Tag Archives: virgin america

Alaska Livery A320s – Something’s Missing

With Alaska Airlines taking over Virgin America, there is a lot of repainting to be done of the fleet.  I have seen a few of the newer A321neos around in Alaska colors (mostly special schemes) but I hadn’t had any luck with the A320s in the traditional Alaska scheme.  A visit to SFO was bound to change that given that this was the base for Virgin America.  Sure enough I got to shoot a few of the jets in their new livery.  I have to say, I think it looks quite good on the A320.  Of course, there is something of the livery that is missing.  None of the Airbus jets carries the “Proudly All Boeing” graphic.  None of the Embraers do either although that might soon be something they can add before too long!

Most West Coast??

The merger of the Virgin America operations into Alaska Airlines means combining the Airbus fleet with the Boeings.  Virgin America had ordered some A321neos and these are in the process of delivery just as things are being merged.  Alaska chose to change the livery on the next one off the line and adopted a scheme designed to reflect the number of flights they now operate on the west coast.  The Most West Coast jet has not been popular since it seems to lack branding of either airline.  It was at the gate when I landed in LA and I saw it taxiing out later that morning.  I wonder how long it will last in this form?

The Merger Jet (At Last)

West Coast airline flying includes a lot of Virgin America.  Headquartered in Redwood City, just down the peninsula from SFO, Virgin America has been struggling to establish itself as a carrier with a different level of service.  It must have done well enough because Alaska got worried enough to buy it.  They call it a merger but Alaska bought Virgin.  Everyone wonder what will happen next since the fleets are totally dissimilar as is the customer service.  Alaska repainted one of their jets in a new livery to celebrate the completion of the acquisition.

It is one of their 737-900s and the colors migrate from red to blue to symbolize the joining of the two.  I have missed the jet on numerous occasions.  I thought I was never going to catch it but finally saw it at San Jose.  You are a lot closer to the flight path at San Jose which is good.  What is even better is being there on the pouring rain when the clouds part five minutes before the jet arrives.  Sadly, the weather closed in just as it took off again but the light was okay over the airport, even if it wasn’t where I was.  Still, I finally got it!

Rainy and Dark at SeaTac

wpid13589-AU0E0409.jpgIn the past I have been able to get some reasonable shots of departing aircraft at SeaTac from the pier of the terminal that Southwest operate from while I am waiting for my flight.  I was heading home in the evening and thought I would have little luck because the sun would be on the wrong side.  Turns out, the sun was nowhere to be seen – this is Seattle so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

wpid13593-AU0E0433.jpgInstead, it was raining (shocking news) so, even though the light should not have faded, it was pretty bleak.  Normally, I would have thought this meant I would no be getting any shots.  However, I decided to have a go anyway.  Sometimes, the bad weather shots can come up with something a bit special.  I did not anticipate getting this but it would have been frustrating to watch and miss something cool.

wpid13585-AU0E0385.jpgAs it turned out, things weren’t too dramatic.  I did get a few shots of the jets and turboprops as they headed out.  Sometimes there would be puffs of vapor over the wings or clouds in the inlets but nothing too good.  An Emirates 777 took off which meant a fair bit of spray behind it as it powered away.  Sadly it rotated just as it went out of sight so the real clouds of spray were not visible from where I was.