Frontier Airlines names all of its planes and the names reflect the wildlife artwork on the fin. One of their A321neos was taxiing out at Portland one morning. It had some sort of weasel-like creature on the fin and the name of the plane was Kari the Fisher. I certainly get the Star Wars reference but I had to look up Fishers to find out that they are a member of the weasel family. I had never heard of them before. Nice to think that my enthusiasm for aviation can be educational in other spheres!
A while back I got a notification of an A320 departing SEA heading to Korea from an airline called AeroK. I didn’t have the chance to be there and wrote it off as a missed opportunity. Then, earlier this year I got a similar notification on a weekend, so I was able to make the trip down to see this depart. I hadn’t made the connection, but AeroK is Korea in reverse. It is a low-cost carrier that only recently started operations. I assume these were delivery flights for their new fleet since they won’t be operating to the US at this stage of their development. It would be good to see more of the planes at some point.
Since Breeze started service in the US, I have not had much of a chance to see its aircraft. They don’t provide service to our part of the world yet. I have seen some of the Embraer fleet it operates when those jets have come to Boeing Field. This was of interest but slightly disappointing to me since the fleet is going to be made up of A220-300s and the Embraers were an interim fleet. Of course, that might make them the most interesting jets in due course. I did want to see the A220s, though.
I had to make a work trip to Orlando in October. My flight arrived in MCO at midnight and, as we pulled on to the gate, I see a Breeze A220 parked next to us. I got a shot of it with my phone but it was dark and the lighting from the terminal was definitely not good for the colors of the livery. The fact that they used that gate, though, gave me cause for optimism when I was due to return. I got to the airport with plenty of time and my flight was delayed. Consequently, I was able to watch another Breeze A220 as it pulled in from its flight and, then again, when it departed. The phone had to be the option again but I think it worked out okay – at least until I get a chance to get some more shots at some point in the future.
The Royal Canadian Air Force will soon be getting new tanker transport aircraft. They are going to buy some Airbus A330 MRTTs to replace their CC-150 Polaris jets. These are based on the A310 and I have never seen one before. Fortunately, there was one on static display at Abbotsford for the air show. It was in the grey scheme rather than the brightly painted version but that was fine by me. I was just glad to get one before they are replaced. It would be good to see one flying but I suspect the chances of that are diminishing. You never know, though.
It’s not unusual to see Canadian A320s in Boeing Field. They provide a lot of sports charters but, until recently, these were usually undertaken by Jetz aircraft. More recently, it seems that they have transitioned to jets in the Air Canada core colors. Since Air Canada has been taking delivery of lots of 737 Max aircraft recently, maybe they are cascading some of the older mainline jets to the charter operations. I don’t really know. I only know I have shot a few of their aircraft at Boeing Field recently.
Frontier Airlines has been adding a bunch of A321neos to its fleet. They are not a regular feature at SEA but they do come in periodically. The airline has at least one that is painted in a special green livery incorporating Pratt and Whitney imagery including a bald eagle. This is to signify the environmental benefits of the latest generation of jets. I actually saw one when I was elsewhere in the country. It was parked on a pier I could see but I didn’t have my camera available to get a shot in the nice evening light there was at the time.
Fortunately, it showed up as coming to Seattle one weekend. I figured I would get another chance at it. However, the weather wasn’t looking great. There was a hint that things might improve so I made my way there to see if I would get lucky. Sadly, the forecast was a little optimistic and it was still rather gloomy when the jet made an appearance. I made the best of it that I could but it was not great. Amazingly, I have had a long time since taking this shot and have yet to have another chance to shoot this jet. I think it may have visited but there was no way for me to be there. Hopefully I’ll catch it in good light one day!
I made a mourning trek to SEA one weekend to catch the Salmon Thirty Salmon jet before it got repainted. I shot a bunch of planes before it departed and one thing of interest after it left and was getting ready to head home. A quick check of what else was due out showed me that the Singapore Airlines A350-900 was due out shortly. It’s a nice-looking jet and the morning light was still good, so I figured there was no harm in waiting a short while longer to catch it.
Regular readers know I am partial to the A350 and some of my earliest shots of the type were operated by Singapore in to SFO when we lived in California. Their livery has a classic style to it in my mind. Besides, the trip to Singapore is a long one making full use of the A350’s range capabilities so it was likely to be heavy and would use a good chunk of the runway so would still be quite low as it passed me by. All good reasons to get the shot.
When Alaska bought Virgin America, they got an order for A321neos as part of the deal. When the merger was completed, Alaska painted some jets in their More To Love scheme to sell everyone on what the bigger airline had to offer. Two of the neos were painted in this livery. I have shot them both. Recently I caught one of them and it seems to have had a need for a replacement radome as the nose doesn’t go with the rest of the paint. Sadly, while there may have been more to love, Alaska doesn’t love these jets and they will be gone in October 2023, ending the use of Airbus jets in their fleet. They will then be “Proudly All Boeing” (and Embraer!).
Singapore Airlines has been flying into SEA for a while. Initially they stopped at Vancouver and then continued to SEA before reversing the journey, but I guess loads were good enough that they changed to a direct flight. It arrives first thing in the morning and then heads out mid morning to go home. I have tried to get shots of it but the combination of weather issues and making it work for a weekend morning when I can plausibly be there has been tricky. One weekend, the weather wasn’t great, but I decided to give it a go.
I was looking to shoot from a location that gives an angle on the touchdown zone which I figured would help overcome the less than ideal weather conditions with more ground in the shot. However, I was disappointed to find that they were bringing the jet in on the outer runway. Consequently, it was a bit more distant than ideal (although the crummy weather meant haze was less of an issue than might otherwise have been the case).
The following week, I had a second go. The weather was slightly better but still not great. I was rather worried that I was going to have a repeat of the previous week. Not great conditions and would it go to the outside. As I watched the track inbound, I could see a bunch of other aircraft vectoring in for their approaches. Busy arrivals can often mean the heavies get sent to the inner runway to avoid wake turbulence requirements causing delays to the narrow bodies. This was the case and I got what I was after. The only issue was that there were quite a few planes taxiing out for departure and obscuring my shot (and throwing out some heat as well). However, I did get a shot so let’s count that as a win.
Who knows how long the A340s will last. I thought I had probably seen the last of them but Lufthansa was kind enough to make them a feature of their winter schedule to Seattle. Of course, not running every day combined with the great winter weather that Seattle is known for meant the chances of getting good shots were limited. Even when the conditions were favorable, they departed in the middle of the day which meant high sun angles and more glare. However, when the conditions were as good as could be expected, I took the chances that were available. Here are some shots from probably the last season.