Air Serbia 737s live on as Aviolet

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Eastern Europe, Serbia | Posted on 26-05-2014

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Aviolet 737-300

Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways) will retain three of its Boeing 737-300 aircraft to operate charters under the new brand Aviolet.

The 144-seat aircraft will be based at Belgrade Airport and operate passenger charters to Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy and Egypt. The first flight operated from Belgrade to Antalya on 24 May.

A schedule of planned flights is available on the airline’s website.

Asiana Airbus A380 delivery

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, South Korea, Spotting News | Posted on 26-05-2014

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A380 ASIANA AIRLINES

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380. It becomes the 11th airline to operate the type.

This aircraft, registered HL7625, is the first of six that the airline has on order.

Asiana Airlines will initially deploy its new flagship aircraft from Seoul on regional services in Asia to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok, followed by long-haul routes to Los Angeles.

“We are delighted to receive our first A380 today, which is key to our future vision and fleet modernisation strategy”, said Park Sam Koo, Chairman of Kumho Asiana Group. “I am confident that Asiana can further enhance its level of customer service and that the A380 will play a significant role in helping us to remain at the forefront of the airline business.”

Spotting from the Toronto Sheraton Gateway Hotel

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Canada, North America, Spotting Hotels, Spotting Trip Reports | Posted on 24-05-2014

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One of the best spotting hotels at Toronto Pearson International Airport is the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Dave Parker recently visited and gave the following report from his time there. The pictures are also taken by Dave from the hotel (see more here).

Toronto View from Sheraton room 846

View from room 846

There Sheraton Gateway is connected to Terminal 3 and offers views across the ramps and active runways. I requested a high room with a view and was contacted by the hotel offering a club upgrade for C$30.  This guaranteed top floor and free Internet, breakfast and evening snacks. I was duly given room 846 and was not disappointed. The views were fantastic across the ramps, and with traffic landing on left and right runways towards he hotel nothing could be missed with either optics or SBS. Although Terminal 1 is not viewable, most aircraft taxi in front of Terminal 3 in transit to and from the runways.  For the photographer, the views through glass are not perfect. There is a tint and you have to search out a sweet spot for best clarity. I have updated my phanfare site so you can view a collection of photos there to get a feel for what is possible.

On the whole I would say is one of the best hotels for views at Toronto. I did check the layout and it looks like rooms in the 827-837 and 843-853 would give similar views and presumably floors 6 and 7, although I suspect level 6 might have some terminal structure blocking some of the views. I do recommend the Club floor as there is 24hr access to the lounge with Starbucks Coffee and soft drinks on tap. Evening nibbles were also good.

Toronto Air Canada A320 C-FPWE

I stayed two nights (Saturday & Sunday). Activity was fairly constant although after a while repeats creep in. You will not get all of the Air Canada fleet as it tends to be slow to move between bases. That is especially true for the Express/Jazz fleets. You will, however, see a reasonable percentage of the A319s, A320s, E190s and E170s. Beech1900. DHC8-100/200 and DHC-400s, CRJ and CRJ700 all repeated regularly with no new ones noted after midday on the second day. Sunday was very good for Westjet, Sunwing and Canjet presumably due to weekend IT schedules.

Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport

A selection of US Airlines can be seen mainly using smaller equipment (Delta CRJs, American E170, CRJ7, USAir E170, CRJs, United E170, DHC-8). On the International front, the highlight is the Hainan 787. Others include SATA A310, LOT 787, Cubana A320 (LY-), TACA A320, Caribbean/Air Jamaica B738s, Korean B772s and the usual European heavies.

Visit the Sheraton Gateway Hotel website here: www.sheratongatewaytorontoairport.com

Amerijet expands with new bases and routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, North America, USA | Posted on 21-05-2014

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Amerijet 767

Cargo airline Amerijet International is expanding with two new bases and 11 new routes.

New bases will be created at Reno-Tahoe Airport, and Rickenbacker Airport near Columbus.

The airline will then begin Boeing 767 flights between the two hubs to connect its growing network.

“Amerijet’s selection of Reno-Tahoe International for its west coast operation is amazing news for our airport and our community,” Marily Mora, President/CEO of Reno-Tahoe International Airport, said. Rollins further added “This service connects Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Reno on the west coast with Columbus, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Newark and Atlanta on the east coast.”

Amerijet operated a fleet of Boeing 727-200 and 767-200 freighter aircraft. It has an existing hub at Miami International Airport serving South America.

Air Canada’s first Boeing 787 delivered

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Canada, France, Heathrow, Israel, Middle East, North America, Spotting News, Switzerland, UK | Posted on 19-05-2014

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787-8 ACN #160-ZA610

Air Canada has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, registered C-GHPQ.

The aircraft, the first of Air Canada’s 37 787s on order for delivery through 2019, departed Paine Field in Everett, Wash. on its delivery flight to Toronto on 18th May.

Air Canada has announced it will use the 787 on its Toronto-Tel Aviv routes, as well as launch a new destination – Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The 787 is 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar-sized airplanes it will replace in Air Canada’s fleet.

Other routes scheduled to see Air Canada 787s include London Heathrow, Paris CDG and Zurich. See more on our Boeing 787 Routes page.

Whilst crews familiarise themselves with the aircraft, it will begin operating on the Toronto – Montreal domestic service at certain times over the next couple of months.

Air New Zealand Boeing 747 retirement

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Australasia, New Zealand | Posted on 15-05-2014

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Air New Zealand 747-400

Air New Zealand will be retiring their last Boeing 747-400 aircraft this September, with a special one-off flight planned.

The airline has operated various modes of the Jumbo Jet since it was first introduced to the fleet in 1981. It allowed the airline to introduce services to London, and pioneered its flagship route to the UK via Los Angeles (and later via Hong Kong). These services are now flown by more modern Boeing 777 aircraft.

The final 747 service is expected to be on 10th September 2014 from San Francisco to Auckland.

However, on 6th September a special one-off service from Auckland to Sydney will be flown.

Qantas Dallas route upgraded to A380

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Australasia, Australia, North America, USA | Posted on 14-05-2014

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Qantas_A380_VH-OQB_Sydney

Qantas’ record-breaking route from Sydney to Dallas Ft. Worth is to be upgraded to Airbus A380 equipment from 29 September.

The route is currently operated by a Boeing 747-400ER six times weekly, and recently featured in our Greatest Flights series as it’s now the longest passenger flight in the world.

With the upgrade to A380, the flight will no longer need to stop in Brisbane on the inbound leg.

Coincidentally, this will also give Qantas the crown for the longest A380 flight. Currently Emirates holds the record on its Dubai – Los Angeles route.

 

Etihad’s first 787 routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Abu Dhabi, Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Germany, India, Middle East, North America, Qatar, USA, Western Europe | Posted on 13-05-2014

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Etihad (ETI) 787-9 Artwork

Etihad Airways will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners later this year.

As part of the training programme for pilots and crews, the aircraft will operate initially on the short Abu Dhabi – Doha route from 1st – 31st December 2014.

The daily EY391/398 flight operates late at night on the 1 hour sector.

Other routes announced by Etihad for its Boeing 787s include Dusseldorf, Mumbai and Washington Dulles, all from December/January.

Find out more on our Boeing 787 Routes page.

Air Canada 787s to Paris

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Canada, France, Miscellaneous Spotting, North America, Western Europe | Posted on 13-05-2014

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Air Canada 787

Air Canada will introduce its new Boeing 787-8s to its Toronto – Paris CDG route.

Flights will replace the existing Boeing 767-300 service on AC880/881 from 1st December 2014.

Check out our Boeing 787 Routes page for more information.

5 Airports for Crosswind Landing Videos

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Asia, Germany, Japan, Miscellaneous Spotting, Portugal, Spotting Videos, Switzerland, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 11-05-2014

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If you want to get out there and capture some stunning videos or pictures of crosswind landings, here is some inspiration from five different airports.

The key to emphasising the crosswind is to be positioned looking down the runway, either in front of or behind arriving traffic.

Birmingham, UK

Dusseldorf, Germany

Funchal, Madeira

Tokyo Narita, Japan

Zurich, Switzerland

 

Airport Spotting Guides Europe book

Airport Spotting Guides Europe

Comprehensive guide book to Europe’s best airports for spotting aircraft. Includes:

  • Maps with spotting locations marked
  • Spotting hotels
  • Airlines, runway details, radio frequencies
  • Nearby aviation attractions – museums, airfields, preserved aircraft.

Perfect for your spotting trips. Buy your copy here!