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.

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.”

Reborn HK Express reveals new logo and livery

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Hong Kong, Miscellaneous Spotting, South Korea | Posted on 23-01-2014

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(c) HK Express

HK Express, formerly Hong Kong Express, has revealed its new logo and aircraft livery.

The airline, which flies Airbus A320s, has turned itself into a low cost carrier (LCC) operating from Hong Kong to a number of destinations. Its latest route will link Seoul in South Korea from 30th March.

The airline hopes to have 11 A320s flying by the end of the year. They will wear the smart new livery seen here.

Mr. Andrew Cowen, Deputy CEO of HK Express explained, “The new logo and livery design will be rolled out across all of our branding towards the end of March. We wanted to establish a new brand for HK Express to reflect and support the amazing transition that HK Express has undergone in the past year, and the fresh, youthful and dynamic sense that the new design inspires fits perfectly with our ethos as Hong Kong’s one-and-only low fare airline. We look forward to the adventure continuing in 2014 and beyond!”

Cathay Pacific Cargo switching to Dubai World Central

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Middle East | Posted on 16-12-2013

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Cathay Pacific CargoFrom 1st February 2014 Cathay Pacific will move its Cargo operations from Dubai International Airport to Dubai World Central (Al Maktoum) Airport.

The airline’s passenger flights will remain at the existing airport, however.

1,000th Airbus A330 delivered to Cathay Pacific

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, France, Hong Kong, Western Europe | Posted on 19-07-2013

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A330-300 Cathay PacificCathay Pacific today received the 1,000th Airbus A330 aircraft in a ceremony at Toulouse.

“The A330 has played an integral part in Cathay Pacific’s growth and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership in the future,” said Ivan Chu, Chief Operating Officer, Cathay Pacific Airways. “The A330 is the backbone of our mid-size fleet and we are delighted with the reliability, flexibility and above all the economics of this great aircraft. We are very proud to be the recipient of the 1,000th A330.”

Since its first delivery of the A330 in 1995, Cathay Pacific’s Airbus fleet now comprises 38 A330-300s and 11 A340s.

The 1,000th A330 carries the registration B-LBB.

Biman last DC-10 flight in October

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airline News, Asia, Bangladesh, Dubai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Middle East, Oman, Spotting News | Posted on 30-06-2013

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Bangladesh Biman DC10Biman Bangladesh Airlines will retire its McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft from service in December, to be replaced by Boeing 777s.

Biman is the last airline in the world to operate the DC-10 in passenger service, making this a significant announcement and the last opportunity to fly on the type if you haven’t already!

I was lucky enough to take a number of United Airlines DC-10 flights, and also see the Biman examples at various airports.

I know a number of enthusiasts have been taking trips to fly on the Biman aircraft over recent years, before it’s too late.

The final flight is expected to take place on 1st December 2013. At the moment, the DC-10 is being flown on the following routes:

  • Dhaka – Chittagong – Abu Dhabi (ends 1 December)
  • Dhaka – Chittagong – Dubai (ends 28 November)
  • Dhaka – Hong Kong (ends 29 November)
  • Dhaka – Kuala Lumpur (ends 30 November)
  • Dhaka – Muscat (ends 28 November)

The DC-10 is just one of the aircraft featured in Last Chance to Fly – our ebook which lists the rare and historic airliners that you can still fly, and which airlines operate them. Download your copy here: www.airportspotting.com/books/chance-fly-rare-passenger-aircraft/

Etihad Cargo round-the-world with 747-8

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Middle East, Netherlands, North America, South America, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 30-05-2013

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Etihad Cargo 747-8Etihad Cargo is to commence a round-the-world route taking in new destinations, and using a Boeing 747-8 freighter.

The aircraft will be leased from Atlas Air under an Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) agreement, and it will be painted in the colours of Etihad Cargo.

The round-the-world route will originate in Abu Dhabi and see stops in Hong Kong, Chicago, Miami, Viracopos (Brazil), Quito, and Amsterdam, before returning to its point of origin.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said, “Etihad Cargo is reinforcing its position as a global operator with the entry into service of this round-the-world routing, touching the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe.

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter is the largest in Etihad Cargo’s current freighter fleet.  The airline also operates three Boeing B777F, one Boeing 747-400ERF, one Boeing 747-400F and two Airbus A330-200F.

Dubai becomes second busiest international airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Asia, Dubai, Heathrow, Hong Kong, Middle East, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 28-03-2013

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Dubai Airport © Dubai AirportsDubai has taken second place in the list of busiest international airports – that is, the amount of international traffic that is handled.

The airport is now ahead of Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong airports, which previously handled more international traffic. Dubai now has its sights firmly on top position as it approaches London Heathrow, which has occupied top slot for many years but is now at full capacity. Heathrow’s options have been severely hampered by the UK government declining additional runways at the airport.

Dubai Airport handled 10,640,120 passengers in the first two months of this year, a rise of 13% over the same period last year. It hopes to gain top spot by 2015. It recently opened the new Concourse A, which is developed to handle up to 20 Airbus A380 superjumbos at once.

 

British Airways A380 flights bookable

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Heathrow, Hong Kong, North America, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 05-03-2013

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British Airways A380British Airways have made the first flights on their new Airbus A380 aircraft available to book.

The aircraft are due to enter service in October, and will operate to both Hong Kong and Los Angeles on selective flights from London Heathrow.

The tentative dates of entry to service, which can be booked now (and are subject to change) are:

LHR-Los Angeles-LHR
15 October, BA269, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
18 October, BA283, Monday, Friday
27 October, BA269, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday

LHR-Hong Kong-LHR
15/16 November, BA25, Monday-Sunday

Here’s a video promoting the new aircraft in the fleet:

Round the world charity trip in seven days

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Eastern Europe, Frankfurt, Germany, Heathrow, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Middle East, North America, Russia, Singapore, Spain, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 04-09-2012

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Andrew Solum Richard TamsA good friend of mine, Andrew Solum, and British Airways‘ Head of UK & Ireland Sales, Richard Tams, are about to embark upon a fantastic journey in the hope of raising money for charity.

Their target is to raise £20,000 for the Comic Relief Flying Start charity, supported by British Airways and aimed at improving the lives of countless children every year.

Their challenge? Well, they’ve got to get around the world in seven days, starting in New York on 15th September, and using every Oneworld airline partner.

The journey will start with American Airlines from New York to Chicago then on to the Tokyo Narita international hub of Japan Airlines.

The following day they will fly with Japan Airlines from Tokyo to the Hong Kong home of Cathay Pacific and on September 17 undertake a three-flight schedule from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur with Cathay Pacific, Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with Malaysia Airlines, which is on track to join oneworld at the turn of the year. They will then travel on from Singapore to London Heathrow with Qantas arriving early on September 18.

British Airways will carry them on to Amman, base of Royal Jordanian.

On September 19 they will fly from Amman to Frankfurt with Royal Jordanian, then with airberlin to Germany’s capital city.

On September 20, they will take to the air again with airberlin to Frankfurt, then off with LAN to Madrid. From its base at the Spanish capital, Iberia will then carry them to the Moscow hub of S7, landing early on September 21, before a swift transfer to S7 for a flight to St. Petersburg.

The following day (September 22) they will begin the last leg of their journey heading with Finnair from St Petersburg to its own Helsinki home then on to Heathrow to connect on to their final flight, a British Airways jet from London to New York arriving at 8.55pm local time.

In total they will cover just over 30,000 miles, flying along the way on every oneworld member airline and via 11 of the alliance’s major hubs.

Tams said: “I’ve done a lot of flying in my time at British Airways, but never so many destinations in such a short period. We’ll be going through 16 airports, flying on ten different aircraft types and visiting 11 countries on 12 airlines. We won’t even have time to stop and enjoy the views!

Mr Solum, a management consultant and oneworld Emerald top tier frequent flyer, said “it will be tough going on standby staff tickets with no guarantee where we’ll be seated, but at the end of the day, every penny we raise will make a difference to a child – and that is really our driving force for this challenge.”

Tams added “We’re enormously grateful to our oneworld partners for supporting our challenge – it’s a great reflection of the reach the alliance has. I’d also like to thank our hotel partners in this, the Global Hotel Alliance, Starwood and Marriott.”

“The travel trade have also already been really supportive and we’ve already hit £8,000+ of our target but we really want to reach at least £20,000 so we’re asking everyone to dig deep and help us out. Anyone can pledge money at:

http://donate.ba-flyingstart.com/funraiser/roundtheoneworld.”

The money raised will all go directly to Flying Start, the global charity partnership between British Airways and Comic Relief UK. It will help to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children living in the UK and in some of the poorest countries across the world. The aim of the charity is to help create lasting change by giving children and their families the chance to start supporting themselves.

The intrepid travellers will be blogging their adventures and experiences, so stay tuned for further details!