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.

 

Thai Airways – A300 retires and 787 arrives

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Spotting News, Thailand | Posted on 01-08-2014

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It’s been an important couple of weeks for Thai Airways’ fleet.

First of all, on 18th July their first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner arrived. Royally bestowed the name “ONGKHARAK”, with aircraft registration No. HS-TQA, it flew non-stop from Everett to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport.

Thai 787

This first 787-8 aircraft operated its first commercial flight on 25th July 2014 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. With the delivery of the second 787-8 aircraft, THAI will operate to and from Bangkok to Perth, Australia and Bangkok to Haneda, Japan sometime in September (see our 787 Routes Page).  THAI expects delivery of its third 787-8 in October and operate Bangkok-Narita, Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok-Hanoi routes.  The fourth 787-8 aircraft delivery is planned for December 2014 and will operate the Bangkok-Nagoya route.  The remaining two 787-8 Dreamliner deliveries are expected in the middle of 2015.

Meanwhile, Thai has this week retired its Airbus A300-600R fleet after many years’ service with the airline.

The final three aircraft, HS-TAT, HS-TAX and HS-TAZ performed the final flights on 31st July and bowed out under water-cannon salute.

Thai A300 Retirement

Thai A300

Monarch close to 737 MAX order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, Spotting News, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 14-07-2014

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Monarch 737 MAX

Monarch Airlines is close to finalising a deal with Boeing to order 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft as part of its fleet upgrade.

Although it operates a couple of 757-200s, and in the past operated 737-300s, Monarch has been primarily an Airbus operator over recent years. It has a fleet of A320s and A321s, and recently retired its A300-600s. So this move is an interesting development for the UK holiday carrier.

The order is valued at $3.1 billion at current list prices.

“Today’s announcement is an important milestone in an exhaustive three year evaluation process, and a key part of The Monarch Group’s transformation and renewal,” said Iain Rawlinson, Executive Chairman, The Monarch Group. “Boeing truly understood our business and put together a complete package that fits extremely well with our ambitions for the Group.”

“We are delighted that Monarch intends to structure its future fleet around the 737 MAX,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Ray Conner. “We look forward to finalizing the order and can’t wait to see the Monarch livery on 737s once again. Today is a proud moment for everyone at Boeing, as we welcome back a prestigious U.K. operator. We are confident that the 737 MAX will play a significant role in Monarch’s continued success.”

Airbus announces A330neo

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News | Posted on 14-07-2014

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A330-900neo

Airbus has announced the anticipated A330neo (new engine option) variant of its popular twin-engined, widebody airliner at the Farnborough Air Show.

The European manufacturer is showing off its new A350XWB at the event, but has chosen the moment to also build on the popularity of its existing model with this announcement.

The A330-800neo and -900neo will offer greater fuel savings (around 14%), quieter engines (the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000) with larger fan blades, as well as more seats and improved cabin features. Much of the construction will be of composite material, based on the A350XWB.

A330neo cabin

As well as having operational commonality with other members of the Airbus Family – including the same pilot type rating as the A330, common type rating with the A350 XWB and the same “Code-E” gate category as the A330-200 and -300 – the NEO will also retain 95% airframe spares commonality with A330 and inherit its marketing-leading reliability.

The first deliveries of the newest A330 members are scheduled to start in Q4 2017.

Boeing 727 services return to Europe!

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Azerbaijan, Eastern Europe, Spotting News, Switzerland, Western Europe | Posted on 28-06-2014

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Photo (c) Babak T

Photo (c) Babak Taghvaee

A new Boeing 727 scheduled service is to begin in Europe, a number of years since the last was seen.

The route is to be flown by Azerbaijan Airlines, and will link Baku with Geneva, flying twice weekly (Friday and Sunday) using a specially configured aircraft with executive interior. It will seat 65 passengers in a First and Business Class layout.

The route will begin on 11th July, and it is expected that the aircraft used on the service will be 4K-8888, a 727-251 originally operated by Northwest Airlines, and now in a striking livery with immaculate interior.

Flights will be operated with the schedule as follows:

Baku – Geneva, departure 7:55am arrival 9:55am
Geneva – Baku, departure 11:15am arrival 6:55pm

But it will come at a cost. Premium fares will be charged to the mainly business clientèle using the service. Let’s hope it lasts a long time!