Little Red

Virgin Blue was created in 2000 and started domestic operations on the Qantas dominated Australian market. The young and ambitious airline started flights with a fleet of 2 B737-400 serving the Brisbane-Sydney route. As the years passed, B737-700s and -800s were added, as well as destinations throughout Australia. However a smaller type was deem necessary to serve smaller markets and so, on November 2006 Virgin Blue placed an order with the Brazilian manufacturer Embraer for 6 ERJ-170 and 11 ERJ-190.
The first of the ERJ-170, VH-ZHA, was delivered on the 31st of August 2007 and another 2 were delivered until the end of the year. Not only this meant new aircrafts, but they also carried the new Virgin logo on their tails, which brought the Virgin Blue brand into line with other Virgin brands around the world, such as Virgin Atlantic.
VH-ZHA  ERJ-170LR  Virgin Blue
VH-ZHB  ERJ-170LR  Virgin Blue
VH-ZHC  ERJ-170LR  Virgin Blue
After limited operations with the 3 aircrafts, full-scale operations started on 8 of February of the following year, serving destinations from Sydney as Canberra, Mackay, Port Macquarie and Albury. That year saw the delivery of the remaining 3 aircraft:

VH-ZHD  ERJ-170LR  Virgin Blue
VH-ZHE  ERJ-170LR  Virgin Blue
VH-ZHF  ERJ-170LR  Virgin Blue
2011 was the year where all changed for both, the ERJ-170 and Virgin Blue. A new CEO was appointed and on February a re-brand was announced. Virgin Blue would become Virgin Australia and although that meant a new colour scheme, none of the ERJ-170s were painted on the new colours, as they were phased out. All of them went to Compass Airlines (US) with the last one delivered on February 2012, marking the (short) carrier of the ERJ-170 in Virgin Blue / Virgin Australia.

Rui Miguel


Porto (LPPR/OPO) 21/12/2013

Going airside in any airport is allways a wish of every spotter. You get closer, you fell part of it and you bring your smaller lens. Every year APEA (Portuguese Assosiation of Aircraft Enthusiast) organizes 2 visits to Porto Airport in cooperation with the ANA: one in the Summer and one in the Winter. Last saturday some of its associates spent a day spotting inside the airport.
We were all day on the same spot between the runway and the apron. It was a cold day, with some clouds, but it didn't rain and there's was even some sunshine for some photos. All of the bellow ones were taken during the afternoon as the aircrafts taxi for departure:

EC-HTC  A320-214  Vueling

CS-TKK  A320-214  SATA
CS-TNN  A320-214  TAP
HB-JYA  A320-214  easyJet Swiss
F-GZHJ  B737-86J  Transavia France
EI-EMH  B737-8AS  Ryanair

It has been a long time since I've been to Porto airport. It sure is busier and it has a lot more Ryanairs then what it used to. I thank APEA and ANA for this amazing oportunity to go airside. I look forward for the next one.


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 20/12/2013

Some early morning arrivals from 2 days ago:

Even though there were no big surprises, I had never spotted a TACV aircraft arriving (in this case from Praia) this early:
D4-CBY  B737-83N  TACV
This white Swiftair is one of the most regular planes in Lisbon, nevertheless it's still a welcoming sight:
EC-JAD  ATR-42 300  Swiftair
Arriving from Vitoria, Spain is this DHL which is al well a regular morning presence at LIS:
G-BMRD  B757-236(SF)  DHL

Rui Miguel


Istanbul (LTBA/IST) November 2013

Last month I've travelled to Istambul for a spotting trip. It's a been a long time since I did one and specially with a camera. Since I was going to use 33000 miles on my Lufthansa Miles&More card, I virtually could go anywhere in Europe. So it was logical to go as far away as I could.
IST is the fastest growing airport on the list of the Top 50 busiest airport in the world. It's the home base of the growing Turkish Airlines and a connection point between East and West.
I've spent a total of 4 days and 3 nights in Turkey using the terrace of the FlyInn shopping mall that overlooks the airport. It sure is an outstanding place and also spotter friendly. I didn't took that many photos, but I came up with an impressive log.

5A-LAR  A330-202  Lybian Airways

EZ-A010  B757-23A  Turkmenistan Airlines

HZ-AS42  A320-214  Saudi Arabian

ST-PRM  An-72  Sudan Government


TC-JMI  A321-211  Turkish Airlines

TC-RZA  BD-100

YI-AQF  CRJ-900LR  Iraqi Airways

I highly recommend a visit to IST. The variety is amazing and so is this spotting location. And I bet there will be plenty more sunny opportunities to travel to Turkey.

Rui Miguel


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 15/12/2013

Everytime I go to LIS I hope to get the chance to photograph one of the Portuguese charter airlines. It's not easy to get photos of EuroAtlantic, HiFly, White or Windavia (a brand new airline). Patience is required and with that cames good results:

CS-TQV  A310-304  White

The same applies to this Brussles Airlines A320. After spotting a few times I finally got it on photo:
OO-SND  A320-214  Brussels Airlines
 And to end a gorgeous afternoon, a nice looking biz:
EC-KBC  G200 TAG Aviation

Have a great week everyone


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 03/12/2013

One week ago I took an early afternoon flight to Brussles with Ryanair. The departure time gave me time to go to a morning of spotting. This 2 new bizjets were added to my collection:

Arriving from Valencia, Spain
EC-LES  BD-100

A smart good looking French aircraft:
F-GDRR  Hawker Beechcraft 390

Rui Miguel

Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 02/12/2013

A quick sample of another sunny afternoon at Lisbon:

This good looking Beechcraft from the Spanish Police was an interesting visitor:
EC-GBB  Beechcraft 200  Policia
And seen lining-up before departure to Praia, Cabo Verde is this TACV B737-800:
D4-CBY  B737-83N  TACV

Rui Miguel


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 01/12/2013

Well, it happend again. Yesterday, and again on a sunday early morning, I've spotted another Air France B777-300 making a stop in Lisbon, after F-GZNJ landing on the 6th of October.

Flight AF401 arriving from Santiago de Chile:
F-GZNH  B777-328/ER  Air France
 Another new registration spotted on that morning was this easyJet A320 coming in from Edinburgh:
G-EZWG  A320-214  easyJet

Rui Miguel


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 29/11/2013

With blue skies and a gorgeous light, recent days have been spent at the airport. A lot of photos were taken on the 29th but here are 3 movements that I've decided to highlight:

It's a rare for me to photograph an euroAtlantic aircraft, so I was pleased to see this one taxiing for departure:
CS-TLO  B767-383/ER  EuroAtlantic Airways

A6-EWI  B777-21H/LR  Emirates

CN-ROH  B737-85P  Royal Air Maroc

Rui Miguel


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 28/11/2013

Here are 3 interesting visitors to Lisbon 2 days ago:

First time spotting this Vueling logojet:
EC-JZQ  A320-214  Vueling
 Continuing with "1st timers", this is the 1st Italian registered bizjet that I got on photo:
I-FEDN  Falcon 2000LX
 The highlight of the day was this B747:
N408MC  B747-47UF  Atlas Air
For the afternoon photos I've found a new spot where aicrafts can be photographed lining-up runway 03 with good light. More photos from this great location will follow in future reports.

Have a good weekend.


Lisbon (LPPT/LIS) 27/11/2013

I'm finally on holidays and that means I'll have more free time for spotting. I've arrived a few days ago from a spotting trip to Istambul (a report to follow...) and I've been very busy in Lisbon as the weather as been so perfect.
Here are two highlights from 2 days ago:

EC-HHN  EMB-120RT  Flighline

EI-DYO  B737-8AS  Ryanair
Ryanair started on the 26th it's flights to Lisbon. Right now they are flying to Stansted, Paris Beauvais, Hahn and Charleroi. But recentely a daily flight to Dublin was anounced as well as 2 daily to Brussels. That will off course mean new spotting opportunities...


Lisbon Airport (LPPT/LIS) 17/11/2013

Yesterday I've managed a few photos during the morning in Lisbon. The airport is a bit more quieter (not sure if because of the Winter schedule in effect) so I didn't saw as many aircrafts as I expected. Yet, this 2 were new registrations for my database:

EC-LVD  A320-214  Iberia

LN-NGL  B737-8JP  Norwegian
Have a good week!


Farewell Air Pacific B747-400

Not only was Air Pacific one of the most colourful operators in Sydney but also one of the fewer still using the Jumbo Jet on its flights. The 26 of June 2013 marked a landmark on the Fijian airline as a new brand was introduced, Fiji Airways, and the Air Pacific one was confined to history books. As it happens usually with rebranding an airline a new colour scheme was chosen but more importantly changes happen on its fleet.
The fuel thirsty B747-400 are being phased out to give way to 3 band new A330-200,which will be the backbone of long-haul operations for the airline.
This week (4th of November) saw the delivery of the last A330 to Fiji Airways, meaning that retirement of the last B747 will be soon.
Here are some photos of its B747-400 taken in Sydney in 2007 and 2009:

DQ-FJK  B747-412  Air Pacific

DQ-FJL  B747-412  Air Pacific

DQ-FJL  B747-412  Air Pacific

DQ-FJK  B747-412  Air Pacific


Hyvää syntymäpäivää Finnair

   Airlines came and go throughout the years. The past years have seen start up plans for new airlines that either never made the 1st flight or were shot lived and quickly confined to history books. Even other, like legacy airlines Pan Am or Swissair, come to an end. That is way a special reference must be made to those that through the decades, witnessing and adapting to changes, are still active and providing a reliable service. Finnair is one of the oldest airlines in the World and celebrates today it’s 90th anniversary. A truly remarkable date for any airline!
   Finnair, Finland’s largest airline, was created on the 1st on November 1923, and it was then named Aero O/Y. Its first flight was a charter from Helsinki to neighbour Tallinn on Junkers F.13 equipped with floating devices. From those humbling beginnings, Finnair as developed a network that now covers destinations in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
   Its fleet has, understandably, seen changes from the turboprop era and the beginning of the jet age. The Caravelles and McDonnell Douglas are gone and it’s B757-200, used on leisure routes, are being replaced by sharklet equipped A321. Finnair fleet by 30th of September 2013:

*4 A321 on order

            On the regional segment, Finnair has 12 ATR72, 5 Embraer 170 and 8 Embraer 190 that are operated on her behalf by partner Flybe Nordic.

            Finnair has not been the easiest airline for me to photograph as I only have these few photos from its aircraft:

OH-LBO  B757-2Q8  Finnair

OH-LEE  ERJ-170 100LR  Finnair

OH-LKH  ERJ-190LR  Finnair

OH-LXA  A320-214  Finnair

OH-LXC  A320-214  Finnair

OH-LZB  A321-211  Finnair

            Hyvää syntymäpäivää Finnair!