Spotting at Kuala Lumpur KLIA2

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Malaysia, Spotting Hotels, Spotting Trip Reports | Posted on 06-12-2014

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KLIA 2 gates

Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s dedicated low-cost terminal, KLIA2, was opened in May 2014 and is the world’s largest dedicated low-cost terminal. It can handle up to 45 million passengers per year.

All of the airport’s low-cost airline movements were moved to the terminal, leaving the original buildings to handle full service airlines and the mainline flights of Malaysia Airlines.

Paul Moiser recently visited the airport and got the low down on spotting at KLIA2.

klia2-on-google-map-large

 

Getting to KLIA2

There’s an excellent train service which connects KLIA to KLIA2, and the journey time is only 3 minutes. It costs RM2 which is less than $1 / 50p.

 

Where to spot

KLIA2 has an official spotting area, just like KLIA1. Once you arrive at the KLIA2 train station take the elevator to level 3 departures and follow the signs for the smoking area and food courts. You will come across the outside viewing area next to McDonald’s.

KLIA2 terminal spotting location

There are two sides to the viewing area. Both sides only overlook nine parking gates, so you need visit each side of this level to see all of the aircraft. The larger parking area is the central bay, and aircraft parked here can’t be seen from either end of the viewing areas. Only movements taxiing in and out of this central bay can be seen from the right hand side of this level. As you enter past McDonald’s the viewing area to your right offers the best overall view as you can see movements over at KLIA, however you may need to use SBS or FlightRadar24 to identify these; although any departing traffic off the central runway (32R/14L) are readable.

The viewing area to your left as you enter only gives views of the new third runway and nine parking gates. This runway was quite active while I was there, so that’s why you have to spend time at each end.

It is possible to just stay at the main KLIA’s observation hall as you can see all movements moving about over at KLIA2, but closeup photography will not be possible.

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KLIA 2 spotting hotel

Kuala Lumpur KLIA2 has its own hotel which is reached via a covered ground-level walkway. The hotel is a Tune Hotel and I had a walk over there to check out the rooms to see what the views were like.

Tune Hotel KLIA

As the hotel was busy the only room I could be shown was room 601. From the room you can see all departures off the new runway. No parking gates could be seen and I couldn’t see anything over at KLIA. I could only see movements taxiing in/out to one side of the parking bays, so although the hotel is very cheap at £35 a night, compared to excellent Sama Sama spotting hotel you need (if it’s important to you!) to factor this point in regarding views. Going off the location I really don’t think any other rooms would offer much better than the one I was shown.

The Tune hotel was very nice and modern, and they offer free wifi in all areas. The room I was shown was a double, but they do have twins. Rooms are very small but all have a flat screen TV with air-con, but no tea/coffee making facilities etc.

 

The aircraft photos on this page are from Paul Moiser’s visit. You can find out more about KLIA2 at the official website: www.klia2.info

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.

 

AirAsia X orders 25 Airbus A330s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Malaysia | Posted on 19-12-2013

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AirAsia X A330-300AirAsia X has ordered 25 more Airbus A330-300s.

AirAsia X will start taking delivery of its newly-ordered A330-300s in 2015 as it begins a major expansion of its network across the Asia-Pacific region. The new order includes the latest extended range versions of the A330-300, providing the carrier with the ability to offer non-stop service to destinations in Europe or one-stop service to the US.

Tan Sri’ Tony Fernandes, Co-Founder and Director of AirAsia X said, “This order stamps our firm intent to dominate the long-haul, low cost carrier space and marks the next phase in our development to be the undisputed global market leader. Our commitment would allow us to remain as the youngest wide body fleet age in the region at under five years throughout 2019, with corresponding competitive fuel efficiency, reliability and cabin comfort benefits.”

“The aircraft orders would further cater to our expansion plans in Malaysia, and the proposed new Thai AirAsia X hub as well as other long-haul ventures planned across Asia. The developments will complement the AirAsia Group’s long-term vision of developing its presence in key markets in Asia and strengthen the connectivity between long-haul and short-haul low-cost network.”

Royal Brunei Boeing 787 routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Brunei, Heathrow, Malaysia, Singapore, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 20-09-2013

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Royal Brunei 787

Royal Brunei will soon receive its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

The first routes operated by the type will be short hops from Bandar Seri Begawan to both Kuala Lumpur (from 1 – 30 November) and Singapore Changi (from 18 October – 30 November). Both flights will operate 1-2 times daily.

From 2 December, Royal Brunei will begin its long haul Boeing 787 service from Bandar Seri Begawan to London Heathrow.

Keep an eye on our Boeing 787 Routes page to find out where to catch airlines flying their new Dreamliners.

AirAsia Japan to close

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Japan, Malaysia | Posted on 03-07-2013

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Air Asia A320AirAsia Japan will be closed down in October.

The airline has only existed since August 2012, and it was recently planned to merge with with ANA’s Peach Air to create a stronger low cost carrier. However, the plans have now been abandoned.

The final flights will take place on 31st October. The airline’s four Airbus A320s will be returned to the parent AirAsia company in Malaysia the following day.

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/

Air Asia expanding with Indian low cost airline

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, India, Malaysia, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 23-02-2013

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Air Asia A320

Air Asia has announced it is set to commence flying with its new Indian low-cost airline by the fourth quarter of 2013. The airline is a joint venture between Air Asia and the Tata Group.

The Air Asia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said that by opening this new venture, its customers would be able to travel by the same low-cost airline brand from Japan all the way to India.

The airline will be based at Chennai, in southern India, and will use Air Asia’s Airbus A320s if permitted. Air Asia will also carry out maintenance for the airline.

India is already a booming low-cost industry, with a number of airlines already well-established and carrying a large number of passengers every year. However, Air Asia’s brand is well known and established, and it is likely to make significant inroads into the market.

Air Asia, based in Malaysia, currently has subsidiary airlines in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

Best airports to see active Boeing 727s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, North America, Saudi Arabia, South America, Thailand, USA | Posted on 15-02-2013

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Fedex 727-233The Boeing 727 is becoming quite a rare aircraft to see in action these days. Thankfully there are still a number stored and preserved around the world.

Most of the active examples are flown in cargo configuration, with only a few examples still flying passengers (see my Last Chance to Fly ebook for a list of airlines still flying 727s and other rare airliners).

So where can you catch Boeing 727s in action? Here’s a list of some of the airports which have a number of 727s based or visiting regularly.

USA
Memphis, TN – The main super hub for FedEx Express, which is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 727 aircraft. All of its -100 models are gone, but around 40 -200s are still flying and can be seen overnight at Memphis.

Detroit Willow Run, MI – Primarily a cargo airport, Willow Run is home to Kalitta Charters and its fleet of 727-200s.

Florida – A number of 727s operate out of Opa Locka in Florida, including a private example, and also out of Orlando International and Miami International airports.

Colombia
Bogota – One of the world’s busiest airports for Boeing 727 flights. Local cargo operators AeroSucre and Lineas Aereas Suramericanas operate a mixed fleet of -100s and -200s from the airport every day.

Lineas Aereas Suramericanas 727s

Brazil
Airlines such as Rio Linhas Aereas and Total Linhas Aereas operate a number of Boeing 727-200 cargo aircraft from airports throughout the country, with bases in Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro.

 

Kuala Lumpur Subang
Formerly the main airport at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Subang is now a secondary airport used for cargo flights and aircraft receiving maintenance. It is also home to Transmile Air Services. Its fleet of Boeing 727-200 freighters can be seen every day, and photographed from a number of locations around the airport.

 

Tehran Mehrabad
The domestic airport in Iran is where you can catch the last passenger Boeing 727-200s on a daily basis, with both Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines operating the type for the time being. These operated to destinations such as Mashad, Kish Island, and Dubai.

Iran Aseman 727

Canada
One of the best places to catch Boeing 727s in action, the airlines Cargojet Airways, and Purolator operate throughout Canada. Their main bases, and thus the best places to catch their 727s, are Hamilton, ON, and Kelowna, BC respectively.

Mexico City
Mexico’s Police and Government both operate a number of Boeing 727-200s on official duties from the country’s main airport. Their flights are irregular, but not uncommon.

Saudi Arabia
Boeing 727-100s and -200s still operate in Saudi Arabia, with private and government examples, plus those operated for DHL out of Jeddah and Riyadh. Spotting is not easy in Saudi Arabia, however.

There are many more airports that both receive aircraft from the airlines listed above, and have their own based examples. Some that spring to mind at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Lasham and Southend in the UK, and Cochabamba in Bolivia, where passenger examples still flew until recently.

The chance to photograph a Boeing 727 is quite rare now, so why not post the pictures you’ve managed to take recently for us all to enjoy? And why not comment below if you’ve seen a 727 recently, telling us where you saw it.

Malaysia’s first oneworld aircraft rolled out

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Malaysia | Posted on 01-02-2013

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Malaysia Airlines yesterday rolled out its first aircraft painted in the oneworld livery.

The Airbus A330-300, seen here, was revealed at a ceremony at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, as Malaysia Airlines joined the alliance.

Other airlines in oneworld include airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 30 affiliates.  Malaysia Airlines will join on 1 February 2013 with SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways on track to join soon.

The aircraft will make its first commercial flight in its new look today, operating as flight MH129 from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, departing at 10.15 am. Another two aircraft in its fleet will be decorated in this alliance livery in the coming months.

Malaysia A380s coming to Paris

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, France, Malaysia, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 23-01-2013

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MAS A380 (c) Malaysia AirlinesMalaysia Airlines will begin flying  their Airbus A380 aircraft to Paris from 1st March 2013.

The aircraft will operate from Kuala Lumpur to Paris Charles de Gaulle on a daily basis, replacing the current Boeing 777 equipment.

One for the spotters to watch out for!