Friday, September 30, 2011

Allegiant To Discontinue Long Beach Flights

After about 18 months of offering flights out of Long Beach Airport, Allegiant Air will make its final departure from the city Nov. 3.

The change opens up three air carrier flight slots out of the 41 available at the airport. Airport Director Mario Rodriguez said airport staff have already reached out to other airlines and expect to fill Allegiant's slots right away.

"We have more demand than space," Rodriguez said. "When we made calls to airlines, everybody wants those slots because they are a valued commodity."

One of the four airlines already serving Long Beach - Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue or US Airways - could use the slots, or Rodriguez said a new airline could be introduced at the airport. Staff is working now to get the word out about the vacancy and have one or more airlines ready to fill the three slots as soon as Allegiant departs.

News of Las Vegas-based Allegiant's move out of Long Beach Airport comes after Frontier Airline's final departure from Long Beach in April this year. Both Allegiant and Frontier first began serving Long Beach in the spring of 2010.

Rodriguez said Allegiant's decision to cease operations in Long Beach might in part be due to competition from JetBlue. Both airlines offer flights between Long Beach and Las Vegas.

"Allegiant was focusing more and more on Vegas, and JetBlue has a strong presence from here to Vegas," he explained. "Although load factors were high for both airlines, they were competing."

The airport director said Allegiant, which sells airline tickets as well as travel packages, has a different business model than other airlines, and that Allegiant has had a tendency in the past to pull in and out of airports.

Rodriguez said the silver lining of Allegiant leaving Long Beach is that the loss will not mean a loss in destinations offered by Long Beach Airport because Allegiant's routes to Las Vegas will be available through JetBlue.

"We are not going to have any routes changed because we still have flights to Las Vegas," he said. "In fact, now we have the capability of acquiring more destinations than we do now... We will be able to provide more choices and service to new cities."

Rodriguez added that the market in Long Beach is strong and appealing to many airlines. Passenger seat totals from Long Beach Airport have increased by 4% since last year, despite declining trends at other airports.

Another possible benefit to Allegiant leaving Long Beach is that another airline with newer, more environmentally friendly (and perhaps quieter) airplanes may use the slots. Rodriguez said Allegiant's MD-80 fleet consists of more vintage airplanes than some other carriers.

It is unclear if Allegiant, which has expressed interest in offering flights someday between Long Beach and Hawaii, would be interested in returning to Long Beach Airport in the future. Allegiant officials were not available for comment before press time.

Rodriguez said that even if Allegiant isn't the one offering flights to Hawaii in the future, he believes another airline will someday add that route.

Allegiant customers who have purchased tickets or have questions about the change should visit the company's website

(By Ashleigh Oldland - Gazette Newspapers Long Beach California)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Long Beach Hoping To Capture 737-MAX Production

If we'd been around at the time, we would have found Daugherty Field just about the most exciting place imaginable. This was where young pilots in rickety flying machines created an environment that changed aviation history.

That dirt field evolved into the home airport for Douglas Aircraft, which went on to build some of the world's most celebrated airplanes. After a merger with Boeing, the last of the commercial jets, the 717, left the Long Beach assembly lines five years ago, and only the C-17 military airlifter remains in production.

But the manufacture of commercial planes could return to Southern California once again if the Boeing Co., against some considerable odds, chooses the former 717 facility for its expansion plans.

The company needs to refurbish or otherwise create an assembly plant to turn out an updated version of its enormously successful 737. The new model, to be called the 737 MAX, will have new, more efficient engines and other improvements, and be ready for delivery probably in 2014.

Ramping up will require an expanded and refurbished assembly plant, either in Renton, Wash., where the 737 is assembled now, or in another location, such as the million-square-foot 717 facility. The company is assessing which location would make the most business sense.

To their credit, members of the Long Beach City Council decided Tuesday to do everything possible to persuade Boeing that bringing commercial aviation back to Long Beach also is in the company's interest. Also to their credit, they seem determined not to politicize the process.

That's a challenge, since several are busily campaigning for higher office. But it's important, because companies looking for investment opportunities count political dysfunction on the negative side of the ledger.

Boeing already has about 500 orders for the new model, and plans to get as much as half of a market for that size plane which, at $78 million each for the next 20 years, could be worth a trillion dollars.

That's a lot, even for Boeing, and it is very far removed from the air-show days of long ago at Daugherty Field. But how fitting it would be to bring that business home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday 9-26-11

TY Air Inc 737-7AH N888TY (c/n 29749/456) BBJ arrived from Santa Barbara Municiple Airport (KSBA) at 8:55am and parked at Signature. The plane departed at 10:13am headed to Yuma Mcas/Yuma Intl (KNYL) .

Zero-G 727-227 N794AJAdv(F) (c/n 21243/1197) arrived yesterday from Ellington Field (KEFD) at 10:18am and parked at AirFlite. The plane departed this morning on a flight at 11:06am.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

3 New Puma Helicopters to Replace Aging LASD Sikorskys

The Sheriff's have replaced their Sikorsky Sea King helicopters with three new AS 332 L1 Super Puma helicopters. They will also be replacing their twelve Eurocopter Astar 350 helicopters with new ones.

Details can be read here:

Delta to bring A319 to LGB

As of 11/6, Delta will be switching out their CRJ-900 and replacing it with an A319 once a day. The other flights(which are currently utilizing the CRJ-200) will be upgraded to the CRJ-700.

Wednesday 8-31-11

A Convair 580 belonging to C&M Airways arrived at 1:16pm from El Paso Intl (KELP) and parked at Signature. The plane departed at 5:07pm to Kansas City Intl (KMCI).

About 5:15pm a Boeing V-22 Osprey did a fly-by down rwy 30.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124-100 visits LGB

This morning Volga-Dnepr Airlines Antonov An-124-100 "Ruslan" (c/n 9773054155101) RA-82043 arrived as VDA1108 from CFB Goose Bay Airport (YYR/CYYR) at 07:03am. The plane parked on taxiway Alpha and brought in a satellite to be launched from Sea Launch.

Horizon Dash 8 Q400 Diverts to LGB

Back on the night of July 22nd, Horizon's Dash 8 Q400 N417QX diverted to Long Beach for fuel after circling LAX for weather. Below is a photo of the aircraft and a video of the taxi out taken by Cabel Parker.

Video of taxi out:

Friday, July 22, 2011

New LGB Parking Garage Opens

On July 14th, LGB held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new $41 million parking garage that was set to open July 15th. The parking garage was not only finished two months ahead of schedule but it came in under budget which is great news. The final project now that is being worked on is the brand new passenger terminal which is about to break ground here in the next couple of weeks.

Photos from Carmageddon

On Saturday July t6th, JetBlue operated two round trip flights from Burbank to Long Beach. I was able to fly on the first round trip flight and the photos above are a sample from the bunch that I took that day. Our flight 405 from BUR to LGB was 18 minutes long and we flew at 9,000 ft. The return flight 406 LGB to BUR was 15 minutes long and we flew at 5,000 ft. JetBlue served food at both Burbank and Long Beach and made the quick flights fun for the passengers. I know that a lot of people hope we will do these flight again next year when the 405 gets closed again. Looks like we will have to wait and see.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

JetBlue at LGB Breaks It's Own Cargo Record and Company Record......Again!!

It was only about 3 weeks ago that the JetBlue flight 501 from Anchorage arrived with 17,230 lbs of fish which broke the old company record of 14,000 lbs of cargo on a single flight. Today's arrival from Anchorage set a new company record, again! The flight today arrived with 18,100 lbs of fish. This route seems to be doing extremely well on cargo and the passanger loads are picking up every week. Congratulations go out to the ANC and LGB crews for taking care of some serious cargo loads!

Donald Trump Brings His 757 To LGB

Donald Trumps new 757-2J4(ER) (25155/371) N757AF arrived from San Jose International Airport (SJC/KSJC) at 16:10 yesterday (June 25th) and parked at Signature. Mr Trump spent the night at his Trump National Golf Club Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. He departed today at 15:10 flying nonstop back to LaGuardia (KLGA). Below is a video a co-worker of mine took of Trumps arrival to LGB.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Look Back at April

The photos above were taken back in April and I thought it would be nice to share them with you. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

JetSuite To Leave LGB for Orange County Customers

Alex Wilcox is planning on moving his JetSuite company from Long Beach Airport to John Wayne Airport. According to Wilcox, the company will remain in the southland in the short term but is looking at moving the company out to California later on. He also says that the company is growing at record pace and they have doubled the fleet from six to twelve airplanes.

When Wilcox was asked if there was anything that the airport could do to help his business, Wilcox said that LGB does not seem interested in supporting or helping JetSuite. JetSuite had asked the airport for a billboard on the 405 but was told it was not of interest for the airport. "I shouldn't come off as sour or bitter about Long Beach" Wilcox said. "It's just the fact that Orange County is where our clients are, and that's a main reason we're moving. But the airport was not very supportive of our business at all and that was sort of unfortunate. But if that's the way it is, so be it."

Most of the 70 full time exployees are expected to move with the company.

Monday, June 6, 2011

India OKs $4 billion deal to buy 10 Long Beach-built C-17s

NEW DELHI — -- India's Cabinet has approved a proposal to buy 10 American C-17 military aircraft for more than $4 billion, the largest defense deal between the two nations, a defense official said Monday.

The deal requires the aircraft maker, Boeing Co., to invest 30 percent of the $4 billion in defense-related industries in India, said the official, who could not be named because he wasn't authorized to discuss the subject.

The approval comes after Boeing and another American defense manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, were rejected for an $11 billion deal to supply 126 fighter jets for the Indian air force.

The agreement to purchase the 10 heavy-lifting aircraft must be signed by both governments before the manufacturer begins to deliver the planes, said Rahul Bedi, a New Delhi-based analyst for the independent Jane's Information Group.

The Long Beach-built C-17 is a large transport aircraft and is used to airlift tanks, supplies and troops as well as to perform medical evacuations. It is capable of operating from basic airstrips.

Since 2002, New Delhi has become a closer strategic and military ally of Washington following decades of hostile relations during the Cold War-era when it was a close Soviet partner, Bedi said.

So far, the largest Indian defense deal with the United States has been the purchase of eight Boeing P-8 I long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft for $2.1 billion in 2009.

India is expected to spend $80 billion over the next decade to upgrade its military.

India has become the world's top arms and defense equipment buyer in recent years due to its rising concerns about China's growing power in the region as well as its traditional rivalry with neighboring Pakistan.

About 70 percent of India's military hardware is of Soviet origin.

(Associated Press - Muneeza Navqi)

Flying fish: JetBlue brings salmon, halibut on flights to Long Beach from Alaska

(Photo - Stephen Tornblom)

LONG BEACH - Up to 8,000 pounds of salmon, halibut and other perishables have joined passengers on JetBlue Airways' new daily flights from Anchorage, Alaska, to Long Beach.

But travelers concerned about touching down reeking of fish need not worry; seafood and other cargo are making the 2,300-mile trek stashed far below passenger decks in crates of ice, giant coolers and pallets.

The new freight service represents a partnership between JetBlue, Lynden International, Northern Air Cargo and Alaskan businesses looking to ship their wares to the Lower 48.

The JetBlue service, which began in late May and is scheduled to continue through at least Sept. 5, is helping alleviate a drop in flights from Anchorage in recent years, a decline blamed largely on the stumbling economy.

The first three flights carried several thousand pounds of Copper River Salmon and Alaskan Halibut - two of the globe's most highly prized seafoods.

And those figures are expected to climb in coming weeks as the peak catching season approaches.

"As the fishing season gets into full swing, we expect those volumes to increase substantially," said Carl Shipsky, JetBlue's manager of system cargo sales. "We're looking forward to serving our (Anchorage) customers and becoming an increasingly significant part of the supply chain to the fishing industry in Alaska."

Indeed, the potential market is huge.

Americans consumed about 300,000 metric tons of salmon in 2010, though much of it came from so-called salmon farms, or artificially produced lakes.

The Alaskan Copper River variety is a highly prized catch, and with North Atlantic halibut supplies depleting rapidly, the North Pacific variety is in greater demand than ever.

Ron Beach, a logistics manager with a seafood shipment company called Movers, told the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce that existing carriers had reduced flights, making the JetBlue connection all the more important.

Shipping frozen fish by ocean carrier from Alaska can take more than a week, and those varieties tend to sell for markedly less on the wholesale market.

JetBlue said it plans to ship up to 3.6 metric tons of seafood and other commercial cargo per southbound flight, though the number may vary depending on several factors.

"The (3.6 limit) are our per-flight goal numbers, but it depends heavily on our passenger and baggage load numbers, and on weather," said Mateo Lleras, a JetBlue spokesman.

Northbound flights are also expected to carry commercial cargo, but not anywhere near the volumes of goods headed south.

"The northbound lanes aren't utilized as heavily as the southbound lanes," Lleras said.

He said cargo in both directions is largely open to any business - large or small.

"We're open to accepting any type of cargo as long as it's not labeled as a hazardous material, dangerous good or (certain) personal effects," Lleras said. "But JetBlue transports any type of cargo for many different customers" unless prohibited by law.

The Alaska-Long Beach shipments represent JetBlue's growing interest in freight movement across the country. The airline has expanded to 33 the number of cities it offers cargo deliveries, while passenger routes are available to 65 cities.

The airline's fleet of Airbus A320 jets have up to 1,320-square-feet of cargo space for luggage and additional goods, less than the competitor Boeing 747, but enough to carry 2.5 tons to 3 tons per trip, said Edward McDonald, cargo system manager for JetBlue.

But pilots and air-traffic personnel ultimately call the shots on what does or doesn't get loaded.

"The available capacity is based on passenger and baggage load numbers, but also factors like weather," Lleras said.

Authorities hope the commercial cargo aspect to the new Long Beach-Anchorage route encourages JetBlue to expand their service beyond Sept. 5.

The Alaskan Chamber of Commerce notes thousands of Alaskans travel to Southern California during the long winter months for vacations and business purposes.

(Press Telegram - Kristopher Hanson)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Long Beach Based JetSuite Has Accident in Arizona

I am posting this since JetSuite is a LGB based company. It's sad to see something like this happen.


SEDONA, Ariz. – Max McIntyre and his friend were hiking up Cathedral Rock just south of the Sedona Airport when they saw a plane fly in for a landing at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Max McIntyre describes what happened next. "The airplane did a turn and came down and landed. I started talking to my friend Wood who was up the mountain a little higher and, all of a sudden, I look and I see the plane tumbling off the side of the runway and it stops a couple of hundred feet from the end of the runway."

The plane was flying in from San Jose, California with two crew members and three passengers onboard. No one was injured.

However, several people were rushed to the hospital as a precautionary measure.

The plane belongs to JetSuite, a new airline out of California that charters exclusively Phenom 100's. They have 12 planes in their fleet and have numerous daily flights all over the southwest.

Alex Wilcox, CEO for JetSuite, says, "For whatever reason, they did not slow the airplane down enough to exit or taxi as normal, and they went off the end of the runway."

According to their CEO they have never had an incident like this before, and they are sending a crew to the wreckage site for a thorough investigation.

Wilcox says, "We are sending two technicians tonight to Sedona to investigate tomorrow in daylight along with the NTSB and the FAA."

It’s unclear why the plane overran the runway or if the crash was human -caused or a mechanical issue.

Wilcox says, "The captain is a very experienced guy. He's got over 24,000 hours of total time and over 500 hours on this particular airplane."

The Phenom 100 has an estimated cost of $3.6 million.

(By Tyler Baldwin -

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

JetBlue Starts Long Beach - Anchorage Service May 23rd

Yesterday JetBlue Airways started service from Long Beach to Anchorage, AK with one flight a day. The aircraft used for the inaugural flight was A320-232 N793JB (c/n 4647) "My Other Ride Is A JetBlue E-190". Below are some photos from the events in Long Beach and Anchorage.

(Photos by Stephen Tornblom)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday 5-17-11

Qatar Emiri Air Force C-17A A7-MAB (F-209) arrived at 12:15pm and parked at Signature.

JetBlue Airways N793JB (c/n 4647) "My Other Ride Is A JetBlue E-190" has been flying in and out of LGB for the last couple of days. The tail design is "Barcode".

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boeing Delivers First C-17A to United Arab of Emirates Air Force

The United Arab of Emirates Air Force took delivery yesterday of it's first C-17A which will be followed by 5 more. The plane took off at 12:10pm and did a very nice flyby and wingwave for the Boeing employees.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Frontier Leaves LGB

Frontier operated its last flight this morning to Denver Intl (KDEN) as RPA1185. The flight was operated using ERJ170-100SU N813MA (c/n 17000031) and was full of passengers. I will miss seeing the mixture of Republic, Midwest and Frontier aircraft coming here on a daily basis.

(Photos by Stephen Tornblom)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

King Air owned by local developer Tom Dean crashes at LGB

Beechcraft Super King Air 200 N849BM (BB-849) owned by Thomas Faye Dean, a local developer who owns most of the Los Cerritos Wetlands in southeast Long Beach crashed at 10:30am local time. It's unclear what the cause of the crash is and it's being reported that there are 5 fatalities out of the 6 people on board. Dean along with Jeff Berger and bicycle advocate Mark Bixby died in the crash. Mike Jensen who owns Pacific Retail Partners is in critical condition at Memorial Hospital. The plane was going to Salt Lake City. There will be more updates on this as the day goes on.

Tuesday 3-15-11

A new C-17A that is destined for McChord AFB took off on a test flight at 12:05pm and returned at 12:44pm.

Miami Air 737-81Q (c/n 30618/830) N732MA arrived at 3:55pm from Spirit Of St Louis (KSUS) as BSK386 and parked at AirFlite. The plane brought in the St. Louis Blues hockey team.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

C-17s take off on Japan relief

Following a long history of disaster relief missions, Boeing C-17 cargo jets from across the globe are descending on Japan to aid in the aftermath of a 9.0 earthquake that killed thousands.

Since the March 11 quake, the United States, Australia and United Kingdom have deployed C-17s loaded with food, water, medical gear, sniffer dogs, search crews, doctors and radiation-neutralizing equipment.

The first C-17 mission lifted off from Los Angeles just hours after the disaster with a search-and-rescue team on a direct flight to quake-stricken northern Japan, using a flying tanker to refuel mid-air during the trip over the Pacific Ocean, Air Force officials said.

Another mission left March 13 from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Both jets landed at Misawa Air Base in northern Japan, one of the hardest-hit regions.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott West, who departed March 12 from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, said at least 25 airmen were headed to Yokota Air Base with supplies that included several large generators for use in disaster zones without electricity.

"The (Japanese) are resilient and capable," West said in a statement released by the Air Force. "But we'll be there so long as our allies ask us to."

On March 14, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced one of his nation's fleet of four C-17s was en route to Japan loaded with fresh water and an urban search-and-rescue team with dogs.

"In the last 24 hours (the Japanese Government) accepted our offer of assistance for the C-17 aircraft which is on the ground in Japan," Rudd told Australian press. "It has itself (Monday) flown two sorties for the Japanese government ... and we've been transporting all sorts of land vehicles for the Japanese as well as large supplies of fresh water."

Rudd said the search-and-rescue team was "on the ground in one of the most devastated towns called Minamisanriku."

The C-17 has played a growing role in global disaster relief operations in recent years, bringing rapid aid to such catastrophes as the Haiti quake, Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, Pakistan floods and the recent temblor in New Zealand.

Designed to take off and land on short, unpaved runways and run on bio-fuel derived from animal fat, the hulking jet can carry cars, trucks, tanks, a fully equipped field hospital, flying medical emergency room or up to 102 people.

First built in 1993, more than 220 C-17s have been built for the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Qatar and a NATO-led force based in Hungary.

The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and India have also ordered C-17s, which are built at California's last fixed-wing aircraft production plant next to Long Beach Airport.

The Japanese temblor, which is being referred to as the Great Earthquake, struck on the afternoon of March 11 off the coast of northern Japan, triggering a huge tsunami, damaging four nuclear power plants and wrecking a major seaport in the city of Sendai.

In addition to the C-17s, dozens of nations are sending medical personnel, cash, nuclear specialists, tents, food, water and other needed supplies.

The U.S. has deployed nine Navy ships to help in the relief effort and work with British and Japanese engineers and nuclear physicists at the power plants, where radiation leaks have been detected.

Facts about Boeing's C-17

Built in Long Beach, the C-17 is one of the world's largest and most diverse cargo jets, capable of landing and taking off on unpaved runways as short as 3,500 feet long and 90feet wide.

In addition to hauling supplies like trucks, food pallets, search-and-rescue teams and medical gear, the C-17 can be converted into a flying medical emergency room with 12 patient kits.

Passenger capacity: 102

Length: 174 feet; 169-foot wingspan

Crew: Pilot, co-pilot and loadmaster

Payload (maximum): 170,900 pounds

Range: 2,400 nautical miles, with midair refueling capabilities

Cruising altitude: 28,000 feet

Cruising speed: 450 knots

Power: Four Pratt and Whitney jet engines capable of 40,440 pounds of thrust

Price: $250 million (average)

Loading system: Cargo is loaded through a rear door accommodating troops, military vehicles, palletized cargo or rapid-deployment field hospital.

(Kristopher Hanson - Press Telegram)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Frontier Airlines To Leave LGB

Frontier will be discontinuing service to Denver International Airport (KDEN) on April 16th. The airline is siting poor load factors as the main reason. The two slots will go into a pool to see which current airline at LGB will get them unless a new airline decides to come to Long Beach. Sun Country Airlines has shown interest in the past about moving their single Minneapolis flight from LAX to LGB but did not show interest this last time slots were available.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday 2-26-11

Mineralogy MD-82 VP-CBI (cn 53581/2204) arrived on Saturday from Anchorage Intl (PANC) at 4:30pm and parked at AirFlite. This is one of two MD82's that billionaire Clive Palmer owns.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New JetBlue Theme Plane "I Love Blue York" comes to Long Beach

I got lucky this morning when N586JB passed through Long Beach in the morning time. The plane is painted up in a special "I Heart Blue York" marking featuring the airline's co-branded trademark with New York State's iconic I LOVE NEW YORK tourism campaign and logo.

(Photos by Stephen Tornblom)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Newest JetBlue Tail Design "Building Blocks" comes to LGB

Yesterday JetBlue A320-232 N587JB ferried in from Roswell Intl Air Center (KROW) as JBU6402 and arrived at 11:56am. There was a small ceremony for JetBlue LGB employee Troy Bokosky who created the tail design in an employee contest over a year ago. N587JB will be the only airplane to wear this design.

Photos taken by Stephen Tornblom

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday 2-10-11

The same KC-130H has been flying out of Signature for the last couple of days wearing a low vis scheme.

Both Jetblue A320's N585JB and N639JB have the new billboard titles and Barcode tail design.

Nigerian Air Force G550 5N-FGW was spotted on the ramp at the Gulfstream service center.

Monday, January 31, 2011

JetBlue moves Long Beach to Fort Lauderdale flight to LAX

This May, JetBlue will move it's LGB-FLL flight to LAX making room for the new LGB-ANC flight. JetBlue believes the LAX shift will not hurt the profitability of this market, even as they go head-to-head with competitors like Virgin America, since there is more demand between South Florida and Los Angeles than Long Beach. Time will tell if this holds true.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday 1-25-11

Boeing C-17 09-9207 (P-207) did a brake test at 10:45am and then departed at 10:59am on a test flight.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday 1-24-11

Comco 757-23A N226G (c/n 25491/511) arrived yesterday around 3:30pm and parked at AirFlite. It was scheduled to depart today around 4pm.

Gulfstream G550 N834GA (c/n 5314) arrived today at 10:52am from Savannah/Hilton Head Intl (KSAV) and parked at the Gulfstream service ramp.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Boeing plans to cut 900 from local C-17 workforce

LONG BEACH - Stung by dwindling domestic demand and efforts to slow production, Boeing said it plans to cut 900 more workers from its local C-17 workforce by late 2012.

The downsizing, announced late Wednesday, is the latest in a series of reductions to Long Beach's once-mighty aerospace industry, where employment has dropped from more than 20,000 in the 1990 s to less than 7,000 today.

And it comes on the heels of a painful year in which more than 1,000 local Boeing jobs were outsourced, transferred or simply cut amid a company-wide restructuring program.

About 200 positions at C-17 sub-assembly plants in Georgia, Arizona and Missouri will also be eliminated by late 2012.

Boeing said the cuts are needed to prepare for a reduced C-17 production schedule, which is 14 annually, to 10 beginning this summer.

"This has been a very difficult position, no question about it," said Bob Ciesla, C-17 program manager. "I've been working on the C-17 for 20 years and I personally know a lot of the great people who work on this (jet), so it's weighing heavily on me. But it's simply something that needed to be done."

Ciesla said cuts would be made "across the board," and include assembly workers, accountants, mid-level management, engineering and research, among other areas.

"Reducing the number of C-17 s we delivery every year - and doing that with a smaller workforce - will allow us to keep the production line open beyond 2012, protect jobs and give potential customers more time to finalize their airlift requirements," Ciesla said.

Affected workers will receive 60-day notices beginning Friday, with layoffs staggered monthly through late 2012.

Ciesla estimates about 400 will be let go this year, followed by 500 in 2012.

Stan Klemchuck, president of United Aerospace Workers Local 148, which represents about 1,700 workers in Long Beach, said employees received news of the intended layoffs Wednesday afternoon.

"People are obviously devastated," Klemchuck said. "Between this and recent layoffs at the (Carson) warehouse facility, it's been overwhelming. The jobs are just drying up."

Mayor Bob Foster released the following statement on the layoffs announcement:

"The C-17 program is an important economic asset for the State, the region, and the City. While Boeing's announcement today is difficult and disconcerting, it is not entirely unexpected, as the Federal government has decreased orders for this workhorse aircraft.

"Our rich history of aerospace manufacturing makes this an emotional day for Long Beach, as the C-17 plant is the last of what was previously a robust aerospace manufacturing industry in California. The impacts from these reductions will affect the State and the region, and is not constrained only to Long Beach," Foster said.

"We will continue our efforts to support Boeing in generating additional orders to preserve the thousands of jobs that remain, and our Workforce Investment Board will commit resources to assist affected employees during this difficult period."

Boeing, the city's largest private employer, announced cutbacks come in the wake of recent plans to transfer 800 engineering and research position to Oklahoma by year's end and close a parts and supply warehouse in Carson this summer.

Boeing said it's closing the 300,000-square-foot Carson site after nearly 20 years to save money, and will be outsourcing the work to a contractor in Santa Fe Springs.

More than 160 jobs are affected by the plant closure.

Boeing said that where possible, affected employees will be offered positions elsewhere in the company.

Layoff counts may also be reduced through attrition and retirement, though it remains to be seen how many people will volunteer for an early exit.

The latest round of cuts will bring Boeing's C-17 production payroll to about 2,800 by late 2012, from the current 3,700 employees.

Another 3,500 work in Long Beach in Boeing sales, marketing, research, design and other programs, with an additional 1,000 or so employed at the company's satellite facility in Seal Beach.

The C-17 has been widely popular since production began in 1993. The U.S. Air Force has purchased 206 to date, with others owned by Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

India and Kuwait have placed orders for a combined 11 C-17 s, and Boeing is reportedly talking with other nations that include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman and South Africa.

If approved as expected in coming months, the deal with India's Air Force should keep Long Beach's C-17 production line humming through 2013 - only with a reduced workforce.

(Kristopher Hanson - Press Telegram)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday 1-19-11

Jetblue Airways Airbus A320 N583JB (c/n 2150) "Bluesville" was spotted wearing the new "Barcode" tail design and updated billboard titles.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday 1-12-2011

There is a Royal Air Force C-17 parked at Signature that arrived yesterday and I was told it arrived around 4:15pm.

Gulfstream Aerospace G650 N650GD (c/n 6004) departed at 7:57am for Bob Hope (KBUR).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LGB Sees it's first Gulfstream G650

Gulfstream Aerospace G650 N650GD (c/n 6004) arrived from Savannah/Hilton Head Intl (KSAV) at 4:15pm and parked at the Gulfstream Service Center.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

JetBlue wins Jaunty for the Best Domestic Airline of 2010

Jaunted announced on Friday the winners of the 2010 Jaunted Travel Awards, otherwise known as Jauntys, and JetBlue picked up the award for Best Domestic Airline, ending Virgin America's three-year winning streak. Read below for the full description:

How did good ol' JetBlue manage to steal back the title after three straight years of dominance in this category by Virgin America? Well, by keeping it real...but also by making 2010 the year they blazed trails and truly, truly focused on what passengers want...

To tell you the truth, JetBlue has made so many positive advances and announced so much in 2010 that we hardly know where to start with explaining why they're the best this year, so we'll go with the standard of bulletpoints:

· JetBlue celebrated their 10th Anniversary with a new plane, some fancy artwork at Terminal 5 at JFK and $10 airfare sales throughout the entire year.

· In fact, it was perhaps their best year ever for airfare deals, thanks to the success of their Tuesday flash sale @JetBlueCheeps Twitter, some insane $99 Caribbean hotel+flight packages, "sample sales," and "Top Secret" Getaways.

· Both Taylor Swift and Sarah McLachlan performed concerts in the center of their JFK Terminal 5, as part of JetBlue's "Live at T5" series.

· They did not start charging fees for carry-on luggage or your first checked bag. They are one of the very, very few airlines to hold out against these truly annoying extra fees.

· This year, they added priority boarding for those who purchase extra legroom seats. We just spent an extra $45 to get one of these seats on a 5-hour flight and believe us, not only is the legroom awesome, but that early boarding means you can settle in and start watching the NFL Sunday Ticket on the seatback TVs even sooner.

· They unveiled at least three special planes with fancy livery: 10th Anniversary, NY Jets and All You Can Jet. We love spotting and riding on special-edition airplanes, and they're just plain fun.

· JetBlue announced that they'd be playing really nice in terms of connections and luggage transfers with American Airlines, Emirates, South African Airways, Aer Lingus and Lufthansa.

· Jetsetter, Gilt Groupe's flash sale website for travel deals, got together with JetBlue for super cheap luxury vacation packages. · JetPRIDE, quite possibly one of the first completely gay-friendly flights ever, took off from San Francisco to Long Beach with comedienne Pam Ann onboard.

· They gave out so much stuff this year that it seems like every month held a big giveaway. They gave out Hanes T-shirts and Wisp brushes on select flights, they handed out free flights in many cities to anyone who could find their representatives first, they gave us AYCJ passes to hand out as a prize to our readers, and random pedestrians in Manhattan spent a summer's day sampling OceanSpray Blueberry juice thanks to them.

· Speaking of blueberry juice, the airline introduced new snacks to their free selection to keep things interesting, as well as introducing paid premium snack boxes on longer flights. · AYCJ 2010, 'nuff said. · JetBlue got interested in public health and fitness, sponsoring the largest yoga class in the world and letting bicycles fly free (no oversize baggage charges) all throughout July.

· They had the exact perfect response to the Steve Slater incident. They showed some humor, but were completely up front and open about how seriously they were taking it.

· JetBlue becomes the first company ever to be allowed to completely co-brand itself with the famous "I <3 NY" logo. Then they launch an NY Jets-themed airplane, the first one to sport a livery color other than blue (it was green).

· They may not have fleetwide in-flight WiFi yet, but in 2010 they announced that when they do, it'll be the "industry's best inflight broadband for commercial aviation." Hallelujah.

· The food at their Terminal 5 at JFK was found to be among the most diverse and appealing airport food in the country. Plus, their fried rice is tasty.

· Their flight attendants will happily sleep with you.

And last, but definitely not least, JetBlue is blazing trails in the Twitter department, again. Only a few years ago, they were the first to really jump on Twitter as a way to connect with and reply to their passengers. Now they have some of the most followers of brands on Twitter, and they've gone the important step of assisting travelers with their bookings via direct message, in lieu of making travelers call customer service. If you ask us, this will be one of the most important moves for airlines to make in the coming year, and JetBlue is already on top of it (along with Delta, who have @DeltaAssist and a whole team on-hand as something like Twitter concierges for their travelers.

Congratulations, JetBlue. You deserve it as you obviously had to work triple-time to do everything you accomplished in 2010, but the point is that you did it.