First Jetstar Q300 arrives

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, Australia, New Zealand | Posted on 27-08-2015




Jetstar Airways now has its first DHC-8 Q300 turboprop.

VH-TQM has been transferred from QantasLink to operate domestic services within New Zealand, and is painted in the full livery of the low cost airline.

The exact routes have not yet been announced, but eventually there will be five in the fleet and are operated by Eastern Australia Airlines on behalf of Jetstar.


Air New Zealand retiring Boeing 737 in September

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, New Zealand | Posted on 22-04-2015


Air New Zealand 737

Air New Zealand is planning to retire the Boeing 737 from its fleet in September 2015.

The airline has a long history of operating the type, with the introduction of the first 737-200 in 1968. Since then it has operated a sizable fleet of 737-300s on domestic and international flights.

Now, according to WorldAirlineNews, the type is to be retired on 6th September, with the final service being NZ557 from Auckland to Christchurch.

This is subject to change, but not change by much as Air New Zealand focuses on its Airbus A320 fleet.


Singapore A380s coming to Auckland

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Australasia, New Zealand, Singapore | Posted on 11-08-2014


Singapore A380 9V-SKA

Auckland will soon receive another Airbus A380 operator in the form of Singapore Airlines.

The airline will begin flying the superjumbo from Singapore to Auckland on its SQ285/286 service from 27th October 2014.

Its other Auckland service will continue to be operated by Boeing 777 equipment for the time being.

Auckland is also an A380 stop for Emirates.

ANA set to debut 787-9 on 4 August

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Japan, New Zealand, North America, USA | Posted on 25-07-2014


787 ANA

ANA All Nippon Airways will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft on 28th July direct from Everett.

The airline will be the first to operate the stretched model of the Dreamliner when it operates a special flight from Tokyo Haneda airport over Mount Fuji carrying Japanese and American elementary school children living in Japan. These, the airline says, are the “next generation of air passengers.”

ANA will initially operate the 787-9 on domestic routes within Japan.

International flights will follow from April 2015.

In addition to this new, fellow launch customer Air New Zealand plans to start commercial flights between Auckland and Sydney with their new 787-9s from August.

Find out all the Boeing 787 Routes here.

Air New Zealand Boeing 747 retirement

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, New Zealand | Posted on 15-05-2014


Air New Zealand 747-400

Air New Zealand will be retiring their last Boeing 747-400 aircraft this September, with a special one-off flight planned.

The airline has operated various modes of the Jumbo Jet since it was first introduced to the fleet in 1981. It allowed the airline to introduce services to London, and pioneered its flagship route to the UK via Los Angeles (and later via Hong Kong). These services are now flown by more modern Boeing 777 aircraft.

The final 747 service is expected to be on 10th September 2014 from San Francisco to Auckland.

However, on 6th September a special one-off service from Auckland to Sydney will be flown.

Two 787-9s unveiled in Seattle

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, Miscellaneous Spotting, New Zealand, North America, USA | Posted on 09-04-2014


Two of the new stretched Boeing 787-9 aircraft have been unveiled in their airline colours at Seattle in the past week.

ANZ in paint Hangar before rollout

Air New Zealand’s first aircraft was unveiled on 6 April wearing a smart all black livery (similar to that seen on the airline’s Airbus A320s).

Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan, who was in Seattle for the unveiling, says it’s exciting to see the 787-9 in Air New Zealand colours for the first time.

“It’s great to see the Koru and the beautiful New Zealand fern emblazoned on this aircraft. This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instil a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific.”

United 787-9 Factory Rollout - April 8, 2014

Then, yesterday United Airlines’ first 787-9 was rolled out of the hanger fully painted.

Over the next several months, the aircraft will move to the next phase of completion, which includes final cabin configuration and painting. United’s 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats. United’s first 787-9 will also be one of five aircraft used by Boeing in a flight test program to certify the aircraft.

Boeing 787-9 to visit Auckland in January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Australasia, Australia, New Zealand | Posted on 03-01-2014


787-9 First FlightBoeing will be bringing its 787-9 to Auckland in early January to visit launch customer Air New Zealand. This will be the first international trip for the new, extended model of Dreamliner.

“Having one of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s touch down on Kiwi soil for the first time is hugely exciting,” said Christopher Luxon, chief executive officer, Air New Zealand. “It’s a real reminder that we will soon welcome the first of these more modern, fuel-efficient airplanes into our fleet.”

The aircraft, ZB002, is the second of three 787-9s dedicated to the test program. As the only 787-9 test aircraft to be fitted with elements of the passenger interior, in addition to test racks and instrumentation, Boeing uses ZB002 to test the environmental control system and other aspects of aircraft performance. After the test program is complete, the aircraft will be reconfigured for delivery to Air New Zealand.

From Auckland, ZB002 is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs, Australia, where Boeing plans to conduct flight testing in hot weather. Boeing chose Alice Springs Airport for this testing because the location meets specific test requirements for both facilities and atmospheric conditions. Testing is contingent on favorable weather and is scheduled to last approximately one week.

Top 5 spotting airports in January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Africa, Australasia, Eastern Europe, Greece, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, New Zealand, North America, South Africa, USA | Posted on 31-12-2013


January – typically a cold month for those in Europe and the USA; a month where people try to make new starts and pursue the resolutions they made at the end of the last year.

The weather doesn’t have to be a hindrance for your spotting. Here are five suggestions of places to spot in January.


Los Angeles International
One of the greatest airports in America. Los Angeles boasts sunshine and warmer temperatures than most of the country at this time of the year, and the sunlight is always great for photography. Head to one of the locations around the perimeter and snap some heavies landing.

Skiathos Airport

Johannesburg O R Tambo
South Africa’s principal airport is great at this time of year – warm, sunny and with lots of daylight. The airport is a hub for South African Airways, and a focal point for many African operators. You can also see a number of older aircraft operating here.

Dubbed the St. Maarten of Europe, the Greek island of Skiathos is an amazing place for the aircraft spotter and photographer. With average temperatures in the low teens, it is much more pleasant than the rest of Europe, and always popular with charter airlines.

Abu Dhabi
Always hot at this time of year, Abu Dhabi is an up-and-coming alternative to Dubai. Hub for Etihad Airways, the airport has a new Premier Inn with views of aircraft movements, making a much cheaper alternative to Dubai’s Sheraton Deira.

NZ Warbirds DC-3 Dakota Ardmore

Catch up with aviation in New Zealand at its principal gateway and home hub of Air New Zealand. Auckland has a pleasant climate at this time of year, and offers some great local aviation attractions in addition to the airlines it serves, such as Ardmore Airport and its classic aircraft.

Whatever you get up to with your spotting in January, remember to comment on which airports you’ve been to and send us your tips and photographs from around the world!

Air New Zealand announces 787 routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, North America, Pacific, USA | Posted on 05-07-2013


Air New Zealand 787-9Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 variant. It has recently announced the destinations it will send the aircraft to once it takes delivery in 2014. They are:

Auckland – Honolulu
Auckland – Papeete
Auckland – Perth
Auckland – Shanghai Pudong
Auckland – Tokyo Narita

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the 787-9 is a game changer for the airline.

“This modern flexible fuel efficient aircraft will not only replace our current fleet of Boeing 767s, it also represents a significant growth opportunity for our business and opens up the prospect of expanding our Pacific Rim footprint.


Where to spot the new Fiji Airways A330

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Pacific, Pacific, USA | Posted on 20-02-2013


Fiji Airways A330Fiji 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