Sydney to close observation deck

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, Australasia, Australia, Spotting News | Posted on 20-02-2014


Sydney Spotting. Photo (c) YSSYguySome sad news today… Sydney Airport is to close its observation deck on the International Terminal in March.

According to site Australian Business Traveller, Sydney Airport confirmed the closure due to “operational reasons” as the airport explores a range of potential uses for the space as it looks to redevelop parts of the terminal.

This is sad news for spotters who enjoy the panoramic views and great position for photographing and watching aircraft at the airport.

There are a number of alternative locations for spotting aircraft at Sydney, which the airport encourages you to use. These include the Rydges Hotel at Terminal 1, Qantas Drive, the mound next to runway 16L, and the area alongside the runway 25 threshold.

The airport maintains that the aviation enthusiast community is important to them and has a page dedicated to this (see here) with details of spotting locations. Nevertheless, some enthusiasts have reacted badly at the news of this closure.

SunExpress expand with up to 50 Boeing 737 order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Miscellaneous Spotting, Turkey | Posted on 20-02-2014


SunExpress SXD 737 MAX 8 ArtworkTurkey’s SunExpress is to significantly add to its fleet after placing and order for Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX-8 aircraft.

The firm order is for 25 737-800s and 15 737 MAX-8s, valued at more than $3.8 billion at list prices. Additional options for 10 MAX-8s have also been secured.

“Twenty-four years ago we started to fly tourists to Turkey with brand-new 737-300s and ten years later the company began to operate the Next-Generation 737-800s. Next year at the age of 25, SunExpress will start the process of renewing its entire fleet and in the future add the latest achievement of Boeing, the 737 MAX,” said Paul Schwaiger, managing director of SunExpress.

Based in Antalya on the Turkish Riviera, SunExpress was founded in October 1989 as a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa. Today, SunExpress carries more than seven million passengers per year and is one of the leading airlines in terms of passenger numbers between Germany and Turkey. The carrier operates an all-Boeing fleet of more than 60 Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s and serves more than 90 destinations across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

FARNAIR Europe’s first 737

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, Spotting News, Switzerland, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 18-02-2014


Farnair 737-400FARNAIR Europe has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-400 aircraft.

The aircraft is a high gross weight B737-400SF (MSN 28492 – ex JA737F) built in 1996 and was converted at Commercial Jet’s Miami facility, which is one of five authorized AEI Conversion Centers worldwide. This is AEI’s 2nd of an anticipated 30+ freighters to be delivered in 2014.

Guy Girard, CEO of the FARNAIR Group, said “This is the first of four aircraft we have secured, while the rest will join our fleet in the coming months.”

United Express Embraer 175s arriving in May

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, North America, USA | Posted on 18-02-2014


Skywest Embraer 175United Express will begin Embraer 175 flights on 17th May this year.

The aircraft, owned and operated by SkyWest, will initially operate from United’s Chicago O’Hare hub. The first flight will operate to Washington Reagan National. Two days later, Boston Logan will be added.

SkyWest placed an order for 40 Embraer 175s last year. The aircraft will operate in a two class layout, and will eventually be seen across a large number of United Express destinations.

Greatest Flights – Singapore to Sydney A380

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Greatest Flights, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 15-02-2014


Singapore A380 9V-SKA

The Airbus A380 is currently the largest passenger aircraft in service, and has now been delivered to a number of airlines around the world. However, back on 25 October 2007 the aircraft made its debut with launch customer Singapore Airlines.

The route that day was from Singapore to Sydney on SQ380, on which passengers had bought tickets through a charity auction.

SIN-SYD route map

This Greatest Flight entry is for that particular route, which allows you to relive the experience on a daily basis on the 8 hour flight. But it’s not just about the historical significance of this flight. Flying on an A380 is a very different flying experience for many – with two full length seating decks, this is a huge aircraft. Most passengers say it is one of the quietest aircraft to fly, and crew say it is so big that they rarely see their colleagues in different parts of the aircraft during the flight.

(c) Rudy Herman

What’s more, flying Singapore Airlines is also an experience in itself. Since creating the ‘Singapore Girl’ in 1972, the concept has become synonymous with impeccable standards of onboard service. Whether you are in economy class, or one of the A380′s impressive suites, you will be treated very well by this airline.

Singapore Girls (c) Rita Fritz

Singapore Girls (c) Rita Fritz

Scoot Boeing 787 routes planned

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan | Posted on 15-02-2014


Scoot 787Scoot, the low-cost spin-off of Singapore Airlines, has announced some of the routes it plans to operated its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners on.

As Scoot works towards replacing its entire Boeing-777 fleet, the new Dreamliners — the first of which is expected to arrive in November — will help the airline save more than 20 per cent in fuel per seat, Chief Executive Campbell Wilson said.

“We certainly intend to pass some, if not most, of the savings to our consumers as, clearly, lower air fares stimulate more people to travel … At the very least, the fares will not increase; more likely they will come down,” he added.

Scoot announced in October 2012 it had agreed to acquire 20 Boeing 787s.

Initial routes will be from Singapore Changi to Taipei, Japan, and Australia.

TransAsia’s first ATR 72-600 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 13-02-2014


ATR 72-600 Transasia MSN 1133TransAsia Airways, a full service airline from Taiwan, has taken delivery of its first ATR 72-600 aircraft at a ceremony in Toulouse.

The aircraft is now making its way to Taiwan to begin service for the airline from Taipei Songshan Airport from 21st February. It will operate initially to Magong, and eventually more destinations as additional aircraft are delivered.

The airline has 11 more ATR 72-600s on order. Vincent Lin, TransAsia Airways chairman, said “We are ready to further expand our regional offering and to support the addition of new routes and frequencies on existing routes. The introduction of our new planes will support this growth.”

The first aircraft is registered B-22815.

ATR 72-600 orders at Singapore Airshow

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, Thailand | Posted on 13-02-2014


ATR 72-600 Bangkok AirwaysATR have had a good Singapore Airshow, with a number of significant orders for their ATR 72-600 regional turboprop announced.

Bangkok Airways have placed an order for eight aircraft (six firm and two options). The airline has been operating ATR aircraft for two decades and currently operates a fleet of eight ATR 72-500s. The first new ATR 72-600s will be delivered later this year, allowing Bangkok Airways to start renewing its fleet and to offer all the new comfort and cabin features of the ATR-600s to its customers.

Secondly, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) announced they have purchased 40 ATR 72-600s (20 firm and 20 options) to add to its leasing business. This is the first time DAE has ventured into regional aircraft, and expects high interest from customers around the world for the type. Khalifa AlDaboos, Managing Director of DAE, declared: “ATRs are today operated by some 190 carriers all over the world, and this is clearly providing us with many potential opportunities to place this new fleet of regional aircraft”

Asiana A380s to start Los Angeles route

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, North America, South Korea, USA | Posted on 12-02-2014


Asiana A380Asiana Airlines have announced that their first Airbus A380 route will be to Los Angeles International.

The South Korean airline will receive their first two A380s this summer, and begin services between Seoul Incheon and Los Angeles on 30th July.

Prior to being introduced on the Los Angeles route, Asiana plans to temporarily utilize the A380s on short and medium haul international destinations like Tokyo Narita, Osaka, Hong Kong and Bangkok from June

The new aircraft will consist of a total of 495 seats–12 First Class, 66 Business Class, and 417 Travel Class seats. Asiana specifically designed this new aircraft to enhance seat efficiency and to meet the demands of each class.

Hunnu Air to Paris CDG

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, France, Mongolia, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 11-02-2014


Hunnu Air A319

Hunnu Air – Wings of Mongolia, will begin twice-weekly flights from Ulaan Bataar to Paris Charles de Gaulle from 9th June.

Flights are initially scheduled to operate with Airbus A319 equipment, which will likely need to make a technical stop en-route. However, the airline is due to receive its first Airbus A330 later in the year, which will likely be used instead.

The flight will operate on Mondays and Fridays, arriving in Paris at 1300.

Picture (c) Hunnu Air