A Skywest Airlines Embraer E120 returned to Los Angeles International Airport this morning with landing gear issues and was met by fire rescue crews, officials said. The plane landed safely at 8:12 a.m. and taxied to the gate.
The flight was branded as United Express Flight 6320 and was bound for San Diego.
United will fly between Los Angeles and Melbourne. Photo: United.
United Airlines on Thursday confirmed it will begin flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on Oct 26, six times per week using Boeing 787-9s. Some highlights from the press release.
- This will be the first regular scheduled flight for United’s 787-9s. The Boeing 787s the airline is now using on L.A.-Shanghai and L.A-Tokyo are 787-8s. What’s the difference? Well, according to Boeing, the 787-9 is bigger. The newer version also has slightly longer range – 8,185 nautical miles, according to Boeing.
- The flight to Melbourne will not operate on Tuesday, traditionally a slow day for some business travel. The return flight does not operate on Thursdays.
- United says flights will take about 15 hours, 45 minutes westbound, and 14 hours, 35 minutes eastbound.
- United now flies a short flight between Melbourne and Sydney — what’s known in industry terms as a tag. United will no longer fly that route.
- The 787-9 will have 252 seats – 48 in business class and 204 in Economy. Included in that economy total is 63 premium economy seats. (The 787-8 has 219 seats.)
Here are some aviation stories I’ve enjoyed in the past week.
- Delta’s newest 737s are arriving with slightly smaller lavatories than others in the carrier’s fleet, according to Business Insider. On an airliner, space is money. See the photo below.
- More than 170 new LED lights at Newark Liberty International Airport are more than just lights, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, “… the light fixtures are part of a new wireless network that collects and feeds data into software that can spot long lines, recognize license plates and even identify suspicious activity, sending alerts to the appropriate staff.”
- With United substantially reducing its Cleveland operations, Delta and Frontier are swooping in to add flights. Not many, but at least it’s something, Brett Snyder writes at Cranky Flier.
- Brazil won’t allow Air France to fly its A380s into Sao Paulo. The reason, according to Today in the Sky and the Associated Press? The airport runway is not wide enough to accommodate the plane.
- Starting in June, Allegiant Air will resume flight from LAX to two cities – Billings, Montana and Pasco (Tri-Cities), Washington — according to World Airline News.
Reports are circulating that United will fly between Los Angeles and Melbourne. Photo: United.
United Airlines is expected to announce a new flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia that will start in October, according to Airchive, an aviation blog. (We have since confirmed it — see below.)
United will fly the route six times per week using a Boeing 787-9 aircraft starting Oct 26, Airchive reported. The news is being warmly greeted on Flyertalk, the message board I profiled in a feature story earlier this week. Posters on the website, who are probably airline employees, are talking like it’s a done deal, though they note the international flight is subject to government approval. (Flyertalk members get this stuff wrong occasionally, but not often.)
I reached out late Thursday to United for a comment, but I have not heard back.
Qantas already files between Los Angeles and Melbourne using an Airbus A380. United for now offers one-stop service to Melbourne. The plane stops in Sydney.
UPDATE: 10 p.m. The flight is now available for purchase on United.com.
Also, the reputable Airlineroute.net website says the flights start on November 3. It starts Oct. 26, as we originally stated.
United Airlines is taking a lot of flack from frequent fliers from what some say is an excruciatingly long roll-out for its fleet-wide WiFi. (You can find out which planes have it already installed on the United Airlines fleet wiki page.)
But installing WiFi on aircraft is not as simple as it is at home. United released a movie last week showing all the steps it takes to add it to a A319 aircraft. Watch as crews overhaul N832UA. Yes, it’s sort of an advertisement for United — you’ll have to deal with the Rhapsody in Blue music — but it’s interesting.