British Airways A380 and 787 delivery dates

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Frankfurt, Germany, Heathrow, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spotting News, Sweden, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 10-06-2013


British Airways A380

British Airways will receive its first two Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on 26th and 27th June.

The airline’s first Airbus A380 will be delivered on 4th July.

Both types are expected to be delivered direct to London Heathrow airport, so if you’re around on those days make sure you keep a camera handy.

It is expected that 787 training will take place at Manston Airport, with crew training flights likely operating to Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle, and Stockholm Arlanda.

Crew familiarisation on the A380 will take place on flights to Frankfurt and possibly other European trunk routes. I’ll post any updates on here as soon as I find out more.


Budapest spotting terrace to reopen

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Airport Spotting Guide, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Spotting News | Posted on 10-06-2013


Budapest Airport‘s spotting terrace is to be reopene following renovation work.

The terrace is atop Terminal 2A, and was closed a few years ago when work was being carried out to expand the building.

Now, work is being undertaken to install a glass frontage and netting to protect aircraft from foreign objects, ahead of it reopening in July. The terrace will be open 24 hours with an entrance fee of HUF 400 (EUR 1.35)

The terrace offers views over the airport’s two runways and aircraft using the terminal. Photographs are possible, however the new glass frontage may limit how your pictures turn out.

Venezuela to ban older generation airliners

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting, South America, Spotting News, Venezuela | Posted on 09-06-2013


Rutaca 737-200Venezuela is set to ban all older generation jet airliners in the country, presumably in a bid to improve safety standards and the quality of its air travel offering compared to other countries.

Aircraft such as the Boeing 727, 737-200, and Douglas DC-9 are all on the list of types that will be banned from November 2013.

Airlines such as Aeropostal, Aserca, Avior, Conviasa, Estelar Latinoamerica, Laser, and RUTACA Airlines are all working on finding replacement aircraft for their fleets. Replacements will come in the form of MD-80s, and 737-300/400s which are in themselves regarded as classics, yet often significantly more recent than the older types.

Heathrow Terminal 2 due for June 2014 opening

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Heathrow, Miscellaneous Spotting, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 08-06-2013


Heathrow Terminal 2London Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 is due to open on 4th June, 2014, it has been announced.

The £2.5 billion structure has been taking shape since the old terminal was demolished in 2009.

The new Terminal 2 will be home to Star Alliance at Heathrow, and the first flight to use the facility is scheduled to be United Airlines’ 05:55 arrival from Chicago on the day of opening. Other airlines to use it include Aer Lingus, Germanwings, and Virgin Atlantic Little Red.

Six months of tests are due to take place to ensure the facility is up to the standard of Terminal 5, which is the airport’s most recent addition.


Transaero receives second cargo TU-204 aircraft

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Austria, Eastern Europe, Russia, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 07-06-2013


Tu_204-100c_2_Oleg_BotovTransaero Airlines continues to expand its cargo fleet with the addition of a second Tupolev TU-204-100C aircraft.

The TU-204-100C, tail number RA64051, was delivered to the airline upon the completion of the technical acceptance procedure at Ulyanovsk’s Aviastar-SP manufacturing company.

The first TU-204-100C cargo aircraft was delivered to the airline in April 2013.

Transaero has chosen the TU-204-100C aircraft with a view to enhancing its cargo transport operations. The acquisition of the freighter cements the airline’s commitment to supporting the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry.

The airline plans to operate the aircraft on domestic as well as international routes. Olga Pleshakova, General Director Transaero Airlines, said: “We plan to operate this cargo aircraft on the routes to Vienna and London as well as to other European destinations”.

Emirates A380 coming to Zurich

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, Switzerland, Western Europe | Posted on 07-06-2013


Emirates will begin flying its Airbus A380 aircraft to Zurich from 1st January 2014.

The airline currently operates two daily flights from Dubai to Zurich; the A380 will operate on the afternoon flight.

The move will provide an additional 1,100 seats between the cities in each direction every week.

Norwegian to operate 787 flights in Europe

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, France, Norway, Spain, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 06-06-2013


Norwegian Dreamliner 2 photo_Atle StraumeNorwegian plans to use its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners on routes to European destinations from both its Oslo and London Gatwick bases.

Routes from Oslo include Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, and Nice. Various destinations from Gatwick will also be used.

787 Dreamliner summer schedule: 
Oslo – Malaga – Oslo: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
Oslo – Alicante – Oslo: Monday and Friday
Oslo – Barcelona – Oslo: Monday and Friday
Oslo – London – Oslo: Thursday and Sunday
Oslo – Nice – Oslo: Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday

These flights will aid in crew familiarisation training ahead of the type beginning long-haul flying for Norwegian (see 787 Routes Page for more info)

SAS to retire last MD-82 in October

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Denmark, Norway, Spotting News, Sweden, Western Europe | Posted on 06-06-2013


SAS MD82SAS Scandinavian Airlines has announced that it will retire its last McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft in October.

It will reduce its remaining fleet of nine aircraft between now and 26 October, when the final flight will take place between Stockholm Arlanda and Copenhagen Kastrup.

Prior to this final flight, a special tour of the three Scandinavian capitals will depart from Copenhagen, and include flying over the Arctic Circle in Norway and a fly by of Bodø Airport. A farewell ceremony will also be held at Copenhagen.

First 787-9 begins assembly

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, USA | Posted on 04-06-2013


First 787-9 in Factory at Final Body JoinBoeing has begun assembling the first 787-9 aircraft at its Everett facility, with the joining of the main parts of the fuselage.

Boeing’s global partners delivered the first 787-9 sections to final assembly on or ahead of schedule, and strong progress continues beyond, with major assembly under way on the other flight-test airplanes. “The dedication, quality and skill of our partners are helping drive our disciplined performance,” said Jenks.

Boeing will build the first three 787-9s on its Temporary Surge Line in Everett to allow for smoother integration of the 787-9 into the production system while continuing to ramp up production across the 787 program. The 787-9 will complement and extend the 787 family, offering airlines the ability to grow routes opened with the 787-8. With the fuselage stretched by 20 feet (6 meters), the 787-9 will carry 40 more passengers an additional 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers) while using 20 percent less fuel than similarly sized aircraft.

First flight of the 787-9 is scheduled for the second half of 2013, with first delivery to launch customer Air New Zealand set for early 2014. 20 customers around the world have ordered 355 787-9s, accounting for 40 percent of all 787 orders.

Malta Airport’s new viewing area

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Malta, Spotting News, Western Europe | Posted on 04-06-2013


Malta AirportIt’s not often that you hear about new spotting facilities being provided by airports, however Malta Airport recently bucked the trend by opening a new outdoor viewing area.

The terrace is on Level 3 of the airport terminal and gives views across the main apron for passenger aircraft, and the runway beyond.

You can visit the viewing area during the airport’s daytime opening hours. It will be closed during adverse weather.