Finnair A350 enters service

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Finland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 08-10-2015


Finnair A350 enters service

Finnair has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350XWB, OH-LWA (cn 018) an a flight from Toulouse to Helsinki. It is the first of 19 aircraft on order.

This makes Finnair the first airline in Europe to operate the A350, after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines started flying the type.

The Finnair A350 enters service amid much hype, and the airline will be flying it on a series of crew familiarisation routes on many of its European schedules from 9th October, before it enters service on long haul routes to the Far East from November.

Finnair A350

The aircraft will join the airline’s all-Airbus fleet of 45 aircraft in operation, today comprising 30 A320 Family aircraft and 15 A330/A340s.

 “Finnair has enjoyed a long and prosperous working relationship with Airbus and the A350 takes our cooperation to another level. This aircraft is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience,” says Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.
“At Airbus, we’re proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350 XWB,”  said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350 XWB’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.‎”

For a full list of Finnair’s short haul and long haul A350 routes, please visit our A350 Routes Page.


British Airways’ first 787-9 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 01-10-2015


British Airways 787-9

British Airways yesterday took delivery of their first Boeing 787-9, G-ZBKA, at London Heathrow following a flight directly from Paine Field near Seattle.

The aircraft is the first of 18 that the airline has on order, and complements its fleet of eight shorter 787-8 aircraft operating on long haul services.

All of the aircraft will be based at London Heathrow, and will initially fly to destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Austin, Kuala Lumpur and San Jose.

The 787-9 is likely to appear on a few domestic or European services for crew familiarisation. However, the first dedicated service is from London Heathrow to Delhi, starting 25th October 2015.


Keep an eye on our Boeing 787 Dreamliner Routes Page for all routes flown by each airline.

SAS is first in Europe for A330-300 Enhanced

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News | Posted on 22-09-2015


A330 Enhanced

SAS Airbus A330-300 Enhanced LN-RKR on delivery at Toulouse.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines System has become the first airline in Europe to take delivery of the Airbus A330-300 Enhanced model. This is the new 242-tonne variant of the aircraft which has an increased maximum weight and range, combined with a lower fuel consumption.

The first example for SAS, LN-RKR, was delivered from Toulouse on 16th September, and entered service on the Copenhagen to Chicago O’Hare route on 21st September.

This is the first of four new A330-300 Enhanced that will be added to the SAS fleet over the next six months. Another aircraft will be delivered in September and the remaining two in 2016.

CityJet Rebranded

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, Western Europe | Posted on 14-09-2015


Irish regional airline CityJet has unveiled its new branding and colour scheme as it transitions its business for future expansion.

Avro RJ85 EI-RJT is the first of the airline’s aircraft to receive the new branding, which features a new logo and a pair of red and beige curves sweeping down the fuselage.


The aircraft was unveiled at CityJet’s Dublin base by The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD. The airline’s Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said: “This is a new look for a new era as we continue to grow our passenger numbers and invest in our staff and fleet. Today is a special day as we bring CityJet forward with a new dynamic branding, which I would refer to as inside-out branding as it based hugely on what our staff across the airline determined it should be.”

CityJet separated itself from owners Air France in 2014 and since then has been redefining its business and looking at future expansion. It still operates codeshare services for Air France, and maintains a crew base at Paris, but is also now focusing on its Dublin and London City bases.CityJet-logo

The airline, which operates a mix of RJ85 and Fokker 50 aircraft, is evaluating its future fleet needs. Both Bombardier CSeries and Embraer’s range of aircraft are under review.

With CityJet rebranded it is looking to further establish its links to mainland Europe from London City, as well as more growth on its UK-Ireland routes.

Air Düsseldorf A321 unveiled

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News | Posted on 11-09-2015


Air Dusseldorf A321

Andreas Wiese / airberlin

In a bid to promote the significance of its Düsseldorf Airport hub, Air Berlin has unveiled on of its Airbus aircraft wearing the titles Air Düsseldorf in a ceremony at the airport.

The Air Düsseldorf A321 D-ABCO wears the usual Air Berlin livery, with the new titles.

Cathay Pacific A350 Routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Hong Kong | Posted on 09-09-2015



Cathay Pacific’s first Airbus A350-900 has appeared in the production hangar, and it won’t be long till delivery of the type to the airline.  It currently has 22 -900s on order, and 26 of the longer A350-1000s.

Entry into service is expected in February 2016, and the airline has announced the first international routes.

Cathay Pacific A350 Routes

  • Hong Kong to Copenhagen
  • Hong Kong to London Gatwick
  • Hong Kong to Madrid

It is interesting that all are European destinations. Presumably the airline will undertake regional Asian routes for crew familiarisation

As always, keep an eye on our Airbus A350 Routes Page for a list of all the destinations served by different A350 operators.

Where to catch the new SWISS Boeing 777-300

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Switzerland, Western Europe | Posted on 06-09-2015


Swiss International Boeing 777-300ER (c) Swiss International Air Lines Ltd

SWISS will start taking delivery of its nine Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in March 2016. The aircraft will replace older long haul aircraft in the fleet, and will be used on the carrier’s longest routes, adding greater capacity and comfort.

The SWISS Boeing 777-300 will be used initially on the following routes:

  • Zurich – Montreal – Starts 27 March 2016
  • Zurich – Hong Kong – Starts 10 April 2016
  • Zurich – Los Angeles – Starts 9 June 2016
  • Zurich – Bangkok – Starts 8 July 2016
  • Zurich – Sao Paulo – Starts 1 August 2016
  • Zurich – Tel Aviv – Starts 28 August 2016
  • Zurich – San Francisco – Starts 1 September 2016

Here’s a nice video about the new aircraft from SWISS


Comac ARJ21 to enter service in February 2016

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 04-09-2015


Comac ARJ21

By Peng Chen (Flickr: China ARJ-21) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The long-delayed Comac ARJ21 regional jet is to finally enter service in February 2016, eight years after its first flight.

Chengdu Airlines will be the first operator of the type, taking delivery of two examples later this year. They will undertake pilot training, before entering service on domestic regional flights from its home base. The airline, which is owned by Comac, will eventually take 30 of the smaller ARJ21-700 variants.

To date there are orders for 342 ARJ21-700s from carriers mainly situated in China and the Far East. The larget ARJ21-900 is still on hold, with no orders.

Despite this entry into service of the first two aircraft, Comac does not anticipate beginning the production until later in 2016 when the relevant certification has been received. It has also abandoned plans to have the aircraft certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after ongoing delays.

The Comac ARJ21 very much resembles the Douglas DC-9 and Boeing 717 in my eyes, and has similarities to the Bombardier CRJ. The ARJ21-700 model can carry up to 90 passengers and has a range of 2,000 miles in the ER version, making it ideal for covering the Chinese regional market.

The two aircraft expected to enter service with Chengdu Airlines are B-010L and B-938L (c/n 105 and 106 respectively). B-1110L (c/n 104) has also been part of the testing process.


Saudia Boeing 787 Routes Revealed

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Middle East, Saudi Arabia | Posted on 02-09-2015


Saudia 787-9

Saudia will be one of the next new carriers to receive the Boeing 787 Dreamliner when they are delivered in early 2016.

The airline has eight 787-9s on order, which it will use on its long-haul network.

Initially the aircraft will be used on domestic and short-haul routes to aid in crew familiarisation.

The Saudia Boeing 787 routes announced so far are:

  • Jeddah – Dammam – Starts 1 February 2016
  • Jeddah – Dubai – Operates 1 February – 29 February 2016
  • Jeddah – Riyadh – Starts 1 February 2016
  • Riyadh – Dubai – Starts 1 February 2016
  • Jeddah – Guangzhou – Starts 1 March 2016
  • Jeddah – Manchester – Starts 1 March 2016
  • Jeddah – Paris CDG – Starts 1 March 2016
  • Riyadh – Guangzhou – Starts 1 March 2016

The Boeing 787 routes of Saudia and all other operators can be found on our Boeing 787 Routes Page.


Estonian Air moving into Swedish domestic market

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Miscellaneous Spotting, Sweden, Western Europe | Posted on 28-08-2015


Estonian Air CRJ900 at Stockholm Arlanda

Estonian Air has announced plans to move into the Swedish domestic market by announcing two new routes.

The airline will commence services from the winter timetable this year, starting on 25 October, on the following routes:4

  • Stockholm Arlanda – Arvidsjaur
  • Arvidsjaur – Gallivare

Both flights will operate 11x weekly and act as an extension of each other (ie Stockholm – Arvidsjaur – Gallivare). They will be operated by Estonian’s CRJ900 aircraft equipment.

The airline also operates from Tallinn to Stockholm Arlanda with the CRJ900.