9 top spotting airports to reach by budget airline

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Caribbean, Dubai, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, Netherlands, North America, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Spain, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 21-11-2014

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Spotting isn’t the cheapest hobby, especially if you want to do a lot of it. So I thought I’d look at a few of the best spotting airports that are easily accessible by budget airlines. Hopefully it’ll give you some inspiration for your next trips!

 

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma-Vueling

By Peter Bakema [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

Palma is one of the busiest holiday airports in Europe, particularly during the summer months. Airlines ferry holidaymakers in droves from all over northern Europe, so you’ll see charter and low-cost airlines as well as Spanish regional aircraft. Palma is a big base for Air Berlin, and plenty of other budget airlines also fly there year-round, including easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling.

 

Amsterdam Schiphol, Netherlands

Amsterdam easyJet

By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Although it is one of Europe’s busiest and largest airports, and is also a stronghold of national airline KLM, Schiphol is surprisingly easy to get to by budget airline. easyJet links many destinations across Europe, whilst Flybe and Jet2 link a number of additional points in the UK.

 

Singapore Changi

Photo by Calvin Teo

Photo by Calvin Teo

A major Asian powerhouse and the hub of the large Singapore Airlines. Changi is also on the route map of many low cost and budget airlines, including home-based Jetstar Asia, Tigerair and Valuair, plus regional carriers Air Asia and Lion Air. Long haul low-cost flights are provided by Jetstar and Scoot to destinations across Asia and Australia.

 

Dubai International, UAE

Flydubai fleet

You may think of Emirates when you think of Dubai, but the second largest carrier at the Middle East hub is Flydubai, a budget airline serving destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Indian subcontinent They even fly into Europe. It makes a more affordable way to reach the airport for some spotting.

 

Atlanta Hartsfield International, GA

Southwest Airlines Heart Livery

Atlanta was known as the busiest airport in the world for many years, largely because of the huge presence of Delta Air Lines reaching across the globe and to many points across the United States. However, the airport’s second largest carrier is Southwest Airlines following its acquisition of Airtran. This means you can get to Atlanta from destinations across America at great prices.

 

Dallas Ft Worth, TX

Spirit Airlines

Another US airport which is dominated by a home based legacy carrier – in this case American Airlines – you may be surprised to find that you have good budget options that don’t require a trip to nearby Love Field. Spirit Airlines recently announced a number of new routes from Dallas to regional and leisure destinations to add to its existing network from the airport.

 

Warsaw Chopin, Poland

Wizz Air

The capital of Poland is a major hub for budget carrier Wizz Air which fights bitterly with full service national carrier LOT. You can also reach Warsaw via carriers Norwegian, Air Berlin, Germanwings and Vueling.

 

Moscow Domodedovo, Russia

By Milad A380 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Milad A380 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

For years it was only possible to reach Moscow via traditional full service airlines, or one of Aeroflot’s classic Soviet airliners. However, recent agreements have led to a number of low cost airlines from outside Russia offering flights to Domodedovo. Most significant perhaps is easyJet, which flies from two points in the UK. Other budget airlines flying to Moscow include Air Berlin, Germania, Niki, Meridiana fly, Vueling and Air Arabia.

 

St Maarten, Caribbean

St Maarten Jetblue

A spotters paradise which is on the bucket list of many who like to photograph airliners at close quarters. But it’s not necessary to spend mega bucks getting there with big airlines, particularly from North America, since budget airlines such as Jetblue, Sun Country and Westjet fly regularly to the island.

Ilyushin IL-96 lives on with Cubana and Red Wings

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Caribbean, Cuba, Eastern Europe, Russia, Spotting News | Posted on 11-09-2014

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Ilyushin_Il-96

Aeroflot retired its fleet of Ilyushin IL-96 aircraft earlier this year as it moves towards more modern, Western types for its widebody operations.

One of the aircraft has even been destroyed by fire since it was retired.

However, now there’s a bit of hope for those who like to see Russian planes in the skies, or those who haven’t flown on the type yet (myself included) as both Cubana and Red Wings are taking on some of the former Aeroflot IL-96s for their own operations.

Cubana uses the type on some domestic schedules, and also to places like Buenos Aires, Madrid and Paris Orly from its Havana base. It will take one ex-Aeroflot aircraft.

Red Wings is planning to use the aircraft on flights from Moscow to Simferopol in Crimea. It will take three ex-Aeroflot aircraft. I think it’ll look fantastic in their colours!

 

UTair backs Moscow Yermolino Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Miscellaneous Spotting, Russia | Posted on 09-07-2014

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Yermolino Airport

UTair has signed an agreement with the regional government to develop Yermolino Aerodrome into another international airport for Moscow and the surrounding area.

The facility is currently under utilised and lacking any significant infrastructure. However, given investment which would adapt it into a fully fledged airport, UTair says it will introduce up to 20 based Airbus A321 aircraft and a significant network of routes.

Yermolino Airport Map

Yermolino is around 90 miles to the south west of Moscow and has fairly good road links.

The regional government would provide support in attracting investors for the project, whilst additional funding would also be provided by the Ministry for Internal Affairs.

Construction is expected to start later in 2014, with the airport opening for airline flights in time for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is to be held in Russia. A throughput of 6.5 million passengers would be expected by 2020.

The airport would not be limited to UTair flights, with other airlines being invited to begin services to Yermolino.

 

Transaero to operate Boeing 747 on domestic routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Russia | Posted on 04-06-2014

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Transaero Boeing 747-400

Transaero Airlines will begin flights from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Vladivostok and Khabarovsk using Boeing 747-400 aircraft. This move is aimed at meeting the increasing demand during the summer season 2014.

Flights began to Vladivostok on 21 May, with other routes coming online in June and July.

Transaero is the only operator of passenger Boeing 747-400 aircraft in Eastern Europe, the CIS and Russia. These aircraft operate flights on the most popular leisure and scheduled routes from Moscow to numerous destinations in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. In summer season 2014, Boeing 747-400 aircraft will operate from Saint Petersburg to Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Turkey.

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

 

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.

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.

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.

UT Air to retire TU-154s by end of 2013

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Russia, Spotting News | Posted on 02-09-2013

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UT Air TU154Following from its recent aircraft orders, UT Air has now announced that it intends to retire its Tupolev TU-154 fleet by the end of 2013.

The airline recently retired the TU-134 from mainline service, and now the larger aircraft will disappear in favour of western and newer Russian types.

Last chance to fly
To find out where you can still fly the TU-154, and many other rare and historic airliners, check out our ebook ‘Last Chance to Fly’ at this link.

UT Air signs agreements for Russian-made aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Miscellaneous Spotting, Russia | Posted on 28-08-2013

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Superjet100-1711UT Air has signed two lease agreements with VEB-leasing to bring a number of new Russian-made regional jets to its fleet.

One of the agreements is to finance six of the Sukhoi SSJ100 LR aircraft ordered by the carrier. The delivery of the single-class cabin aircraft seating 103 passengers will begin in 2014.

MS-21-Model-1821The second agreement is to lease ten of the UAC made MS-21-300 aircraft which are still in development, with aircraft delivery starting in 2018 and to be completed in 2020. The Irkut Corporation will also provide services for placing aircraft into service.

These announcements were made at the International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS-2013 at Zhukovsky.