Netherlands to host Nuclear Summit with lots of visiting aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Netherlands, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 07-01-2014


As a heads up for those planning spotting trips in 2014, The Hague in The Netherlands will host the Nuclear Security Summit from 22-24 March.

The event is expected to attract around 50 global leaders, who will mostly descend on the country in their own VIP and government aircraft. Therefore, expect Rotterdam in particular, and Amsterdam Schiphol, airports to receive a lot of unusual and unique visitors worth seeing.

If you do visit, send us your pictures!

5 new cockpit videos from Justplanes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Ethiopia, France, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Norway, Spotting Equipment Reviews, Spotting Videos, Switzerland, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 05-01-2014


Justplanes really are the best in the business when it comes to cockpit recordings, with such a wide ranging back catalogue.

JustPlanes thiopian 787

I thought I’d bring you details of a few recent additions to their collection which have caught my attention.

1. Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Join the world’s most advanced airliner on flights from Addis Ababa to destinations across Africa, Asia and Europe. 8 flights included.

2. Norwegian Boeing 787-800
Fly Norwegian’s 737s on routes across Scandinavia and mainland Europe, including a flight to the most Northerly airport in the world!

3. Air Canada Boeing 767-300
Fly long haul and short haul in Air Canada’s 767s, including a trip to Hawaii, and the famous landing at St. Maarten as seen from the cockpit!

Just Planes SWISS

4. Air France Boeing 777-200ER
Follow the pilots of this state-of-the-art aircraft in a flight from Paris to New York JFK. It covers everything from the moment they arrive at the airport, including planning and pre-flight, to the charts, cockpit instruments, approach, landing and all the outside cockpit views.

5. Swiss Airbus A340-300
Like the Air France 777 example above, this one follows the pilots through every aspect of their flight both on the ground and in the air, as they take an A340 from Zurich to San Francisco. Fascinating documentary and cockpit views.


Boeing 787-9 to visit Auckland in January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Australasia, Australia, New Zealand | Posted on 03-01-2014


787-9 First FlightBoeing will be bringing its 787-9 to Auckland in early January to visit launch customer Air New Zealand. This will be the first international trip for the new, extended model of Dreamliner.

“Having one of Air New Zealand’s 787-9s touch down on Kiwi soil for the first time is hugely exciting,” said Christopher Luxon, chief executive officer, Air New Zealand. “It’s a real reminder that we will soon welcome the first of these more modern, fuel-efficient airplanes into our fleet.”

The aircraft, ZB002, is the second of three 787-9s dedicated to the test program. As the only 787-9 test aircraft to be fitted with elements of the passenger interior, in addition to test racks and instrumentation, Boeing uses ZB002 to test the environmental control system and other aspects of aircraft performance. After the test program is complete, the aircraft will be reconfigured for delivery to Air New Zealand.

From Auckland, ZB002 is scheduled to continue on to Alice Springs, Australia, where Boeing plans to conduct flight testing in hot weather. Boeing chose Alice Springs Airport for this testing because the location meets specific test requirements for both facilities and atmospheric conditions. Testing is contingent on favorable weather and is scheduled to last approximately one week.

VivaColombia to start Bogota base

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Colombia, South America | Posted on 03-01-2014


VivaColombiaVivaColombia will establish its second base in 2014 at Bogota Airport.

It will begin Airbus A320 operations from the capital to Bucaramanga, Cucuta, Monteria, Pereira, San Andres, Santa Marta.

The airline will also operate international routes from Bogota to Panamá City Tocumen Int’l and Lima. Medellín José Maria Córdova.

A start date is not yet known for the new base.

Airbus A350 MSN2 rolls out in Carbon livery

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in France, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 02-01-2014


Airbus A350 Carbon LiveryAirbus today rolled out its second A350 XWB aircraft in a special new ‘Carbon’ livery.

As well as featuring a distinctive “Carbon” signature livery to reflect its primary construction from advanced materials, this aircraft is also the first of two A350 flight test aircraft to be equipped with a full passenger cabin interior.

MSN2 will join the A350 XWB flight test fleet in the coming weeks and will be the first A350 to transport passengers when it undertakes the Early Long Flights (ELF) later in the year.

Heathrow opens new viewing area

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Heathrow, Spotting News, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 01-01-2014


View HeathrowLondon Heathrow airport has opened a new viewing area in Terminal 4, called View Heathrow.

The room offers views over the southern runway (09R/27L), the stands at Terminal 4, and some distant stands at other terminals. It also boasts a view of the stored British Airways Concorde (G-BOAB) which remains at Heathrow.

The viewing area was created out of an old lounge, and sadly is only available to airside passengers who have passed through security (with a boarding card). But if that’s you, it’s an excuse to check in a few hours early to enjoy the view.

View Heathrow 2

From the pictures it looks like photography is possible, albeit through glass. You will enter the room through a faux aircraft door and stairway, and it is free to use the room at any time the terminal is open.

Have you used the new viewing area? Why not post some pictures of it on our Facebook page!

Visitors to View Heathrow can get involved with the airport’s social media team by hashtagging their spectacular Instagram pics and Twitter comments using #ViewHeathrow.

Top 5 spotting airports in January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Africa, Australasia, Eastern Europe, Greece, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, New Zealand, North America, South Africa, USA | Posted on 31-12-2013


January – typically a cold month for those in Europe and the USA; a month where people try to make new starts and pursue the resolutions they made at the end of the last year.

The weather doesn’t have to be a hindrance for your spotting. Here are five suggestions of places to spot in January.


Los Angeles International
One of the greatest airports in America. Los Angeles boasts sunshine and warmer temperatures than most of the country at this time of the year, and the sunlight is always great for photography. Head to one of the locations around the perimeter and snap some heavies landing.

Skiathos Airport

Johannesburg O R Tambo
South Africa’s principal airport is great at this time of year – warm, sunny and with lots of daylight. The airport is a hub for South African Airways, and a focal point for many African operators. You can also see a number of older aircraft operating here.

Dubbed the St. Maarten of Europe, the Greek island of Skiathos is an amazing place for the aircraft spotter and photographer. With average temperatures in the low teens, it is much more pleasant than the rest of Europe, and always popular with charter airlines.

Abu Dhabi
Always hot at this time of year, Abu Dhabi is an up-and-coming alternative to Dubai. Hub for Etihad Airways, the airport has a new Premier Inn with views of aircraft movements, making a much cheaper alternative to Dubai’s Sheraton Deira.

NZ Warbirds DC-3 Dakota Ardmore

Catch up with aviation in New Zealand at its principal gateway and home hub of Air New Zealand. Auckland has a pleasant climate at this time of year, and offers some great local aviation attractions in addition to the airlines it serves, such as Ardmore Airport and its classic aircraft.

Whatever you get up to with your spotting in January, remember to comment on which airports you’ve been to and send us your tips and photographs from around the world!

Emirates A380 to start on Gatwick route

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 30-12-2013


Emirates A380Emirates will upgrade one of its three daily flights from Dubai to London Gatwick airport to use Airbus A380 equipment.

The change will take effect from 30th March 2014.

Gatwick’s other two daily services will continue to be served by Boeing 777-300 equipment.

Last Delta DC-9 flight on 6th January

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, USA | Posted on 29-12-2013


Delta DC-9Delta will retire its Douglas DC-9 fleet on 6th January following the final commercial flight.

The flight will operate, subject to last minute changes, from Minneapolis St. Paul to Atlanta at 1620.

This will be the last commercial passenger flight of a DC-9 in the USA – a type that was once formed a major part of the fleets of the airlines of the USA.

Delta inherited its fleet of DC-9s from its merger with Northwest Airlines, and it has continued to fly to a number of destinations from its hubs in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Detroit, despite competition from more fuel efficient types. It will be a sad day for many enthusiasts when it is finally retired.

QANTAS’ Christmas Spirit

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Australasia, Australia, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 24-12-2013


Reader Jasmina Manev sent us this picture which she took on the tarmac on the domestic side at Perth on Christmas Eve, showing how QANTAS have got into the Christmas spirit!

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year!

Qantas at Christmas