CityJet Rebranded

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, Western Europe | Posted on 14-09-2015


Irish regional airline CityJet has unveiled its new branding and colour scheme as it transitions its business for future expansion.

Avro RJ85 EI-RJT is the first of the airline’s aircraft to receive the new branding, which features a new logo and a pair of red and beige curves sweeping down the fuselage.


The aircraft was unveiled at CityJet’s Dublin base by The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD. The airline’s Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said: “This is a new look for a new era as we continue to grow our passenger numbers and invest in our staff and fleet. Today is a special day as we bring CityJet forward with a new dynamic branding, which I would refer to as inside-out branding as it based hugely on what our staff across the airline determined it should be.”

CityJet separated itself from owners Air France in 2014 and since then has been redefining its business and looking at future expansion. It still operates codeshare services for Air France, and maintains a crew base at Paris, but is also now focusing on its Dublin and London City bases.CityJet-logo

The airline, which operates a mix of RJ85 and Fokker 50 aircraft, is evaluating its future fleet needs. Both Bombardier CSeries and Embraer’s range of aircraft are under review.

With CityJet rebranded it is looking to further establish its links to mainland Europe from London City, as well as more growth on its UK-Ireland routes.

KLM to arrive in Ireland

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Ireland, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 06-01-2015


KLM Fokker 70 at Durham Tees Valley

KLM is to begin its first flights to Ireland in May when it commences a new Belfast service.

George Best Belfast City Airport is the only airport in the UK or Ireland included in expansion plans announced today by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines who will commence a daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport from May 2015 providing greater access to global destinations through KLM’s extensive network.

Belfast City Airport’s Commercial and Marketing Director, Katy Best, said: “Attracting an airline such as KLM to Northern Ireland, is a major win for the airport, tourism within the region and local businesses who will benefit from KLM’s worldwide network.”


The airport, situated in Belfast’s docklands, competes against the larger Belfast International Airport 18 miles to the west. Attracting an airline such as KLM is a majour coup and will no doubt attract a lot of business passenger to the city, and a lot of outbound travellers onto KLM’s worldwide network.

Czech Airlines bounces back with new routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Spain, Western Europe | Posted on 27-11-2014


CSA A320

CSA Czech Airlines has announced a bunch of new routes starting next year, following a period of cutting back and introspection over recent years.

The new routes to be opened by the airline are:

  • Prague – Bilbao – A319 (Starts 1 June 2015)
  • Prague – Billund – ATR42 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Bologna – ATR72 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Cork – A319 (Starts 14 May 2015)
  • Prague – Kaliningrad – ATR72 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Kazan – A319 (Starts 29 March 2015)
  • Prague – Oslo – A319 (Starts 30 March 2015)

The airline said:

“After a year of cutbacks, we plan to expand the existing Czech Airlines’ network starting the 2015 summer season. We feel that there is a significant business potential in our new destinations which we would like to use fully. At the same time, we would like to capitalise on Czech Airlines great reputation in the Russian market and, effective April 2015, service a total of nine destinations in Russia,” said Jozef Sinčák, Chairman of Czech Airlines Board of Directors, and added: “We have set the new destinations timetables in a way to best use the market potential and at the same time appeal to both local and transfer passengers as the connections were designed with the customers’ priorities in mind. We will operate all new destinations using the existing free capacity of Czech Airlines and thus improve the fleet use.”

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


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.


Flybe launching London City routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Ireland, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 23-04-2014


Flybe Q400

Flybe has announced a number of new routes from London City Airport starting in October.

New routes include Belfast City, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness.

Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad said: “Today’s announcement is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. We are delighted to re-enter the London market at London’s most convenient airport following a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict route assessment model.”


Read about my behind the scenes tour of London City Airport here.

Ryanair granted Russia flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Ireland, Russia, Western Europe | Posted on 25-11-2013


RyanairRyanair has been granted access to fly to Russia from its Dublin base, following the likes of easyJet which started flying from the UK this year.

Flights are likely to start in March 2014, flying from Dublin to both Moscow and St. Petersburg using Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The Moscow airport to be used has not yet been decided, although Vnukovo is a firm favourite amongst experts.

WestJet starting flights to Ireland

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Canada, Ireland, North America, Western Europe | Posted on 18-11-2013


Westjet 737-MAX7 ArtworkWestJet will open its first transatlantic route from next summer, linking Toronto with Dublin in Ireland.

The route will operate daily between 15 June and 4 October, with a stop in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

A Boeing 737-700 will be used on the route.

FlightFest coming to central Dublin

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 21-08-2013


Aer Lingus A320If you’re in Dublin on 15th September you’re in for a treat. Head down to the River Liffey in the centre of the city and you will enjoy FlightFest, “a once-in- a-lifetime, international fly past.”

More than 30 aircraft will take part in the show running along the river at low level for all below to enjoy.

A large section of the quays will be pedestrianised, with many family attractions and festivities available, contributing to a carnival atmosphere that will showcase Irish aviation. Large commercial aircraft from Ireland and abroad will fly past, including:
Airbus A320 (Aer Lingus ‘Retro’)
Airbus A321 (Aer Lingus)
Airbus A300 (Air Contractors)
Airbus A330 (Aer Lingus)
Airbus A340 (Etihad)
Airbus A380 (British Airways) aircraft.
ATR 42 (Aer Lingus Regional)
ATR 72 (Air Contractors)
Avro RJ85 (CityJet)
Boeing 737-800 (Ryanair)
dH Dragon Rapide (Aer Lingus)
L100 Hercules (Air Contractors and RAF)

The Irish Air Corps, and the Royal Air Force will also participate and spectators will enjoy a variety of helicopters and historic aircraft, including the B-17 Flying Fortress, Catalina, Hawker Hunter and Vulcan Bomber.

The show starts mid-afternoon. Exact times and more details can be found at

Thomson 787 entry into service details

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 24-05-2013


With Thomson set to take delivery of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner very soon (and become the first UK customer for the type), I thought I’d share some details on when they will be arriving, and where you can see them flying.

G-TUIA will be delivered to Manchester on 31st May at 1100
G-TUIB will be delivered to Manchester on 1st June at 0650
G-TUIC will be delivered to Manchester on 14th June at 0650

A staff proving flight will take place from Manchester to London Gatwick on 13th June

Line training will be undertaken at a variety of regional airports, including Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, Newquay, Prestwick, Shannon, and also Hanover in Germany.

The first revenue flight will take place on 21st June, from Gatwick to Mahon (Menorca) and back.

The first long haul services will begin from Gatwick and Manchester on 8th July (see our Boeing 787 Routes page)

All subject to change, naturally


This information is credit to John Dyer, via Mark Howard

Ryanair orders 175 new Boeing 737-800s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Ireland, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 19-03-2013


Hot on the heels of yesterday’s massive Lion Air Airbus order, Ryanair has come up trumps with its own record order (for a European airline) for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Ryanair currently operates 305 Boeing 737-800s on routes from its bases across Europe, offering low fares.

The new aircraft will partially replace older examples in the fleet, but mainly allow the fleet and route network to grow.

Ryanair CEO, Michale O’Leary, said: “Ryanair is pleased to sign this agreement with Boeing to purchase 175 new 737-800 jets, which will expand our fleet to over 400 units, creating over 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers, while allowing us to grow our low-cost airline service by about 5 percent per annum over the next several years and take our traffic to 100 million passengers by March 2019.”

So spotters in Europe will have some more numbers to crunch as deliveries arrive until 2018. Ryanair continues to evaluate the benefits of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft which enters service in 2017.