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Asian American & Pacific Islander month

As we celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Month, we look towards the airlines based in the Pacific Rim that serve LAX.

Passenger flights over the Pacific to LAX first started in 1959 and have seen a constant and remarkable increase as tourism, culture and commerce made the Pacific Ocean a little smaller.

Today there are approximately 20 airlines from the Pacific Rim that Serve LAX, some have temporarily suspended service due to the Pandemic, however their return is already being planned as well as new entrants from the region.

Many thanks to the airlines’ Station Managers, Staff and Public Relations teams as well Airline Spotters for providing information for this article. 

1959

Japan Airlines (JL)

First Flight
Tokyo – Honolulu – LAX
Aircraft: DC-7C

Douglas DC-7C
Source: Japan Airlines

Douglas DC-8-32
Source: Japan Airlines

Boeing 747-100
Source: Japan Airlines

Boeing 777-300ER
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Boeing 787-9
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Tokyo (HND, NRT), Osaka (KIX)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
DC-7C
DC-8
MD-11
B747-100
B747-200
B747-300
B747-400
B777-300ER
B787-8
B787-9

1965

Air New Zealand (NZ)

First Flight:
Auckland – Honolulu – LAX
Aircraft: DC-8

Boeing 747-400
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Airbus A321 in transit through LAX on a delivery flight to AKL sporting the All Blacks Rugby team colors
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Boeing 777-300ER in the latest livery on departure
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: AKL

Aircraft flown to LAX:
DC-8
DC-10
B747-200
B767-300ER
747-400
B777-200ER
B777-300ER
B787-9

1972

Korean Airlines (KE)

First Flight:
Seoul / Gimpo – LAX
Aircraft: B707

Korean Air’s Transpacific Passenger Service Inauguration Ceremony
Source: Korean Airlines

B707, HL7406, 보잉
Source: Korean Airlines

LAX Ticket Counter, 지점 카운터
Source: Korean Airlines

LAX공항 KAL 돌출간판
Source: Korean Airlines

B747-400
Source: Berkowitz / LAWA / Flight Path Archives

Boeing 747-8i Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Seoul (ICN)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B707
B747SP
B747-200
DC-10
MD-11
B747-400
B747-8
B777-200ER
B777-300ER
A380-800

1977

China Airlines (CI)

First Flight:
Taipei – LAX
Aircraft: B747SP

B747-400
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

China Airlines B777-300ER on departure
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Taipei (TPE)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747SP
B747-200
B747-400
B777-300ER
A350-900

1982

Air China (CA)

First Flight:
Beijing – LAX
Aircraft: 747SP

B777-300ER landing at LAX
Source: Dat Nguyen

A350 engaging thrust reversers on landing
Source: Dat Nguyen

Boeing 747-8i
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Beijing (PEK)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747SP
B747-200
B747-400
B777-300ER
B787-9
B747-8i
A350-900

1983

Singapore Airlines (SQ)

First Flight:
Singapore – LAX
Aircraft: 747-300

A380-800 being welcomed by LAX on the Singapore Airlines’ first A380 flight to LAX
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Boeing 777-300ER on departure
Source: Jimmy Vu

Destinations served from LAX: Singapore (SIN)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-300
B747-400
B777-300ER
A340-500
A350-900

1984

Phlippine Airlines (PR)

First Flight:
Manila – LAX
Aircraft: 747-200

Boeing 777-300ER on departure with some humidity in the air
Source: Jimmy Vu

Airbus A350-900
Source: Dat Nguyen

Boeing 777-300ER
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Manila (MNL)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-200
MD-11
B747-400
A340-300
B777-300ER
A350-900

1984

Qantas Airlines (QF)

First Flight:
Sydney – LAX
Aircraft: 747SP

 

A380-800
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

John Travolta’s private 707
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Last QF 747 flight from LAX
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Destinations served from LAX: Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747SP
B747-200
B747-300
B747-400
A330-200
B787-9
A380-800

1985

Hawaiian Airlines (HA)

 

First Flight
Honolulu – LAX
Aircraft: L1011

Lockheed L1011 TriStar preparing for departure to LAX Source: Flight Path Museum Archives

Line up of HA A330-200 at LAX
Source: Jimmy Vu

A330 on departure
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Honolulu (HNL), Kona (KOA), Lihu’e (LIH), Kahluiui (OGG)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
L1011
DC-10
B767-300ER
A330-200
A321

1986

All Nippon Airways (NH)

First Flight:
Tokyo – LAX
Aircraft: B747-200

Check-in counter at LAX
Source: ANA

Inauguration flight at LAX
Source: ANA

Inauguration flight at Tokyo Narita
Source: ANA

Inauguration flight at Tokyo Narita
Source: ANA

Boeing 777-300ER on short final in standard livery
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

B787 in a special Star Wars R2D2 livery
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Tokyo (HND, NRT)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-200
B747-400
B777-200ER
B777-300ER

1990

Cathay Pacific (CX)

First Flight:
Hong Kong – LAX
Aircraft: B747-400

 
 

CX Pilots in front of a B747-400
Source: Cathay Pacific

CX Crew
Source: Cathay Pacific

30 year celebration
Source: Cathay Pacific

B777-300ER
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Destinations served from LAX: Hong Kong (HKG)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-400
B777-300ER
A350-1000

1991

Asiana (OZ)

First Flight:
Seoul / Gimpo – LAX
Aircraft: B747-400

B747-400
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

30th year Anniversary of Asiana at LAX
Source: Asiana

30th year Anniversary of Asiana at LAX
Source: Asiana

A350 on short final at LAX
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Seoul (ICN)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-400
A380-800
A350-900

1992

EVA Air (BR)

First Flight:
Taipei – LAX
Aircraft: B747-400

B747-400 Jumbo. First EVA Air aircraft to LAX.
Source: EVA Air

B747-400 cabin service with EVA’s second generation uniform
Source: EVA Air

EVA Air introduces world’s first long-haul premium economy cabin
Source: EVA Air

B747-400 in cargo configuration
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Destinations served from LAX: Taipei (TPE)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-400
MD-11
B777-300ER

1993

China Eastern (MU)

First Flight:
Beijing – LAX
Aircraft: MD-11

A330 wearing a special livery
Source: Dat Nguyen

A330 landing at LAX
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Shanghai (PVG), Chegdu (CTU), Nanking (NKG)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
MD-11
A340-600
A330-200
B777-300ER

1994

Fiji Airways (FJ)
(Former Air Pacific)

First Flight:
Nadi – LAX
Aircraft: B747-200

A350-900 taxiing after arrival Source: Jimmy Vu

Boeing 737 on a technical stop during a delivery flight
Source: Jimmy Vu

Destinations served from LAX: Nadi (NAN)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B747-200
B747-400
A330-200
A330-300
A350-900

1997

China Southern (CZ)

First Flight:
Guangzhou- LAX
Aircraft: B777-200ER

B787-8
Source: Dat Nguyen

A380-800
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Guangzhou (CAN)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B777-200ER
B777-300ER
A380-800
B787-9

1998

Air Tahiti Nui (TN)

First Flight:
Papeete – LAX
Aircraft: A340-200

B787-9 at LAX
Source: Dat Nguyen

B787-9 “Fakarava” unveiling at Flight Path Museum
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

B787-9 “Fakarava” unveiling at Flight Path Museum
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

B787-9 “Fakarava” unveiling at Flight Path Museum
Source: Jean-Christophe Dick

Destinations served from LAX: Papeete (PPT)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
A340-200
A340-300
B787-9

2016

Hainan Airlines (HU)

First Flight:
Changsha – LAX
Aircraft: B787-9

Hainan Boeing 787 at the remote gates
Source: Jimmy Vu

Destinations served from LAX: Changsha (CSX)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B787-9

2016

Sichuan Airlines (3U)

First Flight:
Chengdu – Hangzhou – LAX
Aircraft: A330-200

A350-900
Source: Airbus via Sichuan Airlines

A350-900 in Special Panda Livery
Source: Sichuan Airlines

Flight Crew after First Flight to LAX
Source: Sichuan Airlines

Destinations served from LAX: Chengdu (CTU), Hangzhou (HGH), Jinan (TNA)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
A330-200
A350-900

2017

Xiamen Airlines (XF)

First Flight:
Xiamen – LAX
Aircraft: B787-9

B787-9
Source: Dat Nguyen

Destinations served from LAX: Xiamen (XMN)

Aircraft flown to LAX:
B787-9

A great many thanks to Dat Nguyen and Jimmy Vu, Aircraft Spotters who provided photos for this story.

Information obtained directly from airlines when available. Other sources include publicly accessible data sources such as Company websites, news articles, spotter photographs and press releases. Approximate Route Map: Winter 2021+Spring 2022, may include planned or suspended routes. Generated on: www.greatcirclemap.com. Contact us in case of inconsistencies. 

Jean-Christophe Dick

Jean-Christophe has over 15 years experience as Airport Planner, currently at ESA, and has been on the Board of the Flight Path Museum since 2017. He is currently serving as the Museum Vice-President, Airport Historian and Technology Chair. He is also a pilot and award-winning photographer.