5 new airlines in Africa

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Ghana, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa | Posted on 06-06-2014

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A lot of new airlines are starting up in Africa at the moment. Here are five to look out for…

 

Libyan Wings

Libyan Wings, based at Tripoli, is due to take delivery of two Airbus A319s later this year on lease. The airline is expecting to start flying by September, offering scheduled services. It has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to order Airbus A320neo and A350-900 aircraft.

Discovery Air

Discovery Air of Nigeria has already taken delivery of a couple of Boeing 737-300s and indents to launch flights this month, once its Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority certification is granted. The airline hopes to fly from both Abuja and Lagos to Port Harcourt Omagwa.

FlyAfrica

flyafrica.com is a new Zimbabwean carrier looking to break the monopoly of Air Zimbabwe. It has gained its Air Operators Certificate and hopes to start flying this month. It has sourced five ex-CSA Boeing 737-500s, and will operate from Harare to Bulawayo, Johannesburg and Victoria Falls.

Air Azman

Air Azman of Nigeria has recently been granted its Air Operator’s Certificate and now operates two Boeing 737-300s which were formerly flown by bmibaby. It plans flights across Africa from Kano, Abuja and Lagos, as well as to Dubai.

GoldStar Airlines

Goldstar Airlines is another new airline from Ghana. It hopes to begin services to China, the UK and USA, as well as offering flights to Brazil during the World Cup. Although flight times are available on the airline’s website, there are no aircraft or start dates available yet.

 

Arik Air coming to Dubai

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Dubai, Middle East, Nigeria | Posted on 05-06-2014

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Arik Air

Nigeria’s Arik Air will commence flights to Dubai from 28 July using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Outbound flights will depart from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), Lagos at 1905 (local time) arriving at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2020 (local time). The flight will then continue on to Dubai, departing Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2150 (local time) finally arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai Terminal 1 at 0720 (local time).

The inbound flight will depart Dubai at 1030 (local time) and arrives in Abuja at 1430 (local time). The flight continues on to Lagos, leaving Abuja at 1600 (local time) and arriving in Lagos at 1715 (local time).

Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Arik Air’s Global Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“This is another exciting moment for us all at Arik Air, not only launching a new international destination, but becoming the first airline to link the capital Abuja to Dubai. The importance of Dubai as the Middle East’s commercial capital makes it imperative for Arik Air to connect the city with Lagos which is a Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Air Arabia starting Ras Al Khaimah flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Middle East, Oman | Posted on 21-04-2014

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(c) Air Arabia

(c) Air Arabia

Air Arabia will begin flying from Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) from 6 May using Airbus A320 aircraft.

The airline will take up where failed RAK Airways left off.

In February 2014, Air Arabia and the Ras Al Khaimah Department of Civil Aviation entered into a long-term strategic partnership to significantly increase the number of destinations accessible to the residents of Ras Al Khaimah and to bring more tourists within reach of the emirate. From its hub at RAK International Airport, Air Arabia will follow exactly the same value-for-money business model as it does from its primary base in Sharjah.

Two new Airbus A320 aircraft will initially be based at RAK International Airport to service regular routes to Jeddah in Saudi; Cairo in Egypt; Muscat in Oman; Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar in Pakistan; Dhaka in Bangladesh; and Calicut in India, which will be added shortly after launch.

 

10 Boeing 707s you can go inside today

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Australasia, Australia, Colombia, Iran, Israel, Middle East, North America, South Africa, South America, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 19-04-2014

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It seems the days of being able to fly on a Boeing 707 are finally over, with Saha Air in Iran grounding their fleet in favour of modern types. So the next best thing is to at least get inside one of the classic jets.

Here are 12 Boeing 707s around the world that are open to the public*

55-3139 KC-135 Stratotanker USAF
Castle Air Museum, Atwater, CA
A former US Air Force tanker, 55-3139 is now preserved and occasionally open to the public to explore the interior.

KC-135 55-3139

55-3139 (c) Chris Kennedy

 

008 – 4X-JYD 707-131
Israeli Air Force Museum, Hatzerim AFB, Israel
Originally flown by TWA, this Israeli Air Force museum is preserved and often very dusty!

4X-JYD (c) Pieter v Marion

4X-JYD (c) Pieter v Marion

 

VH-XBA 707-138B QANTAS
Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach, Australia
This aircraft was part of the original QANTAS order for Boeing 707s. It was restored to flying condition from storage at Southend, UK, and ferried around the world to this amazing museum in Australia.

VH-XBA

VH-XBA (c) Qantas Founders Museum

 

G-APFJ 707-436 BOAC (forward fuselage only)
National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland
This aircraft was preserved in one piece at the RAF Cosford museum, but sadly scrapped in 2006. The forward fuselage is now open to the public at the National Museum of Flight near Edinburgh.

707-G-APFJ

(c) Kim Traynor

 

58-6970 C-137B Air Force One
Museum of Flight, Seattle Boeing Field, WA
Air Force One during the presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon is now preserved at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

58-6970

Air Force One in Seattle (c) Matt Falcus

 

62-6000 VC-137C Air Force One
National Museum of the US Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
The aircraft used on the day of John F Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas 50 years ago, and on which President Lyndon B Johnson was sworn in.

707 62-6000

Air Force One 62-6000

 

EP-IRJ 707-321B Air Restaurant
nr Tehran Mehrabad Airport, Iran
Originally a Pan Am machine, this aircraft is now open as a restaurant close to Tehran Mehrabad Airport.

Inside EP-IRJ near Tehran (c) Sam Chui

Inside EP-IRJ near Tehran (c) Sam Chui/SamChuiPhotos.com

 

AF-621 707-344C South African Air Force (forward fuselage only)
South African Air Force Museum, Waterkloof AFB, South Africa
Forward section of former Air France and South African Air Force 707 is open to the public at the Waterkloof museum.

707 AF-621

(c) Warrant Officer Class II Alan Taylor

 

72-7000 VC-137C Air Force One
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA
The aircraft used by President Ronald Reagan is now lovingly restored at his final resting place and Presidential Library. See how the aircraft looked when in use as Air Force One.

707 Reagan Library

707 at the Reagan Presidential Library

 

HK-749 720-030B Avianca
Parque Saltire Magico, Bogota, Colombia
A former Lufthansa and Avianca aircraft is now in the large Saltire Park in Bogota, along with a Boeing 727, and often open to the public.

HK-749 (c) Renato Krause

HK-749 (c) Renato Krause

* Opening times are subject to the individual organisations displaying these aircraft.

Kenya Airways first Boeing 787 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Kenya, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 05-04-2014

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Kenya 787 Photography - AIRPROMO FISCHER DOUG (1824358) rms261138 cnsNEF14Kenya Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The aircraft, 5Y-KZA , departed Paine Field in Everett for a 7,800 nautical mile (14,456 km) nonstop flight to Kenya Airways’ home base in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The 787 will form the backbone of the airline’s future long-haul fleet, providing greater range, improved efficiencies and outstanding passenger comfort.

“The delivery of our first ever 787 Dreamliner not only opens a new chapter for our airline, but also for Kenya,” said Dr. Titus Naikuni, chief executive officer, Kenya Airways. “The 787 will enable Kenya Airways to explore new markets, improve its economic performance, provide passengers with revolutionary comfort, while continuing to contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa.”

Kenya Airways’ first 787 is scheduled to begin flying regionally within Africa in the coming weeks, before beginning long-haul service to Paris in early June. Currently the “Pride of Africa” serves destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  To date, more than 130 Dreamliners have been delivered to 17 customers worldwide.

See our Boeing 787 Routes Page for more information on where Kenya Airways will fly its Dreamliners.

TAAG Angola aims to develop Luanda into large hub

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Airport News, Belgium, Brazil, China, Dubai, France, Heathrow, Italy, Middle East, Portugal, South America, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 01-04-2014

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TAAG_777-3M2ERTAAG Angola Airlines is planning to turn its Luanda Airport base into a hub to link Central Africa with worldwide destinations in association with Emirates Airline.

TAAG is currently on the EU banned airline list, but it is hoped it will emerge soon and begin expanding its connections to Europe, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Paris CDG, and Rome Fiumicino.

Luanda will also be linked through Dubai via Emirates, who will also take on TAAG’s links to Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.

A new airport is being built at Luanda which will be able to handle this increased traffic, and match modern standards expected at airports.

ex-Ghana DC-10 turned into a restaurant

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airport News, Ghana, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 16-01-2014

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Ghana DC-10 RestaurantOne of the most popular new restaurants in Accra has opened adjacent to Kotoka International Airport.

The former Ghana Airways McDonnell Douglas DC-10 has been preserved on land adjacent to the airport, with its interior now a restaurant for 118 people.

The aircraft is painted in bright green colours, with the original flag tail scheme still in place. Inside, diners can sit in booths alongside the windows or down the centre of the cabin. Overhead lockers are still in place, and out of the window aircraft arriving and departing can be seen at the neighbouring airport.

The aircraft is believed to be ex-9G-ANB

Greatest Flights – World’s Longest Commercial Flight – Qantas

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Australia, Greatest Flights, North America, Singapore, South Africa, USA | Posted on 10-01-2014

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Qantas at SydneyContinuing the Greatest Flights series when we look at some of the more interesting and noteworthy flights enthusiasts and travellers can take, in this post the world’s longest commercial flight is covered (you may remember we also covered the world’s shortest commercial flight too!).

Today, the world’s longest commercial passenger flight is operated by Qantas between Sydney and Dallas/Ft. Worth airports.

The flight is operated by one of the airline’s special Boeing 747-400ER aircraft, and covers around 8,570 miles (13,800km). The flight time is a snoozy 15 hours and 25 minutes which is pretty much worth the money to upgrade to a lie-flat seat!

SYD-DFW route map

The route you’ll take on the longest commercial flight.

Until recently the longest flight crown went to Singapore Airlines’ Singapore-Newark A340-500 route, but this has been discontinued.

Coming up in second place today is Delta Air Lines’ Atlanta-Johannesburg route, operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, and only 150 miles shorter than Qantas’ QF7.

5 new cockpit videos from Justplanes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Ethiopia, France, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Norway, Spotting Equipment Reviews, Spotting Videos, Switzerland, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 05-01-2014

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Justplanes really are the best in the business when it comes to cockpit recordings, with such a wide ranging back catalogue.

JustPlanes thiopian 787

I thought I’d bring you details of a few recent additions to their collection which have caught my attention.

1. Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Join the world’s most advanced airliner on flights from Addis Ababa to destinations across Africa, Asia and Europe. 8 flights included.

2. Norwegian Boeing 787-800
Fly Norwegian’s 737s on routes across Scandinavia and mainland Europe, including a flight to the most Northerly airport in the world!

3. Air Canada Boeing 767-300
Fly long haul and short haul in Air Canada’s 767s, including a trip to Hawaii, and the famous landing at St. Maarten as seen from the cockpit!

Just Planes SWISS

4. Air France Boeing 777-200ER
Follow the pilots of this state-of-the-art aircraft in a flight from Paris to New York JFK. It covers everything from the moment they arrive at the airport, including planning and pre-flight, to the charts, cockpit instruments, approach, landing and all the outside cockpit views.

5. Swiss Airbus A340-300
Like the Air France 777 example above, this one follows the pilots through every aspect of their flight both on the ground and in the air, as they take an A340 from Zurich to San Francisco. Fascinating documentary and cockpit views.

 

Top 5 spotting airports in January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Africa, Australasia, Eastern Europe, Greece, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, New Zealand, North America, South Africa, USA | Posted on 31-12-2013

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January – typically a cold month for those in Europe and the USA; a month where people try to make new starts and pursue the resolutions they made at the end of the last year.

The weather doesn’t have to be a hindrance for your spotting. Here are five suggestions of places to spot in January.

 

Los Angeles International
One of the greatest airports in America. Los Angeles boasts sunshine and warmer temperatures than most of the country at this time of the year, and the sunlight is always great for photography. Head to one of the locations around the perimeter and snap some heavies landing.

Skiathos Airport

Johannesburg O R Tambo
South Africa’s principal airport is great at this time of year – warm, sunny and with lots of daylight. The airport is a hub for South African Airways, and a focal point for many African operators. You can also see a number of older aircraft operating here.

Skiathos
Dubbed the St. Maarten of Europe, the Greek island of Skiathos is an amazing place for the aircraft spotter and photographer. With average temperatures in the low teens, it is much more pleasant than the rest of Europe, and always popular with charter airlines.

Abu Dhabi
Always hot at this time of year, Abu Dhabi is an up-and-coming alternative to Dubai. Hub for Etihad Airways, the airport has a new Premier Inn with views of aircraft movements, making a much cheaper alternative to Dubai’s Sheraton Deira.

NZ Warbirds DC-3 Dakota Ardmore

Auckland
Catch up with aviation in New Zealand at its principal gateway and home hub of Air New Zealand. Auckland has a pleasant climate at this time of year, and offers some great local aviation attractions in addition to the airlines it serves, such as Ardmore Airport and its classic aircraft.

 
Whatever you get up to with your spotting in January, remember to comment on which airports you’ve been to and send us your tips and photographs from around the world!