Theme Week: Preserved Airliners in Brazil

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Brazil, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 19-06-2014

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 BrazilThemeWeek

This post is part of a series on Brazil looking at aviation in the country to coincide with the 2014 football World Cup held there. The previous posts looked at the special World Cup liveries worn by various airlines in the lead up to the tournament, a general overview of airlines and airports in Brazil, and Spotting at Sao Paulo’s airports. In this post we’ll look at preserved airliners in Brazil.

Back in the day, if you thought of Brazil’s airlines you thought of VARIG, VASP and Cruziero. These carriers dated back a long way, but sadly none of them weathered the financial troubles that would come their way.

But visitors to Brazil can still see a number of preserved aircraft which once belonged to these and other pioneering airlines from the country.

Aviation Museums in Brazil
The main aviation museums in Brazil which have airliners on display include:

Museu Aeroespaciale in Rio de Janeiro – Campo Dos Afonsos
Includes lots of Brazilian Air Force airliner/transports, such as Boeing 737-200, 737-300, four Douglas C-47 variants, de Havilland Dragon Rapide, Lockheed Lodestar, Vickers Viscount 700, Embraer Banderiante, plus a VARIG Lockheed L188 Electra.

TAM Museum Constellation

TAM Museum in São Carlos
A growing collection of significant historical aircraft created by the founder of TAM Airlines. It has a number of airliners on display, including a Douglas DC-3, Embraer Bandeirante, Fokker F-27, F-100, and Panair do Brasil Lockheed Constellation in immaculate condition.

Other preserved airliners
In addition to the museums, a number of other airliners are preserved around Brazil, including:

Araquara
A private owner bought and preserved a rusting VASP Boeing 737-200 on his land, and is now turning it into a cafe and children’s play area. The aircraft if PP-SFI.

Rio de Janeiro Galeao Air Base
Has a Brazilian Air Force BAe 748 preserved outside.

Sao Jose dos Campos Brazilian Aerospace Memorial
A couple of Embraer prototypes are on display amongst the military aircraft.

Sao Paulo Parque dom Pedro
A classic Douglas DC-3, PT-KUB, is on display in this downtown Sao Paulo park.

Tijucas
By the side of the road in this rural area is a NAMC YS-11 converted into a restaurant. Formerly PP-CTI.

PP-CTI NAMC YS-11 (c) Daniel R Popinga

PP-CTI NAMC YS-11. Courtesy of Flickr

Theme Week: Spotting at Sao Paulo’s Airports

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Brazil, South America, Spotting Hotels | Posted on 18-06-2014

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BrazilThemeWeek

This post is part of a series on Brazil looking at aviation in the country to coincide with the 2014 football World Cup held there. The previous posts looked at the special World Cup liveries worn by various airlines in the lead up to the tournament, and a general overview of airlines and airports in Brazil. In this post we’ll look at the spotting opportunities at Sao Paulo’s.

Sao Paulo has two airports – Gaurulhos, which is the main international airport, and Congonhas, which is a busy domestic airport. Here is a guide to the best places to spot at the two airports.

Sao Paulo

Spotting at Guarulhos Airport

Guarulhos is the largest airport in South America, and a busy international gateway to Brazil. It is located in the north of the city and has two parallel runways and four terminal sections.

Sao Paulo Guarulhos

The airport is a main hub to TAM Airlines and Gol Transportes Aereos. It is also served by major carriers such as:

Aerolineas Argentinas
Aeromexico
Air Canada
Air China
Air France
Alitalia
American Airlines
Avianca
British Airways
Cubana
Delta
Emirates
Ethiopian Airlnes
Etihad
Iberia
KLM
Qantas
Qatar Airways
Singapore Airlines
TAAG Angola
TAP Portugal
Turkish Airlines
United

GuarulhosMap

Inside the terminal there are two areas where you can see aircraft, at either ends of the building through large windows, but you will miss some movements.

The Hotel Matiz is great for spotting, as it has a terrace which is perfect for landing shots. However, sometimes this is closed, or requires to you pay for day access if you’re not a guest. It is best to e-mail the hotel a few days prior to your arrival to request access. It is situated at the westerly end of the runways.

Nearby the Matiz is an area of grass underneath the approach to runways 09L/R, which is a 30 minute walk from the terminal. You can’t park here, but it is safe to spot and photograph.

Hotel Matiz Guarulhos

Hotel Matiz Guarulhos

As for spotting hotels at Guarulhos, the Hotel Matiz mentioned above is the best option as it has great views of arrivals and a terrace. Aircraft can be read off from rooms facing the airport. Hotel website.

Access to Guarulhos is best by car, taxi or bus.  There is also a free bus transfer to Congonhas airport for Gol and TAM passengers.

 

Spotting at Congonhas Airport

Congonhas Airport Terminal

Situated 5 miles from downtown Sao Paulo, Congonhas sits atop a plateau surrounded by the urban sprawl. It is a tricky airport for pilots because of its short runways.

Congonhas has a single terminal, two runways, and is Brazil’s third busiest airport in terms of passengers, and second busiest in terms of aircraft movements. So there’s plenty to see!

It is now only a domestic airport, having lost its international flights. It is quite popular with executive aircraft. The principal airlines are:

Avianca Brazil
Azul
Brava Linhas Aereas
Gol
TAM Airlines

Congonhas Map

Avenue Washington Luiz is a good spotting location at Congonhas as it has a walkway alongside which parallels the runway. You can walk here from the terminal if you turn right. However, it can be unsafe to be here alone or for long.

Another good spot if runway 17R is in use is to continue along Avenue Washington Luiz to where it joins Avenue Bandeirantes. Aircraft will pass above you at close quarters.

800px-AeroportoCongonhas_ALS2

A good value spotting hotel at Congonhas Airport is the Ibis Hotel Congonhas. It is situated next to the terminal, and rooms on higher floors have a great view of all movements. Hotel website.

The airport is accessed by car, taxi or bus. Free shuttle buses link Guarulhos and Viracopos International for passengers.

 

Theme Week: Brazil’s Airlines and Airports Overview

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Brazil, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 17-06-2014

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BrazilThemeWeek

 

This post is part of a series on Brazil looking at aviation in the country to coincide with the 2014 football World Cup held in the country. The previous post looked at the special World Cup liveries worn by various airlines in the lead up to the tournament. In this post we’ll look at the main airlines and airports in Brazil.

For many years if you thought of airlines in Brazil, you would instantly think of VARIG, VASP, Rio Sul or Cruzeiro. These airlines dominated air travel in the country and it seemed inconceivable that between 1993 and 2006 all four of them would disappear amidst bankruptcies and mergers (VARIG re-emerged briefly, only to disappear into Gol).

Airlines of Brazil Today

Today air travel in Brazil is dominated by three major carriers, Azul, Gol and TAM Airlines, alongside a number of smaller regional and franchise carriers. We’ll take a look in more detail at some of these below:

Azul

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras
Founded in 2008, Azul is based at São Paulo Campinas and Belo Horizonte-Confins airports.
Fleet: ATR 42 and 72, Embraer 175, 190 and 195. Airbus A330s and A350s on order.
Azul flies principally on domestic routes across Brazil from its main bases and focus cities. It occasionally flies international charters, and is planning to commence international scheduled service to the US in the future.

Gol B737-800 Curitiba

Gol Transportes Aéreos
Founded in 2001 with bases in Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Fleet: Gol has over 140 Boeing 737-700 and -800 aircraft, with 737MAX 8’s on order.
Gol flies an extensive domestic network within Brazil. It also offers international flights to countries across South America, the Caribbean, and United States.

TAM 777

TAM Airlines
Founded in 1976, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that TAM emerged as a major player in Brazilian aviation. Today it is the country’s largest airline, with bases at São Paulo-Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, and Brasília International airports.
Fleet: TAM operates over 170 aircraft, including Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330-200, Boeing 767-300ER, and Boeing 777-300ER. It has 30 Airbus A350s on order.

TRIP E175

Other notable airlines of Brazil include:

ABSA Cargo, which operates Boeing 767-300 freighters from Campinas.
Avianca Brazil, an offshoot of the Colombian carrier, with over 40 aircraft operating from Sao Paulo Garulhos.
Passaredo Linhas Aereas, operating ATR 72-600s on domestic services from Dr. Leite Lopes Airport, Ribeirão Preto.
TRIP Linhas Aereas, which has a fleet of ATR 42/72 and Embraer 175/190 flying domestic and regional routes from Belo Horizonte.

 

Sao Paulo Guarulhos

Airports in Brazil

There are over 200 airports in Brazil, and most of the major urban areas have one. Not all have regular air service, with some restricted to general aviation and military flying.

The busiest airport in Brazil is São Paulo-Guarulhos International, which was the 33rd busiest in the world in 2013, and looks to have risen in the rankings in 2014. It handled 36,460,923 passengers last year.

The city’s Congonhas Airport is the country’s second busiest, closely followed by Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão International Airport.

Here’s a list of the top 20 busiest airports in Brazil in 2013, in terms of passengers handled:

Rank Airport City Passengers
1 Guarulhos International Airport São Paulo 36,460,923
2 Congonhas Airport São Paulo 17,119,530
3 Galeão International Airport Rio de Janeiro 17,115,368
4 Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport Brasília 16,489,996
5 Tancredo Neves International Airport Belo Horizonte 10,301,288
6 Viracopos International Airport Campinas 9,294,446
7 Santos Dumont Airport Rio de Janeiro 9,204,603
8 Salvador International Airport Salvador 8,589,663
9 Salgado Filho International Airport Porto Alegre 7,993,164
10 Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre International Airport Recife 6,840,276
11 Afonso Pena International Airport Curitiba 6,742,133
12 Pinto Martins International Airport Fortaleza 5,959,629
13 Hercílio Luz International Airport Florianópolis 3,872,877
14 Val de Cães International Airport Belém 3,475,611
15 Eurico de Aguiar Salles Airport Vitória 3,450,736
16 Eduardo Gomes International Airport Manaus 3,077,077
17 Santa Genoveva Airport Goiânia 3,000,592
18 Marechal Rondon Airport Cuiabá 2,981,025
19 Augusto Severo International Airport Natal 2,408,206
20 Zumbi dos Palmares International Airport Maceió 1,943,437

 

Campo de Marte Airport

Campo de Marte Airport

When looking at the number of aircraft movements (of more interest to the enthusiast than passengers, after all!), the top two remain the same. However, the third busiest is Brasilia, and fifth is São Paulo’s Campo de Marte airport which has no airline traffic at all, but is a busy general aviation and military facility.

Another airport featuring high in the ranks of movements is Jundiaí Airport which, again, is only a general aviation facility with no airline movements, but still very busy.

Where to Spot Aircraft in Brazil

Naturally the most popular airports for spotting in Brazil are the big ones with the most airliner movements. These are São Paulo’s Congonhas and Guarulhos airports, Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão and Santos Dumont airports, and Brasilia Airport. All of these airports have observation areas and a good mix of traffic.

Rio's Santos Dumont Airport

Rio’s Santos Dumont Airport

For those wanting to see the production of Embraer aircraft, the best airfield for this is Unidade Gavião Peixoto Airport to the north west of Sao Paulo. Other airfields where Embraer carries out production are São José dos Campos and Botucatu.

Greenland Express starts flying

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Denmark, North America, Western Europe | Posted on 16-06-2014

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Greenland Express

Greenland Express is a new airline hoping to revitalise air travel and tourism in the northern Danish outpost with low fares and a number of destinations.

The airline will launch services on 17 June using a Fokker 100 aircraft, flown by ACMI operator Denim Air. The aircraft is registered PH-MJP.

The airline is actually based in Aalborg, Denmark. It will offer flights on the following routes:

Aalborg – Kangerlussuaq
Aalborg – Keflavik
Aalborg – Narsarsuaq
Aalborg – Copenhagen
Keflavik – Narsarsuaq
Keflavik – Aalborg
Keflavik – Kangerlussuaq
Keflavik – Copenhagen
Copenhagen – Narsarsuaq
Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
Copenhagen – Aalborg
Copenhagen – Keflavik
Narsarssuaq – Aalborg*
Narsarssuaq – Keflavik*
Narsarssuaq – Copenhagen*

* Routing from Narsarssuaq is via Kangerlussuaq.

The airline says of its service: “We are looking forward to offering a new alternative for air transport between Denmark and Greenland with safety and personal service in focus, and at quite competitive prices.”

Theme Week: Brazil World Cup special airline liveries

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News | Posted on 16-06-2014

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This week on AirportSpotting we’re starting a new theme to coincide with the World Cup. We’ll be looking at all aspects of aviation in Brazil, from the airlines to the airports and all the great things to see.

In today’s post, we look at some of the special airline liveries and logos that have been applied for the 2014 World Cup.

Gol

PR-GUO (grafitti) now is the official airplane to carry Brazilian Team in World Cup It was painted by "Os Gemeos" (the twins) (c) Eduardo Teodoro

PR-GUO (grafitti) now is the official airplane to carry Brazilian Team
in World Cup It was painted by “Os Gemeos” (the twins) (c) Eduardo Teodoro

PR-GUM was used by Brazilian Team in the Cup of Confederation (c) Eduardo Teodoro

PR-GUM was used by Brazilian
Team in the Cup of Confederation (c) Eduardo Teodoro

Qantas

Qantas have painted Boeing 747-400 with a large football and goal, and football boots applied to the kangaroo logo on the tail. Photo (c) Lee Gatland

Qantas have painted Boeing 747-400 with a large football and goal, and football boots applied to the kangaroo logo on the tail. Photo (c) Lee Gatland

Danish Air Transport

This DAT MD-80, OY-RUE, carries Coca-Cola/FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour scheme (c) Eduardo Teodoro

This DAT MD-80, OY-RUE, carries Coca-Cola/FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour scheme (c) Eduardo Teodoro

JAL Japan Air Lines

JAL 777 World Cup

JAL have got into the spirit of things with these stickers on 777-200 JA8985 (c) Hajime Suzuki

 

Aerolineas Argentinas

Bringing the Argentinian team over the border is 737-700 LV-CSI

Bringing the Argentinian team over the border is 737-700 LV-CSI (c) Aerolineas Argentinas

Brussels Airlines

Belgium's Red Devils scheme has been painted on an A319, and this A330 OO-SFO

Belgium’s Red Devils scheme has been painted on an A319, and this A330 OO-SFO (c) Brussels Airlines

Lufthansa

Lufthansa becomes 'Fanhansa' for the World Cup. A number of its aircraft have had the titles applied.

Lufthansa becomes ‘Fanhansa’ for the World Cup. A number of its aircraft have had the titles applied. (c) Lufthansa

Theme Week: Aviation in Brazil

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Brazil, Miscellaneous Spotting, South America | Posted on 15-06-2014

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BrazilThemeWeek

Brazil is a huge country, and it has been investing in its aviation network over recent years.

Brazil has mentioned plans to build as many as 800 airports to cope with the vast distances involved in reaching some parts of the country. With a population of 198 million and many airports bursting at the seams, this isn’t such a crazy idea.

Whilst the days of the big Brazilian airlines VARIG and VASP are long gone, new airlines such as TAM and Gol are thriving, and many international airlines focus a lot of attention on the country.

Chris the Redeemer in Rio de JaneiroFor enthusiasts, most of the big airports have observation decks which can be used to log and photograph airliners, and it is generally accepted that people enjoy doing this.

There are also a number of good spotting hotels to help with the hobby.

So over the coming week we’ll post a number of articles on topics such as:

Special World Cup airline schemes
Brazil’s Airlines and Airports Overview
Spotting at Sao Paulo’s airports
Preserved Airliners in Brazil
Spotting at Rio de Janeiro

Batik Air first A320 revealed

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Indonesia | Posted on 13-06-2014

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A320 Batik Air

Batik Air’s first Airbus A320 aircraft has been revealed in Toulouse.

With the airline’s colourful livery, the aircraft will be delivered in Q3 2014 and will be operated by Lion Group’s full service unit Batik Air on its growing domestic and regional network. 

The aircraft is the first from a major order placed by the Lion Group in March 2013 for a total of 234 A320 Family aircraft (109 A320neo, 65 A321neo and 60 A320ceo).

5 new airlines in Africa

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Ghana, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa | Posted on 06-06-2014

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A lot of new airlines are starting up in Africa at the moment. Here are five to look out for…

 

Libyan Wings

Libyan Wings, based at Tripoli, is due to take delivery of two Airbus A319s later this year on lease. The airline is expecting to start flying by September, offering scheduled services. It has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to order Airbus A320neo and A350-900 aircraft.

Discovery Air

Discovery Air of Nigeria has already taken delivery of a couple of Boeing 737-300s and indents to launch flights this month, once its Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority certification is granted. The airline hopes to fly from both Abuja and Lagos to Port Harcourt Omagwa.

FlyAfrica

flyafrica.com is a new Zimbabwean carrier looking to break the monopoly of Air Zimbabwe. It has gained its Air Operators Certificate and hopes to start flying this month. It has sourced five ex-CSA Boeing 737-500s, and will operate from Harare to Bulawayo, Johannesburg and Victoria Falls.

Air Azman

Air Azman of Nigeria has recently been granted its Air Operator’s Certificate and now operates two Boeing 737-300s which were formerly flown by bmibaby. It plans flights across Africa from Kano, Abuja and Lagos, as well as to Dubai.

GoldStar Airlines

Goldstar Airlines is another new airline from Ghana. It hopes to begin services to China, the UK and USA, as well as offering flights to Brazil during the World Cup. Although flight times are available on the airline’s website, there are no aircraft or start dates available yet.

 

Arik Air coming to Dubai

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Dubai, Middle East, Nigeria | Posted on 05-06-2014

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Arik Air

Nigeria’s Arik Air will commence flights to Dubai from 28 July using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Outbound flights will depart from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), Lagos at 1905 (local time) arriving at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2020 (local time). The flight will then continue on to Dubai, departing Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Abuja at 2150 (local time) finally arriving at Dubai International Airport (DXB), Dubai Terminal 1 at 0720 (local time).

The inbound flight will depart Dubai at 1030 (local time) and arrives in Abuja at 1430 (local time). The flight continues on to Lagos, leaving Abuja at 1600 (local time) and arriving in Lagos at 1715 (local time).

Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Arik Air’s Global Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“This is another exciting moment for us all at Arik Air, not only launching a new international destination, but becoming the first airline to link the capital Abuja to Dubai. The importance of Dubai as the Middle East’s commercial capital makes it imperative for Arik Air to connect the city with Lagos which is a Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Transaero to operate Boeing 747 on domestic routes

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Eastern Europe, Russia | Posted on 04-06-2014

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Transaero Boeing 747-400

Transaero Airlines will begin flights from Moscow to Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Vladivostok and Khabarovsk using Boeing 747-400 aircraft. This move is aimed at meeting the increasing demand during the summer season 2014.

Flights began to Vladivostok on 21 May, with other routes coming online in June and July.

Transaero is the only operator of passenger Boeing 747-400 aircraft in Eastern Europe, the CIS and Russia. These aircraft operate flights on the most popular leisure and scheduled routes from Moscow to numerous destinations in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. In summer season 2014, Boeing 747-400 aircraft will operate from Saint Petersburg to Greece, Cyprus, Tunisia and Turkey.