Monday, June 30, 2008

John Wayne Airport Posts May 2008 Statistics

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Orange County Airport decreased in May 2008 as compared to May 2007. The airport served 771,124 passengers in May 2008 a decrease of 11.9% when compared with the May 2007 passenger count of 875,576.

Commercial flight operations decreased 9.7% while regional carrier operations decreased 32.7% when compared with the same numbers for May 2007.

Total aircraft operations decreased in May 2008 as compared to May 2007. In May 2008 27,218 (take-offs and landings) were recoreded compared to May 2007 when 29,733 were recorded a decrease of 8.5%.

General aviation accounted for 71% of the total aircraft operations during May 2008 a decrease of 6.4% when compared to May 2007.

The above photo catches American Eagle ERJ140LR N807AE (145506) departing from Rwy 1L during north traffic operations sporting the carriers special "Make-A-Wish" livery. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Alaska Airlines speeds MD-83 retirement.

Alaska Airlines announced today that it is speeding up the retirement of its seven remaining McDonnell Douglas MD-83s to August 25th instead of December as as originally planned. Sadly this means the MD-83s will disappear from the skies above Long Beach where they began thier flying carriers having been built at the DAC production facilities located here.

The carrier also announced that the retrofitting of 74 out of 116 737 "Next Generation" aircraft in its fleet with blended winglets has been completed and that all future "NG" deliveries will come with blended winglets. The winglets inprove fuel efficiency by approximately 5% and save the carrier some 100,000 gallons a year per aircraft.

Top photo: MD-83 N944AS (53019/1783) on short final to Rwy 30 at Long Beach (LGB) on May 20th, 2008. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Middle photo: MD-83 N975AS (53451/2083) rolling for takeoff bound for Seattle (SEA), Washington on June 13th, 2008 (Photo by Michael Carter)

Bottom photo: Boeing 737-790 N648AS (30662/1382) on short final to Rwy 14 at Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC), Alaska on May 5th, 2008. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

F/A-18D Hornets stop at Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Two F/A-18D Hornets belonging to Marine Squadron VMFA(AW)1225 made a visit to Long Beach Airport (LGB) this afternoon. This marks the second time in three days that Marine Corps Hornets have passed through Long Beach.

F/A-18D Hornets (164679 and 165412) roll for departure on Rwy 30. (Photos by Michael Carter)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Delta to cut flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Atlanta based Delta Airlines the fourth largest carrier at LAX has notified Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) officials that it plans to drop several routes from its LAX schedule. Struggling with high jet fuel prices, the carrier made the hard decision to reduce its LAX schedule by 13%. Planned cuts will effect nonstop service to Boston, Mass., Hartford, Conn., and Columbus, Ohio. In all Delta plans to end service on nine routes from LAX by the end of August. Delta had planned to make LAX its west coast hub, but with skyrocketing energy costs combined with heavy financial losses the carrier has to take drastic action for its own survival.

Delta 757-232 N699DL (29970/887) now sports the carriers new livery having previously worn the colors of now defunct "Song". The aircraft is caught departing from Rwy 7R at Las Vegas (LAS) during east traffic operations. (Photo by Michael Carter)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Emirates Delays LAX Service

Emirates (EK) has delayed the start of its new Dubai-LAX service until October 1st. Reports indicate that the new service is being pushed back due to delivery delays at Boeing on the carriers new 777LRs.

Marine F/A-18Cs at Long Beach (LGB)

A pair of unusual visitors arrived this afternoon at Long Beach Airport (LGB) in the form of Marine F/A-18C Hornets of VMFAT-101. The pair arrived at 1610 and following a short stay departed at 1739.

The following Gulfstreams were also seen at Long Beach this afternoon; G400 N413QS (cn 1521) and G550 N806AC (cn 5097) which was sporting the company G550 livery. Ameriflight PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain (cn 31-7952189) also made a stop appaerntly due to some engine issues. Once worked out, the aircraft departed without incident.

Marine F/A-18C Hornets BuNo 164039 and 163735 of VMFAT-101 smoke the mains on Rwy 30 as they make a surprise visit to Long Beach. (Photos by Michael Carter)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

200th Gulfstream G550 Airframe at Long Beach (LGB).

Gulfstream Aerospace continues to have no problem selling aircraft in these turbulent times as is evident with the number of new G550s arriving from Savannah Georgia, not to mention the high interest in the recently announced G650. The 200th G550 airframe, N990GA (cn 5200) is now in Long Beach (LGB) where it will receive its plush interior and exterior paint. Current orders for the G550 will see production and deliveries last up until 2014 at last report. Two other recent G550 arrivals have been N399GA (cn 5199), N991GA (cn 5201). The Long Beach facilities also perform routine maintenace and service on older Gulfstreams as well or when an aircraft changes owners will customize the aircraft to the new owners specifications.

A few Gulfstreams spotted at Long Beach today were as follows; G-II N900DH (cn 111), G-IVs B-8080 (cn 1100), and B-8091 (cn unknown at present & both belonging to Deer Jet), G-V N130TM (cn 660), G550 N550AN (cn 5155), G550 N3050 (cn 5096) and G550 N234DB (cn 5106).

Deer Jet G-IV B-8080 (cn 1100) is seen returning to Long Beach (LGB) from a test flight and G550 N234DB (cn 5106) is caught departing Long Beach (LGB) bound for Van Nuys (VNY) on June 26th. (Photos by Michael Carter)

Southwest adds new Orange County - Denver service.

Beginning November 2nd, Southwest Airlines will commence three new daily nonstop flights connecting Orange County and Denver. To celebrate the new service, the carrier will offer a $79 one-way advance purchase fare. This could spell trouble for Denver based Frontier which also has three daily flights between SNA and DEN.

Nevada One climbs from Rwy 1L during north traffic operations at Orange County, could we see a "Colorado One" in the future? (Photo by Michael Carter)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Zoom Airlines Begins San Diego (SAN) service.

Zoom Airlines of the United Kingdom, commenced operations between London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and San Diego International Airport (SAN) on June 20th. The twice weekly flights will operate on Monday and Friday arriving from London Gatwick at 2:40p.m., departing back to London at 4:25p.m. This new service re-establishishes the connection between the two cities that was lost some 5 years ago when British Airways closed the route.

Zoom Airlines 767-3Q8ER (27686/793) G-UKZM "City of London" is seen preparing for departure from London Gatwick Airport (LGW). (Photo by Robbie Shaw)

C-17A Globmaster III Hunts for more orders.

The C-17A programe at Long Beach Airport (LGB) stays busy building and delivering new aircraft (about 1 per month) as Boeing hunts for new customers. The USAF is rumored to be close to announcing the order of another 12 aircraft and NATO is also close to announcing the aquisition of 3 aircraft. Additionally the Gulf state of Qatar is rumored to be interested in the purchase of 2 C-17As with purchase rights for another two an interesting order and customer if this deal comes to fruition.

C-17A 07-7174 (P-174) destined for Dover Air Force Base is caught on short final to Rwy 30 on June 23. The aircraft operated a uncharacteristicly short flight being out for about 20 minutes. (Photo by Doug Kerr)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

jetBlue brings the ERJ190 to Long Beach.

Last month (May 2008), jetBlue Airways made several schedule enhancements and added two new destinations, connecting Long Beach Airport (LGB) with Seattle (SEA) (Alaska Airlines also operates this route) and Austin Texas (AUS). The Austin flights also brought a new aircraft type to Long Beach, the Embraer ERJ190. The quiet aircraft fits in well at the heavily noise restricted airport and should prove to be a good neighbor with the fussy LBHUSH2 group. LBHUSH2 is an orginazation formed by airport area residents who are very noise sensative (they make more noise than the airplanes) and would like nothing more than to see the airport completly closed.

Caught on short final to Rwy 30 at Long Beach (LGB) is ERJ-190-100IGW (cn 19000006) N179JB "Come Fly With Blue." (Photo by Michael Carter)

Schedule changes at SNA for Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines recently dropped all service (five flights) between John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA) and Oakland International Airport (OAK). The carrier did keep one slot by adding a frequency to Seattle but gave the four remaining slots back to SNA. The carrier has also adjusted its summer schedule by adding more 737-800 lines at SNA for an increase in capacity.

Alaska 737-890 N569AS back taxies on Rwy 19L at SNA sporting the carriers commemorative "75th Anniversary" livery on Sunday June 22. (Photo by Michael Carter)