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.

Arik Air coming to Dubai

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Dubai, Middle East, Nigeria | Posted on 05-06-2014

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Arik Air

Nigeria’s Arik Air will commence flights to Dubai from 28 July using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Outbound flights will depart from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), Lagos at 1905 (local time) arriving at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2020 (local time). The flight will then continue on to Dubai, departing Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2150 (local time) finally arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai Terminal 1 at 0720 (local time).

The inbound flight will depart Dubai at 1030 (local time) and arrives in Abuja at 1430 (local time). The flight continues on to Lagos, leaving Abuja at 1600 (local time) and arriving in Lagos at 1715 (local time).

Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Arik Air’s Global Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“This is another exciting moment for us all at Arik Air, not only launching a new international destination, but becoming the first airline to link the capital Abuja to Dubai. The importance of Dubai as the Middle East’s commercial capital makes it imperative for Arik Air to connect the city with Lagos which is a Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Etihad creates ‘The Residence’ aboard A380s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Dubai, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 06-05-2014

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THE_RESIDENCE_BEDROOM_HORIZONTAL

Etihad Airways is due to take delivery of its first Airbus A380 at the end of 2014.

In a first for the aviation industry, the airline has created a unique concept on board these aircraft call The Residence.

The Residence will feature a living room, double bedroom, separate ensuite shower room, and for the first time in the airline industry, a dedicated, trained Butler. Designed for up to two guests travelling together, it has been created by leading interior designers and hospitality experts who understand the discernment and sophistication expected by the private traveler. Measuring an unparalleled 125 square feet in total area, The Residence will be located on the forward upper deck of the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A380s and will be available for single or double occupancy.

Etihad A380 Residence

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The Residence will set Etihad Airways apart from the rest of the industry and allow us to provide the complete range of world-class products and services to cater for the individual tastes of every VIP traveller.

“This is the culmination of five years of intensive effort and research into how Etihad Airways can provide an unparalleled VIP experience. Without doubt, we are ushering in a new era of luxury travel in commercial aviation.”

Here’s a video of the Residence:

I’m looking forward to seeing these aircraft in the skies and reading trip reports from people using The Residence. It sounds incredible.

TAAG Angola aims to develop Luanda into large hub

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Airport News, Belgium, Brazil, China, Dubai, France, Heathrow, Italy, Middle East, Portugal, South America, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 01-04-2014

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TAAG_777-3M2ERTAAG Angola Airlines is planning to turn its Luanda Airport base into a hub to link Central Africa with worldwide destinations in association with Emirates Airline.

TAAG is currently on the EU banned airline list, but it is hoped it will emerge soon and begin expanding its connections to Europe, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Paris CDG, and Rome Fiumicino.

Luanda will also be linked through Dubai via Emirates, who will also take on TAAG’s links to Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo.

A new airport is being built at Luanda which will be able to handle this increased traffic, and match modern standards expected at airports.

Dubai runway closure leads to reduced frequencies and aircraft grounding

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 07-03-2014

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Dubai Airport © Dubai AirportsDubai International Airport will close one of its two runways on 1st May for heavy maintenance and resurfacing work to take place.

The closure will last for 80 days, and will mean the airport’s carriers – in particular based airline Emirates – will have to reduce frequencies and make other changes in order to cope with the restrictions in place.

Emirates has also confirmed that it will ground 20 aircraft during the period, including all of its Airbus A340-500s, some A330-200s, and some Boeing 777s.

The airline recently relocated its dedicated freight operations to the new Dubai World Central Airport.

A380 ban lifted in India

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Asia, Dubai, Germany, India, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, Singapore, Western Europe | Posted on 28-01-2014

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Filton A380In a move that is likely to see airlines such as Emirates and Singapore Airlines reviewing their operations to India, the government there has agreed to lift a ban on Airbus A380 flights to the country.

The ban was put in place to protect national carrier Air India from predatory carriers stealing passengers and market share to the country. It was also in part because of a lack of infrastructure to handle the huge superjumbo.

Now, however, A380s will be allowed to fly to the country’s four biggest airports: Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

Both Emirates and Singapore Airlines have now said they will review their operations to India with a view to introducing A380 services. Lufthansa, which currently operates Boeing 747-8s to India said it would also not rule out the possibility of flying its A380s to the country.

 

Emirates A380 to start on Gatwick route

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 30-12-2013

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Emirates A380Emirates will upgrade one of its three daily flights from Dubai to London Gatwick airport to use Airbus A380 equipment.

The change will take effect from 30th March 2014.

Gatwick’s other two daily services will continue to be served by Boeing 777-300 equipment.

New Abu Dhabi Airport Premier Inn hotel offers spotting views

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, Spotting Hotels, Spotting News | Posted on 18-12-2013

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Premier Inn Abu DhabiA new Premier Inn hotel has opened at Abu Dhabi Airport and promises views of aircraft movements from both rooms and the rooftop terrace.

The new hotel is linked to Terminals 1 and 3 at the airport by the Skypark retail corridor.

Although I haven’t stayed there yet, the hotel confirms that some rooms have views of aircraft movements, and can be reserved if you leave a note with your booking or call ahead of your stay.

The hotel also boasts a rooftop terrace with pool and loungers. This also offers spectacular views all around, and over the airport (similar to the Sheraton Deira in Dubai).

Premier Inn AUHAs always, discretion is advised when using binoculars, poles and cameras around airports in the UAE as police can be less tolerant of this. Make sure you check it is ok with hotel staff when using the rooftop terrace.

The link for the hotel is here: http://global.premierinn.com/gcc/en/hotel/UKPAD2/abu-dhabi-international-airport

If you have stayed there, why not comment below with your findings or details of the best rooms with views!

Cathay Pacific Cargo switching to Dubai World Central

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Dubai, Hong Kong, Middle East | Posted on 16-12-2013

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Cathay Pacific CargoFrom 1st February 2014 Cathay Pacific will move its Cargo operations from Dubai International Airport to Dubai World Central (Al Maktoum) Airport.

The airline’s passenger flights will remain at the existing airport, however.

Boeing 777X officially launches with Dubai orders

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airline News, Dubai, Germany, Middle East, North America, Qatar, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 18-11-2013

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Boeing 777-8X & 777-9XBoeing has officially launched its new 777X aircraft having now received numerous orders for the type at the Dubai Air Show.

Orders for the 777X now stands at 259 examples. New orders in Dubai have come from Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, and Qatar Airways.

Representing the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by dollar value, 777X orders and commitments include Lufthansa with 34 airplanes; Etihad Airways with 25; Qatar Airways with 50 and Emirates with 150 airplanes. The combined value of the agreements is more than $95 billion at list prices.

“We are proud to partner with each of these esteemed airlines to launch the 777X – the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jetliner in the world,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner. “Its ground-breaking engine technologies and all-new composite wing will deliver unsurpassed value and growth potential to our customers.”

The 777X builds on the passenger-preferred and market-leading 777, which today commands 55 percent of market share in its category in terms of backlog, and 71 percent of the in-service fleet worldwide. The 777X family includes the 777-8X and the 777-9X, both designed to respond to market needs and customer preferences.