Ryanair expands with more bases

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Germany, Poland, Western Europe | Posted on 11-04-2014

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Ryanair 737

Ryanair has announced it is to open new bases in Cologne/Bonn, Gdansk, and Warsaw-Modlin from Winter 2014.

The new bases will each see aircraft being based at the airports, and new routes being opened to a variety of destinations.

“Ryanair is delighted to announce that we will be opening a new base at Cologne this winter, offering 8 exciting routes, including 5 new routes to Dublin, London Stansted, Madrid, Riga and Rome Ciampino, which will deliver over 700,000 passengers annually”

“Ryanair is[also] delighted to announce that we will be opening a new base at Gdansk this winter, offering 10 exciting routes, including 3 new winter routes to Birmingham, Leeds Bradford and Warsaw Modlin”

And finally: “Ryanair is delighted to announce that we will be opening a new base at Warsaw Modlin this winter, offering 20 exciting routes, including 4 new winter routes to Gdansk, Madrid, Shannon and Wroclaw, which will deliver some 1.9m passengers annually”

Belavia announces Embraer 195 routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Belarus, Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, Netherlands, Russia, Western Europe | Posted on 02-04-2014

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Belavia EMB175, (c) Magic Aviation.

Belavia will introduce the Embraer 195 aircraft in May, alongside its existing EMB 175, CRJ, and Boeing 737 aircraft.

The airline has announced that the 195 will operate on the following routes from 6 May:

Minsk – Amsterdam (from 16 May)
Minsk – Batumi (from July)
Minsk – Moscow Domodedovo
Minsk – Prague
Minsk – St Petersburg

 

SunExpress expand with up to 50 Boeing 737 order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Miscellaneous Spotting, Turkey | Posted on 20-02-2014

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SunExpress SXD 737 MAX 8 ArtworkTurkey’s SunExpress is to significantly add to its fleet after placing and order for Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX-8 aircraft.

The firm order is for 25 737-800s and 15 737 MAX-8s, valued at more than $3.8 billion at list prices. Additional options for 10 MAX-8s have also been secured.

“Twenty-four years ago we started to fly tourists to Turkey with brand-new 737-300s and ten years later the company began to operate the Next-Generation 737-800s. Next year at the age of 25, SunExpress will start the process of renewing its entire fleet and in the future add the latest achievement of Boeing, the 737 MAX,” said Paul Schwaiger, managing director of SunExpress.

Based in Antalya on the Turkish Riviera, SunExpress was founded in October 1989 as a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa. Today, SunExpress carries more than seven million passengers per year and is one of the leading airlines in terms of passenger numbers between Germany and Turkey. The carrier operates an all-Boeing fleet of more than 60 Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s and serves more than 90 destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Aeroflot first in Russia with Sharklet A320s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Russia | Posted on 10-02-2014

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Aeroflot Sharklet A320Aeroflot is the first airline in Russia to take Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320s, with delivery of its latest example.

The airline is operating the biggest Airbus fleet in the region with 90 A320 Family aircraft and 22 A330 Family aircraft.

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

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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.

Skiathos
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

Auckland
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!

Ryanair granted Russia flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Russia, Western Europe | Posted on 25-11-2013

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RyanairRyanair has been granted access to fly to Russia from its Dublin base, following the likes of easyJet which started flying from the UK this year.

Flights are likely to start in March 2014, flying from Dublin to both Moscow and St. Petersburg using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The Moscow airport to be used has not yet been decided, although Vnukovo is a firm favourite amongst experts.

Vueling adds Rome Fiumicino base

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Spain, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 21-11-2013

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.Hot off the heels of its announcement about creating a hub at Brussels, Vueling has come up trumps again with the announcement that Rome Fiumicino Airport will also become a base from Summer 2014.

This time the airline is adding a massive 24 new routes from Rome.

This will no doubt capitalise on the struggling Alitalia and its own network from Rome, as Vueling are targeting both domestic and international routes.

The new routes are:

  • Alicante
  • Amsterdam
  • Athens
  • Bari
  • Berlin
  • Brindisi
  • Brussels
  • Catania
  • Corfu
  • Dubrovnik
  • Genoa
  • Heraklion
  • Lamezia
  • Malta
  • Munich
  • Mykonos
  • Palermo
  • Prague
  • Rhodes
  • Santiago de Compostela
  • Santorini
  • Seville
  • Split
  • Torino

The airline already operates from Rome to Barcelona, Ibiza, Malaga, Mahon, Nantes, Palma de Mallorca, Paris Orly, and Valencia.

New Moscow airport planned at Ramenskoye

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Eastern Europe, Russia | Posted on 17-11-2013

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Ramenskoye AirportPlans are afoot to turn the airfield at Ramenskoye, 40km south east of Moscow, into a new passenger airport which is aimed primarily at low cost airlines.

Currently Ramenskoye is used as a test facility for the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and is also home to the MAKS Airshow every second year. The airfield has one main operational runway which is of sufficient length for airliner operations.

It is planned to construct a passenger terminal capable of handling up to 400,000 passengers per year. This would later be upgraded to handle 1.5 million passengers.

A second passenger terminal would be constructed from 2017 and the first terminal expanded further. Eventually it is anticipated the airport would handle up to 10 million passengers per year.

Cargo infrastructure would also be constructed.

Wizz Air starting Craiova base

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Romania | Posted on 16-11-2013

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Wizz Air is to open its 19th base at the Romanian airport of Craiova from 23 July 2014.

It will serve the following routes from the airport: Barcelona, Bologna, Dortmund, Rome Ciampino.

And increase existing services to Bergamo and London Luton.

 

Airlines who still fly the MD-80 series

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Iran, Italy, Middle East, North America, South America, Taiwan, USA, Venezuela, Western Europe | Posted on 09-11-2013

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MD80 FATAnother aircraft I noticed that is starting to slip from the radar (SAS retired their last example last month after a long association with the type) is the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series. This stretched variant of the ubiquitous DC-9 was very popular with mainline and charter airlines from its first appearance in the 1980s.

Today only a handful of airlines are still flying the aircraft (which makes it a candidate for a future update of Last Chance to Fly!). Luckily some of these carriers are easily accessible and have the type in larger number.

I’m only looking at the older MD-80/81/82/83/87 variants here. MD-88s and -90s are a bit more common for the time being.

The main airlines still flying the aircraft are:

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.American Airlines
The airline’s MD-80 fleet was once one of the largest in the world, and is still found in decent numbers on its domestic network. However the type is steadily being replaced by modern Boeing and Airbus aircraft, so catch one while you can!

Allegiant Air
Another of the largest operators of the type, Allegiant Air flies MD-82, -83 and -87 aircraft on leisure and low cost schedules and charters across America.

Aeropostal
The Venezuelan carrier has a number of MD-82 and -83 aircraft which it flies from its Caracas base.

Iran Air Tours
This airline flies ten MD-82s from Tehran on scheduled services. It used the aircraft to replace its older Tupolev TU-154s.

Danish Air Transport
A scheduled and charter airline flying a couple of MD-80 series aircraft from Denmark.

Meridiana MD-80Meridiana
Italy’s second-largest airline, based in Olbia, Sardinia, flies ten MD-82s, which are likely to be replaced in the near future with more modern aircraft.

Bulgarian Air Charter
This airline operates charter flights across Europe with a fleet of 13 MD-82/83 aircraft.

Far Eastern Air Transport
This troubled Taiwanese carrier recently returned to the skies and is now equipped with a fleet of eight MD-82/83 aircraft. It flies them from Taipei to destinations across the Far East.

Which airlines have you flown an MD-80 series aircraft of? When was the last time you flew one?