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.