Xiamen Airlines’ first 787 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 01-09-2014

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787-8 XIA #201-ZA680

Hot on the heels of the first Boeing 787 delivery to Royal Jordanian, the Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines has also received its first Dreamliner.

B-2768 was delivered from Everett Paine Field on 29th August. With this, Xiamen Airlines becomes the third Chinese airline to operate the 787. The airline will use the 787 on long-haul routes from its Fujian province base to Europe, North America and Australia.

As part of Xiamen Airlines’ 12th five-year plan ending 2015, the carrier plans to grow its fleet to 150 airplanes, including six 787s. The 787 is the most advanced airplane in commercial aviation and will help Xiamen Airlines develop more point-to-point routes globally, while also establishing the airline as an emerging force in the commercial aviation market.

From our Boeing 787 Routes page, Xiamen Airlines plans to initially operate their 787s on the following routes:

Xiamen – Amsterdam Schiphol
Xiamen – New York
Xiamen – Paris Charles de Gaulle
Xiamen – Sydney
Xiamen – Vancouver

Royal Jordanian’s first 787 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Jordan, Middle East, North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 30-08-2014

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Royal Jordanian 787

Royal Jordanian has become the second Middle East airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, after Qatar Airways.

JY-BAA was delivered directly from Boeing’s facility at Everett Paine Field to Amman International Airport in Jordan on 27th August.

“The Middle East is one of the world’s highest growth areas for commercial aviation and we are proud that Royal Jordanian has selected the 787 to spearhead its fleet modernization strategy and route expansion plans,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with Royal Jordanian well into the future.”

This aircraft is leased from AerCap, and is the first of 11 Dreamliners that Royal Jordanian has on order.

According to our Boeing 787 Routes Page, the initial routes planned for the airline’s 787s are:

Amman – Abu Dhabi – September 2014
Amman – Bangkok – Hong Kong – October 2014
Amman – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – October 2014
Amman – Jeddah – September 2014
Amman – Kuwait City – October 2014
Amman – London Heathrow – September 2014

Cathay Pacific plans last passenger Boeing 747 flight on 31 August

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Hong Kong, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 20-08-2014

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Creative Commons (c) Aero Icarus

Creative Commons (c) Aero Icarus

Cathay Pacific has signalled the end for its Boeing 747-400 passenger fleet by announcing the final flight of the type.

On 31st August, the airline will operate the final 747-400 passenger flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, ending 18 years of service with the type since its first -200B example began flying in July 1986.

Significantly, the first route operated by a Cathay Pacific 747 was from San Francisco to Hong Kong, so this is a fitting tribute.

The airline will continue to fly Boeing 747-400 and -8 models as part of its cargo operation.

 

As a side note, the airline has also announced that it will retire its Airbus A340-300 fleet in 2017.

Avianca’s first Central America ATR 72 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Colombia, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 18-08-2014

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Avianca ATR 72-600

Avianca has taken delivery of the first Central America-based ATR 72-600 aircraft.

The aircraft is TG-TRC, and will be operated by Inter Regional from Guatemala City on behalf of Avianca, on regional and domestic operations. It wears full Avianca colours.

Avianca has another 14 ATR 72-600s on order.

Avianca ATR72

Finnair A350 routes announced

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Western Europe | Posted on 16-08-2014

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A350XWB Finnair

Finnair has announced an initial batch of routes that it will fly with its Airbus A350 aircraft.

The airline has opted for the A350-900 model, and will take delivery of the first of 11 aircraft on order in the middle of 2015. It has eight options for additional aircraft.

The first routes to be operated by the A350 will be from Helsinki to Bangkok, Beijing, and Shanghai. They are likely to commence in the second half of 2015.

Additionally, Hong Kong and Singapore will be added in 2016.

For Finnair, the A350 will be its flagship long haul aircraft, and these are the airline’s flagship international routes, as it has a significant presence on the Europe – Asia network.

Finnair CEO Pekka Vauramo said: “Since Finnair’s founding in 1923, we have had a long history of operations using the most advanced aircraft available,” he added ”As the first European operator of the A350, we are proud to carry forward this tradition on behalf of our passengers, whose safety and comfort remain our first priority.”

Singapore A380s coming to Auckland

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Australasia, New Zealand, Singapore | Posted on 11-08-2014

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Singapore A380 9V-SKA

Auckland will soon receive another Airbus A380 operator in the form of Singapore Airlines.

The airline will begin flying the superjumbo from Singapore to Auckland on its SQ285/286 service from 27th October 2014.

Its other Auckland service will continue to be operated by Boeing 777 equipment for the time being.

Auckland is also an A380 stop for Emirates.

Thai Airways – A300 retires and 787 arrives

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Spotting News, Thailand | Posted on 01-08-2014

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It’s been an important couple of weeks for Thai Airways’ fleet.

First of all, on 18th July their first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner arrived. Royally bestowed the name “ONGKHARAK”, with aircraft registration No. HS-TQA, it flew non-stop from Everett to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport.

Thai 787

This first 787-8 aircraft operated its first commercial flight on 25th July 2014 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. With the delivery of the second 787-8 aircraft, THAI will operate to and from Bangkok to Perth, Australia and Bangkok to Haneda, Japan sometime in September (see our 787 Routes Page).  THAI expects delivery of its third 787-8 in October and operate Bangkok-Narita, Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok-Hanoi routes.  The fourth 787-8 aircraft delivery is planned for December 2014 and will operate the Bangkok-Nagoya route.  The remaining two 787-8 Dreamliner deliveries are expected in the middle of 2015.

Meanwhile, Thai has this week retired its Airbus A300-600R fleet after many years’ service with the airline.

The final three aircraft, HS-TAT, HS-TAX and HS-TAZ performed the final flights on 31st July and bowed out under water-cannon salute.

Thai A300 Retirement

Thai A300

ANA set to debut 787-9 on 4 August

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Japan, New Zealand, North America, USA | Posted on 25-07-2014

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787 ANA

ANA All Nippon Airways will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft on 28th July direct from Everett.

The airline will be the first to operate the stretched model of the Dreamliner when it operates a special flight from Tokyo Haneda airport over Mount Fuji carrying Japanese and American elementary school children living in Japan. These, the airline says, are the “next generation of air passengers.”

ANA will initially operate the 787-9 on domestic routes within Japan.

International flights will follow from April 2015.

In addition to this new, fellow launch customer Air New Zealand plans to start commercial flights between Auckland and Sydney with their new 787-9s from August.

Find out all the Boeing 787 Routes here.

New Georgian airline Flyvista set for August launch

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Georgia | Posted on 22-07-2014

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Flyvista 4L-AJC

Flyvista is a new airline based in Tbilisi, Georgia.

It is set to launch low-cost flights in August, flying to destinations in Europe and the Middle East (Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Turkey, Iran, Russia etc), although no definite schedules have been released.

The airline has taken delivery of its first aircraft, Boeing 737-300 4L-AJC,  and has also been operating two 737-500s from Khartoum on wet-leases to Badr Airlines.

 

US Airways farewell 737-400 flight

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, North America, USA | Posted on 16-07-2014

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737-400US_livery

US Airways will retire its Boeing 737-400 fleet on 19th August 2014.

To mark the occasion the airline is putting on a special flight that will call at three cities on the final day of operation.

US flight number 0737 will leave Charlotte on a flight to Dallas Fort Worth. It will then fly to Philadelphia before returning to Charlotte. The flight times are expected to be:

Charlotte 0830 – Dallas Ft Worth 1016
Dallas Ft Worth 1245 – Philadelphia 1703
Philadelphia 2000 – Charlotte 2140

At each destination there will be a special farewell for the aircraft with staff and press.

The public are able to book on this flight, but it is expected to have sold out very quickly.

If you witness the final day of operation, why not send us your pictures!