Thursday 14 May: Another Repatriation Flight at Sydney Airport this morning, and probably the rarest so far. Yes, it was Saudi Arabian Airlines B777-300ER HZ-AK43 touching down on Runway 16R at 0804L, having flown direct from Riyadh as SVA3052. The aircraft carries the “Formula-E” livery, a partnership with the ABB FIA Formula E “All Electric” Championship. After a 2hr 47min turnaround, HZ-AK43 was in the air again back to Dammam. Conditions: Overcast and wet (backlit)
Tuesday 12 May: Sichuan Airlines definitely added a little extra colour at Sydney Airport today, when Airbus A330-300 B-5945 touched down on Runway 34L at 1421L. This special livery promotes the 31st Summer Universiade 2021 in Chengdu. B-5945 was only repainted in late November 2019, and this is her first visit to Sydney in the new livery.
Tuesday 12 May: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 B-LXK made an impressive departure this afternoon, heading back to Hong Kong as CX101, after a 3hr 29min turnaround. B-LXK was operating a "Cargo Only" service because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and with a reduced load, was up early from Runway 34L.
Thursday 30 Apr: Poor weather conditions at Sydney Airport, and a 1hr 6min departure delay, made liftoff after sunset unfortunately, for Iberia A350-900 EC-NBE, heading back to Madrid via Bangkok. Best wishes to all the Spanish Citizens onboard this Repatriation Flight during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Thursday 9 Apr: Another Coronavirus Cargo Charter Flight arrived at Sydney Airport last night, with Suparna Boeing B747-400 B-1340 touching down on Runway 16R at 2118L. B-1340 flew in direct from Wuhan in China, delivering some much needed medical supplies. Suparna use the Call Sign “Yangtze River”, and Flight time for the 8,506km sector was 9hr 6min. B-1340 is seen here departing Runway 16R back to Wuhan at 1244L today.
Wednesday 8 Apr: The Coronavirus Repatriation Flights just keep on coming, and today it was a second visit by KLM. Boeing B777-200ER PH-BQO operated today’s service as KLM827 from Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur, and should depart back to Amsterdam tomorrow. This aircraft also has the “100” title, celebrating the Airline’s 100th Anniversary. Quite dull and overcast conditions this afternoon
Tuesday 7 Apr: Sichuan Airlines have not operated to Sydney Airport since 02FEB20 because of COVID-19, so I was surprised today when Sichuan Airbus A330-300 B-5929 operated a special CSC8659 cargo service, touching down on Runway 16R at 1317L. Although this aircraft has visited SYD three times, in 2016-17, this is the first time with the Wuliangye livery.
Sunday 5 Apr: KLM Boeing B777-200ER PH-BQK operated a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Repatriation Flight from Sydney to Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur.
Saturday 4 Apr: Edelweiss Airbus A340-300 HB-JMF operated a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Repatriation Flight from Sydney to Zurich via Penang.
Friday 3 Apr: Condor Boeing B767-300ER D-ABUB operated a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Repatriation Flight from Sydney to Frankfurt via Phuket.
Monday 30 Mar: Austrian Airlines operated a Coronavirus Repatriation Flight today, with OE-LPD routing Vienna-Sydney direct as AUA1028, with a Flight Time of 17hrs 55min. The return flight was AUA1457, routing Sydney-Penang-Vienna.
Friday 13 Mar: With things being much quieter on the International Commercial front at Sydney Airport because of COVID-19, it was great to see a Royal Australian Air Force Pilatus PC-21 arrive at SYD this morning. A54-037 also carries the RAAF Rouettes Aerobatic Team livery, which now has this edgy Red, White, and Blue scheme. The PC-21 has a higher roll rate, more power, and more speed, than the PC-9 it replaces. I believe this is only the second PC-21 to visit SYD
Wednesday 29 Jan: It was quite a surprise this morning to see Bomber 912 heading to Sydney Airport from Canberra, apparently for engineering to work on some technical issues with the aircraft. It was only a short hop from Canberra, before N522AX was on approach for Runway 16R, touching down at 1341L. After vacating at BRAVO8, it held on Taxiway BRAVO while ATC confirmed the parking arrangements, then proceeded on BRAVO to BRAVO1 to meet the Tug
Friday 10 Jan: The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Pilatus PC-24 is a rare visitor to Sydney Airport, seen here arriving from Adelaide operating a patient transfer. The RFDS were the first operator of the PC-24 in an Aero-Medical role, it has a top speed of 815kph, and can perform short take-offs and landings on unsealed strips. The cabin has room for three stretchered patients, and two Medical Teams.
Friday 3 Jan: United Airlines Boeing B777-300ER N2749U operated the UA863 service from San Francisco to Sydney this morning, and is making her first visit to Sydney Airport. N2749U was only delivered on 06DEC19, and is the first United B777 to be painted in their new livery.
Friday 15 Nov: Qantas operated the second of three Project Sunrise Research flights today, with VH-ZNJ arriving at Sydney Airport direct from London Heathrow. The 17,596 km flight took 19hr 19min to complete, and Passengers and Crew saw two sunrises. The centenary livery features every Qantas logo since 1920, and is stunning - Congratulations Qantas on your Centenary Year
Tuesday 27 Aug: Qantas has been leasing two Atlas Air B747-400F Freighters for a number of years now, and today we saw the first B747-8F Freighter used on this route. The two existing B747-400F will be replaced by the B747-8F, making 20% more capacity available to Qantas Cargo, and improved operating economics. The two new aircraft are again leased from Atlas Air, operated by Atlas Pilots, using Qantas Flight Numbers. This inaugural B747-8F service was operated by N856GT.
Monday 26 Aug: Malindo Air started serving Sydney on the 15th August 2019, and although normally operated by a Malindo B737-800, on some days a full Batik livery B737-800 has operated the service. Malindo will start operating their B737-900 aircraft on this service later in the year, and on the 24th August 2019, we were fortunate to see a B737-900 operate this service (9M-LNF). The OD171/OD172 service operates Kuala Lumpur- Sydney return, via Denpasar.
Sunday 25 Aug: After a 2 day visit to Sydney by this French Air Force C-10H Hercules, 5119 departed Sydney Airport as CTM1408, bound for Darwin. It's very rare to see a French Hercules in this part of the world.
Thurssday 22 Aug: Virgin Australia have started operating the first of five B737-800 aircraft, which will progressively be fitted with the Split Scimitar wingtips. VA estimate the winglets will save 160,000kg (200,000ltr) of fuel, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 515 tonnes, per aircraft per year. VH-YIV, which is the first aircraft to have the new winglets fitted, seen here departing Sydney Airport for Queenstown NZ this morning, in what was her first daylight visit to SYD with the Scimitars.
Monday 5 Aug: After attending the AUSMIN Meeting in Sydney on Sunday 4th August, US Secretary Of Defence Mark Esper departed Sydney this morning, on-board USAF E-4B (B747-200) 73-1676.
Wednesday 24 Jul: As part of Embraer's Asia Pacific Tour 2019, their E195-E2 visited Brisbane and Sydney for sales/demonstration events. I was fortunate to be invited along to the Sydney Inspection, and was very impressed by this beautiful special livery edition of the type. The aircraft can be configured with 120-146 seats, and burns 10% less fuel than the Airbus A220 (Bombardier C Series) over a 600nm sector. Embraer took the opportunity to improve some aspect of the original E Series airframe, while the aerodynamic improvements, and new Pratt & Whitney PW1900G engines, have reduced operating and maintenance costs.
Monday 1 Jul: Arriving on Runway 34R at Sydney Airport this afternoon was United States Marine Corps Lockheed KC-130J 168073, making its way to DOM6 Bay 99, right next to the Security Fence. This aircraft belongs to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 in Fort Worth Texas, and is equipped with Drogue In-Flight Refueling Pods on each wing.
Monday 24 Jun: Royal Flying Doctor Service Pilatus PC-24 VH-FMP made a first to Sydney Airport tonight, operating a Patient Transfer from Adelaide. The aircraft's Medical fit-out was done at the Pilatus Factory in Switzerland, and has a specially engineered auto-stabilising stretcher-loading device, that loads patients in a horizontal position, as opposed to other aircraft with inclined stretcher slides. The cabin has room for three stretchered patients, and two Medical Teams.
Saturday 15 Jun:FedEx have changed their Singapore-Sydney FX6013 service from an MD-11 to a B777-FS2, with N850FD operating today's service. The B777-FS2 have been operating for eight days now, and Sydney Airport "Fleet Chasers" have been spoilt, with eight different aircraft so far.
Saturday 11 May: Qantas Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner VH-ZND operated her first service on the QF127 route to Hong Kong on Saturday morning. Strong westerly winds forced operations onto Runway 25, providing a close up look at the beautiful livery, inspired by the 1991 artwork "Yam Dreaming, painted by "Emily Kame Kngwarreye". Emily's names appears on the nose of the aircraft.
Monday 29 April: The Royal Australian Air Force took delivery of their first Dassault Falcon 7X on the 16th April 2019, and the aircraft immediately started Training Flights prior going operational. A56-001 made her first visit to Sydney Airport on the 29th April, and the RAAF livery looks very nice on the 7X. Two more Falcon 7X aircraft will join the RAAF VIP fleet over the next few months.
Monday 1 Apr: China Eastern started operating their new Airbus A350-900 aircraft on the MU561/562 Shanghai-Sydney route today, replacing the A330-200 that was used previously. The airline currently has four A350-900 aircraft in their fleet, with two more to be delivered from Airbus.
Sunday 24 Mar: This morning it was Bienvenue to the Armee De L'Air (French Air Force), arriving at Sydney Airport in their CASA IPTN CN-235, registered 066. There were about 10-12 personnel on-board, and the rear cargo door was loaded with what looked to be personal baggage. The aircraft was last here on 29/07/2018, so this might be the annual changing of the guard in New Caledonia.
Wednesday 13 Mar: This Bombardier Global 7500 is on a world demonstration tour, and is seen here arriving at Sydney Airport. C-FXAI landed on Runway 16L and then taxied to DOM6 Bay 98. With a 32.7m wingspan, the aircraft had to be towed to the DOM5 Corporate Apron with wing-walkers, as it exceeded the maximum 30m wingspan for the DOM5 Taxiway.
Monday 4 Mar: The United States Marines arrived at Sydney Airport this afternoon, with their Lockheed KC-130J Hercules touching down on Runway 34L, and taxiing to DOM6 Bay 99A. This is a relatively young aircraft, only being delivered in May 2015. To all the crew, welcome to Sydney, and enjoy your short stay with us.
Sunday 17 Feb: When it comes to Corporate Jet travel, the Deer Jet Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner it right at the top, and that includes the charter fee of $74,000 per hour. This is the only B788 Dreamliner Business Jet in the world at present, and it was just spending a night in Sydney, after visiting the Gold Coast for a week.
Saturday 16 Feb: Garuda Airbus A330-300 PK-GHD has visited Sydney Airport many times since September 2016, however this morning she made her first visit in a Garuda Retro livery from the 1969-1985 period.
Saturday 5 Jan: When you arrive 3hr 15min late at 2254L, and only 6min before curfew, there's no way you're leaving until 0600L the next morning. This was the case last night at Sydney Airport for Hawaiian Airlines HA451 operated by A330 200 N383HA - It does however make for a beautiful sunrise departure - Aloha
Friday 28 Dec: When it comes to Private Jets, this Boeing B777-200ER N777UK is right up there with the best. Arriving from Auckland on Runway 34L at 1729, the aircraft dropped off its 12 Pax, and then headed back out to Canberra to park. With the New Year's fireworks only a few days away, parking is at a premium, and the influx of Corporate jets is already underway.
Sunday 23 Dec: Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch and family arrived home in Sydney early this morning, on-board their new Gulfstreamo G650ER N988NC. The aircraft touched down on Runway 16L at Sydney Airport at 0617 from Honolulu, and taxied to the DOM5 Corporate Apron.
Friday 21 Dec: And the honours for operating the first Boeing B737 MAX at Sydney Airport goes to Fiji Airways. This morning’s FJ917/918 service from Nadi was operated by the brand new Boeing B737 MAX 8 DQ-FAB, and didn’t the arrival look FABulous. The aircraft has made one off visits to Adelaide, Brisbane, Wellington, and now Sydney.
Monday 17 Dec: The Dubai Air Wing Boeing B747-400F A6-GGP is at Sydney Airport this week, here to transport Race Horses back to Dubai. This is an annual visit for this beautiful Queen Of The Skies, and she will be departing Sydney on Thursday. A6-GGP previously operated with Great Wall Airlines and Singapore Cargo.
Sunday 9 Dec: A first time visitor at Sydney Airport today was Pacific Air Express Boeing B757-200 Freighter VH-PQA, arriving from Brisbane at 1510L and parking on Bay 93A (DHL). They were picking up empty containers from the Ex. Tasman Cargo B757 VH-TCA, which has now returned to Europe. Pacific Air Express are currently conducting proving flights to gain their AOC.
Tuesday 4 Dec: It was a perfect summer morning to photograph the departure of the inaugural Philippines Airbus A350-900 at Sydney Airport. RP-C3506 operated the inaugural PAL213 inbound service last night, arriving at 2208L, and departed this morning at 0609L. Philippines now joins China Airlines as the only Airbus A350 operators at Sydney Airport.
Wednseday 21 Nov: The President of the Republic of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, and his wife, Mrs Savita Kovind, arrived at Sydney Airport this morning, on Air India Boeing B747-400 VT-EVB. They are visiting Australia from the 21st to 23rd November 2018.
Sunday 11 Nov: Nice to have a pair of USAF KC-135R Stratotankers at Sydney airport this evening. LULU23 (62-3518) arrived a bit before sunset, and LULU24 (64-14837) arrived 40 minutes later. Both aircraft landed on Runway 34L and then taxied to Bays 90 and 92 respectively..
Sunday 4 Nov: It was hot out on the Runway at Sydney Airport this morning, and I'm not just talking about the temperature.The very rare Japan Air Self Defence Force B777-300ER 80-1111 flew in direct from Haneda in 8hr 57min, touching down on Runway 34L, then taxiing to DOM6. This is the first of two aircraft which will replace the existing B747s.
Friday 26 Oct: Emirates Boeing B777-300ER A6-ECQ had the "Blue Expo 2020" decals applied at the Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre in Dubai, between 18/9/2018 and 25/9/2018. This design is the first in a series of three, that will be rolled out leading up to EXPO 2020. The three themes are opportunity, mobility and sustainability. This is the first design reflecting Mobility, and this is the first visit to Sydney by A6-ECQ, since the decals were applied.
Friday 12 Oct: Unfortunately, wet conditions greeted the German Air Force Airbus A340-300 16+02 at Sydney Airport this afternoon. Showers swept in just as 16+02 was on approach for Runway 16R, then cleared as the aircraft vacated the Runway, and followed Taxiway GOLF to DOM6 Bay 98. Sister aircraft 16+01 visited Sydney on the 4th November 2017.
Monday 17 Sep: The Guys & Gals in the ATC Tower at Sydney Airport arrived to a spectacular view this morning, with yesterday's star arrival parked next door on the KILO Apron. Edelweiss Airbus A340-300 HB-JMG is on a world tour, with the Pax enjoying a few beautiful tourist days in Sydney.