Norwegian to set up US base

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, North America, Norway, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 15-07-2013


Norwegian Air takeoffNorwegian’s chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, has announced that the airline will set up a base in the United States towards the end of 2013.

Like their recently opened bases at Alicante and London Gatwick, the base will become a hub for Norwegian flights and staff. It will become operational following the delivery of the airline’s third Boeing 787 in October.

The location of the base is likely to be Miami or New York. It replaces any previous plans to open a base in Asia.

Airlines of the USA – new aviation book

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, North America, USA | Posted on 09-07-2013


Airlines of the USAAirlines of the USA is a new book from Destinworld Publishing, and written by Airport Spotting Blog’s Matt Falcus.

The book looks at the most important airlines to have come out of America, from the earliest days of commercial flying, to the more recent startups.

Who remembers such important airlines like TWA, Pan Am, Braniff, and Eastern Airlines? In their heyday it was inconceivable that they could fail when they were so huge, domineering, and were household names. Yet all of them ceased flying or disappeared into a different airline.

More recently we’ve lost names such as America West, Continental, Northwest Airlines, and we’re about to lose US Airways.

The book looks at how some of these large carriers first started, which was usually through government funded air mail routes using very early aircraft. Being pioneers in air travel, and with the emergence of new aircraft such as the Douglas DC-3 and Boeing 707, the airlines grew very quickly.

PSA and Pan Am

Then came the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978, which allowed airlines to fly anywhere. It saw low-cost carriers such as PSA and Southwest Airlines thrive. And today they still do thrive, with AirTran and Spirit Airlines amongst the well-known names.

Each airline has its own chapter, and the book looks at the aircraft types it operated, with dates and much more information. The book is full colour, and is available to order now through Destinworld’s website here:

It is also available through Amazon and good aviation stores.


Delta Flight Museum renovation

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 07-07-2013


The Spirit of Delta Boeing 767A $6.3 million grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation has enabled a renovation of the Delta Flight Museum at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport to begin.

The museum is situated in the historic 1940s hangars at the airline’s campus. They opened as the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum in 1995, and will now undergo various improvements such as a theatre, events space, improved accessibility, and preservation of the hangar’s original doors and floors.

The museum is a great place to visit, with a Boeing 767-200 ‘The Spirit of Delta’, along with a DC-3, and a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar section. A full Convair 880 cockpit already owned by the museum along with a Boeing 737-200 flight simulator will be installed as permanent exhibits and a new retail store will be built for visitors to purchase aviation memorabilia and Delta-branded items.

The renovation is expected to last 12 months, with the museum aiming to reopen in advance of Delta’s 85th anniversary of commercial aviation service on June 17, 2014.

Find out more at

Skygreece Airlines to start in 2014

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Canada, Eastern Europe, Greece, North America, USA | Posted on 05-07-2013


Skygreece AirlinesA new carrier, Skygreece Airlines, aims to start flights to North America in Summer 2014.

The airline has recently acquired a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft.

Its website ( indicates that the following routes will commence next year:

Athens – Chicago
Athens – Montreal
Athens – New York
Athens – Toronto
The 767 aircraft acquired is formerly PH-MCM of Martinair.

Air New Zealand announces 787 routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, North America, Pacific, USA | Posted on 05-07-2013


Air New Zealand 787-9Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 variant. It has recently announced the destinations it will send the aircraft to once it takes delivery in 2014. They are:

Auckland – Honolulu
Auckland – Papeete
Auckland – Perth
Auckland – Shanghai Pudong
Auckland – Tokyo Narita

Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the 787-9 is a game changer for the airline.

“This modern flexible fuel efficient aircraft will not only replace our current fleet of Boeing 767s, it also represents a significant growth opportunity for our business and opens up the prospect of expanding our Pacific Rim footprint.


Air Lituanica launches operations

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Belgium, Eastern Europe, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Russia, Western Europe | Posted on 04-07-2013


New Lithuanian airline Air Lituanica has launched operations using a single Embraer 170 aircraft from its Vilnius base.

The airline has initially launched daily flights to Brussels, with the intention of attracting inbound tourism to Lithuania.

Flights to Amsterdam Schiphol are due to commence on 8th July, followed by Berlin on 5th August. Later, flights will be introduced to Moscow, Munich and Prague.

Air Lituanica flights are operated in cooperation with Estonian Air.

British Airways’ first A380 arrives at Heathrow

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Heathrow, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 04-07-2013


A380_BAW_arrivalBritish Airways has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, G-XLEA, at London Heathrow this morning.

The aircraft was delivered from Toulouse.

The carrier – which has 12 A380s on order as part of its long-haul fleet renewal – plans to use its aircraft initially on the London-Los Angeles route, as well as between London and Hong Kong.   Tickets for travel to Los Angeles are on sale from 15 October, and flights to Hong Kong are available for booking from 15 November.

Following today’s delivery of the no. 1 aircraft, British Airways is scheduled to receive two more A380s this year – its second in September, and the third in October. The carrier is due to have all of the ordered A380 jetliners in its inventory by the end of 2016.

AirAsia Japan to close

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Japan, Malaysia | Posted on 03-07-2013


Air Asia A320AirAsia Japan will be closed down in October.

The airline has only existed since August 2012, and it was recently planned to merge with with ANA’s Peach Air to create a stronger low cost carrier. However, the plans have now been abandoned.

The final flights will take place on 31st October. The airline’s four Airbus A320s will be returned to the parent AirAsia company in Malaysia the following day.

Thai postpones A380s to Heathrow

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Heathrow, Thailand, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 02-07-2013


Thai A380Thai Airways has postponed the introduction of Airbus A380 aircraft on its Bangkok – London Heathrow route by almost a year.

Originally planned to operate one of the airline’s two daily flights on the route from 1st December 2013, the aircraft is now expected to start flying it on 30th October 2014.

The airline blames the need to perform technical modifications to its A380s for the delay in introducing it to the Heathrow route. In the meantime the two daily flights will be operated by Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A340-600 aircraft.

Crete Spotting Hotel – Arina Sands

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Eastern Europe, Greece, Spotting Hotels | Posted on 02-07-2013


Arina Sands Spotting HotelMike Harper has been in touch to let us know about one of the best plane spotting hotels on the island of Crete.

The Arina Sands is located at Kokkini Hani, and most importantly is only about a mile and a half from the end of runway 27 at Heraklion Airport.

Aircraft approaching will pass right in front of the hotel, so requesting a room facing in that direction will provide you with plenty of opportunities for spotting and photographing aircraft.

The pictures on this page are provided by Mike from one of his trips to the hotel.

Transaero 767

Olympic A319