Sunday 31 January 2016

Sunday Spotting

The day started off with a few of the regular rpt's coming in over our home including a few heavies.



SINGA PORE A330-343 9V-SSI (CN 1666)


Then we had a few diversions bound for Sydney call into Brisbane; which once again I was able to get from my home.

UNITED B777-222ER N216UA (CN 30549)


QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEJ (CN 32914)


We then as a family decided to go out to the airport for a while to get China Eastern and Thai coming in and China Airlines going out.


CHINA EASTERN A330-243 B-5943 (CN 1520)

THAI B787-8 HS-TQB (CN 35316)


CHINA AIRLINES B747-409 B-18203 (CN 28711)

Airlines pull out of Vanuatu

Virgin Australia has suspended its flights from Brisbane to Vanuatu along with Air New Zealand who has also suspended its flights from Auckland to Vanuatu due to concerns over the condition of the runway at Bauerfield International Airport. “We are working with authorities in Vanuatu to ensure the condition of the runway remains safe at all times and will continue to work closely with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority,” Virgin said in a statement.
While Air Vanuatu plans to maintain jet services at Port Vila Airport, the airline’s pilots will have the “final say” on whether the flights will operate. A World Bank concessional loan of US$59.5m (A$86.3m) to the Vanuatu Government was announced in 2015 that would include runway resurfacing. However, the work has not commenced leaving the runway to deteriorate.
Air Vanuatu has kept its Boeing 737-800 flights operating subject to ongoing inspections of the airfield.
Port Vila airport (IATA: VLI, ICAO: NVVV) has a single asphalt runway, 11/29, and it is 2,600m (8,530 feet) in length and it is 21m (65 feet) above sea level.

Friday 29 January 2016

Emirates launches Dubai - Auckland direct

EMIRATES B777-36NER A6-EGO (CN 37706) File Photo of a 777-300

Emirates will launch a daily non-stop service between Dubai and Auckland from 1 March 2016 using a Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, and this will be their fifth daily service to New Zealand.
This new service will operate as EK 448, the flight will depart Dubai at 10:05am and arrive in Auckland the following day at 11:00am (local summer time).
The return flight will operate as EK 449, departing Auckland at 9:30pm, arriving in Dubai the following morning at 5:45 am (local time)

Emirates will operate the world’s longest passenger flight when it begins its nonstop service to Auckland from its Dubai hub with a Boeing 777-200LR.
The Dubai-Auckland route measures 7,668 nautical miles, according to the Great Circle Mapper, eclipsing Qantas’s Airbus A380 route between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth at 7,454nm which currently holds the record as the longest nonstop passenger flight.

Every day Emirates flies the A380 from Dubai to Brisbane (EK 434); Dubai - Sydney (EK 412) Dubai - Melbourne (EK 406); these 3 A380's  then continue on to Auckland. Emirates also flies from Dubai - Bangkok - Sydney using a B777-300 ER. This aircraft then continues on to Christchurch

Saturday 23 January 2016

REX (Regional EXpress) pilots step up industrial action

REX SAAB 340B-VH-ZRY (CN 340B-401)           File Photo

Pilots at REX (Regional EXpress) are ramping up industrial action against the independent airline for its continued refusal to hand over compensation for nights spent away from home.

Some 13 pilots have been stood down for engaging in the action, which Australian Federation of Air Pilots executive director Simon Lutton said had resulted in delays to 12 services.
“In the face of the company’s escalation, we have little choice but to introduce new forms of industrial action, commencing from the first flight this Friday, and continuing every Monday and Friday,” Mr Lutton said.
The pilots initial industrial ­action involved not carrying round-trip fuel from major ports, meaning pilots were required to refuel at the more expensive regional ports. But Rex has refused to budge in negotiations and has been standing down pilots engaging in the action.
The new forms of industrial action will include not departing an aircraft with a defect that could normally be deferred; using instruments for all approaches, which is usually confined to poor weather and night flying; and not working on rostered days off.
A spokeswoman for Rex confirmed that the industrial action had resulted in 12 delayed flights on Monday and last Friday.
The spokeswoman also said that 95 per cent of issues have been settled and that only 2 to 3 per cent of pilots were partaking in the industrial action.
“AFAP has displayed bad faith in undertaking industrial action while good progress is being made,” the spokeswoman said.
“Rex will continue the good faith negotiations. As for the protected industrial action undertaken, Rex will be undertaking contingency plans to mitigate the impact to our customers.”
The AFAP and Rex have been negotiating for a new enterprise agreement since late 2013.
While there has been some progress, recent changes to rostering practices have resulted in some pilots spending up to five nights in a row away from their homes and families.
Rex pilots have traditionally accepted lower salaries than the industry standard in return for coming home each night.
The AFAP has applied for assistance from the Fair Work Commission. A fourth conciliation meeting is scheduled for next week.

Story sourced from

Thursday 21 January 2016

40 years ago today the Concorde entered service

40 years ago today the Concorde entered active service.
Its very first flight was actually on the 2nd March 1969 but its first revenue flight was 21st January 1976. It is one of only two supersonic transports to have ever entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144, which ran for a much shorter period of time, before being grounded and retired due to safety and budget issues.
A total of twenty Concorde aircraft were built at Toulouse in France and Filton in England. There were two prototypes (001-002), two pre-production aircraft (01-02) and sixteen production aircraft (201-216). The first two were retained by the manufacturers, seven were delivered to British Airways and seven to Air France. The first flight of Concorde (001) was on 2nd March 1969. The last flight was on 26th November 2003.
Concorde flew at Mach 2.02-2.04 (approx. 1350mph) and carried 100 passengers to the edge of space at a cruising altitude of 55,000 feet (16765m). On the ground Concorde was 203 feet 9 inches long but stretched by almost 10 inches in flight due to heating of the airframe. The famous swing-nose reached 127 Celsius - a stark contrast to the outside temperature of a subsonic aircraft of -50 Celsius. This high skin temperature also accounted for the excellent condition of the plane because the corrosion effects of moisture in the air were significantly reduced.
The inauguration of commercial supersonic travel by British Airways from London to Bahrain  (G-BOAA 206) and by Air France from Paris to Rio (F-BVFA 205) was on 21st January 1976. Concorde made many firsts and broke numerous records such as the New York to London record which was broken on 7th February 1996 by Captain Leslie Scott in a time of 2 hours 52 minutes 59 seconds.

The aircraft secured orders (i.e., non-binding options) for over 100 of the long-range version from the major airlines of the day: Pan Am, BOAC, and Air France were the launch customers, with six Concorde's each. Other airlines in the order book included Panair do Brasil, Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, American Airlines, United Airlines, Air India, Air Canada, Braniff, Singapore Airlines, Iran Air, Olympic Airways, Qantas, CAAC, Middle East Airlines, and TWA.
At the time of the first flight the options list contained 74 options from 16 airlines:
Panair do Brasil3Oct 196110 February 1965
Pan Am63 June 196331 January 19732 extra options in 1964
Air France63 June 19632 extra options in 1964
BOAC63 June 19632 extra options in 1964
324 July 1963Mar 1973
American Airlines47 October 1963Feb 19732 extra options in 1965
TWA416 October 196331 January 19732 extra options in 1965
Middle East Airlines24 December 1963Feb 1973
Qantas619 March 19642 cancelled in May 1966
Air India215 July 1964Feb 1975
Japan Airlines330 September 19651973
Sabena21 December 1965Feb 1973
Eastern Airlines228 June 1966Feb 19732 extra options on 15 August 1966
2 other extra options on 28 April 1967
United Airlines629 June 196626 October 1972
Braniff31 September 1966Feb 1973
Lufthansa316 February 1967Apr 1973
Air Canada41 March 19676 June 1972

I never knew QANTAS had considered ordering the Concorde

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Happy 22nd Birthday QATAR

Qatar Airways Logo.svg

QATAR Airways (IATA: QY; ICAO: QTR) was established on 22 November 1993 (1993-11-22); but operations commenced on the 20th January 1994 (1994-01-20) (1994-05). QATAR Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar. Their headquarters can be found in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha. The airline operates to over 140 international destinations across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania from its base at Hamad International Airport, using a fleet of more than 160 aircraft. This includes 6 A380's; 25 B787's; 28 A330's and of course 7 A350's putting QATAR Airways as the global launch customer for the A350.
Qatar Airways Group employs more than 31,000 people, of which 19,000 work directly for Qatar Airways. The carrier has been a member of the Oneworld alliance since October 2013 (2013-10), the first Gulf carrier to sign with one of the three airline alliances.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Late afternoon arrivals

Having my new job at Morningside in Brisbane can have its drawback and its benefits. The drawback is my new office is right on the flight path so when I sit at my desk on the phone or in a meeting all I hear all day is aircraft flying over head... some of them heavy which teases me all day. The benefits are I can get some great photos from the car park or I can drive 1 klm to the water front and get some great photos as you can see by the below photos I took this afternoon. The Singapore A330 was taken from the carpark; the other from the waterfront at Colmslie.

SINGAPORE A330-343 9V-SSD (CN 1562)

VIRGIN B737-8FE VH-VUZ (CN 39921)

TIGER AIR A320-232 VH-VNQ (CN 5218)

ETIHAD B787-9 A6-BLC (CN 39648)


QANTAS B737-838 VH-VYJ (CN 34182)

JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFN (CN 5566)

EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EEM (CN 0134)


Sunday 17 January 2016

China Eastern's inaugural flight into Brisbane...(for now!!)

China Eastern Airlines.png

Today saw the much anticipated arrival of China Eastern into Brisbane for the first time; and even though today was the inaugural for now; their time here is only for a few months. The flights between Brisbane and Shanghai it will only operate throughout January and February and then permanently return from November on three days each week.
China Eastern Airlines was established on 25 June 1988 under the CAAC Huadong Administration. In 1997, China Eastern took over unprofitable China General Aviation. In 1998 it founded China Cargo Airlines in a joint venture with COSCO. In March 2001, it completed the takeover of Great Wall Airlines. China Yunnan Airlines and China Northwest Airlines merged into China Eastern Airlines in 2003. When we arrived at the airport I dropped my wife and my eldest daughter off at one of our high rise carparks on the west side of the airport and my other daughter and I went around to the fire station on the east side of the airport.
China Eastern 715 touched down on Brisbane's runway 19 at 9.26am (23.26 UTC) 20 mins ahead of schedule and was treated to a water canon salute.

CHINA EASTERN A330-243 B-5968 (CN 1603) # #

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China Eastern had a departure time of 11.45am (01.45 UTC) but for some reason the return flight was delayed by just over an hour and it didn't depart until 12.55pm (02.55 UTC)

As we were driving into the airport we noticed a large red tail at the International and we realised we have had a diversion in the form of a Qantas A380. It was QF12 doing Los Angeles to Sydney but diverted to Brisbane due to fuel issues caused by very strong head winds.

KOREAN AIR A330-323 HL-8003 (CN 1590) # #


EMIRATES A380-861 A6-EET (CN 142)

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QANTAS (JET CONNECT) B737-838 ZK-ZQD (CN 34203) # #


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CHINA SOUTHERN A330-323 B-5970 (CN 1645)

JETSTAR A321-231 VH-VWT (CN 3717) # #

PHILIPPINES A321-231 RP-C9918 (CN 6493)

CHINA AIRLINES B747409 B-18205 (CN 28712)

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QANTAS B747-438 VH-OEE (CN 32909)

FIJI AIRWAYS B737-808 DQ-FJN (CN 34969)


JETSTAR A320-232 VH-VFV (CN 5859)

VH-XIJ (CN 41405)


Thanks once again goes to my children for their patience but also my wife Judy for her help today and her contribution; photos marked # # are hers.