Austrian Airlines Fokker fleet sold to Alliance Aviation

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, Australia, Austria, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 25-11-2015


Austrian Fokker 100

Austrian Airlines has completed a deal that will see its entire Fokker aircraft fleet sent to Australia’s Alliance Aviation.

Austrian currently flies 15 Fokker 100s and six Fokker 70s on regional and domestic routes.

All 21 aircraft will be heading to Australia from December 2015 to December 2017 as newer Embraer 195 aircraft enter the fleet, replacing the Fokkers on a one-for-one basis. The purchase price for the Fokker aircraft is USD 15 million, and will comprise an issue of new shares in Alliance and a cash component.

By Phil Vabre [GFDL ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Phil Vabre [GFDL or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Alliance Aviation has a fleet of 15 Fokker 100 and eight Fokker 70 jet planes, and says it is the largest global operator of these types of aircraft. The company operates bases in Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland. For many years it has been a customer of Austrian Technik Bratislava, which specializes in the repair and maintenance of Fokker aircraft. A long-term service agreement between Alliance Aviation and Austrian Technik Bratislava was just concluded in the spring of 2015.

Qantas Retro Roo II takes flight

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, Australia, Spotting News | Posted on 17-11-2015



Qantas has revealed its new Retro Roo II aircraft, which harks back to its classic early 1960s livery.

Boeing 737-800 VH-VXQ, which was painted in Townsville, wears the livery to celebrate the airline’s 95th anniversary.


The Retro Roo livery originally appeared on the airline’s first Boeing 707 jetliners from 1959-1961. The 707 represented a step-change in aviation and Qantas was the first carrier outside the United States to operate the jet. In 1959, Qantas used it to become the first airline to operate regular passenger jet services across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Sydney and San Francisco.
Qantas was also the first airline to offer a round-the-world jet service with the 707. The flying time was 70 hours compared to 127 hours with the Super Constellation aircraft that the 707 replaced. Today a Qantas flight from Sydney to London stops just once, in Dubai, and takes 21 flying hours.

Welcoming the freshly-painted Qantas retro jet into a hangar with more than 300 employees, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce described the vintage livery as a flying tribute to the airline’s history of innovation.

“As we celebrate our 95th birthday today, I hope this livery inspires a sense of pride in what our national airline has achieved during all those years of taking Australians around the world and bringing them safely home again,” said Mr Joyce.

“A large part of the national pride people feel towards the flying kangaroo comes from the fact it has been responsible for so many innovations in global aviation.”

TAM A350 flights open for reservations

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Brazil, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 17-11-2015


TAM A350 flights

TAM has opened its first Airbus A350XWB flights for reservations ahead of the type’s imminent delivery.

The airline will inaugurate service with the A350 on its Sao Paulo Guarulhos – Manaus domestic service from 25th January 2016, operating once per day until at least the end of February. According to World Airline Route News it appears in the schedule until at least April.

You can book TAM A350 flights here:

Other destinations that TAM plans to operate their A350s on are Sao Paulo Guarulhos to both Miami and Madrid, starting in March and April respectively. TAM has a total of 27 A350 XWB on order and we would expect many more routes to be announced soon. Check out our A350 Routes Page.

Fleet renewal at TAP Portugal with large Airbus order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Miscellaneous Spotting, Portugal, Western Europe | Posted on 13-11-2015


TAP Portugal Airbus Order

TAP Portugal has announced its planned fleet renewal by placing a large order for 53 Airbus aircraft valued at $8.5 billion at list prices.

The new order will cover both its medium and long haul fleets, and comprises:

  • 15 A320neo
  • 24 A321neo
  • 14 A330-900neo

Interestingly, this new order will replace a previously placed order for 12 A350-900 aircraft.

“Our latest order for 14 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft and 39 A320neo Family aircraft reflects our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the next generation of fuel efficient aircraft,” said Fernando Pinto, TAP Portugal CEO. “The A330neo, like the A320neo Family, will give us the flexibility to enter new markets and improve the frequency of existing ones due to its combination of high reliability, low operating costs and exceptional comfort,” he added.

TAP Portugal is an all Airbus customer, currently operating 43 A320 Family aircraft and 18 Widebody Family aircraft.

Cathay Pacific’s new livery revealed

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Hong Kong, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 31-10-2015


Cathay Pacific's New Livery

Revealed via YouTube is Cathay Pacific’s new livery, which has been painted on Boeing 777-300ER B-KPH.

The still image above is not too clear, however it doesn’t appear to be too much of a change from the existing livery. You can watch the official video posted on Youtube here, which shows it a lot clearer:

What do you think?

KLM Fokker 70 aircraft going to Air Niugini

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Miscellaneous Spotting, Netherlands, Western Europe | Posted on 26-10-2015


KLM Fokker 70 for Air Niugini

KLM Cityhopper’s fleet of ageing Fokker 70 aircraft are to be replaced by more Embraer 190s and 175s over the coming years.

Now it has been announced that Air Niugini is to purchase seven of the aircraft, adding to the one former KLM Fokker 70 example it is already operating.

The aircraft will operate on domestic and regional routes alongside its Fokker 100 aircraft. The aircraft may also be flown on routes to Cairns, Vanuatu and Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

Air Niugini Board Chairman, Sir Frederick Reiher said the airline’s board and management believes the F70s aircraft are perfectly suited to PNG market due to their performance and operating economics. Subsequently, they were chosen over the closest alternatives, the Dash -8 Q400 and ATR. In-fact, the Fokker 70’s will be replacing the existing Dash8 Q400 fleet at Air Niugini.

Five of the aircraft are due for delivery by the end of 2015, with two more following in 2016.

In addition to Air Niugini, some of the Fokker 70 fleet has already gone to Insel Air in the Caribbean, with three currently serving the airline and four more due for delivery from 2016.

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.