Delta introducing Boeing 717 to Newark

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, North America, USA | Posted on 20-07-2013


Delta 717Delta Air Lines will introduce its new Boeing 717 aircraft on the Atlanta – Newark route when the type enters service.

The aircraft are ex-AirTran machines, sold following their merger with Southwest.

Delta expects to begin Boeing 717 flights from 19 September, with up to 10 daily operating to Newark by 19 October.

1,000th Airbus A330 delivered to Cathay Pacific

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, France, Hong Kong, Western Europe | Posted on 19-07-2013


A330-300 Cathay PacificCathay Pacific today received the 1,000th Airbus A330 aircraft in a ceremony at Toulouse.

“The A330 has played an integral part in Cathay Pacific’s growth and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership in the future,” said Ivan Chu, Chief Operating Officer, Cathay Pacific Airways. “The A330 is the backbone of our mid-size fleet and we are delighted with the reliability, flexibility and above all the economics of this great aircraft. We are very proud to be the recipient of the 1,000th A330.”

Since its first delivery of the A330 in 1995, Cathay Pacific’s Airbus fleet now comprises 38 A330-300s and 11 A340s.

The 1,000th A330 carries the registration B-LBB.

Wizz Air adds Moscow flights

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Hungary, Russia | Posted on 19-07-2013


Wizz Air continues to push east with the announcement today that it will commence 5x weekly flights from Budapest to Moscow Vnukovo.

Flights will begin on 23 September using Airbus A320 aircraft.

The announcement follows recent new route announcements by Wizz Air from Venice and Rome to Chisinau, and its first forays into Africa with new routes to Egypt.

Tassili Airlines launches France routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in About The Site, Africa, Algeria, Dubai, Eastern Europe, France, Middle East, Spain, Turkey, Western Europe | Posted on 17-07-2013


Tassili AirlinesAlgeria’s recently-formed Tassili Airlines has started its first international services, with routes linking Bejaja to St. Etienne, and Jijel to Grenoble.

The airline is planning further international expansion, with routes linking Algeria to Dubai, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey all touted for a start before the end of 2013.

Heathrow unveils new third runway options

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Heathrow, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 17-07-2013


Heathrow R3 south west optionHeathrow Airport has submitted three options for a new third runway to the Davies Commission, which is looking at raising airport capacity.

The airport argues that building a third runway at the hub would raise capacity from 480,000 flights each year to 740,000. It would also be the cheapest and quickest option to solve the capacity problems, instead of building a completely new airport.

Heathrow’s preferred option would be to place a new runway to the north-west or the south-west of the airport.

The Davies Commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, was set up last year to examine “the need for additional UK airport capacity and recommend to government how this can be met in the short, medium and long term”.

It is expected to recommend options by the end of this year, but will not submit its final report until summer 2015.

Thinking of becoming a pilot? Read Jason’s entertaining account – Book Review

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Book Reviews, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 16-07-2013


Take Your Wings and FlyJason Smart had always wondered what it would be like to fly a small aircraft, and had been fascinated by flight from a young age.

After a terrifying flight in a friend’s microlight aircraft, he decided to take a taster flying lesson in a ‘larger’ Cessna light aircraft. Despite the overwhelming unfamiliarity of the experience, he was hooked and went on to complete his training and gain his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).

He decided to write down his experiences in this new book, Take Your Wings and Fly – A Journey Through a Private Pilot’s Licence, to help inspire (and perhaps pacify) others who are learning to fly, or have already gained their licence.

Written in a diary style, Jason takes the reader through the realities of learning to fly. From the confusing jargon, the thrills of first solos, and the points where nothing seems to click, to the exams, the days the weather cancels flying, the language of ATC, and the final test.

Here’s a sample where Jason struggles with the subtleties of landings…

Day 19. Thursday 15 August
Lesson 16: Circuit Bashing #6
The weather was good. Up we went into the circuit. After a few landings,
James told me I would be doing the landing completely unaided.
My approach was good, considering the crosswind, but my landing was
disastrous. In the flare, James took control at the last second to avoid a nasty liaison with the runway. We went around again.
On the next go, everything was fine until just over the runway threshold. I
still couldn’t judge how much to pull back on the yoke. Also just to add to my
woes I found it hard keeping the aircraft straight.
“C’mon… more right rudder!” James shouted. “And more back pressure
on the yoke!” And then we’d bumped down with a crunch. Up we went once more.

Yesterday, I read the average student took between 12-15 hours to go solo.
I was now at 16 hours and felt ages away from even considering going up by
myself. I couldn’t even land. After we’d parked up, I questioned James about it,
deciding to broach the subject tactfully and diplomatically.
“So am I shit at landing or what?”


The book is hugely entertaining, and goes on to cover Jason’s flying after gaining his licence, which is a great inspiration for those who have already gained their wings. Follow him on trips to other airfields and see how his skills develop.

Take Your Wings and Fly is available now through Destinworld Publishing, and also available on Amazon

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.