Freitag, 28. September 2007

Innsbruck - January 2006

Innsbruck in winter offers you beautiful scenery and nice airplanes. More and more the Russians discover the alps for their holidays - especially around New Year many aircraft can be observed.
Welcome Air in this attractive yellow/purple color scheme operates a small fleet of 3 Dornier 328 aircraft - both, the propeller and the jet version - out of their homebase Innsbruck. OE-GBB is one of 2 turboprops and offers a seating capacity of 30.

It can get really cold at Innsbruck. Nestled between mountains, the sun raises late and sets early in wintertime. This Yak42 of Tatarstan Airlines rests for a couple of days and definitely needs some serious de-icing before being able to leave.

The biggest airplane flying to INN on a regular basis is the Boeing 757. Russian airlines have discovered that it fits their needs well - VIM Avia took over this former Condor example, and 15 more, and is using it for charter flights all over Europe and domestic flights. Today RA-73008 is parked at Munich and waiting for better times.

Yak Service is specialized in executive passenger charters and operates a fleet of Yak40/42s in VIP configuration. RA-88295 joined the fleet in 2000 when it was acquired from the Polish Air Force.

Austrian Arrows (formerly known as Tyrolean) operates 10 Bombardier DHC-8-400Q. OE-LGH was delivered in early 2003 and seats 70 passengers. The -400Q version has been stretched 6.83m compared to the DHC-8-300 and is fitted with an active noise and vibration system which reduces cabin noise to a level comparable to the Canadair Regional Jet.

Smart Wings is a Czech low-cost airline, which operated 4 Boeing 737-500 at the time. Originally 2 ex Lufthansa Boeings were used but later replaced by 4 former United examples. OK-SWU arrived in March 2005 from Goodyear/AZ where it was stored for half a year after the lease to United Airlines ended. In spring 2007 the airline ceased operations and is rumored to be purchased by Icelandair.

Dubai - February 2005

Dubai has always been special as a crossroad between Asia and Europe. As homebase of Emirates Airlines it shows how it is possible to build up a substantial hub within a few years.
Sadly the local authorities don't really support the keen aviation photographer, but not having this done for the first time, one can keep a low profile if necessary..

Silkway Azerbaijan Airlines operates the trusty Il-76 in many guises. This example, IL-76TD 4K-AZ26, still shows the colors of Uzbek TAPO Avia, a company connected to the manufacturer Tashkent Aviation Production Association. Silkway operates a fleet of several IL76 and An12s from her base at Baku / Azerbaijan.

South East Airlines from Bangladesh operates this sole Boeing 707-3K1C S2-ADU on freight charters. She was one of the last civilian examples built and operated for Tarom as YR-ABA (with whom I was lucky enough to sample a flight on this aircraft from Bucharest to Bangkok in the late 80's).

AeroAsia from Pakistan has been around since 1993. They operated all sorts of aircraft, incl. Russian types. The DC9-51s were leased from Ukrainian Khors Air which obtained it from Finnair in 2003.The airline had her AOC revoked recently due to safety concerns.

Yak-42 UR-42366 of Donbassaero on final approach to runway 30L. The airline name originates of the Donbass area in the east of the Ukraine, where coal mining is the main source for income and the majority of the people speak Russian.

British Gulf International Airlines is the illustrious name of this Kyrgyz cargo airline. Registered EX-164 and proudly named "Alex" this An12 has since changed to the Sao Tome register and operates mainly in Africa now.

Saudi Arabian operates several flights daily to DXB - the MD-90 HZ-APJ is one of a fleet of 29 aircraft of the type and is not seen often outside Arabia.

Tepper Aviation Inc. is one of many so-called CIA-companies. L100-30 Hercules N4557C has a pure civilian background and has seen service for CAAC/Air China, China Eastern and Safair before showing up in the clandestine world.

Donnerstag, 27. September 2007

Corfu - August 2004

The approach into Kerkyra (Corfu) - Ioannis Kapodistrias airport is usually performed with tear drop procedure passing over Garitsa VOR and then head south-east bound for 9NM before turning right and intercept the VOR-radial 346° inbound for the runway 35 with a slope of 3.32°.

LTU operated the Airbus A330-200 into CFU from Düsseldorf. Here D-ALPG arrives out of the early morning mist. Up to 323 sunseeking tourists will arrive shortly and keep the terminal building buzzing with people.

Air Sea Lines has her base at the Gouvia Marina north of Kerkyra town. Flights to Paxos and Lefkos are offered, but charter and sightseeing flights are available as well. Twin Otter SX-BMG arrived at Corfu in July 2004, after being converted with floats at Althenrhein, Switzerland. She was built in 1973 and flew for Harbour Air, Canada as C-GHAZ.

The Greek Government and the Hellenic Air Force operate together 6 Embraer ERJ-135LR and ERJ-145SA, an early warning version. 145-209 , one of the two 135s operating for the Government, is rocketing off runway 17.

Lufthansa Airbus A319 D-AILA is operating a flight on behalf of Condor and arriving with the last rays of sunshine. She is named after the city of Frankfurt/Oder.

Futura International Boeing 737-4Yo EC-IYO has seen service all over the world before ending up with the Spanish charter carrier (again). Operating already for Futura in the 90's, this 737 operated in Brasil for Transbrasil, shortlived Nortjet, Nordic European and even Aer Lingus and Luxair.

Founded to operate charter flights for Swiss International, Swiss Sun received 3 new Airbus 320's which have been incorporated into the Swiss fleet after the experiment ended end of 2005. One difference to the rest of the Swiss fleet is, that the passengers are treated to some live footage from the cockpit, as there is a camera positioned in the cockpit - especially interesting while landing or taking off.

Austrian flight OS9164 is turning away from the mountains after taking off on runway 17. The flight is operated by a Lauda Air Boeing 737-800.

Beirut - May 2005

Beautiful Beirut, once called the Venice of the East, has troubled times behind (almost). In May 2005 I experienced a lively city with wonderful people, the best coffee in the world, and of course, nice airplanes.

F-OMEC is one of 3 Airbus A330-223s in service with Middle East Airlines, flagcarrier of Lebanon. They are mainly used for their services to London and Paris, but also to West Africa.

The short haul fleet consists of 6 Airbus A321s. F-ORMI was delivered in 2003 and is equipped with 31 business and 118 economy seats. They operate to European and Middle Eastern destinations.

The Boeing 707, once the backbone of the MEA fleet - 11 own examples of the type were operated, is waiting for better times at the maintenance area. OD-AHD was build for American Airlines in 1967. 30 years later MEA still operated the type but finally were phased out by the end of 1997. OD-AHD never got off the ground again after a sale to Air Gulf Falcon fell through.

The lucky catch of the day - this Ilyushin Il-62M is operated for Kazak Kokshetau Airways and at this occasion operating for the UN. UN-85506 was build for LOT, later passed on to Aeroflot and Air Ukraine before aquired by Kokshetau for VIP transports.

This Air Atlanta Cargo Boeing 747-236F was operating a flight for Cargolux. TF-ARJ started life as a passenger aircraft for British Airways and found her way to the Icelandic carrier in 2002.

Oman Air is rarely seen in Europe. They operate a fleet of Boeing 737s and ATR-42s. A4O-BT is a Boeing 737-7Q8 and was leased new from the leasing company IFLC.

Some bizjets find their way to Beirut as well - mainly Arab examples like this American registered Boeing 727-95 operated for Trans Golf Corporation, but still in the colors of former owner, Saudi Kingdom Entertainement.

Phuket - December 2002

Phuket is situated on the west coast of Thailand, at the Bay of Bengal. The runway 09/27 is 3000 meters long and ends at one end at the edge of the water. Up to a couple of years ago there was a really scenic spot beneath the tower. You were sitting on a rock together with the locals above the perimeter road and were watching the traffic.

One of the highlights for me at the time - Orient Thai had a daily service connecting Hongkong with Bangkok with a short stopover at Phuket. Boeing 747-246B HS-UTP, build in 1973, was taken over from JAL after a sale to Air Gulf Falcon fell through.

Another very welcome visitor was Antonov 24RV XU-375 of little known Sky Eyes from Cambodia leaving for Rayong / U-Taphao International. The Antonov was leased from President Airlines (also from Cambodia) and was originally build for Aeroflot's Kazakstan division.

Across the runway there is a little military apron with a hangar usually housing a Fokker F27. On a rare occasion 2111 of the Royal Thai Navy is accelerating for a departure on runway 27.

When runway 09 is in use some interesting photo possibilities with the sea in the background give you the chance to get some atmospheric photographs. An ATR-72 of local carrier Bangkok Airways is rotating early.

One of the main markets for Bangkok Airways is the "milk-run" from Bangkok to Siem Raep serving the tourist attraction Angkor Wat. Boeing 717 HS-PGO, one of 4 of the type and the only ones operated in South East Asia, shows the head of a Khmer god and is appropriately named "Angkor". This aircraft was delivered to Bangkok Air in 2001 passing through Zurich on her way to Thailand.

Beautiful Thai Airbus A330-322 HS-TEL is touching down gently arriving from Bangkok. She has since been repainted into Star Alliance colors.

At the end of this blog I include a picture which is history for a long time. On my first trip to Asia I passed through Phuket in 1987. In those times the small terminal had a wonderful spectators area with an unobstructed view of the runway. In those times Thailand had Thai International for flights abroad and Thai Airways (in a different attractive color scheme) for domestic services. Two Airbus A310-200s (with winglets) and 3 Boeing 737-200s were in service with the carrier. HS-TIC was taken over by Thai International when the 2 airlines merged into one and finally scrapped in Abu Dhabi in 2001.

Dienstag, 25. September 2007

Antalya - October 2006

Many Russian carriers still use their first soviet widebody airliner intensivly. Although banned in the EC, the thirsty, roaring beast carries many sunhungry tourists to holiday destinations close and far.

Pulkovo Airlines, based at St. Petersburg-Pulkovo, in the meantime rebranded as Rossiya, is operating 5 aircraft of the type, RA-86106, the youngest in the family, offering 10 business class and 317 economy seats.

Kras Air, based at Moscow Domodedovo and Krasnoyask, operate 4 examples, all build in the early nineties. RA-86121 offerering 317 seats in economy class and also 10 seats in business.

Atlant Soyuz, based at Moscow Vnukovo has a proud fleet of 9 aircraft. RA-86125 saw service with Aeroflot, East Line, Eurasia, Sibir Airlines before she entered service with Atlant Soyuz.

Another example, RA-86138, still shows her heritage proudly still wearing the Aeroflot cheat line. The aircraft only joined her sisters in spring 2006, after a lease to Continental Airways. Atlant operates the giants with a seating capacity of 350 economy seat, truly a Russian jumbo!

Again RA-86106 of Pulkovo on her way north overflying AYT. A lot of those flights operate in a triangle, connecting Moscow with Sharm-el-Sheik and Antalya.

Colorful Ural Airlines has 4 aircraft in service operating from her base at Ekaterinburg-Koltsovo. RA-86093 is a vintage 1987 example and is seen shortly before touchdown on runway 36R one early morning.

Sibir Airlines, or S7, is boosting a fleet of 10 aircraft. RA-86104 was built for Aeroflot in 1989 , but also spent some time with Turkish Active Air, Transaero and Vnukovo Airlines.

Malaga - July 2005

Malaga, southern Spain, is a well established holiday spot for the European sun seekers. For the airplane lover there are lots of charter flights to be seen and nice places around the airport to catch those beauties!

N672FH, a Boeing 737-322 leased by Futura Intl. Airways from Ryan International for the summer season, has a special "Budget Travel" sticker on her fuselage. This aircraft was build in 1990 for United Airlines before it was sold to Futura in May 2005.

Boeing 757 SX-BLW was leased by Air Scotland from Greece Airways to perform flights to European holiday destinations. The airline ceased operations in 2006.

Former Air Calin Boeing 737-33A found her way to Europe when she was acquired in April 2005 by Norwegian Air Shuttle as LN-KKS. The tail has been adorned with the face of Edvard Munch, a famous Norwegian painter.

Boeing 737-33A G-STRI of Astraeus, a UK charter airline, was leased by fly BE, fromer Jersey European in summer 2005. This aircraft has been with VASP, Maersk, Oman Air, Star Europe, Air Provence, Cronus and some others and still is busy with Sterling Airlines.

Usually used for their longhaul services, this Airbus A330-243 of Monarch Airlines is gliding in to land arriving from the UK. Build in 1999, G-EOMA is one of 2 examples of the 1967 founded Luton based carrier.

Conder Berlin arriving shortly before sunset. Thomas Cook logo on the tail, but still with basic yellow Condor colors, this hybrid is one of 13 Airbus A320s in the fleet of Condor Berlin.

The era of the Tupolevs is slowly coming to an end in the European skies. Spain is fortunate enough to still enjoy some of those Russian classics - here Aeroflot's Tu-154M RA-85638 is arriving at sunset.

Buenos Aires - "Summer" 2003/2004

Buenos Aires' s downtown airport, called Aeroparque, has always been very nice to take pictures. Low fences and an attractive background helped to get some unique pictures. In winter 2003/4 there were still some more airlines around - although it seems the Argentina airline scene gets back onto their feet.

Established in 1999, Aerovip operated a fleet of 6 Jetstream 32EP on local flights in the greater Buenos Aires area, but also to neighboring Uruguay. In 2004 the airlines suspended operations and was bought by LAN Airlines (Chile) together with also bankrupt Southern Winds to use their personnel to establish LAN Argentina. LV-ZOW is in use with newly founded Macair Jet which uses another ex Aerovip example as well.

Aerolineas Argentinas operated two planes in this special livery promoting the soccer club Boca Juniors who won the South America championship in 2003, a Boeing 747 and this Boeing 737-236 LV-ZSW bought from British Airways in 1999.

Another ex BA example, in this case LV-ZRE of Aerolineas Argentinas, is banking to the left to avoid overflying downtown B.A. - This B737 soldiers on today with Aloha Airlines of Hawaii as N828AL.

The BN 2A Islander LV-WFR belongs to Puerto Carmelo and is often seen at AEP. It's used for charter flights across the Rio de la Plata to Carmelo (Uruguay), only 60km away.

Biz Jets are not a rare sight at AEP, but this was my first and only BBJ I saw during several visits. XA-AEX looks pretty and was operating for Mexican Omniflys, which operates an Gulfstream IV today using the same registration after the BBJ was sold. It was registered as P4-KAZ but sports a rather bland color scheme nowadays.

Sabreliner 75A T-11 is the plane of the Commander of the Aerial Operations of the Fuerza Aerea Argentina and as been in service since 1975.