Chicago O’Hare opens new runway

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, North America, Spotting News, USA | Posted on 19-10-2013


Chicago O’Hare opened its new runway 10C/28C opened on 17th October in the hope that it will instantly improve the crippling delays experienced at the airport.

O'Hare RunwaysThe new 10,800ft runway is the sixth parallel runway at the airport and hopes to allow it to offer up to 90,000 extra movements per year. Its construction has meant the relocation of a cemetery and section of railroad, amongst other ground infrastructure.

You will find the new runway close to the existing runway 10L/28R, and just to the north of the cargo terminals.

In terms of spotting, the new runway does not really offer any new opportunities to those existing already (see our book Airport Spotting Guides USA). The nearest unofficial spotting location is on Balmoral Avenue, just off Mannheim Road, with parking at the Rosemont Metra Station.

Norwegian add UK long-haul flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, North America, UK, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 18-10-2013


Norwegian Air takeoffNorwegian Air Shuttle have announced plans to commence long-haul flights from London Gatwick Airport in the UK from next summer.

Following the inauguration of routes from Scandinavia this year with their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet (as well as some leased-in aircraft), the airline wants to expand from its UK focus airport.

Routes to be operated from London Gatwick include New York JFK (3x weekly), Los Angeles International (2x weekly) and Fort Lauderdale (2x weekly).

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “There’s great demand for high-quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the US, particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes. Launching long-haul routes between London Gatwick and the US is also an important part of our strategy to expand internationally and get a stronger foothold in markets outside Scandinavia.”

Norwegian is also planning to add five new European routes from Gatwick next summer. It will operate weekly fights to Santorini, Corfu, Sicily (Catania), and Cyprus plus three flights a week to Budapest. It will also increase frequency on services to Malaga, Ibiza, Split, Dubrovnik, Majorca, Faro, Tenerife, Copenhagen and Barcelona.

Airliner World magazine Air Florida article

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 16-10-2013


Airliner World Nov 13If any of you read Airliner World magazine, which is published in the UK but available worldwide, the current (November 13) issue features my article on Air Florida.

This airline was seen as one of the most successful carriers to emerge from the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and quickly grew a reputation and route network that was the envy of some of the legacy carriers.

Airlines of the USA

Sadly a well-publicised crash and mounting debts led to its demise in 1984.

Read all about it, with some great pictures, in Airliner World, or alternatively in my new book: Airlines of the USA, out now!

Iberia unveils new image

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 15-10-2013


iberia new logoI reported a couple of weeks ago that Iberia are set to reveal their new corporate image this month, and it will involve a new livery for their aircraft, and logo.

Well, today the airline unveiled that new image. The image below is of their Airbus A330 aircraft painted in the new scheme, whilst this video shows a bit more of the whole image concept.


Iberia’s new image both s

At today’s presentation Iberia CEO Luis Gallego noted that “it’s not just a matter of changing the company logo, but of bringing the new image to every corner of Iberia, so the change will be perceived in all our products and the service we provide to our customers.”ymbolises and contributes its own momentum to the transformation plan, aimed at reshaping the company into a strong, modern, competitive and trend-setting airline. The launch of the new logo and livery is timed to coincide with the first fruits of these efforts. Indeed, it was made possible by the steps that have been taken to give Iberia a competitive cost structure.

Iberia new livery a330

The red and yellow of the Spanish flag remain prominent, with a starring role for red as symbol of Spain’s vitality, expressiveness, and art, and of the Spanish character. The design of the company’s IB code letters denotes agility, liveliness, and comfort. The new designs will appear progressively over the next few months on Iberia graphic materials and supports at all points of contact with customers and staff.

The entry into service of the first A330 with the new livery in mid-November will be marked by a ceremony at one of its Madrid-Barajas hangars in which authorities, customers, and the press will be invited to inspect the new aircraft exterior and interior.

What do you think of the new image? Leave a comment below…

Second A350XWB takes flight

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in France, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 14-10-2013


A350_XWB_MSN3_First_Flight_take_offThe second Airbus A350XWB test aircraft has taken to the skies on its first flight at Toulouse.

F-WZGG, MSN3, carries equipment to aid in the testing and certification process, like the first aircraft which flew in June on the type’s maiden flight.

The first deliveries of the A350 are expected in late 2014. Here’s a list of the carriers who have ordered the type.


Gatwick’s mobile reporters get snapping

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 14-10-2013


Gatwick InstagramEleven members of staff at London Gatwick Airport have been enlisted as mobile photographers to document the life of the airport as they go about their daily jobs.

Gatwick was one of the first airports to set up its own Instagram account. With over 150 million people using Instagram, it is a great way to connect with people in a visual way.

You can follow Gatwick on Instagram and EyeEm, searching for the username @gatwickairport. Look out for the first posts from the official mobile reporters this week, where they will be using the hashtag #lgwmobilereporter.

You can view Gatwick’s Instagram feed here:



Adria Airways setting up non-Slovenian bases

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Eastern Europe, Italy, Kosovo, Slovenia, Switzerland, Western Europe | Posted on 14-10-2013


Adria CRJSlovenian national carrier Adria Airways is looking to set up a number of hubs or focus cities at airports outside of its home country.

The airline has already based a CRJ900 aircraft at Pristina Airport in Kosovo, and is now looking to set up similar operations at Tirana in Albania, Verona in Italy, and Klagenfurt in Austria.

All of these airports are within close proximity of Slovenia.

The newly-announced Verona hub will allow Adria to take up routes dropped recently by Air Dolomiti, and it intends to connect the city to its fellow Star Alliance partner hubs at Brussels, Vienna and Zurich. Flights will start in 2014.

Klagenfurt is still being evaluated as a possible base for 2014.

6 airports that the CSeries will be a regular at

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Asia, Bahrain, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Middle East, South Korea, Switzerland, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 12-10-2013


CSeries CS100Bombardier’s new CSeries regional airliner made its first flight in September so we thought we’d take a look at which airports the type will be a regular sight at once deliveries take place.

So far almost 180 examples have been ordered by airlines around the world (split over the CS100 and CS300 models), with a number of purchases by leasing companies.

The airports are:

Seoul, South Korea – Korean Air ordered 10 CS300s, becoming the first in Asia to order the type. Routes have not yet been announced, so it is not certain whether the type will fly from Gimpo or Incheon airports.

Riga, Latvia – airBaltic are due to take 10 CS300 examples for regional flights around Europe.

Bahrain – Gulf Air will take 10 CS100s for flights around the Middle East.

Geneva & Zurich, Switzerland – Lufthansa ordered 30 CS100s which will be used to revitalise the short- and medium-haul fleet of Swiss, replacing its older Avro Regional Jets. These will fly from the airline’s Geneva and Zurich bases across Europe. Additionally, Geneva-based PrivatAir has ordered five CS100s in an all-business class configuration.

London City, UK – The Docklands airport will be certified for CSeries operations. Swiss and PrivatAir are both possible carriers who will fly the type there. However, a new airline named Odyssey Airlines is currently being formed with a base at London City.  It has ordered 10 CS100s.



easyJet planning Naples base in 2014

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Italy, Miscellaneous Spotting, Western Europe | Posted on 11-10-2013


easyjet a319easyJet is planning to open a base at the Italian airport of Naples in Spring 2014.

The airline is already the biggest carrier at the airport, which it began serving in 2000. Now, it will add five more routes, bringing its total to 20 from Naples, and add an anticipated extra 350,000 extra passengers per year.

This will be easyJet’s 24th base. Its most recent addition is Hamburg – the airline’s second base in Germany.

Delta DC-9 retirement plans

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, USA | Posted on 08-10-2013


Delta DC-9Delta has finally made plans to retire its Douglas DC-9 fleet after years of speculation.

Although Delta was one of the first airlines in the world to operate the type, it had actually retired its own examples in the 1990s. However, when it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2010 it inherited that airline’s batch of aircraft.

These have continued to serve domestic destinations from the airline’s hubs, and now details have emerged about the final flights, which will take place on 5th January 2014.

Schedules and aircraft types are always subject to change, but it is expected that DC-9s will operate the following routes on 5th January prior to the type’s retirement:

Atlanta to:
Akron, Asheville, Augusta, Birmingham, Charleston SC, Chicago O’Hare, Greensboro, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Pensacola, Pittsburgh, Savannah, St Louis, Washington Dulles

Detroit to:
Chicago O’Hare, Milwaukee

Delta is one of the last carriers to fly passengers on DC-9s. Our ebook Last Chance to Fly gives more details about flying on rare aircraft around the world, such as the DC-9.