Southern California Aircraft Spotting (Featuring Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX/KLAX), Gulfstream News, plus Domestic and International Airline News
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Boeing 737-683 (28296/21) N7376
Western Pacific Airlines Boeing 737-317 (23173/1098) N946WP "Spirit of Durango / Purgatory Resort"
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Frustrations mount for Southwest Airlines pilots as summer travel picks up
Southwest Airlines pilots on Friday added themselves to the list of disgruntled commercial aviators dealing with labor shortages, cancellations, fatigue and unpredictable work shifts.
“We’ve been under a lot of stress for the past year,” said Capt. Casey A. Murray, a pilot and president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.
He said many pilots arrive at work scheduled to fly to one destination only to receive a late reassignment notification instructing them to fly elsewhere, and in many cases, it's a longer flight, which has led pilots feeling fatigued and frustrated.
“What is going on, on a day-to-day basis, is a wasteful use of the pilot resources they have,” Murray said, adding, there have been failures in connecting pilots to airplanes, sometimes because of weather events and staffing shortages — and other times, for reasons unknown. least 30% of pilots are being reassigned everyday, Murray said. He said Southwest has about 9,600 pilots but declined to say how many more it needs to hire to address the shortage.
Southwest pilots joined those at Delta Air Lines in venting about fatigue and extended work hours.
On Thursday, Delta Air Lines pilots published an open letter to customers in a direct appeal to those who may be frustrated by flight delays and cancellations ahead of the summer travel season.
“We have been working on our days off, flying a record amount of overtime to help you get to your destination,” the letter states. “At the current rate, by this fall, our pilots will have flown more overtime in 2022 than in the entirety of 2018 and 2019 combined, our busiest years to date.
The pilot unions representing United, Spirit, JetBlue, Alaska and Allegiant airlines couldn’t be reached for comment.
Delta recently announced it was canceling some 100 daily departures from destinations in the U.S. and Latin America, affecting travel from July 1 to Aug. 7.
As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, airlines have struggled with routine disruptions such as weather, flight cancellations and worker shortages.
JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Alaska Airlines have already scaled back their spring and summer travel schedules to give themselves more room to handle disruptions.
Thousands of U.S. flights were either delayed or canceled as thunderstorms snarled travel to and from some of the country’s busiest airports, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware.
While Southwest has a shortage of pilots, union officials said the manner in which current pilots are being treated has also affected the airline.
“If you’re going to continue to misuse us, you’re going to continue to be short of staffing,” Murray said, adding he wants his employer to be the most efficient and successful airline company in the industry.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Proposed FAA emission rule creates uncertainty for 767 freighter
The US Federal Aviation Administration has proposed new aircraft efficiency rules that leave uncertain the ability of Boeing to keep selling 767 Freighters for delivery after 2027.
An official with Boeing says the company hopes to find a means of ensuring 767 deliveries can continue. But the official adds that Boeing is evaluating a possible 767F replacement, potentially including a freighter version of its 787.
The FAA released its proposed aircraft-emission standards on 15 June. The move stands to align US standa
Regardless of the FAA’s action, the 767’s future remains in limbo due to the ICAO standards.
The FAA’s emission caps are to apply to large aircraft manufactured after 1 January 2028, “regardless” of when those types were certificated, says the agency’s proposal.
The standards would also apply to new aircraft types submitted for certification after 1 January 2021. They would not apply to aircraft already in service.
The FAA’s proposal lays out emissions requirements and complex means of proving compliance. The agency says the standards will apply to “the upcoming Boeing 777X and future versions of the 787 Dreamliner”, and to Airbus A330neos.
The proposed rule does not specifically mention 767s.
However, the proposal is the FAA’s regulatory response to aircraft-emissions caps required under a 2021 rule issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency. That rule calls 767s “non-compliant”.
Speaking to reporters in Everett on 15 June, Boeing freight customer leader Brian Hermesmeyer says the US manufacturing giant intends to explore means of producing 767s beyond 2027. But he declines to specify how.
“We will continue to work with regulators and customers, to work within sustainability frameworks, to make sure that the 767 may have a possibility to continue,” Hermesmeyer says.
Still, he adds Boeing is considering potential 767F replacements.
“Are we looking at different freighter platforms in that space? Absolutely,” Hermesmeyer says.
He calls a 787 freighter “a natural place for us to look”.
“For now, Six-Sevens will be delivered through the end of 2027, and we will make sure that we have the right airplanes in the right space for the market,” Hermesmeyer adds.
The FAA declines to comment about the rule’s impact on 767s.
Boeing found a winner in the freighter version of its ageing 767 platform. The type has proved particularly popular among express package deliver companies, including haulers of e-commerce packages.
Boeing holds outstanding order for 61 767Fs, most on order with FedEx and UPS, according to the company’s data.
The FAA is accepting comments about its proposed rule through 15 August.
The rule is part of the climate action agenda of the administration of president Joe Biden. The US government has pledged for the country’s airline sector to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.
The rule sets fuel-efficiency standards based on carbon dioxide emissions. It “accommodates a wide variety of fuel efficient measures when manufacturing planes, including improvements to aerodynamics, engine propulsion efficiency and reductions in an aircraft’s empty mass before loading,” says the FAA.
(Jon Hemmerdinger - FlightGlobal News)
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Argentina authorities seek data on Iranian, Venezuelan crew
Police officers on Tuesday searched the hotel where the Venezuelan and Iranian crew of a mysterious plane that remains stuck at Buenos Aires’ main international airport have been staying as authorities blocked its exit amid suspicions about its crew and U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Federal Judge Federico Villena ordered the raid at Hotel Plaza Canning, outside Buenos Aires, which has housed the crew of the Venezuelan-owned Boeing 747-3B3(M) (23413/632) YV3531 cargo plane loaded with automative parts.
The plane has been stuck at Argentina’s largest airport since June 6 as Argentine authorities have seized the passports of the five Iranians who are among the at least 17 crew members who arrived in Argentina aboard the plane.
Argentina’s Security Minister, Aníbal Fernández, said that the government received information from foreign intelligence agencies that at least some of the Iranian crew were part of “companies related to the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard of Iran,” which has been officially listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government since 2007.
There do not appear to be any warrants out for the arrest of any of the crewmembers.
There are numerous suspicions surrounding the plane, including the way in which its operators reported a lower number of crew members than were actually aboard, an unusually large contingent for a cargo plane.
Until it was sold to Emtrasur Cargo on February 9, 2022, the plane had been owned by Mahan Air (EP-MND / EK-74713) of Iran, which the U.S. government has sanctioned for allegedly aiding the Quds Force and terrorist activities.
The plane had stopped in other Latin American countries, including Paraguay and Mexico, in earlier months, according to flight tracking services.
Opposition leaders in Argentina have criticized the government for allowing the plane to land in the country.
Argentine authorities insist they have not found any irregularities in the plane’s crew and the head of the Federal Intelligence Agency, Agustín Rossi, criticized the opposition for linking it to international terrorism.
Rossi said the plane carried cargo for several Argentine auto parts companies that it loaded in Mexico before stopping by Caracas and arriving in Argentina on June 6. It first landed in the central city of Córdoba due to weather conditions that prevented it from landing in Ezeiza, just outside Buenos Aires.
“The plane’s cargo was verified in all manners possible,” Rossi told a local radio station.
The unusually large crew had earlier raised suspicions in Paraguay, where the plane landed last month in Ciudad del Este, close to the Argentina and Brazil borders, where it remained between May 13 and May 16, Paraguay’s interior minister, Federico González, told a local radio station on Wednesday.
The plane landed in Paraguay with “18 crew members, of which seven were Iranians and 11 Venezuelans,” Douglas Cubilla, head of airports at Paraguay’s National Civil Aeronautics Directorate, had told a local radio station on May 18. “Cargo planes always have six or seven crew members” and the large number of crew members “caught our eye.”
Two directorate officials, including the head of the Ciudad del Este airport, have been removed from their posts as a result of irregularities involving the plane, González said.
It was only after the plane left Paraguay that officials learned it "belonged to an Iranian company that is suspended with sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department” and that the Iranian crew were part of the Quds Force, González said.
The plane appears to have transported cigarettes out of Ciudad del Este, González said.
González said Paraguay alerted intelligence agencies in the region about the plane and its crew, although he did not specify when that took place.
Uruguay had earlier rejected entry of the plane to its airspace before it landed in Argentina.
Argentina suffered two terrorist attacks that authorities blame on Iran, a 1992 explosion at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and another at a Jewish organization in 1994. Argentina is seeking the arrest of several Iranian officials, though Iran denies involvement.
(Almudena Calatrava - Associated Press)
Boeing delivered 29 737 MAX jets in May, notches widebody orders
Boeing Co said on Tuesday it had delivered 29 of its cash-earning 737 MAX single-aisle jets to customers in May, bringing in needed funds as the U.S. planemaker worked through supply chain and regulatory hurdles.
Boeing also handed over to customers the fourth-to-last of its hump-backed 747s, a freighter to Atlas Air, and three 777 freighters, reflecting strong demand for cargo capacity, it said.
The closely watched monthly orders and deliveries snapshot comes as Boeing kicks off media briefings at its Seattle-area facilities this week in preparation for Britain's Farnborough Airshow next month.
As Boeing prepares for the industry's annual showcase, the embattled U.S. planemaker is scrambling to resolve supply chain bottlenecks that have curbed 737 production and to win approval to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, among other challenges gripping its jet portfolio.
The 35 overall deliveries in May was more than double the 17 jets it handed over in the same month a year ago. That brings the delivery total for the first five months of the year to 165 aircraft, according to the data released on Tuesday.
Deliveries are a closely watched metric for investors since airlines hand over the bulk of the money for an order when they pick up their planes at Boeing.
Boeing booked 23 gross orders, 17 of which were for widebody aircraft. Among those, German carrier Lufthansa ordered seven 787 Dreamliners and seven 777-8F freighters - the cargo version of its forthcoming 777X.
Aircraft leasing tie-up Bain Capital Griffin ordered five 737 MAX jets for Indian carrier Akasa Air in a sale-leaseback deal that saw Akasa cancel the same number of planes from its initial order, Boeing said. Boeing also sold another 737 MAX to American Airlines.
After nine canceled orders, including Norwegian Air scrapping four 787 Dreamliners, and instances where buyers swapped jet models, orders for May stood at 14, Boeing said.
For the year through May, Boeing booked 236 gross orders, or 171 after cancellations and conversions, it said. After accounting adjustments, Boeing recorded 107 net orders for the year so far.
Overall, Boeing's order backlog rose to 4,192, Boeing said.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Saudi Arabian Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-90-30 (53514/2260) N6200N tbr HZ-APX
Friday, June 10, 2022
Air Cal MD82 (48063/1020) N478AC
Sunday, June 5, 2022
TVPX Aircraft Soulutions Gulfstream G650 (c/n 6003) N616RH
(Photo by Michael Carter / Aero Pacific Images)
Operated by Elite Air, this lovely Gulfstream rolls for takeoff on Rwy 30 at Long Beach Airport (LGB/KLGB) destined for Oakland International Airport (OAK/KOAK) this afternoon (June 5).
Originally delivered to Starbucks Corporation as N211HS on September 27, 2013, ex Gulfstream Aerospace N603GD and N653GD.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Boeing paused 737 production in May due to supply chain issues
Boeing Co had paused production of its 737 MAX for about 10 days last month due to supply chain snarls, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Delays in delivering new narrow-body jets have frustrated carriers that seek to capitalize on surging air travel demand, and hindered the plane maker's efforts to generate cash to pay down debt, the report said.
Boeing did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for a comment.
Last month, Boeing Chief Financial Officer Brian West said the 737 MAX production and deliveries were hit by the shortage of a particular wiring connector.
Resuming deliveries of 787 Dreamliners and clearing inventories of its 737 Max are vital to Boeing's ability to emerge from the overlapping pandemic and jet-safety crises, a task complicated by supply-chain bottlenecks and the war in Ukraine.
Thursday, June 2, 2022
Breeze Airways coming to Long Beach Airport
Long Beach Airport (LGB) is excited to announce the addition of Breeze
Airways, a new airline set to start service from LGB this fall.Breeze
is a new Utah-based airline that offers nonstop service between
underserved routes across the United States. The company, with a fleet
of Airbus 220-300, Embraer 190 and Embraer 195 aircraft, first launched
in May 2021 with a flight from Tampa International Airport to
Charleston International Airport. The destination for Breeze Airways’
service to and from Long Beach has not yet been announced. “It’s
no secret—airlines and travelers know that Long Beach is the coolest
and most convenient gateway to Southern California,” said Long Beach
Airport Director Cynthia Guidry. “Our airport is in a strong position
to retain and attract airlines such as Breeze Airways that connect our
great city to visitors and new, exciting destinations.”
Public Affairs Officer
Long Beach Airport