Tag Archives: KLAX

Battle Of The Alliances

The creation of the airline alliances has allowed airlines to serve a wider range of routes than they could sustain themselves.  Part of their obligation as a member of the alliance is to have some of their aircraft painted in alliance colors.  Sadly, these liveries are not that exciting but I suppose it is some variety.  I was quite surprised to get an Air France 777-300ER in SkyTeam colors vacating the runway at the same time a United 777-200ER in Star Alliance colors was taxiing the opposite direction.  I felt like the scene for a stand off but no such thing occurred.

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.

Is This Airline Really British?

I got another new freighter while at LAX although not a great shot of it.  Cargologic has a pair of 747-400Fs in service.  The threshold for the south runways is a long way east of Imperial Hill so it is easy for freighters to stop and turn off before they get past all of he buildings that are in the way.  Consequently, I didn’t get a clear shot of this jet.  At the time I took this, a bunch of restrictions had been imposed on Russian operators as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.  Cargologic is a British registered airline so was not restricted.  Its ownership traces back to Volga Dnepr which is restricted.  Not sure the distinction is a real one but, at the time, it was enough to allow them to keep operating.  I suspect the UK government is not going to look too hard.

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.

SF Airlines 747 Freighter

Coming across a new airline for the first time is still a buzz for me.  With so many airlines around the world and most of them never showing up at an airport convenient for me, there is always a good chance of something new when I visit somewhere I haven’t been for a while.  LAX is a popular freight destination so getting new freighters there is a good chance.  I was actually at SoFi stadium having a look around when a 747-400F made the approach just south of me.

I had the camera with me at that time so was able to turn around and get some shots.  With the aircraft being south of me, it was a bit backlit but I bumped the exposure compensation up a bit to get good shadow detail so I could play with it in post.  Later in the day, I was at Imperial Hill waiting for my flight home when it departed.  Getting two cracks at a new airline was a pretty good deal.  More importantly, the airline actually has a livery that is of interest – not a white jet with a few markings.  I count this as a result!

Air France A380

The Air France A380s have gone away.  Their retirement had already been identified prior to the COVID-19 outbreak but it accelerated their departure.  I had shot them on a few occasions with SFO and LAX being regular destinations.  Since I won’t be seeing them again, here is a farewell tribute to the Air France A380.  Hope one or two of the airframes find a second life.

Rebuilding the Taxiways at LAX

In recent years, LAX underwent a reconfiguration of the norther runways.  I understand this was partly to accommodate the A380 operations which, when initially introduced, created some restrictions on other operations as a result of the runway spacing.  They respaced the runways.  I wondered whether any of the aerial photos I had taken at LAX showed the differences that had been made.

My first flight was during the reconfiguration process.  The change to one of the runways had already been made and could be seen in the spare surface were the original northerly edge had been.  Other work was underway around the thresholds and in the underrun.  The photos from later show the finished configuration.  The threshold of the inner runway has been moved from its original location and the underrun work is now complete.  Things like runways feel like they should be so permanent but, as with any man made construction, they can be taken apart and rebuilt if that is what is needed.

Storms Over LAX

When you first think of Los Angeles, you think of sun and warm weather.  It is true that a lot of the time, this will be what you get in Southern California, but it is not always the case.  On the first day of my trip down to LA, I had intended to get some flying in.  The weather had other ideas.  The cloud base was low and waves of rain were coming through the area.  Just when the sun came out and you thought it was okay, another bunch of clouds would roll in and, if you didn’t get under cover quickly, you would get drenched by some torrential rain. This does, of course, provide for a shot of LAX that you don’t normally get!

Etihad 777-200LR in its Last Days

When Boeing developed its updates to the base versions of the 777, it came up with the higher capacity long range 300ER and a lower capacity but ultra long range version, the 200LR.  The 300ER sold very well but the 200LR was more of a niche product and, while it sold, it never went in the same numbers as its larger sibling.  Etihad was one of the customers but they have now decided they have no further use for the type and it is being retired.  I was glad to catch one at LAX in the days running up to their retirement.