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!

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!

Where to see the Malaysian A380s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, China, Heathrow, Japan, Malaysia, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 13-07-2012

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MAS A380 (c) Malaysia AirlinesFor many in the UK, this week’s Farnborough Air Show was a thrilling chance to see and step aboard the new Airbus A380 in Malaysia Airlines colours.

Their second example, 9M-MNB, was flown to the event for demonstration whilst their first example -MNA has recently entered service on the carrier’s Kuala Lumpur – London Heathrow service.

So where can you see these shiny new behemoth’s? Initially, the Malaysia A380s will be flown on the following routes (all from Kuala Lumpur):

 

  • London Heathrow (3x weekly, until it goes 1x daily on 25 August 2012)
  • Sydney (1x daily from 25 November 2012)
  • Tokyo Narita (1x daily from 25 November 2012)
  • Beijing (1x daily from 1 March 2013)

If you get to fly on the aircraft please leave a comment and let us know what it was like!