Browsing Tag: inaugural

What better way to start a new flight to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) than with a video from SpeedbirdHD?

On March 31st, Saudi Arabian Airlines (aka Saudia) started service between Riyadh and LAX using a Boeing 777-300ER. The aircraft, which was only five months old, is configured with 24 seats in First Class, 36 in Business, and 245 in Guest Class (aka economy).

The flight will operate three times per week on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. The flight will originate in Riyadh (RUH) with a stop over in Jeddah (JED) before continuing to LAX.

“Saudia’s inaugural flight to Los Angeles is a manifestation of our continued efforts to expand our global reach to better service our valued customers,” according to Chief Executive Officer and Director General Designate, Mr. Abdulaziz Alhazmi. “The services to LAX, following our launch to Toronto, Canada in October last year and the resumption of our flights to Manchester, UK, are just some of the components of this initiative to claim our rightful place among the world`s leading carriers.”

LAX is already a melting pot of different airline liveries, but it is always great to add another.

Say hello a freshly painted Delta 717! Photo Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Say hello a freshly-painted Delta Boeing 717! Photos: Delta Air Lines

Two months ago a number of folks broke news that the much-anticipated Delta Air Lines Boeing 717-200 had finally started showing up in reservation systems. For aviation enthusiasts, it’s an exciting time when an airline brings on a new aircraft type, especially one like the 717. The 717 holds a special place in many hearts for a number of reasons, chiefly because it’s an ultra-modern descendant of the Douglas DC-9s and MD-80s which have a cult following with pilots and AvGeeks alike.

In 2011, Southwest Airlines acquired AirTran, a 717 launch partner who also happened to fly the largest fleet of 717s in the world. Aviation enthusiasts questioned whether Southwest would go against their all-Boeing 737 business model that had served them so well over the decades. Much to the surprise of many aviation industry analysts and insiders, Southwest announced they would indeed incorporate the 717 into their fleet.  However, those plans never came to fruition. In 2012, Southwest and Delta announced a sweetheart deal which would allow Delta to take possession of the former AirTran birds, allowing them to retire a number of older DC/MD variants and giving Southwest the ability to maintain fleet uniformity.

After digging around on Delta.com, I confirmed the first scheduled 717 flight was supposed to be 2343 on 9/19 from ATL to EWR. I had already booked a mini-vacation to the NYC area for that weekend, so the timing simply could not have been better. I almost canceled my outbound leg and booked this flight instead…almost. Understanding that new equipment is often subject to last minute changes,  I decided a call to Delta was in order.