FlySafair has announced it will open a new base at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport from 3rd December.
The base, the airline’s second (after Cape Town) will initially offer flights to George and Port Elizabeth using Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
“Our intention has always been to grow our schedule of operations and it makes most sense for us to open a second base and connect all of our current destinations, therefore offering flights from Johannesburg as well as from Cape Town. Further, we have had overwhelming feedback from our passengers to introduce these routes, we have listened to their suggestions and we have great pleasure in being able to now offer these routes,” explains Lorna Terblanche, Vice President of Passenger Services for FlySafair.
A new citizenM hotel opened recently at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport which is proving to be a useful option for aircraft spotters looking for a Paris spotting hotel.
The hotel also offers a less expensive alternative to the other hotels at Charles de Gaulle, such as the Hyatt and Hilton. Rooms can be booked from €70 per night, and the hotel operates a self-service check-in, with a snack bar available.
When checking in to the hotel, visitors are offered either a ‘Runway View’ or ‘Office View’ room. No prizes for guessing which you should pick if you’re wanting to watch aircraft movements from your room. Naturally, a higher room would be more advantageous, and it’s possible to select a different room if you’re offered an unacceptable one at first.
Views from the ‘Runway View’ rooms face the northerly runways, alongside Terminal 2, and the taxiways which link the northerly part with Terminal 1 and the southern runways.
citizenM offer free wi-fi internet in their rooms, which is ideal for using SBS equipment or flight tracking websites to tie up aircraft seen out of the window or on distant runways.
The hotel is only a short walk to what remains of the Mound viewing area at Paris Charles de Gaulle. This is one of the only places to easily log and photograph movements at the airport, even with its recent remodeling. Here’s a map of where the hotel is located in relation to other parts of the airport.
The Citizen M Paris CDG hotel can be found and booked here: http://www.citizenm.com/destinations/paris/paris-charles-de-gaulle-hotel
Qatar Airways will introduce its new Airbus A350XWB aircraft on the Doha – Frankfurt route once delivered next year.
The A350-900 was certified recently, with one aircraft now wearing the full Qatar Airways livery. It is anticipated that delivery to the airline of the first of its 80 aircraft order will be in late 2015.
It will then operate on both of the airline’s daily flights to Frankfurt.
Qatar Airways took delivery of its first double-decker A380 aircraft in September this year and it is currently operated daily on the Doha – London Heathrow route.
Blackpool Airport will close today after it was announced that owners Balfour Beatty could not find a buyer to take over.
The airport has been loss-making for a number of years, despite having a number of based operators and regular scheduled flights with Jet2, Aer Lingus and Citywing.
The final commercial flight will leave Blackpool at 6pm on 15th October, ending over 100 years of aviation use on the site at Squire’s Gate, close to the heart of the seaside resort in northern England.
Balfour Beatty bought the airport in 2008. In recent years it has pushed for approval to use various parts of the site to generate capital for the business, but has been blocked. Blackpool handled 262,000 passengers in 2013.
The final flight will operate to the Isle of Man, with the airport closing an hour later. Based light aircraft are likely to be removed over coming weeks.
This is a sad fate for another regional airport fighting to make ends meet in the increasingly difficult passenger market. Other airports, such as Biggin Hill and Durham Tees Valley are making strides to change their business plans to rely less on aircraft income and more from other aviation activities and spare land on the site.
Do you have any memories of Blackpool Airport, either as a passenger or a spotter?
Among the readers of this site are many airport workers and professionals, so I wanted to share a resource that you may be interested in for further reading on your industry…
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You can find out more, read sample content, and subscribe to Airport Industry Review at this link: www.nridigital.com/airport-industry-review.html
British Airways is taking on ten second-hand Airbus A320 aircraft to be based at London Gatwick airport.
The aircraft are all due for delivery between October 2014 and June 2015. Here’s a lowdown on the aircraft details.
G-GATH, c/n 1482, ex TC-OBH (Onur Air) – due November 2014
G-GATJ, c/n 1509, ex TC-OBI (Onur Air) – due October 2014
G-GATK, c/n 1902, ex HA-LPD (Wizz Air) – due January 2015
G-GATL, c/n 1834, ex HA-LPF (Wizz Air) – due January 2015
G-GATM, c/n 1892, ex HA-LPE (Wizz Air) – due March 2015
G-GATN, c/n 1613, ex PT-MZX (TAM) – due February 2015
G-GATO, c/n 1663, ex PR-MAB (TAM) – due March 2015
G-GATP, c/n 1804, ex PR-MAE (TAM) – due April 2015
G-GATR, c/n 1771, ex PR-MAD (TAM) – due May 2015
G-GATS, c/n 1672, ex PR-MAC (TAM) – due June 2015
These aircraft will operate the European schedules from Gatwick, mostly replacing the Boeing 737-400 and Airbus A319s based there currently.
Scoot, the low cost carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, has revealed the routes to be flown by its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The first of these aircraft, a 787-9 model, is due to arrive in November and will likely begin flying for crew familiarisation on some of the carrier’s shorter routes.
Then, from 29 March 2015 the type will enter service on routes from Singapore to Hong Kong, Perth and Sydney.
The airline has 10 787-8 and 10 787-9 aircraft on order. Additional routes to be started in April and May 2015 include Bangkok, Gold Coast, Shenyang and Tianjin.
Eventually all of the airline’s Boeing 777-200s will be replaced by the 787.
You can find out more from our Boeing 787 Routes Page.
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.
(c) Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport’s main viewing terrace, in Terminal 2, is to close temporarily whilst construction works take place in the building.
The outdoor terrace overlooks the eastern end of the airport, and is the main viewing area following the closure of the classic Terminal 1 terraces a while ago.
The works will take place from September, and will last until 2015. This includes the food court area, which was an alternative spotting location at the airport when the terrace was closed (or the weather was bad!).
Frankfurt Airport promises “We will celebrate its reopening in a big way in spring 2015.” Watch this space – I’ll let you know what is happening when I hear about it.
A new four star hotel is being constructed at Calgary International Airport which promises excellent views of the action.
The 318-bedroom Delta Hotel is close to completion and is linked directly to the airport’s terminal. Rooms will face either the aircraft ramp or the curbside – no prizes for guessing which you readers will be interested in!
The hotel was conceived by the airport as an extra source of revenue, and a part of its $1.4 billion terminal expansion. However, it will be operated by Delta Hotels and Resorts. It is the first such example for Delta, who operate 41 other hotel properties.
Calgary Airport recently opened a second runway. It handled just over 14 million passengers in 2013, with Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet as the principal operators.
The new Calgary Airport Hotel will open in conjunction with the new terminal development in 2015.