple parties,” SWA EVP and COO Mike Van de Ven said. “While we do have a tentative agreement with Delta, final details must be completed with all parties before a binding agreement between Delta and Southwest can be completed."

SWA said it currently plans to keep its total fleet count “relatively flat” as the 717s transition to DL, and will replace FL 717 flying with 737 aircraft. It will maintain service to all previously announced airports, it stressed.

“All pilots would train and transition directly into the airline's 737 fleet as the 717s are reduced,” SWA said. “AirTran flight attendants and maintenance personnel are currently trained on both aircraft types.”

(Christine Boynton - ATWOnline News)

Southwest Airlines / AirTran Airways commence new international service

This is a great article I read on Southwest Airlines / AirTran Airways new international service which began this past Thursday May 24, 2012. I will get to experince this new service first hand as I work for Southwest Airlines at John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA/KSNA) where our flights to Mexico City (MEX/MMMX) and Cabo San Lucas (SJD/MMSD) commence on June 3, 2012. It should prove to be a very interesting experience to be part of as Southwest Airlines adds another chapter to its colorful and sucessfull history.

Michael Carter
Aero Pacific Flightlines

Southwest, which flies more domestic passengers than any other U.S. airline, is going international.

The airline is picking up AirTran's flights to Mexico and the Caribbean after buying its rival last year. It's getting a new reservations system to handle overseas bookings and is seeking to build an international terminal at Houston's Hobby Airport, where it says it could ultimately add 25 flights abroad a day.

Building an international presence is a significant shift for Southwest, which flew to success by focusing on reliable, low-fare service within the U.S. And it's another sign that the one-time niche carrier is increasingly competing on the same turf as the big network airlines, the so-called legacy carriers, such as United, Delta and American.

"Flying into more congested markets, now trying to go overseas … it seems like they're becoming a legacy carrier," says Basili Alukos, an airline analyst at Morningstar. But, he adds, if Southwest can replicate its domestic network and success internationally, "I think there's a lot of opportunity there."

Having a footprint beyond the U.S. was a key reason Southwest decided to buy AirTran, says Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

"We have always wanted to get to a point where we added international capabilities," said Jordan, adding that AirTran's staff, aircraft, and perch at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International, the world's busiest airport, also figured into the decision to merge.

Combined with AirTran, Southwest has roughly 25 percent of the U.S. market in terms of passenger traffic, Jordan says. While there is still room to grow domestically, he says, "You do get to a point where the next best set of destinations becomes international."

For now, Southwest's international flights are still operated by AirTran, which flies more than 20 a day and plans to add more. Service between San Antonio and Mexico City will start Thursday, while flights from Orange County to Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, will launch on June 3.

Eventually, however, those flights will be under Southwest's banner. And Jordan says passengers heading to foreign destinations will have access to low ticket prices that Southwest is known for domestically.

"We've looked at the fares, and in every single case, using our typical Southwest structure, Southwest will be able to lower fares on the routes we're considering," he says.

Southwest recently announced it was deferring delivery of 30 Boeing 737-800 jets to cut costs roughly $1 billion over two years and strengthen its cash flow amid uncertain economic times and volatile fuel prices. But, it says, the move won't affect its plans to fly internationally.

Jordan says low prices, a strong record for on-time flights, and a good staff have fueled Southwest's popularity, and those hallmarks will stay in place as it stretches abroad.

"None of that changes with international service," he says. "Our service, our frequencies, our low fares, all of that comes with it. And that's what makes us different from the (large network carriers), not whether we do or don't fly internationally. I have no doubt we'll be successful."

New Terminal Plans

Southwest reached an agreement last month for a new reservations system that can handle international bookings, technology it previously lacked.

The airline also is seeking approval from Houston's city council to build a five-gate international terminal at Hobby Airport, whose private flights are the only ones that go to foreign destinations. The city's mayor, Annise Parker, announced her support for the terminal on Wednesday. Federal aviation officials will also have to give their OK.

Southwest would like to open the terminal, which would cost $100 million to $125 million, by 2015. It envisions it as the launching point for flights into Central and South America in addition to Mexico and the Caribbean.

A report commissioned by the Houston Airport System determined that the new portal would bring in an extra 1.5 million passengers annually, lead to 10,000 jobs for the Houston area, and amount to an economic benefit of $1.6 billion a year.

"The report projects that opening Hobby to international service would create a more competitive landscape" and lower fares, Houston Airport System's aviation director Mario Diaz wrote in a memo to Mayor Parker that supports the new terminal .

Plans were for the council to take up the matter by the end of May, said mayoral spokeswoman Janice Evans.

United, the biggest of the network carriers and which counts Houston's larger Bush Intercontinental Airport as its biggest hub, is not on board with Southwest's plan to turn Hobby into its international launch pad.

United flies the majority of passengers headed to foreign destinations from Houston. And it says its own study found that the proposed terminal at Hobby would result in the area taking an economic hit.

"Dividing the air service between the two airports … will mean that Houston is competing with itself for international connecting traffic rather than competing with very successful cities that have one international airport, like Atlanta and Dallas," says United spokeswoman Mary Clark. "We believe it will result in a loss of jobs and also there will be an economic loss for the city of Houston."

Clark says there is room for Southwest at Bush Intercontinental.

Southwest's Jordan counters that United is concerned about itself rather than the community.

"United Airlines doesn't want the competition," he says. "We're asking to bring more flights, and lower fares for the people of Houston, and bring in the economic benefits that come from that."

The Southwest Effect

Southwest's impact on the markets it enters led to the coining of the term "the Southwest effect" in the airline industry. It refers to how its low ticket prices would spur competitors to lower their fares, too.

But nowadays Southwest fares are not necessarily the cheapest.

Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant are considered the truer low-cost carriers, industry watchers say. And in some markets, airlines such as American or US Airways have been found to offer a better price, says Henry Harteveldt, an airline and travel industry analyst.

Additionally, Southwest's growing foothold in larger, more congested markets could jeopardize the on-time performance that it's known for, says Akulos, the Morningstar analyst.

Yet, Southwest still stands apart from its peers, experts say. Unlike the network carriers, it continues to let passengers check two bags for free. And while travelers flying Spirit or Allegiant have to pay for everything from booking a ticket online to an on-board snack, Southwest still offers the services at no cost.

"Southwest won't be as inexpensive as Spirit or Allegiant on a ticket price alone," Harteveldt says. "But when you factor in what Southwest includes … Southwest still provides good value."

That value may be ultimately enhanced by service to far-flung destinations, he says.

"The critical thing in terms of making sure this is a smart move will be the cities that Southwest is serving … the number of flights they operate between those cities and the prices they charge," Harteveldt says. "But I think this is a logical and understandable part of Southwest's evolution as an airline."

Destinations Abroad

AirTran's current international destinations that eventually will be flown under Southwest's banner:

  • Bermuda
  • Cancun
  • Nassau/Paradise Island, Bahamas
  • San Jose/Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Mexico City
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Aruba
(Charisse Jones - USA Today)

United Airlines announces new Denver-Tokyo service which will be operated with Boeing 787

United Airlines on Tuesday announced the launch of a daily nonstop flight from Denver International Airport to Narita International Airport in Tokyo. Service begins March 31, 2013.

Both airports are hubs for United and the airline will operate the service with a new, state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to be delivered in the third quarter in 2012. The flight will be the city's first nonstop service to Asia.

"Our customers will enjoy the direct, nonstop service on our new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft," says Jeff Smisek, United's president and chief executive officer in a press release.

United flight 123 will depart Denver daily at 11:55 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 3:00 p.m. the next day. Flight 122 will depart Tokyo at 4:40 p.m. and arrive in Denver at 12:30 p.m. the same day.

United will be the first U.S. airline to operate the 787.

The Boeing 787 offers many passenger-friendly features, including improved lighting, bigger windows, large overhead bins, lower cabin pressure altitude and enhanced ventilation systems.

United will offer 36 flat-bed seats in the "BusinessFirst" cabin and 183 in economy, including 63 "Economy Plus" seats, which offer up to 5 inches of additional legroom. BusinessFirst will offer 6 rows in a 2-2-2 layout (pairs of seats separated by an aisle or situated next to the windows). Economy (including Economy Plus) will have nine-abreast seating in a 3-3-3 layout.

The flight is now available for booking. Roundtrip fares on the route start at $979.90 for a restrictive economy class ticket. Fully refundable BusinessFirst tickets run $13,264, according to the airlines website.

(Darren Booth - CNBC Business Report)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Once again, Long Beach Airport has states lowest average fares

Knowlegable local travlers have recognized the Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) tends to offer one of the more enjoyable travel experiences.

From its quaint art deco style to easy freeway access to abundant parking, manageable crowds and short security lines, it has been a go-to choice for travelers looking to escape the crush at Los Angeles International Airport.

What might be less known is Long Beach's affordability.
For the third straight quarter, the Long Beach facility has recorded the lowest average airfares in California and ranked No. 2 nationally, behind Atlantic City, N.J.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's latest quarterly report, the average round-trip domestic fare out of Long Beach was $229 in the final quarter of 2011. That ranks well below the national average of $368 over the same span.
Airport Director Mario Rodriguez said Long Beach's ability to provide low costs to its carriers is passed along to customers.

"Our primary focus is customer service, and keeping costs low is a part of that," Rodriguez said.
Long Beach also bucked a national airfare trend late last year by recording a 2 percent drop in fares, while national fares were rising by more than 2 percent for the quarter and 10 percent since the fourth quarter of 2010.

That doesn't mean a traveler will necessarily find the best deal flying out of Long Beach to one of its 14 destinations, the Department of Transportation report notes.
Cincinnati, Ohio and Houston/ Bush had the highest air fare averages at $504 and $494, respectively.
While Long Beach finished second to Atlantic City, it closed the gap, as the East Coast airport's average flight cost rose from $167 to $189 over the course of the quarter. Las Vegas was third at $267.

Rodriguez said Atlantic City and Las Vegas have casinos that subsidize flights, which keeps average costs down.

In a prepared statement, Mayor Bob Foster said: "There are a lot of great changes happening at the Long Beach Airport. ... But one thing that hasn't changed is that LGB is a very economical airport, with excellent service and a wide range of destinations." In 2011, 3.1 million travelers passed through Long Beach Airport.

(Greg Mellen - Long Beach Press Telegram)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Southwest Airlines 737-8H4 (36985/4043) N8309C

Southwest Airlines 737-8H4 (36985/4043) N8309C returns to Seattle-Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI) on May 14, 2012 following a successful pre-delivery test flight.

(Photo by Joe G. Walker)

Photo of the Day / Douglas C-54R "Skymaster" (27370) N500EJ

This beautiful Douglas C-54-R5D (27370) N500EJ is operated by the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation. She is captured on July 31, 2010 at Oshkosh-Wittman Regional (OSH/KOSH) during AirVenture 2010.

(Photo by Michael Carter)  

Cargolux 747-8R7F (35810/1454) LX-VCE "City of Echternach"

 Turns onto Rwy 16R as it prepares to depart on a test flight.
 Nose view of the 747-8F, those GE engines are huge!
Commences her takeoff roll on Rwy 16R at Paine Field (PAE/KPAE) on May 7, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Cathay Pacific Airways 777-367(ER) (39235/1012) B-KQB

 Holds short of Rwy 16R at Paine Field (PAE/KPAE) with an ANA 787-881, Air China 777-39L(ER) and Emirates 777-31H(ER) in the distance.
Turns on to Rwy 16R as it prepares to depart on its delivery flight to Hong Kong on May 7, 7 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)
 Cathay Pacific Airways Cargo 747-867F/SCD (39240/1433) B-LJC is captured minus engines stored near the Boeing Museum at Paine Field (PAE/KPAE) on May 7, 2012. 
Air India 787-837 (36273/25) VT-ANA is also stored minus engines near the museum at Paine Field.

(Photos by Michael Carter)  

G550 (c/n 5364) N764GA

G550 (c/n 5364) N764GA holds short of Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) prior to departing on a test flight May 16, 2012.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Southwest Airlines defers -800 deliveries

Southwest Airlines has deferred deliveries of 30 Boeing 737-800s from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018, as it focuses on hitting its profit target, the carrier confirmed. The deferrals, 20 in 2013 and 10 in 2014, will save more than $1 billion for the carrier.

“We’re more conservative right now in our ambitions with respect to expansion,” CEO Gary Kelly said Wednesday following SWA’s annual shareholder meeting, according to Bloomberg. “We’ll have plenty of aircraft in future years to be able to grow the airline … It’s just not the kind of environment I’m willing to be aggressive in terms of increasing our fleet next year.”

With the deferrals, SWA will now receive 20 737-800s in 2013 and 24 in 2014, and a total of 34 737-800s this year. Of the deferred aircraft, 15 will be delivered in 2017, with the remaining 15 scheduled for 2018. It took delivery of its first on March 8.

(Christine Boynton - ATWOnline News)

jetBlue A320-232 (c/n 2368) N605JB Boston "Red Sox" livery

 Taxies on "Lima" towards a Rwy 30 departure.
Rolls for takeoff on Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) bound for Sacramento International Airport (SMF/KSMF) as "JBU266" on May 15, 2012.

(Photos by Michael Carter)

Cessna 208B N786DM

Cessna 208B (c/n 208B0922) N786DM operated by Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc. lifts off Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) on May 15, 2012.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Southwest Airlines 737-8H4 N8307K

Southwest Airlines 737-8H4 (36987/4027) N8307K arrives at Boeing-Paine Field (PAE/KPAE) on May 7, 2012 following its delivery flight from Boeing Field (BFI/KBFI). The aircraft will have its wifi system installed over the next several days then make its way to Phoenix (PHX/KPHX) or Dallas (DAL/KDAL) from where it will enter service.

(Photo by Michael Carter)  

China Southern 737-81B B-5643

China Southern 737-81B (38920/4031) B-5643 executes a missed approach at Boeing-Paine Field (PAE/KPAE) on May 7, 2012. The aircraft was delivered to the carrier on May 11, 2012.

(Photo by Michael Carter)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Greetings Everyone!

I'm just back from a week in Alaska, where I spent five days photographing & spotting aircraft around Lake Hood and Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC/PANC), and event we called AAA2012 (Alaska, Airplanes, & Ales). You see we photograph aircraft by day and sample the local craft brews by night. 

While there I took my first ride in a De Havilland Canada DHC-2 "Beaver," taking-off from and landing back on Lake Spenard. I was joined by good friends Doug Kerr, Robbie Shaw, Joe G. Walker, Ben Wang, and Todd Boettcher on the flight and what a flight it was. I will post some photos from the flight this week so please keep a watch for those.

I made a day trip to Fairbanks as well and visited the folks at Evertts Air Cargo where I photographed two of the carriers DC-9's which still sport the livery of their former operator DHL.

It was a great trip but as all trips are it was to short. I will be posting many photos from the trip over the next week, so please keep checking back for updates.

Thanks for visiting Aero Pacific Flightlines and hope to see you back again soon.

Michael Carter
Editor and Chief   

Alaska Airlines announces "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II"

Alaska Airlines and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute today unveiled the world's largest king salmon. Stretching nearly 129 feet, the fish-themed design will adorn a Boeing 737-800 and be revealed this fall.

The new "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon II" design is derived from an earlier version of the paint scheme Alaska Airlines unveiled on a 737-400 in 2005, which was re-painted with the carrier's traditional Eskimo livery last year. In addition to sporting the glimmering image of a wild Alaska king salmon like the original "Salmon-Thirty-Salmon," the new design is about nine feet longer and also features fish scales on the winglets and a salmon-pink colored "Alaska" script across the fuselage. The design is among the world's most intricately painted commercial airplanes and was produced in partnership with ASMI, which promotes wild, natural and sustainable Alaska seafood.

"This airplane celebrates Alaska Airlines' unique relationship with the people and communities of Alaska and underscores our air transport commitment to the state's seafood industry," said Marilyn Romano, Alaska Airlines' regional vice president of the state of Alaska. "Because the new design will be featured on a larger 737-800, this 91,000-pound king will boldly promote the world's finest seafood from the Hawaiian Islands to Boston and beyond."

Last year, Alaska Airlines flew nearly 25 million pounds of seafood from Alaska to markets in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Streamlined flight schedules and a rigorous training program required of all airline employees who handle perishables ensures the seafood that travels from Alaska waters to markets across the United States arrives fresh and often within 24 hours. The goal is to keep seafood moving rapidly throughout its journey on Alaska Airlines and maintain a consistent temperature range from the time it leaves the water to when it arrives at stores and restaurants.

"Alaska Airlines has a long history of supporting the Alaska seafood industry, and this special plane celebrates that commitment," ASMI Executive Director Ray Riutta said. "We're proud to partner with the state's hometown airline."

According to ASMI, about half of the United States' total seafood catch comes from Alaska fisheries. In addition, the state of Alaska is widely regarded as a world leader in sustainable management of its seafood resources.

Transporting about 115 million pounds of cargo annually, Alaska Airlines operates the most extensive air cargo operation on the West Coast.

(Alaska Airlines Press Release)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Today at Victorville (VCV/KVCV)

 Cargoitalia MD-11(F) (48766/600) EI-EMS, ex Finnair OH-LGF, CityBird OO-CTB "Albatross."
 MexicanClick MD-95 (717-2BL) (55180/5132) N795BC, ex-XA-CLB, Midwest N918ME.
 747-422 (26878/966) N135KB, ex CorsairFly F-HSEX, United Airlines N189UA. 
 Fokker 100 (c/n 11399) N107MN, ex Click Mexicana XA-TKR.
Deta Air DC-10-40(F) (47855/349) UP-DC102, ex Japan Airlines JA8546, Aeroflot Russian Airlines VP-BDF. 

(Photos by Michael Carter)

G450 arrives at Long Beach

G450 (c/n 4202) N818KE arrived at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) from Teterboro (TEB/KTEB) at 16:12 pst.

(Photos by Michael Carter)