Sydney Rydges Hotel is the new spotting location

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Australasia, Australia, Spotting Hotels, Spotting News | Posted on 17-03-2014

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Rydges Hotel ViewWe recently reported on the closure of Sydney’s Observation Deck on the International Terminal. However, the airport has been working with the Rydges Hotel in providing an alternative place for spotters to congregate.

The hotel has a rooftop area which it is now opening up to plane spotters for a small fee of $10.This fee gets you access to the rooftop, a free beverage from the cafe, and a spotter information sheet to help you get to grips with Sydney Airport. There are also family passes available for $30 for 2 adults and 2 children.

The Rydges Hotel is located within the International Terminal complex, and is Sydney’s only airport terminal hotel.

Views from the roof look across the airfield and runways, with many of the International Terminal gates in view, and the Domestic Terminal visible in the distance. All movements can be seen to some degree, so you’re not going to miss anything from here.

Rydges Hotel Rooftop

Photography is also possible for aircraft at the International Terminal and on the nearest (16R/34L) runway but needs a zoom lens.

Rydges Hotel Room Views

Spotter Hotel Package
If you’re looking to stay in Sydney, the Rydges Hotel has a special Plane Spotter Package which guarantees you a Deluxe King Room with a great view of the airport and surroundings, a pair of binoculars, food & drink voucher, free Wi-Fi and late checkout. The price starts at AUS$229 for non-members, or $206 for members. Check it out here: http://www.rydges.com/accommodation/sydney-nsw/sydney-airport/offers/plane-spotter-package/

 

6 Stunning Pictures of Airbus A340s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 13-03-2014

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The Airbus A340 is an incredible aircraft. Here, for your viewing pleasure, are six stunning pictures of A340s in flight around the world, by some excellent aviation photographers.

Swissair A340 landing (c) Wanja Meier

Swissair A340 landing (c) Wanja Meier

 

Etihad A340-600 (c) Martin Tietz

Etihad A340-500 (c) Martin Tietz

 

Air France A340-300 landing at St Maarten. (c) Yasu To

Air France A340-300 landing at St Maarten. (c) Yasu To

 

Virgin Atlantic A340-600 at Sydney (c) SimonVanDerBurg

Virgin Atlantic A340-600 at Sydney (c) Simon Van Der Burg

 

Air Tahiti Nui A340-300 (c) Matt Falcus

Air Tahiti Nui A340-300 (c) Matt Falcus

Singapore Airlines A340-500 by Andrew Compolo

Singapore Airlines A340-500 (c) Andrew Compolo

Spicejet orders 42 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, India, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 12-03-2014

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SpiceJet 737 MAX8 ArtworkA large order has come from Spicejet at the India Aviation 2014 event for 42 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

This brings the total umber of Boeing aircraft operated or on order by Spicejet to 90, including the 737-800, -900ER and now the MAX variant.

“SpiceJet greatly values the ties we have built over the years with Boeing. The Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, the mainstay of the fleet ever since SpiceJet started operations, have vindicated our choice by their endurance, reliability and cost effectiveness,” said S.L. Narayanan, Group CFO for The Sun Group. “The induction of Boeing 737 MAX will further modernize our fleet, improve customer experience, and ensure that we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future.”

First flight of the new MAX is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,800 orders to date and will have 8 percent lower per-seat operating costs than the future competition.

‘Ohana by Hawaiian begins service

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, Pacific, USA | Posted on 12-03-2014

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Ohana Hawaii‘Ohana by Hawaiian, the new turboprop offshoot of Hawaiian Airlines, has begun flying.

The carrier operates ATR 42 turboprops in an attractive livery on routes from Honolulu to both Lana’i and Moloka’i – services that have not been covered by the parent airline since 2004.

 

Greatest Flights – Winair to St Barthelemy

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Caribbean, Greatest Flights, Sint Maarten | Posted on 07-03-2014

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St Barths Tis Meyer

Tis Meyer / planepics.org

If you’re like me, you’re not easily phased by somewhat seat of the pants flying. The focus of this Greatest Flights piece is Winair’s DHC-6 Twin Otter flights from St Maarten to St Barthelemy (St Barths for short).

Flying in and out of St Maarten is an experience in itself, given the spectacular beach location of the runway. But flying from there to St Barths gives passengers the chance to experience a very steep approach to a short runway, barely skimming the tops of cars and heads of cyclists on a road close to the end of the runway. At the opposite end is the sea, so you’d better hope the pilot knows where the brakes are!

Here’s a video of the approach and landing:

You can book flights with Winair here.

Dubai runway closure leads to reduced frequencies and aircraft grounding

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 07-03-2014

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Dubai Airport © Dubai AirportsDubai International Airport will close one of its two runways on 1st May for heavy maintenance and resurfacing work to take place.

The closure will last for 80 days, and will mean the airport’s carriers – in particular based airline Emirates – will have to reduce frequencies and make other changes in order to cope with the restrictions in place.

Emirates has also confirmed that it will ground 20 aircraft during the period, including all of its Airbus A340-500s, some A330-200s, and some Boeing 777s.

The airline recently relocated its dedicated freight operations to the new Dubai World Central Airport.

See the new Qatar A380 first class interior

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, Qatar, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 06-03-2014

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Qatar A380 First ClassQatar Airways have revealed the interior of their soon to be delivered Airbus A380s. Their first aircraft has recently been seen in testing.

With a customised interior meeting the high demand specifications of Qatar Airways, the airline´s new A380s will undoubtedly be the talk of aviation enthusiasts and passengers alike when the first aircraft enters service this year, the first of 13 such aircraft on order.

The new First Class A380 seat, revealed by Mr. Al Baker at a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Berlin, Mr Klaus Wowereit as Guest of Honour, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 26-inch television screens.

A380 Qatar maiden flight

Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “It is a landmark moment to see this fantastic new First Class A380 seat displayed here at ITB Berlin, the perfect event at which to announce such important innovations to our global audience. Operating on the Doha to London Heathrow route, this cabin will offer a new level of comfort for passengers travelling to the United Kingdom, who will also benefit from our Premium Terminal in Doha and the new Qatar Airways Premium Lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

The arrival this year of the airline´s first A380 marks a significant milestone for the airline, whose future home, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has been specially designed to cater to the aircraft, with six contact gates designed with specifications required for the superjumbo. In addition, the maintenance hangar at HIA – which will be the largest in the world – is able to accommodate two A380s simultaneously.

In addition to the 13 A380 aircraft the airline currently has on order, Qatar Airways is also set this year to welcome the first of 80 A350 aircraft, the world’s newest aircraft, as Airbus’s launch customer.

The A380 will enter service between Doha and London Heathrow this summer.

Jakarta Airport FM7 Spotting Hotel

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Indonesia, Spotting Hotels | Posted on 03-03-2014

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FM7 spotting hotelA new spotting hotel has emerged at Jakarta Airport and is receiving favourable reviews from spotters who have visited.

The FM7 Resort Hotel is situated close to the end of Runway 25R, and one of the main benefits is the proximity of aircraft approaching this runway, which can be photographed quite easily.

Although the hotel is only two stories high, rooms on the top floor can be found that have good views and are not too obstructed by the surrounding trees. Some rooms also have views across to runway 25L, but SBS is necessary to identify them as they disappear behind the buildings.

The owner of the hotel is aware of the needs of plane spotters and welcomes the trade this brings. A rooftop bar is being constructed which has views of both sides of the airport, although through glass.

The hotel is in a less than ideal neighbourhood, but once inside is quite luxurious and serves good food. It also provides a free shuttle to the airport. Here’s a map of the hotel’s location.

Visit the FM7 Hotel’s webpage here: http://fm7hotel.com/

If you have visited, leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.

Austin welcomes BA Dreamliner. Where to view from

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, Heathrow, North America, Spotting News, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 28-02-2014

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British Airways 787Austin-Bergstrom International Airport becomes the latest to add Boeing 787 Dreamliner service on 3rd March when British Airways begin a daily flight from London Heathrow.

The airport’s Family Viewing Area will provide a vantage point and refreshments for spotters and other members of the public wishing to see the first arrival of the Dreamliner. British Airways’ flight 191 is scheduled for its first landing at 5 pm. Inaugural flight BA 190 is scheduled to depart ABIA for London Heathrow at 7 pm (after the inaugural launch, British Airways’ flights are scheduled to depart Austin at 8 pm).

Austin Bergstrom Family Viewing Area

Austin Bergstrom Family Viewing Area

The Family Viewing Area is located near the airport’s east runway. Please note, while the 787 may land on the east or west runway, Gate 2, used by British Airways, faces the viewing area providing ample time to see the aircraft. To access the airport’s Family Viewing Area, take the Hwy. 71 access road past Presidential Blvd. (road to airport terminal). Take the first right past Presidential Blvd. to Golf Course Rd. Follow Golf Course Rd. to the end, where the Family Viewing Area is located.

China Southern first 777-300 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, China, North America, USA | Posted on 26-02-2014

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777 China Southern Delivery EventChina Southern Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, registered B-2099.

The new airplane is the first of 10 777-300ERs China Southern has on order with Boeing.

“The 777-300ER’s long-haul capability is a perfect fit for our network expansion plans as it will enable us serve our existing long-range markets more efficiently and open new routes in the future,” said Zhang Zifang, Chief Operating Officer, China Southern Airlines. “The 777-300ER will support the development of Guangzhou as our main international hub and will be a vital part of our ‘Canton Route’ services.”

China Southern plans to operate its first 777-300ER on its new North America routes, where it will be able to directly connect passengers in the southern region of China to the eastern coast of the United States.