Tag Archives: Airbus

Alaska Doesn’t Want These Guys

Alaska Airlines likes to advertise that it is “Proudly All Boeing”.  It isn’t of course.  The Q400s and E175s are definitely not Boeing jets.  When they bought Virgin America, they acquired a large fleet of Airbus jets too.  These are not going to be part of the fleet for long, though.  Alaska has made it clear that they are going away.  The A319s are apparently too small so are the first in line for replacement.  Go to Paine Field and you will come across a bunch of Alaska painted A319s bagged up and awaiting their future.  A319s are generally smaller than airlines want these days – it is not that long ago that the A319 was more popular than the A320 but that is no longer the case.  I wonder where these will go next.

A Rare Beast – Shame It Is 34k’ Above Me!

My buddy, Mark, sent me a message about a plane that he had spotted coming inbound from the Pacific which he had hoped would stop in Vancouver.  It was a Royal Thai Air Force Airbus A340-500.  Instead it was coming further south but it was still at cruising altitude so there was no way it was coming my way either.  However, it did end up flying directly overhead, albeit at 34,000’. It was a lovely clear day and the four contrails from the jet showed up nicely as they ran back and then rolled up together.  I grabbed the camera from the trunk and got a few shots as it passed overhead.  It was heading for DC so we didn’t have a chance that day or for the return journey.

Air France Tries Everything At SEA

Airlines seem to be consolidating their fleets these days with less and less types showing up.  I am sure that this is true for Air France too but, recent experience at SEA feels like the opposite.  We seem to have been the destination for a lot of the Air France long haul fleet.  We have had 777s coming in here for a while.  I imagine that they will be the ones we won’t see much of again but you should never bet on that.  The 777-300ERs are likely to be around for a while, even if the -200ERs go away.

Then we have had the A330s and the A350s.  I like the look of the A350 so was pleased to see them bringing that on this route.  I had wrongly assumed that, with the A350 being deployed here, that was going to be a regular feature.  Instead, we have now got 787s coming in.  I was north of the airport when I got to shoot a 787-9 lining up for approach.  When I have looked more recently, that is the jet showing on the schedule.  Who knows what we will get next?  I am pretty certain it won’t be the A380!

New Bradley Midfield Terminal

When I was last at LAX, there was plenty of construction underway in the middle of the field.  The Bradley International Terminal was being expanded to accommodate the growth that had taken place.  This was all pre-pandemic of course.  On this visit, it looked like everything was complete.  The new midfield terminal area was looking finished and there were aircraft on the gates including a China Southern A380.  With that fleet due for retirement, that might be my last chance to see one.  Not sure whether I will get to use the terminal or not but it looked good.

Finnair Before Sunset

The light was getting low in the sky and I was needing to drop my rental car back at the lot to get my flight home but a Finnair A350 was on approach.  I could see it was coming in to the south complex so the Proud Bird parking lot would be the spot for me.  The nice evening light was going to work out well.  I had shot a Finnair A350 once before when one came to SFO but this would be only my second encounter.  No point in missing it.  The sky was warming up nicely so it was hard to miss getting the shot.

Strangely The First AA A321neo Encounters

The launch of the 737 Max was heavily influenced by American Airlines agreeing to buy a bunch of A320neo family jets from Airbus.  American had inherited a bunch of Airbus aircraft from the combination with USAirways but buying the neos really caused Boeing to take note.  The order also included a bunch of the ceo versions of the jets and I have seen loads of them over the years.  However, for some reason, I had never shot an American neo until I got to LAX.

Los Angeles seems to be a popular destination for American’s neo fleet.  While I was there, I saw a load of them arriving and departing.  The larger engines are quite conspicuous on the neo although the A321neo seems better proportioned for that size of engine so they are less obvious than the smaller jets.  I think they do occasionally make it to Seattle but whether I shall catch one up here, I don’t know.


Early morning at Washington National and I was waiting for my flight home after a work trip to DC.  As I sat at the gate, a JetBlue aircraft was coming up from the south end of the field.  It was painted in a red scheme representative of the fire department of NY.  They have a few different special liveries on their jets but a bright red one is quite the opposite of their normal look.  Sadly, the light was a bit dull but I wasn’t passing up the opportunity to get a shot, even if it was through the terminal windows.

Team USA Delta A330

Delta was the official airline of the US Olympic team during the Winter Olympics in China.  They painted one of their A330s with Team USA colors.  I knew it had been in and out of Seattle a few times but I had either not had a chance to go and see it or it was in crummy conditions.  Finally it was due in early one weekend morning so I headed down to SeaTac to catch it.  The forecast was not great but I had a feeling that the early sun might hang around and, for once, I wasn’t wrong.  The light was generous and the plane came in on the right runway to get a good shot.

National A330 Drops Off The Troops

National Airlines has a single A330 and, with their livery being far from dull, it is a neat looking aircraft.  It was coming to Boeing Field to drop off a bunch of troops.  Why it didn’t go to McChord, I don’t know and I don’t care.  I was able to get it on approach and then move down the field to see it parked up on Modern’s ramp.  A bunch of coaches arrived to collect the troops and you could see them lining up to grab their kit from the hold.

With everyone on their way, the A330 headed off to its next destination.  They had to cross the runway to get to the taxiway on the southwest side of he field since it is the only one able to accommodate widebodies.  Then they were heading my way for departure.  I stuck with the long lens to get a better rotation shot and then went for a close up of the gear retracting and the National logo on the underside of the plane.  Shame the conditions were a bit dull for such a nicely painted plane but still a nice catch.

My Only A330-800

The A330 has been a huge seller for Airbus.  The A330neo has not sold as well.  As an upgrade of the basic jet, it didn’t get a huge amount of interest from customers.  It has started to seek a bit better and it is basically a good jet.  It comes in two version and the A330-900 is the larger of the two and by far the more popular.  The A330-800 has not sold well at all with a few going to operators, one of which is Uganda Airlines.

For some reason, they brought one of their jets to Seattle.  It arrived on a cloudy day and didn’t leave for quite a while.  It’s departure was late at night and I didn’t even bother trying to be there but I did catch it arriving.  It certainly got a lot of attention from local photographers.  It has a bit of nice color in the livery but isn’t the most distinctive of planes.  However, I don’t know when I shall next catch an 800 so this could be it for a while for me!