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.

Etihad Cargo round-the-world with 747-8

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Middle East, Netherlands, North America, South America, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 30-05-2013

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Etihad Cargo 747-8Etihad Cargo is to commence a round-the-world route taking in new destinations, and using a Boeing 747-8 freighter.

The aircraft will be leased from Atlas Air under an Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance (ACMI) agreement, and it will be painted in the colours of Etihad Cargo.

The round-the-world route will originate in Abu Dhabi and see stops in Hong Kong, Chicago, Miami, Viracopos (Brazil), Quito, and Amsterdam, before returning to its point of origin.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said, “Etihad Cargo is reinforcing its position as a global operator with the entry into service of this round-the-world routing, touching the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe.

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter is the largest in Etihad Cargo’s current freighter fleet.  The airline also operates three Boeing B777F, one Boeing 747-400ERF, one Boeing 747-400F and two Airbus A330-200F.

Skywest orders up to 200 Embraer jets

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Brazil, North America, South America, USA | Posted on 22-05-2013

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Skywest Embraer 175Skywest Airlines has signed a deal with Embraer to order 40 E-175 jets. These will be operated on behalf of United Airlines.

The deal also includes another 60 firm orders which are reconfirmable, and subject to Skywest being awarded Capacity Purchase Agreements (CPA) to operate them on behalf of other US airlines.

Skywest has also taken options on another 100 E-175s, taking the total potential order to 200.

If all 100 firm orders are exercised, the order has an estimated value of USD 4.1 billion at current list prices, representing one of the most significant orders in each company’s histories. SkyWest plans to configure the E175s in a dual-class 76-seat layout, with the delivery of the first aircraft scheduled for the second quarter of 2014.

“This is truly a milestone order for Embraer. As our largest Brasilia and ERJ operator, SkyWest has now selected the enhanced E-Jet for their fleet, validating their confidence in Embraer and recognizing the tremendous capabilities of the E175 as the best aircraft in its class,” said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “I’m confident the technologically advanced E175 will become the company’s flagship, bringing greater efficiency to their operations and a higher standard of comfort to their customers.”

Ethiopian Dreamliners to Brazil

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Brazil, Ethiopia, South America | Posted on 18-05-2013

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Ethiopian 787 (c) Konstantin von WedelstaedtEthiopian Airlines will commence Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Brazil from July.

The fairly complex service will route Addis Ababa – Lome – Rio de Janeiro – Sao Paulo

This will be the first Dreamliner service to Brazil, and operates 3x weekly from 1st July.

Best airports to see active Boeing 727s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, North America, Saudi Arabia, South America, Thailand, USA | Posted on 15-02-2013

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Fedex 727-233The Boeing 727 is becoming quite a rare aircraft to see in action these days. Thankfully there are still a number stored and preserved around the world.

Most of the active examples are flown in cargo configuration, with only a few examples still flying passengers (see my Last Chance to Fly ebook for a list of airlines still flying 727s and other rare airliners).

So where can you catch Boeing 727s in action? Here’s a list of some of the airports which have a number of 727s based or visiting regularly.

USA
Memphis, TN – The main super hub for FedEx Express, which is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 727 aircraft. All of its -100 models are gone, but around 40 -200s are still flying and can be seen overnight at Memphis.

Detroit Willow Run, MI – Primarily a cargo airport, Willow Run is home to Kalitta Charters and its fleet of 727-200s.

Florida – A number of 727s operate out of Opa Locka in Florida, including a private example, and also out of Orlando International and Miami International airports.

Colombia
Bogota – One of the world’s busiest airports for Boeing 727 flights. Local cargo operators AeroSucre and Lineas Aereas Suramericanas operate a mixed fleet of -100s and -200s from the airport every day.

Lineas Aereas Suramericanas 727s

Brazil
Airlines such as Rio Linhas Aereas and Total Linhas Aereas operate a number of Boeing 727-200 cargo aircraft from airports throughout the country, with bases in Belo Horizonte, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro.

 

Kuala Lumpur Subang
Formerly the main airport at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Subang is now a secondary airport used for cargo flights and aircraft receiving maintenance. It is also home to Transmile Air Services. Its fleet of Boeing 727-200 freighters can be seen every day, and photographed from a number of locations around the airport.

 

Tehran Mehrabad
The domestic airport in Iran is where you can catch the last passenger Boeing 727-200s on a daily basis, with both Iran Air and Iran Aseman Airlines operating the type for the time being. These operated to destinations such as Mashad, Kish Island, and Dubai.

Iran Aseman 727

Canada
One of the best places to catch Boeing 727s in action, the airlines Cargojet Airways, and Purolator operate throughout Canada. Their main bases, and thus the best places to catch their 727s, are Hamilton, ON, and Kelowna, BC respectively.

Mexico City
Mexico’s Police and Government both operate a number of Boeing 727-200s on official duties from the country’s main airport. Their flights are irregular, but not uncommon.

Saudi Arabia
Boeing 727-100s and -200s still operate in Saudi Arabia, with private and government examples, plus those operated for DHL out of Jeddah and Riyadh. Spotting is not easy in Saudi Arabia, however.

There are many more airports that both receive aircraft from the airlines listed above, and have their own based examples. Some that spring to mind at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Lasham and Southend in the UK, and Cochabamba in Bolivia, where passenger examples still flew until recently.

The chance to photograph a Boeing 727 is quite rare now, so why not post the pictures you’ve managed to take recently for us all to enjoy? And why not comment below if you’ve seen a 727 recently, telling us where you saw it.

Brazil proposes building 800 new airports

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Brazil, South America, Spotting News | Posted on 21-12-2012

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TAM 777I admit, I had to do a double-take when I first read this headline. Brazil’s President, Dilma Rousseff, has announced that she wants to build 800 new airports in the country to tackle its economic slowdown.

However, after looking a little further into the reasoning, it might not be such a crazy idea after all.

The plan is to build an airport within 40 miles of every town and city of 100,000 or more inhabitants. When you think that Brazil has a population of 194 million, and is 17 times bigger than Spain, it starts to make sense.

Brazil’s economy was once booming, but has started to slow. It is also going to be an important few years for the country, as it approaches the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Many of the existing airports in Brazil, such as Sao Paulo Guarulhos, are bursting at the seams and need further capacity. Air transport in the country has grown 120% in the past ten years, and the number of people coming out of poverty has been 30 million in the same period.

It is therefore clear that the infrastructure needs to be improved and expanded. So we’re going to have a lot more places to visit in the future for spotting endeavours!

GOL orders 60 737MAX aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Brazil, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 02-10-2012

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Gol B737-800 CuritibaIn South America’s biggest single aircraft order ever (at list prices), GOL Linhas Aereas has announced its intention to purchase 60 Boeing 737MAX.

At list prices, Boeing says the order is worth $6bn, though airlines routinely negotiate discounts for larger orders.

GOL’s CEO, Paulo Kakinoff, stated: ”The decision to order Boeing 737 MAX is in line with our commitment to maintaining a modern and safe fleet that will allow us to sustain our competitive advantage in the long term.”

Photo from Wikipedia