We left Cairns in the mid-morning but I wasn't really able to get any decent photos. Our steed was Virgin Australia 737-800 VH-VOM operating flight VA778. Even though both cities are within Queensland it is a mark of Australia's size that the flight time between the two was still two hours. We had some excitement just before landing when we were forced to initiate a go-around due to traffic on the main runway (Brisbane has two but only one is really used - a third is under construction).
Brisbane is Australia's third busiest airport and as is common in OZ has separate domestic and international terminals. The domestic is really interesting as it consists of a semi-circular terminal with three satellites. The top half in the photo above is for Qantas, the bottom for Virgin Australia and the middle satellite is for Jetstar and Tiger (it has lost its airbridges).
Our 737 docked at the lower Virgin satellite flanked by several Alliance Fokkers. Alliance flies several routes from BNE for Virgin as well as fly in, fly out (FIFO) charters for the mining industry. It was good to see more Fokkers and indeed I must have seen 5 of their 16 F70s and several of their 26 F100s.
We exited the 737 from the rear onto the tarmac but the walk to the terminal was short and I didn't have much time to take further shots between the plane and baggage collection. Nonetheless I got some shots of Virgin and Alliance aircraft at the gates plus a rather blurry picture of JetGo Embraer 135 VH-JZG on take-off. It was interesting to see both 737-700 and Embraer 190 in the 'new' Virgin Australia livery. My previous visit to Brisbane nearly 7 years ago had them in the red top Virgin Blue scheme.
We spent one night in Brisbane central (it's a great city) but the next day it was time to depart from the International terminal bound for Auckland, once again aboard Virgin Australia.
The international terminal is a modern design, currently being expanded with a new extension for A380s at one end. Views before security are limited but once through there is plenty of scope for photography through the glass, including of activity on the active runway.
We departed at about 2pm which was a very quiet time at the terminal. I did see a Solomons A320 from distance and China Eastern A330, Qantas 747-400 and Singapore 777 but all departed before we got through security. Nonetheless domestic traffic was brisk on runway 01R and some decent shots of arriving aircraft were possible. As you can see heathaze was often an issue! The below 4 shots were taken prior to going through security. Interesting to see the DHC-8 in the latest Qantas colours.
I was quite lucky to catch three aircraft in special colours. The pick for me was probably the Qantas Link Boeing 717 in Visit Tasmania colours but I also caught the Jetstar Scrabble A320 and Qantas retro-roo 737-800:
Other fair was more usual - lots of Jetstar and Qantas Link with a single QF 737. Only the older DHC-8s were in the new scheme.
Our flight, VA154, was aboard Virgin 737-800 VH-YIJ, which departed from gate 79 signalling the end to our trip. I hope you've enjoyed this small look at some quintessential Australian traffic. Next up will be a return to the usual diet of historical reviews, mould assessments and release news.
I'm Richard Stretton, an aviation enthusiast and major collector of 400 scale model aircraft. This blog discusses ongoing events in the world of 400 scale.
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