9 top spotting airports to reach by budget airline

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Caribbean, Dubai, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, Netherlands, North America, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Spain, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 21-11-2014

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Spotting isn’t the cheapest hobby, especially if you want to do a lot of it. So I thought I’d look at a few of the best spotting airports that are easily accessible by budget airlines. Hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration for your next trips!

 

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma-Vueling

By Peter Bakema [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Palma is one of the busiest holiday airports in Europe, particularly during the summer months. Airlines ferry holidaymakers in droves from all over northern Europe, so you’ll see charter and low-cost airlines as well as Spanish regional aircraft. Palma is a big base for Air Berlin, and plenty of other budget airlines also fly there year-round, including easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling.

 

Amsterdam Schiphol, Netherlands

Amsterdam easyJet

By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Although it is one of Europe’s busiest and largest airports, and is also a stronghold of national airline KLM, Schiphol is surprisingly easy to get to by budget airline. easyJet links many destinations across Europe, whilst Flybe and Jet2 link a number of additional points in the UK.

 

Singapore Changi

Photo by Calvin Teo

Photo by Calvin Teo

A major Asian powerhouse and the hub of the large Singapore Airlines. Changi is also on the route map of many low cost and budget airlines, including home-based Jetstar Asia, Tigerair and Valuair, plus regional carriers Air Asia and Lion Air. Long haul low-cost flights are provided by Jetstar and Scoot to destinations across Asia and Australia.

 

Dubai International, UAE

Flydubai fleet

You may think of Emirates when you think of Dubai, but the second largest carrier at the Middle East hub is Flydubai, a budget airline serving destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Indian subcontinent They even fly into Europe. It makes a more affordable way to reach the airport for some spotting.

 

Atlanta Hartsfield International, GA

Southwest Airlines Heart Livery

Atlanta was known as the busiest airport in the world for many years, largely because of the huge presence of Delta Air Lines reaching across the globe and to many points across the United States. However, the airport’s second largest carrier is Southwest Airlines following its acquisition of Airtran. This means you can get to Atlanta from destinations across America at great prices.

 

Dallas Ft Worth, TX

Spirit Airlines

Another US airport which is dominated by a home based legacy carrier – in this case American Airlines – you may be surprised to find that you have good budget options that don’t require a trip to nearby Love Field. Spirit Airlines recently announced a number of new routes from Dallas to regional and leisure destinations to add to its existing network from the airport.

 

Warsaw Chopin, Poland

Wizz Air

The capital of Poland is a major hub for budget carrier Wizz Air which fights bitterly with full service national carrier LOT. You can also reach Warsaw via carriers Norwegian, Air Berlin, Germanwings and Vueling.

 

Moscow Domodedovo, Russia

By Milad A380 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Milad A380 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

For years it was only possible to reach Moscow via traditional full service airlines, or one of Aeroflot’s classic Soviet airliners. However, recent agreements have led to a number of low cost airlines from outside Russia offering flights to Domodedovo. Most significant perhaps is easyJet, which flies from two points in the UK. Other budget airlines flying to Moscow include Air Berlin, Germania, Niki, Meridiana fly, Vueling and Air Arabia.

 

St Maarten, Caribbean

St Maarten Jetblue

A spotters paradise which is on the bucket list of many who like to photograph airliners at close quarters. But it’s not necessary to spend mega bucks getting there with big airlines, particularly from North America, since budget airlines such as Jetblue, Sun Country and Westjet fly regularly to the island.

Air Leisure to revive Airbus A340-200s in Egypt

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Asia, Egypt, Spotting News | Posted on 27-10-2014

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By Paul Spijkers [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Spijkers [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

A new leisure carrier in Egypt, named (suitably) Air Leisure, is planning to lease a number of the retired Airbus A340-200s from EgyptAir (although one recently returned to flying for the national carrier).

The wide-body type is the original model of A340 and is now pretty rare, with Aerolineas Argentinas retiring theirs, and a sole example still flying sporadically in Venezuela.

Air Leisure plans to use the aircraft on flights from regional airports such as Aswan, Hurghada and Luxor to destinations in the Far East.

At present Air Leisure operates a single McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft. No date has been set for the launch of A340 flights yet.

Mitsubishi Regional Jet rolled out

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Japan, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 21-10-2014

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MRJ Rollout

The first new Japanese-built airliner in many years has been rolled out in a ceremony at the Komaki Minami Plant of MHI’s Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works in Aichi Prefecture.

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is a 92-seat regional jet which hopes to prove popular in this competitive market around the world.

Five prototype aircraft will go on to perform testing before deliveries. A first flight of the type, which is Japan’s first ever jet airliner, is expected between April and June 2015.

This particular aircraft is the MRJ90. A smaller, 75-seat MRJ70, will also be produced at a later date.

The MRJ family currently has 191 firm orders, with another 184 options. Key carriers to introduce the type include Japan Airlines, Eastern Air Lines and Air Mandalay.

Garuda large Boeing 737 MAX order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 14-10-2014

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Garuda 737 MAX 8

Garuda Indonesia has placed a large order for Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

The flag carrier of Indonesia will purchase 46 737 MAX 8s and will convert existing orders for four Next-Generation 737-800s to 737 MAX 8s.

Garuda recently announced it was halting progress on its international expansion in order to deal with the decline in its domestic and regional fleet, namely the classic and older NG Boeing 737s that it operates. This order is thought to be a response to this need to improve the quality and safety of its fleet.

Today’s order from Garuda Indonesia continues the momentum of the 737 MAX in the marketplace. The total number of 737 MAX orders to date is 2,295 airplanes from 47 customers worldwide.

Iran Air retiring 747SP. Enthusiast flight planned

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Iran, Malaysia, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 21-09-2014

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"Iran Air Boeing 747SP Wedelstaedt" by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt - Website: http://www.airliners.net/photo/Iran-Air/Boeing-747SP-86/1569423/&sid=e6125fd7d37ff9970f760ad67faed7bd. Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Iran_Air_Boeing_747SP_Wedelstaedt.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Iran_Air_Boeing_747SP_Wedelstaedt.jpg

(c) Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

Iran Air is the last commercial operator of the stumpy Boeing 747SP (Special Performance) model. It has announced it will retire the type in November or December

The final day of operations will be in late November or early December, however on November 23rd and a special flight for enthusiasts is available aboard the aircraft (EP-IAC), departing from and returning to Tehran’s Mehrabad airport. The flight will include a fly past at Isfahan.

Booking can be done through Airevents.de at this link. In the meantime, the aircraft still flies between Tehran and Kuala Lumpur.

 

Scoot’s 787 routes revealed

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Miscellaneous Spotting, Singapore | Posted on 11-09-2014

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(c) FlyScoot

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.

9air takes first 737-800

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, Indonesia | Posted on 03-09-2014

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9air

9air is a new airline based in Guangzhou, China. It has taken delivery of its first aircraft – Boeing 737-800 B-1715 – in an attractive and colourful livery. The aircraft is leased from Lion Airlines.

The airline will offer low cost flights, and begin flying next month once its second aircraft has arrived. Initial routes are from Guangzhou to Shanghai, Chengdu, and Jieyang.

The airline is a subsidiary of Juneyao Airlines, and will eventually have 50 Boeing 737-800s, some of which will be the new MAX models.

 

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

Best of the Web – Airport Spotting Videos – Singapore Changi Time Lapse

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Singapore, Spotting Videos | Posted on 22-08-2014

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Here’s a fantastic, atmospheric time lapse video of aircraft traffic at Singapore Changi Airport. It is mainly night time scenes, which really adds to the magic of the video as you see aircraft lights flickering past in time to the music and dancing around in the skies.

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.