Australia’s Melbourne Airport has had approval for its Southern Precinct Program by the country’s government.
The Southern Precinct Program will see the airport expand with a new domestic terminal, 17 extra gates and aircraft parking, and associated landside infrastructure to support it.
Melbourne Airport CEO, Chris Woodruff, said the Southern Precinct Program was an exciting step in Melbourne Airport’s continuing development as Victoria’s aviation gateway.
“We will look to finalise discussions with our airline customers with a view to the terminal being operational by mid 2015,” said Mr Woodruff.
Melbourne would be able to grow into a much more significant domestic airport once the new facility opens.
Fiji Airways has taken delivery of its new Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
This is the first to wear the airline’s new livery and name (it was formerly called Air Pacific), and will begin flying from the islands to destinations in the Far East and North America. See my previous blog post about the routes it will serve.
The aircraft, registered DQ-FJT, will replace the airline’s existing Boeing 747-400 by the end of the year.
Fiji Airways, formerly Air Pacific, have announced the routes and destinations its new Airbus A330 aircraft will serve.
The aircraft feature the new livery of the airline and look pretty nice!
From 21 April 2013, the Fiji Airways A330s will fly from Nadi to:
Los Angeles (from 1 July)
Melbourne (from 2-27 August)
Sydney (from 8 June)
The airline’s Boeing 747-400 will continue to operate routes alongside the A330, with a retirement set for January 2014.
The first aircraft is Airbus A330-243 DQ-FJT, msn 1394
The sad news has been announced that Chathams Pacific is to cancel its domestic services in Tonga from 3 March 2013 following the announcement that the Tonga Government are to create a new airline in direct competition.
In a press release on the Chathams website, its owner explains how there is not enough of a market to support two airlines, and so with regret he will close his operation’s domestic services.
Chathams Pacific was founded to help provide such services, and operates a fleet including the Douglas DC-3, Convair 580, Fairchild Metro, and Beech Queen Air. The airline gets a mention in our Last Chance to Fly book because it is amongst the last operators of passenger DC-3s and CV-580s anywhere in the world.
The new airline is being sponsored by the Chinese Government, who are providing crew training and MA-60 and Y-12 turboprop aircraft for the operation.
It is unclear whether international links to New Zealand will still be flown by Chathams.
In the first of a new series of posts, I’m starting to look at the aviation attractions to see around the various airports around the world that spotters visit.
Quite often, a city will have a second airport with some unique aircraft to see, or an aviation museum telling the region’s aviation history and displaying preserved aircraft.
In this post we’ll look at Auckland. The city’s airport is the main gateway to New Zealand, and is quite busy with large airliners arriving from around the Far East, Asia, Middle East and the Americas. It’s also a busy hub for Air New Zealand and its feeder airlines, and is also busy with cargo carriers.
Ardmore Aerodrome is a former WWII USAF bomber base and is now a general aviation airfield around 15 miles east of Auckland International. It has a single runway and is the busiest airport in New Zealand by number of movements.
Mountain Air have their maintenance base here, and the airfield is home to NZ Warbirds restoration company in residence with a number of historic aircraft that are regularly flown and displayed. They have an immaculate DC-3 which operates scenic and charter flights from the airfield.
North Shore Airfield is situated 16 miles north of Auckland city centre. It is a small general aviation field which is popular for flight training. It also has flights to Great Barrier Island and a few other destinations. Movements can be seen from Postman Road which also runs past the parking aprons.
Auckland and many other airports are covered in my book, Airport Spotting Guides Far East and Australasia. It covers where to spot, what you’ll see, nearby attractions, spotting hotels and detailed maps for each airport.
A proposal has been put forward for the expansion of Sydney Airport in Australia to the south of its current site and into Botany Bay.
The proposal calls for a fourth and fifth runway to be built across the water from the current site, with road, rail and aircraft taxiway links connecting the site by bridges and tunnels.
New South Wales Treasurer Mike Baird has given the scheme his backing, over alternative options of building a new airport, or expanding Canberra Airport and linking it to Sydney Airport via high speed trains.
Environmentalists have shown concern over the plans in the water environment, and neighbours fear the extra noise and pollution from the inevitable growth in air traffic – something which is currently limited at Sydney Airport.
The plans for the expanded site also include freight and passenger terminals to be built alongside the new parallel runways, but may also see the closure of one of the existing three runways.
What do you think? Does Sydney need an expansion like this?
Air New Zealand has announced its new colour scheme and branding.
Whilst its nothing too drastic, it sees the airline stepping away from its green and blue tail colours, and adopting the national colour of black on its tail. It will also adopt revised titling on the airline name.
The traditional Koru symbol will still be retained on the tail, giving it a strong link with the previous scheme.
Air New Zealand began using black as its corporate colour ahead of the All Blacks’ campaign last year.
“Black has resonated well with our customers and staff who identify with it as the colour of New Zealand and a natural choice for our national airline. It inspires pride, is part of our Kiwi identity and a symbol of Kiwi success on the world stage,” Chief Executive Office Rob Fyfe says.
For 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!
You may have heard that Air India was refusing to take delivery of any of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners until Boeing offered substantial compensation for the lengthy delays it has encountered in developing and delivery the airliners.
Well, the two parties have come to an arrangement, and you can expect to see the first three examples (a number have been in storage at Everett Paine Field for quite a while) delivered this month!
We always like to see a new airline start flying 787s, and with Air India you can expect it to begin Dreamliner flights from Mumbai to London and Delhi to Melbourne around August.
Initially, the aircraft will be used on domestic routes to enable crew familiarity to be gained.
New low cost carrier FlyScoot, which is run by Singapore Airlines, has revealed its first plane in the airline’s full colour scheme. The airline will operate a fleet of Boeing 777-200s out of Singapore on high-demand intra-Asian routes, such as Gold Coast, Sydney and China. Doesn’t it look smart? Photo (c) FlyScoot from their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/flyscoot