Spirit Airlines new livery

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 18-09-2014

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Spirit Airlines Yellow

Spirit Airlines has followed Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines in unveiling a new livery.

Spirit’s is probably the most extreme, looking more like a New York taxi than a plane. It reminds me of the old HLX.de scheme, and the Ryanair Hertz 737-200 in the 1990s.

The first aircraft to feature the new colours is Airbus A319 N534NK. Here’s a video of it being painted:

 

KLM MD-11 retirement flights announced

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Miscellaneous Spotting, Netherlands, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 15-09-2014

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KLM MD-11

KLM has announced a group of farewell flights for enthusiasts on its McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft.

The airline is the last to operate the tri-holer on passenger flights and will retire it by the end of the year. The fleet has been slowly reduced over the past year, with aircraft being sent to desert storage locations for part-out.

Many enthusiasts have been calling on the airline to offer a farewell flight as a way of saying goodbye to the MD-11; for many it will be the last chance to get a flight on board it.

KLM will fly three one-hour enthusiast flights from Amsterdam Schiphol on 11 November 2014, with all passengers receiving a commemorative book as part of their ticket cost.

Tickets go on sale from 16 September, at 11:11am, priced at 111 Euros. EDIT: You can buy tickets now from this link: https://md11farewellflight.klm.com/en_us/

 

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!

 

Ryanair pushes the 737MAX as 200 launch customer

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Spotting News, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 08-09-2014

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Ryanair 737-MAX 8 200

Boeing’s new 737 MAX family of aircraft launched an extra variant today with the announcement that Ryanair would become the launch customer for the 200 model.

This is essentially a 737 MAX 8 with 200 seats.

Ryanair has placed an initial order for 100 examples, which will replace its older 737-800s and allow further expansion of its widespread route network. In addition to the commitment, valued at $11 billion at current list prices, Ryanair has options to purchase another 100 737 MAX 200s.

“Ryanair is proud and honored to become the lead operator of Boeing’s ‘gamechanger’ 737 MAX 200, which will expand our fleet to 520 aircraft by 2024 and create another 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers in Europe, while allowing us to grow traffic from 82 million last year to over 150 million annually by 2024,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

“These new “gamechanger” aircraft will allow Ryanair to lower our costs and airfares, while improving our customer experience with more leg room and the Boeing Sky Interior, as we roll out new offers, particularly for our Business Plus and Family Extra customers. As many of Europe’s flag carriers cut capacity on short haul routes, Ryanair looks forward to using these new Boeing 737 MAX 200s to grow at many more of Europe’s primary airports,” said O’Leary

Boeing developed the 737 MAX 200 in response to the needs of the fast growing low-cost sector, which is forecasted to account for 35 percent of single-aisle airline capacity by 2033. While the heart of the single-aisle market will remain at 160 seats, the 737 MAX 200 will provide carriers like Ryanair with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8, driving economic growth and increasing access to air travel.

 

Xiamen Airlines’ first 787 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 01-09-2014

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787-8 XIA #201-ZA680

Hot on the heels of the first Boeing 787 delivery to Royal Jordanian, the Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines has also received its first Dreamliner.

B-2768 was delivered from Everett Paine Field on 29th August. With this, Xiamen Airlines becomes the third Chinese airline to operate the 787. The airline will use the 787 on long-haul routes from its Fujian province base to Europe, North America and Australia.

As part of Xiamen Airlines’ 12th five-year plan ending 2015, the carrier plans to grow its fleet to 150 airplanes, including six 787s. The 787 is the most advanced airplane in commercial aviation and will help Xiamen Airlines develop more point-to-point routes globally, while also establishing the airline as an emerging force in the commercial aviation market.

From our Boeing 787 Routes page, Xiamen Airlines plans to initially operate their 787s on the following routes:

Xiamen – Amsterdam Schiphol
Xiamen – New York
Xiamen – Paris Charles de Gaulle
Xiamen – Sydney
Xiamen – Vancouver

Royal Jordanian’s first 787 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Jordan, Middle East, North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 30-08-2014

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Royal Jordanian 787

Royal Jordanian has become the second Middle East airline to take delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, after Qatar Airways.

JY-BAA was delivered directly from Boeing’s facility at Everett Paine Field to Amman International Airport in Jordan on 27th August.

“The Middle East is one of the world’s highest growth areas for commercial aviation and we are proud that Royal Jordanian has selected the 787 to spearhead its fleet modernization strategy and route expansion plans,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We look forward to further strengthening our partnership with Royal Jordanian well into the future.”

This aircraft is leased from AerCap, and is the first of 11 Dreamliners that Royal Jordanian has on order.

According to our Boeing 787 Routes Page, the initial routes planned for the airline’s 787s are:

Amman – Abu Dhabi – September 2014
Amman – Bangkok – Hong Kong – October 2014
Amman – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – October 2014
Amman – Jeddah – September 2014
Amman – Kuwait City – October 2014
Amman – London Heathrow – September 2014

Bristol Airport Aviation Fair planned for September

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 25-08-2014

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The Bristol Airport Spotting site has been in touch to let us know about an Aviation Fair that will be taking place at Bristol Airport on Sunday 21st September 2014.

When is the event taking place?

The event is being held on Sunday 21st September 2014 between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

Where is the event taking place?

The event is being held in the Bristol Room within the administration building at the airport, this is the first building on the left when you enter the airport site.

Will car parking be available?

Yes free car parking will be available in front of the admin building, the barrier will be removed for the day so there will be no restrictions on cars and duration at the event. Car parking is clearly signposted.

How do I find the admin building?

All visitors to the event should enter the Bristol Airport site from the main roundabout on the A38, then take the first left at the next mini roundabout and then head into the car park which will be in front of you, at this point the admin building is on your right hand side, you will see the entrance clearly marked. Us the map below to help you, follow the black arrows below to enter the car park marked in red, the admin building is marked in green.

How much is the event?

The event is free for children and £1.00 for adults, all money raised is being donated to the airport charity of the year which this year is Macmillan Cancer Support.

What can I see and do?

The Bristol Room has great views across the apron and will provide views of aircraft taking off, landing and taxiing past the window, exhibitors from Bristol Airport Police, Bristol Aero Collection, Bristol Airport Spotting and T7 Models will be available to view and purchase items from. A display from local model club IPMS Avon will also be on display. Refreshments will be available to purchase from the new cafe, choose from tea and coffee, sandwiches, crisps and bacon rolls. No food is to be taken into the Bristol Room.

How do I show my support for this event?

If you are coming along to the event please Join the Facebook event below so we have a rough idea of numbers – https://www.facebook.com/events/526622907439662/ or if you arent on Facebook just turn up on the day, bring a friend, family or colleagues. If you would like to advertise the event on your website you can download the event poster below.

aviation-fair-poster

Frankfurt Terminal 2 terrace temporary closure

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, Frankfurt, Germany, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 06-08-2014

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Frankfurt Terminal 2 Terrace

(c) Frankfurt Airport

Frankfurt Airport’s main viewing terrace, in Terminal 2, is to close temporarily whilst construction works take place in the building.

The outdoor terrace overlooks the eastern end of the airport, and is the main viewing area following the closure of the classic Terminal 1 terraces a while ago.

The works will take place from September, and will last until 2015. This includes the food court area, which was an alternative spotting location at the airport when the terrace was closed (or the weather was bad!).

Frankfurt Airport promises “We will celebrate its reopening in a big way in spring 2015.”   Watch this space – I’ll let you know what is happening when I hear about it.

Mojave Plane Crazy Days 16 August

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 06-08-2014

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This was news to me, so I thought I’d report it. Mojave Air and Space Port in California is hosting regular ‘Plane Crazy’ days where visitors get to enjoy talks by guest speakers, and displays by pilots and unusual aircraft.

Mojave Plane Crazy August

Mojave is well known as one of the desert storage airports in the western United States, and in recent years as a developing centre for space travel and testing.

The next Plane Crazy Saturday will be held on 16th August and will include the following:

  • Stargazer Lockheed L1011 on display
  • Joseph Weichmann speaking on ‘California and the Commercial Spaceflight Industry’
  • Local pilots displaying unique and one-of-a-kind aircraft

The Voyager Restaurant and other local businesses will also be open. It seems that visitors will also get access to the flightline to see aircraft close up, so this is a great opportunity to take along a camera!

 

Find out more at this link.

New Calgary Airport spotting hotel being built

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Canada, North America, Spotting Hotels, Spotting News | Posted on 04-08-2014

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Delta Hotel Calgary

A new four star hotel is being constructed at Calgary International Airport which promises excellent views of the action.

The 318-bedroom Delta Hotel is close to completion and is linked directly to the airport’s terminal. Rooms will face either the aircraft ramp or the curbside – no prizes for guessing which you readers will be interested in!

The hotel was conceived by the airport as an extra source of revenue, and a part of its $1.4 billion terminal expansion. However, it will be operated by Delta Hotels and Resorts. It is the first such example for Delta, who operate 41 other hotel properties.

Calgary Airport recently opened a second runway. It handled just over 14 million passengers in 2013, with Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet as the principal operators.

Calgary Terminal Expansion

The new Calgary Airport Hotel will open in conjunction with the new terminal development in 2015.