TransAsia’s first ATR 72-600 delivered

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

New US MD-82 operator Orange Air

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 10-02-2014

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OrangeAirA new carrier named Orange Air has taken delivery of a former Alaska Airlines and Belle Air McDonnell Douglas MD-82, registration N918AV.

The carrier is based at Orlando Sanford airport, although details of its intended routes or start dates have yet to be announced.

 

Aeroflot first in Russia with Sharklet A320s

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Russia | Posted on 10-02-2014

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Aeroflot Sharklet A320Aeroflot is the first airline in Russia to take Sharklet-equipped Airbus A320s, with delivery of its latest example.

The airline is operating the biggest Airbus fleet in the region with 90 A320 Family aircraft and 22 A330 Family aircraft.

Spotting at Porto Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Portugal, Spotting Trip Reports, Western Europe | Posted on 05-02-2014

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Porto AirportI recently had the chance to visit Porto Airport in northern Portugal. Whilst at the airport on the return journey, I checked out the opportunities for spotting from within and around the terminal. Here’s what I found.

Outside the terminal the roadway curves up to the departures area on the first floor. At either end, you can get a limited view of the airfield and see aircraft distant on the runway. You will miss most of what is parked at the terminal, however.

Before heading through to departures, there are no views of aircraft from within the terminal.

Once you have reached the departures area, Porto’s modern glass terminal is ideal for viewing the aircraft on the ground. Walking the length of the departures area reveals all aircraft parked at the gates, which are mainly parked nose in or on remote stands a short distance away.

Porto Departures area

From the northern end of the building you have a view along the cargo ramp. Aircraft parked on the opposite side of the runway, such as the DHL Boeing 757 on my visit, are a little too distant to easily read off.

Anything that moves on the runway is easily visible from the departures area.

Air France 747 at Porto

Porto’s traffic is made up primarily of TAP Portugal, Portugalia, and Ryanair aircraft. A number of European scheduled and low cost airlines also fly to the airport. On my visit, cargo movements included the DHL 757, a Swiftair ATR, and an Air France Cargo 747-400.

Porto is a Ryanair hub

The airport has a single runway, and a large modern terminal with jet bridges, and a lower floor area for walking to aircraft which is used by Ryanair.

Thai Boeing 787 routes planned

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Australasia, Australia, Japan, Spotting News, Thailand | Posted on 04-02-2014

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Thai 787Thai Airways International have started loading their Boeing 787 flight schedules into the system according to Airlineroute.net.

It looks like the airline will operate their new Dreamliners initially on the following routes:

 

 

Bangkok to Perth
Daily, from 1st July

Bangkok to Tokyo Haneda
Daily from 1st August

As always you can keep up-to-date on the routes airlines are planning to operate their 787s to on our 787 Routes page.

 

Milan Orio al Serio temporary closure

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 03-02-2014

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IMG_0332Milan Orio al Serio airport near Bergamo will close to all fixed wing operations between May 13 and June 2, 2014.

The closure is to allow essential runway resurfacing works to take place.

Flights to the airport will be reduced and diverted to other airports during the period of the closure. Ryanair has already announced that it will operate from Milan Malpensa during the period.

 

Best Cameras for Aircraft Photography

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting Equipment Reviews | Posted on 31-01-2014

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Perhaps the biggest aspect for any aviation enthusiast is photographing the aircraft they see. In fact, a lot of inspiration can be gained by looking at photographs from other enthusiasts on sites such as Airliners.net and in magazines which can drive you to get out and pursue the hobby more!

In terms of equipment, there’s a lot on offer, from the most basic cameras to ultra expensive SLRs and lenses.

In this post I want to give you ideas of some of the recommended cameras and lenses out there so that you can get the best of your aircraft photography. These recommendations have been suggested by some of the top photographers out there.

For the Trip Reporter
A great compact to take on your spotting trips is the Canon Powershot SX280 HS. This is perfect for the photographer who wants to take shots whilst out and about, aboard aircraft, and at the gate, documenting their travels.
Read more…

Best SLR Body
The Nikon D7100 is a current favourite. It has great ISO and auto focus settings, which are important when you’re following something that’s moving fast and in variable light. It has a healthy 24.1 megapixels, and a decent size screen on the back. Read More…

For Canon lovers, try the 70D. It has slightly fewer megapixels than its Nikon counterpart, but its results are fantastic. Read More…

 

Best Nikon Lens
One of the highest recommended lenses for Nikon cameras is the 70-200 F2.8 VR. It’s a little pricier, but the quality of glass and image stabilisation is amongst the best available. Read More….

Good Nikon Lens
The Nikkor 70-300mm VR is a mid-price lens which gets great reviews from aviation photographers. It is perfect for those who want good results without paying top money for the best glass. Read More…

Best Canon Lens
The best lens for Canon cameras is the 70-200L IS, which offers superb sharpness and great results. The L range offer the best mechanics, build quality, casing and coating. Read More…

Good Canon Lens
For something less expensive, try the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM lens which offers the same specs but is for the consumer rather than the professional. Read More…

 

These suggestions are amongst the best equipment you can buy, but there are lots of options out there and everyone has their own preference. Any modern digital SLR and lens will be capable of producing good results if you know how to use it, and most importantly practice your hobby. I’d be interested to know which cameras and lenses you’d recommend. Leave a comment below!