Finnair flying the A350 to Europe on familiarisation flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Frankfurt, Germany, Heathrow, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spain, Spotting News, Sweden, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 09-04-2015


A350XWB Finnair

Finnair is due to be the third airline customer of the Airbus A350XWB in September, after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines.

The airline has announced that it will fly the new aircraft between Helsinki and a variety of European destinations on crew familiarisation flights before it begins service on Finnair’s long-haul network.

In addition it will also fly the A350 domestically from Helsinki to Oulu and Rovaniemi as part of the familiarisation schedule.

European destinations include Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London Heathrow, Malaga, Paris CDG, Stockholm Arlanda and Vienna.

At the time of writing the following schedule is planned:

Helsinki–Rovaniemi 05-Oct-15 AY421
Rovaniemi–Helsinki 05-Oct-15 AY428
Helsinki–Oulu 05-Oct-15 AY2369
Oulu–Helsinki 05-Oct-15 AY2370
Helsinki–London 06-Oct-15 AY831
London–Helsinki 06-Oct-15 AY840
Helsinki–Frankfurt 07-Oct-15 AY821
Frankfurt–Helsinki 07-Oct-15 AY822
Helsinki–Stockholm (Arlanda) 07-Oct-15 AY645
Stockholm (Arlanda)–Helsinki 07-Oct-15 AY650
Helsinki–Paris 08-Oct-15 AY871
Paris–Helsinki 08-Oct-15 AY890
Helsinki–Copenhagen 08-Oct-15 AY667
Copenhagen–Helsinki 08-Oct-15 AY668
Helsinki–Amsterdam 09-Oct-15 AY841
Amsterdam–Helsinki 09-Oct-15 AY842
Helsinki–Oslo 09-Oct-15 AY659
Oslo–Helsinki 09-Oct-15 AY658
Helsinki–Barcelona 10-Oct-15 AY3271
Barcelona–Helsinki 10-Oct-15 AY3270
Helsinki–Málaga 10-Oct-15 AY735
Málaga–Helsinki 11-Oct-15 AY736
Helsinki–Hamburg 11-Oct-15 AY851
Hamburg–Helsinki 11-Oct-15 AY852
Helsinki–Barcelona 11-Oct-15 AY3269
Barcelona–Helsinki 11-Oct-15 AY3272
Helsinki–Brussels 12-Oct-15 AY811
Brussels–Helsinki 12-Oct-15 AY812
Helsinki–Málaga 12-Oct-15 AY735
Málaga–Helsinki 13-Oct-15 AY736
Helsinki–Berlin 13-Oct-15 AY911
Berlin–Helsinki 13-Oct-15 AY912
Helsinki–Gothenburg 13-Oct-15 AY677
Gothenburg–Helsinki 13-Oct-15 AY674
Helsinki–Düsseldorf 14-Oct-15 AY703
Düsseldorf–Helsinki 14-Oct-15 AY704
Helsinki–Vienna 14-Oct-15 AY767
Vienna–Helsinki 14-Oct-15 AY768
Helsinki–Munich 15-Oct-15 AY803
Munich–Helsinki 15-Oct-15 AY804
Helsinki–London 15-Oct-15 AY995
London–Helsinki 15-Oct-15 AY996
Helsinki–Brussels 16-Oct-15 AY811
Brussels–Helsinki 16-Oct-15 AY812
Helsinki–London 16-Oct-15 AY995
London–Helsinki 16-Oct-15 AY996
Helsinki–Barcelona 17-Oct-15 AY3271
Barcelona–Helsinki 17-Oct-15 AY3270
Helsinki–Málaga 17-Oct-15 AY735
Málaga–Helsinki 18-Oct-15 AY736
Helsinki–Copenhagen 18-Oct-15 AY661
Copenhagen–Helsinki 18-Oct-15 AY666
Helsinki–Barcelona 18-Oct-15 AY3269
Barcelona–Helsinki 18-Oct-15 AY3272

Flights are on sale now from the Finnair website’s A350 page:



Remember to check out our Airbus A350 Routes Page for details of Finnair’s long-haul destinations, and routes by other A350 airlines.

5 Must-Visit Aviation Events for 2014

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Austria, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Spotting News, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 24-01-2014


Farnborough Air ShowHere are five aviation events not to miss in 2014. Which will you be going to?


1. DC-10 Final Flight, Birmingham UK
22-24 February

The Douglas DC-10 will make its final passenger flights on a series of enthusiast trips from Birmingham Airport in the UK. There are no other airlines operating passenger variant DC-10s, so this is your last chance to fly!

Website: Biman Airlines

2. DC-3 Meet & Fly-In, Salzburg
3-7 July

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Austrian DC-3 Dakota Club, an event is being held over a few days at Salzburg Airport which will see seven DC-3s, a Li-2, and a DC-6 attend. Guests will be permitted to look around the aircraft and attend events, as well as make pleasure trips in some of the aircraft. Some 5,000 people are expected to attend.


3. Farnborough Air Show
19-20 July

Always great for the airline orders and demonstrations of new aircraft, both military and civil. Farnborough is also a great day out for the general public, with hours of flying displays and lots to see on the ground. This year the show will focus on 100 years of aviation, to coincide with the anniversary of WWI.


4. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
26 July – 3 August

For a week, Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI, is turned into the busiest airport in the world. Thousands of aircraft fly in to the event every year, creating the greatest air show on earth. There are also spectacular flying displays, and so much to see on the ground (suppliers, talks, static aircraft, entertainment) that you’d be hard pushed to get through it all in a week!


5. NBAA, Orlando
21 – 23 October

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) descends on Orlando Executive Airport for three days, along with hundreds of biz jets. It is always an interesting trip for the spotter hoping to make a lot of new biz jet tail numbers in a short space of time.


Which other events would you recommend for 2014? Which ones will you be attending?

Adria Airways setting up non-Slovenian bases

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Eastern Europe, Italy, Kosovo, Slovenia, Switzerland, Western Europe | Posted on 14-10-2013


Adria CRJSlovenian national carrier Adria Airways is looking to set up a number of hubs or focus cities at airports outside of its home country.

The airline has already based a CRJ900 aircraft at Pristina Airport in Kosovo, and is now looking to set up similar operations at Tirana in Albania, Verona in Italy, and Klagenfurt in Austria.

All of these airports are within close proximity of Slovenia.

The newly-announced Verona hub will allow Adria to take up routes dropped recently by Air Dolomiti, and it intends to connect the city to its fellow Star Alliance partner hubs at Brussels, Vienna and Zurich. Flights will start in 2014.

Klagenfurt is still being evaluated as a possible base for 2014.

Transaero receives second cargo TU-204 aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 07-06-2013


Tu_204-100c_2_Oleg_BotovTransaero Airlines continues to expand its cargo fleet with the addition of a second Tupolev TU-204-100C aircraft.

The TU-204-100C, tail number RA64051, was delivered to the airline upon the completion of the technical acceptance procedure at Ulyanovsk’s Aviastar-SP manufacturing company.

The first TU-204-100C cargo aircraft was delivered to the airline in April 2013.

Transaero has chosen the TU-204-100C aircraft with a view to enhancing its cargo transport operations. The acquisition of the freighter cements the airline’s commitment to supporting the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry.

The airline plans to operate the aircraft on domestic as well as international routes. Olga Pleshakova, General Director Transaero Airlines, said: “We plan to operate this cargo aircraft on the routes to Vienna and London as well as to other European destinations”.

airberlin’s first A320 with sharklets

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Austria, Germany, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 27-03-2013


© Airbus S.A.S 2013 Photo by C. BrinkmannA number of airlines have taken delivery of new Airbus A320s in the past couple of weeks with sharklet wingtips fitted, including Lufthansa, Monarch, and Vueling. Today, airberlin took delivery of their first example.

OE-LER is painted in the colours of airberlin’s Niki brand, and will fly from Austria.

Sharklets are newly designed wing-tip devices, measuring 2,4 metres and replacing the A320’s current wing tip fence. They improve the aircraft’s aerodynamics and significantly cut the airline’s fuel burn and emissions by up to four per cent.

LOT Polish 787 flights in Europe

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Eastern Europe, Frankfurt, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia and CIS, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 20-09-2012


LOT 787LOT Polish Airlines has announced a series of intra-European flights on their new Boeing 787 aircraft to aid in crew familiarity.

The first aircraft is due for delivery in November, making LOT the first European airline to take on the Dreamliner.

The European flights are bookable now, and include:

Warsaw – Brussels, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th January 2013
Warsaw – Budapest, 11th-14th January 2013
Warsaw – Frankfurt, 3rd-6th,  9th, 10th January 2013
Warsaw – Hanover, 23rd December 2012 & 4th January 2013
Warsaw – Kiev, 17th, 20th, 27th December 2012
Warsaw – London Heathrow, 22nd, 29th, 31st December 2012, 1st-2nd January 2013.
Warsaw – Munich, 14th-16th, 18th, 19th, 28th December 2012
Warsaw – Prague, 14th-16th, 18th-20th, 28th December 2012 & 2nd, 11th-14th January 2013.
Warsaw – Vienna, 17th, 21st-24th, 27th, 29th, 30th December 2012 & 13th January

If you manage to get on one of these flights, I’d love you to send in a report!


Vienna Airport Tours

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Austria, Western Europe | Posted on 02-07-2008


An alternative way to see the action at Vienna airport is to take an airside tour. This covers most parts of the airfield and gives you an opportunity to log (quickly!) what’s in and take some photos.

The tours are offered Monday-Saturday (including holidays) from 09:00-17:00.
There are no tours on Sundays.
The tour is about an hour long. Price for adults: EUR 7.

The tours start at the new Visitair center which is located northwest of the terminal, adjacent to the parking lot 4.