Batik Air first A320 revealed

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia | Posted on 13-06-2014

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A320 Batik Air

Batik Air’s first Airbus A320 aircraft has been revealed in Toulouse.

With the airline’s colourful livery, the aircraft will be delivered in Q3 2014 and will be operated by Lion Group’s full service unit Batik Air on its growing domestic and regional network. 

The aircraft is the first from a major order placed by the Lion Group in March 2013 for a total of 234 A320 Family aircraft (109 A320neo, 65 A321neo and 60 A320ceo).

Jakarta Airport FM7 Spotting Hotel

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Indonesia, Spotting Hotels | Posted on 03-03-2014

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FM7 spotting hotelA new spotting hotel has emerged at Jakarta Airport and is receiving favourable reviews from spotters who have visited.

The FM7 Resort Hotel is situated close to the end of Runway 25R, and one of the main benefits is the proximity of aircraft approaching this runway, which can be photographed quite easily.

Although the hotel is only two stories high, rooms on the top floor can be found that have good views and are not too obstructed by the surrounding trees. Some rooms also have views across to runway 25L, but SBS is necessary to identify them as they disappear behind the buildings.

The owner of the hotel is aware of the needs of plane spotters and welcomes the trade this brings. A rooftop bar is being constructed which has views of both sides of the airport, although through glass.

The hotel is in a less than ideal neighbourhood, but once inside is quite luxurious and serves good food. It also provides a free shuttle to the airport. Here’s a map of the hotel’s location.

Visit the FM7 Hotel’s webpage here: http://fm7hotel.com/

If you have visited, leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.

Thai Lion Air to base at Don Mueang Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia, Spotting News, Thailand | Posted on 27-05-2013

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Lion Air 737The new Thai subsidiary of Indonesia’s Lion Air is likely to base six Boeing 737-800s at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport later in 2013.

The airline will be named Thai Lion Air and will go head-to-head with Thai Smile, Nok Air, and Thai AirAsia by operating low-cost domestic and regional routes from the capital.

The choice of Bangkok’s older airport continues the revival of its fortunes. Whilst it was once empty following the move to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang is now enjoying a renaissance as a low-cost airport.

Lion Air looks to Airbus in 234 aircraft order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia | Posted on 18-03-2013

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A320neo Lion Air © Airbus S.A.S 2013Lion Air of Indonesia has switched sole allegiance from Boeing by ordering 234 Airbus A320 and A320neo family aircraft.

To date, Lion Air has operated a large fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft, in addition to the McDonnell Douglas MD-80/90 series aircraft it began operations with. However, today the low-cost carrier announced the firm order from the European manufacturer.

The order comprises:

60x Airbus A320 classic
109x Airbus A320neo
65 Airbus A321neo

The neo, or New Engine Option, is a rework of the best-selling Airbus A320 family which offers better operating economics and fuel efficiency.

Lion Air still has over 200 of Boeing’s re-engined 737-900MAX aircraft on order. The airline is set to become one of the largest low-cost operators in the world.

 

 

Where can you fly on a Shorts SD360? Last Chance to Fly

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Aruba, Asia, Canada, Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Israel, Middle East, North America, South America, Venezuela | Posted on 17-11-2012

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Shorts 360The Shorts SD-360 was a funny-looking commuter plane. Built alongside its twin Shorts SD-330 type, the 360 can be recognised for having a single fin (compared to the twin fins on the 330).

The aircraft was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland, between 1981-1991, and in total there were 164 examples built.

It was used around the world, popular with commuter and regional airlines in the UK and USA in particular. It was certainly a common sight in my youth, but sadly I never got to fly on the ‘Shed’, as it was commonly referred to. And today, it seems you hardly see them anywhere, save for a few cargo examples.

So, how many are still flying passengers, and where can you fly them? Here’s some information which is covered in the new update of Last Chance to Fly – our book on flying rarer passenger aircraft:

Airlines Still Flying Passenger SD-360s

Asia
Air Seychelles still operates a single Short 360 on its inter-island route to Praslin Island. They used to have a larger fleet of the aircraft.

Deraya Air Taxi operate two Short 360s from their Jakarta Halim base in Indonesia. These aircraft are used on commuter and air taxi flights.

Caribbean
Tiara Air of Aruba has two Short 360 aircraft in its fleet. These fly on routes around the Caribbean.

SAP – Servicios Aereos Profesionales, is a regional airline based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They have one Short 360-100 which is used on Caribbean routes.

Central America
La Costeña is a regional airline based in Managua, Nicaragua. It has one Short 360 in its fleet, which is flown on domestic routes.

Middle East
Ayeet Aviation & Tourism of Israel operate a single Short 360 aircraft on domestic services within Israel.

North America
Pacific Coastal Airlines, based in Vancouver, have two passenger Short 360’s in their fleet. These fly on services within British Columbia from Vancouver to Comox and Campbell River.

 

Passenger Examples

SH3602 – YN-CGF, La Costena – Managua, Nicaragua
SH3619 – P4-TIA, Tiara Air – Oranjestad, Aruba
SH3620 – C-GPCF, Pacific Coastal Airlines – Vancouver, Canada
SH3621 – P4-TIB, Tiara Air – Oranjestad, Aruba
SH3622 – C-GPCW, Pacific Coastal Airlines – Vancouver, Canada
SH3672 – HI657, SAP Servicios Aereos Profesionales – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
SH3713 – YV396T, Comeravia – Margarita, Venezuela
SH3724 – S7-PRI, Air Seychelles – Mahe Island, Seychelles
SH3743 – PK-DSS, Deraya Air Taxi – Jakarta Halim, Indonesia
SH3757 – PK-DSH, Deraya Air Taxi – Jakarta Halim, Indonesia
SH3758 – 4X-AVP, Ayeet Aviation & Tourism – Be Er-Sheba, Israel


Last Chance to Fly EBookLast Chance to Fly 2012 – ebook

Our latest book, Last Chance to Fly, is available to buy online now. The digital version of this book lists the world’s rarest passenger aircraft types, and where to find them and fly on them.

Click here to find out more and buy a copy.

Jakarta airlines move back to Halim Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia, Spotting News | Posted on 30-06-2012

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licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseHalim Airport in Jakarta was the city’s main airport until 1985, when the new Soekarno-Hatta International Airport opened to replace it.

Since then Halim has been a base for government and military flights, plus a few domestic operators and air taxi companies. I had the pleasure of taking an airside tour there in 2004, and noted lots of old airliners stored around the airfield, and a few cargo operators also making use of the facility.

Now, news has surfaced that Garuda’s Citilink subsidiary, along with Merpati Nusantara, and the new Lion Air subsidiary Batik Air, are all to relocate operations to Halim airport from early 2013.

The move is to help combat the severe overcrowding at Soekarno-Hatta, which receives more than double its designed capacity.

It is understood that the move would be a temporary one, whilst Angkasa Pura (AP) II, the planning agency, constructs additional apron space at Soekarno-Hatta and modifies Terminal 3 to handle more passengers. They will also assess the future role of Halim to make sure best use is made of Jakarta’s airport facilities.

 

Mandala Airlines returns as Tiger Airways Indonesia

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia, Singapore | Posted on 08-03-2012

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Tiger Airways are cropping up all over the place. The latest announcement is that they’ve helped to restart struggling Mandala Airlines, who will now be known as Tiger Airways Indonesia.

Mandala operated a range of domestic routes throughout Indonesia, with a varied fleet of aircraft, but sadly ceased flying after its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) was revoked.

But now it will return with two Tiger Airways branded Airbus A320s in April, and is set to expand, taking on national carrier Garuda Indonesia’s low-cost Citilink airline, and Lion Air.

Tiger Airways is 33% owned by Singapore Airlines, so this is a neat way into the Indonesian domestic sector for the carrier, making them more dominant in the region.

Thai bringing a Smile to Far East airports

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, India, Indonesia, Thailand | Posted on 13-02-2012

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Thai Airways has given details of its new low-cost brand which will be taking to Asian skies this summer.

Thai Smile Air is the name for the new carrier, which will initially operate a fleet of four Airbus A320 aircraft in a colour scheme modified slightly from (but strongly resembling) the parent carrier’s scheme.

The airline will be based at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, with initial routes starting 1st July 2012 including: Chiang Mai, Phuket, Kolkata, Jakarta, and Phnom Penh.

The airline will also start to serve domestic destinations including Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai, and Surat Thani.

Passengers will be able to take advantage of lower fares whilst still maintaining quality, including meals and drinks. It will not be as basic as the existing Nok Air.

By 2013 Thai Smile Air will have 11 Airbus A320s and serve a greater number of destinations across Asia.

5 Old Jet hubs not to miss

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Indonesia, Iran, Middle East, North America, North Korea, USA | Posted on 31-01-2012

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licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licenseFirst and second generation jet airliners are getting rarer and rarer these days. It makes me incredibly sad, but at least for the time being we have these airports which are still great for catching old smokeys in action.

 

Memphis, TN
You’ve gotta love FedEx. They keep old birds flying. But they also have many new aircraft coming on line, such as the B777F which are replacing the older types.

For the time being, you can head to their Memphis, TN, base to catch quite a few classic B727 and DC/MD-10 aircraft coming and going each day. Depending on whether you consider A300-600 and A310-300 aircraft to be old or not, you can also see those. Also, as the airline is bringing in lots of second-hand B757 freighters, it’s another one I’ll leave you to decide on whether they’re an old jet or not!

 

Jakarta, Indonesia
Last time I visited Jakarta’s main CGK airport, it was still a hub for B727′s, B737-200′s, DC-9′s, DC-10′s and F-28′s. It was incredible, and great for filling lots of gaps in my log book from the 80′s and 90′s.

Today there are still a number of these types around, but it has dwindled significantly. More prevalent are MD-80′s and B737-300/400′s, which are becoming classics.