Tag Archives: Airbus Liveries

American Airlines Boeing and Airbus jets


This is a great picture taken by a pilot while taxiing to Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

A nice mix of the old and new when thinking about today’s American Airlines.

The Boeing 737 and Airbus A319 and A320 jets are parked in the East Hold Bay while waiting for their respective gates to open up.


I Love LA

I immediately liked this picture because it represents something special to me.

Why is it special to me?

* Traveled to every country represented in this picture.

* Spent 18 years living in Latin America as a young kid. One of my earliest memories was looking up at an airplane flying overhead, as I walked alongside my dad, while living in Honduras. Where this flying thing first started!

* Traveled on AeroMexico, as a passenger, several times back in the day.

* Flown as a Captain on both the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series jets.

* Flown as a Captain into Canada and Mexico.

* Flown into LAX, one of my faves, on a regular basis since March 1987.

That’s why I love LA! You see everything!

Picture courtesy of airliners.net

For additional information on the airport, click the link LAX.

America West – The Can Do Airline

I spent more than 18 years flying both the Boeing 737 and the 757 for America West Airlines (AWA). As such, I can certainly agree with the sentiment expressed in this AZ Republic article regarding the airline.

Courtesy AP
Courtesy AP

I started working for America West in January 1987 as a B737 First Officer. Two years later I upgraded to captain. I now currently fly the Airbus A319/320/321. Like many other employees at AWA, I thoroughly enjoyed working for the airline and always felt like I was part of a close-knit family. We always had that can-do spirit.

B1Now we’re all a proud part of the new American Airlines, with more than 100,000 employees flying around the globe, yet the original AWA crew will always remember where we started.

O'Hare Airport
O’Hare Airport

In my 18+ years with AWA, I’ve flown from Boston to Mexico City to Kauai, worked with a lot of great people and look forward to working with American.


Cactus vs. American

I started with America West Airlines (AWA) in January 1987.

I never thought I’d admit this, but I will miss the “Cactus” call-sign!

AWA B737-200 Courtesy - airliners.com
AWA B737-200
Courtesy – airliners.net

Many years ago, we switched from the “America West” call-sign to Cactus. At the time, I thought this was one of the dumbest things I had ever heard. You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought. I was somewhat embarrassed. However, one does gets used to it. Always the rebel, I’ve grown very fond of the call-sign and will certainly miss it! Who knew. Oh well..

Why Cactus?

This came about due to several airlines having very similar FAA call-signs such as America West, Southwest and SkyWest Airlines, which would occasionally cause the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and airline pilots some communication problems on the very busy ATC enroute radio frequencies. This was certainly a possibility throughout the southwestern USA where America West operated the vast majority of its flights in those days.

The adoption of the Cactus call-sign by AWA was their attempt at resolving the issue, which it did, the problem was solved!

Please see the AWA route map from 1991 below where one can see the concentration of flights throughout the southwest.

AWA Route Map - 1991 Courtesy - airliners.net
AWA Route Map – 1991
Courtesy – airliners.net

Come the day, (estimated to be on April 8th), I can almost guarantee there will be a few missed radio calls by the now former Cactus pilots simply due to human nature. After all these years of being primed to listen for our call sign, Cactus, it’ll be an adjustment to our senses. There will be some second guessing, who was that for?

AWA/US/AA Airbus A321
AWA/US/AA Airbus A321

I do feel sorry for our ATC partners in the sky as there will suddenly be an additional 1,000+ daily US Airways flights on their radar screens now answering to the “American” call sign. An adjustment for the both of us.

Glad I’m not flying that day. 

For additional information on the call-sign and the latest American / US Airways merger news, please click on this article.

Speaking of Cactus vs American, below is an Airbus A320 aircraft I recently flew into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport painted in the new American Airlines livery.


I took these two similar pictures (below) of Airbus A321 aircraft, which help to demonstrate the difference between the new exciting AA livery and the current US Airways livery.

US Airways Airbus A321 parked at PHX
US Airways Airbus A321 (AA livery) parked at PHX
US Airways Airbus A321
US Airways Airbus A321

Passing Through PHX..

Weekday morning rush hour traffic (10am) at PHX Sky Harbor International Airport.

Catering restocks my A320
Catering restocks my A320

I’ve flown this B757 to Hawaii many times when I used to fly the 757 series out of PHX. She really looks nice in the new AA colors! The aircraft was parked at an adjacent gate yesterday morning.

AWA/AA B757 at PHX

We’re parked awaiting a taxi clearance from the ramp control personnel. As you can see, a busy time at Sky Harbor.

AWA/US/AA Airbus A321
AWA/US/AA Airbus A321
PHX Terminal 4 ramp
PHX Terminal 4 ramp

First Flight of Airbus A320neo

Here is a cool video of the first flight of the Airbus A320neo from Toulouse, France.

A320neoA320neo 2According to Airbus, the A320neo, new engine option, is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft and offers unbeatable efficiency and comfort.

Among the enhancements on the A320neo: two jet engine options (P&W’s PurePower PW1100G-JM & the CFM International LEAP-1A), the Sharklets wingtip devices and additional passenger cabin improvements.

Aerodynamic & aircraft performance improvements include:

  • 20% fuel savings per seat vs. current engine option (CEO) Airbus A320 jets
  • 4,000lbs more payload
  • 500NM in additional range
  • Lower operating costs
  • Reductions in engine noise and emissions

For additional information please visit the Airbus website.

American Airlines is scheduled to receive 100+ orders for the Airbus A320neo series jets.
Check out the Airbus A320neo video here.

Three Airbus A320 Series Models in Three Days!

This was the first trip in many months where I’ve flown three models of the Airbus A320 series – the A319, A320 and the A321 during a three day trip. Coolness!

N732USN126USN170USI flew an A319 into Philly, an A320 into DFW and the A321 into Las Vegas earlier this week. Here are pictures of the exact aircraft during the trip. Pictures courtesy of airliners.net.