3 Links I Love: Ops are Hard, Porg Party, Viva Avianca, LAX Tower

Alaska Airlines, Avianca, LAX - Los Angeles, Links I Love

This Week’s Featured Link

Travel chaos returns as Alaska Airlines blames … the calendar?Seattle Times
Another month, another mess. Will it ever end? Maybe some day….

Image of the Week

Alaska rolled out its Galaxy’s Edge livery on May the fourth. You can see the whole thing here, but man do I find the idea of staring at a Porg out the window hilarious. Love it. 5 stars. Now just get the operation in better shape.

Two for the Road

Avianca And Viva Shareholders Join Economic Ownership In A New Holding CompanyAvianca
I didn’t mention this last week, but I should have. It’s very interesting to see Avianca pull Viva into its orbit. I’d argue that Avianca’s post-bankruptcy short-haul experience looks a lot more like what Viva does. So, a world where Viva is short-haul and Avianca is longer haul is compelling. Oh, and with Dec Ryan on the board, he’ll be very pleased to shake things up.

South Bay history: The control tower at LAX has come a long way since 1930Daily Breeze
Some great little tidbits in here, including how one of the old LAX towers was a repurposed US Forestry lookout tower.

7 comments on “3 Links I Love: Ops are Hard, Porg Party, Viva Avianca, LAX Tower

  1. I never thought of forestry towers being repurposed for ATC towers in the early days, but the concept makes a lot of sense for a very basic tower at the time… I imagine it was a design that was probably somewhat standardized and easily disassembled/reassembled, and some of them were likely surplus for the forestry service.

    The “fire towers” and “lookout towers” formerly used by forestry agencies to spot wildfires are still common landmarks at the summit of many mountains, and often maintained in decent shape for use by hikers in search of a better view.

  2. I find it interesting that the South Bay history post form the Daily Breeze makes no mention of the collision between USAir Flight 1493 and SkyWest Airlines Flight 5569 at LAX in 1991.

    As I understand it, one of the factors involved in causing that wreck was the inadequate view from the older LAX tower, with the glare coming off of the new (higher level) World Way Departures roadway causing some issues for ATC staff at times viewing the north side of the airfield. (And I think the ground control radar was out that evening.)

    While (and I am just working off of a foggy memory here) I think the new LAX tower was already in the works, I think that accident was a major impetus in getting all the funding and approvals completed ASAP for the new tower.

    Interesting tidbit: billionaire David Koch was one of the survivors of the USAir 737 wreckage.

  3. Apparently Holly Hegeman is predicting hellacious airline operations this summer (hope she’s enjoying semi-retirement!). Get your popcorn and watch from home!

    1. Fares are high, planes are full, and airlines don’t seem to have gotten much of the public/regulatory backlash that some (including myself) predicted they would get from recent meltdowns…

      Given the above, if you’re an airline exec, it’s hard to argue against running as many flights as you can offer with a straight face, even if plane/airport/staff capacity is such that you know you’re running things tight and will have challenges when IRROPS hit or when the inevitable summer thunderstorms / hurricanes happen.

  4. I’ve always wished airlines with themed planes would consider bringing some of the outside fun inside the airplane. It doesn’t have to be over the top, but maybe some emblems on the bulkhead that incorporates the unique design on the livery. Otherwise the moment you enter the plane the coolness of the theme disappears.

    1. EVA used to do this with their “Hello Kitty” planes, carrying the branding over into the cabin and the food service:

      https://www.inflightfeed.com/ireviewkitty-kitty-eva-air-meals-and-experience/

      I can’t find a picture with an active link, but they even had her face stamped on the pate in first class.

      Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your Sanrio tolerance – I can only handle Aggretsuko), this service was suspended at the start of the pandemic and I don’t think it’s been restored yet.

      Brussels Airlines also used to have Smurf-themed planes where the theme carried over into the cabin.

      1. Oh wow! That looks over the top but still seems to be done in a tasteful way and adds a little something to an otherwise sterile cabin. Thanks for sharing these! I would love for some domestic airlines to consider adding something into the planes also. Ie. The bulkhead could have a poster of a local site for whatever state the plane is painted on southwest.

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