I'm a Brit who has been lucky enough to have the opportunity to live in Auckland, New Zealand for the past 16 years. That all came to an end on December 30th when my family and I returned to the UK for good. There are many reasons for the return but in this post I wanted to share some of the photos I took at AKL in the few hours prior to departure.
In part 1 I discussed how I got to spend some time in Chicago and found myself with time to kill at O'Hare on my birthday. The long walk around the domestic terminals was great and I finished the last post moving from terminal 2 over to AA territory in terminal 3, which is where I'll pickup here.
Last month I travelled, at short notice, to Chicago for work. That didn’t give me much time to plan but fortunately the trip actually inadvertently allowed for me to spend a decent amount of time at Chicago O’Hare. The city was nice but O’Hare has long, for me, been one of the most interesting airports in the world, so getting to spend a few hours in the domestic terminals was the trip’s undoubted highlight.
Arriving at Nadi, as described in part 1, I didn't get more than a few minutes at the airport but upon departure we obviously had a few hours to kill and I have to say that Nadi International is a very pleasant airport to waste some time at both before and after security. Of course it also has a decent spread of what will be exotic aircraft for the average European or US enthusiast from DHC-6s to an An-12.
I’ve lived in NZ for nearly 13 years now and have travelled a bit in the Pacific, to Vanuatu and Rarotonga, but until last month never to the largest of the tourist destinations from NZ: Fiji. For kiwis Fiji isn’t a particularly exotic destination (I’d liken it to going to the Canary Islands from the UK) and this short break was firmly of the 'sit at the resort' type, but nevertheless even short visits to Pacific airfields offer up some interesting traffic.
In comparison to most developed countries there isn't a lot of aviation activity in New Zealand due mainly to the tyranny of distance. Not only does this make it hard to reach most places but also assists in keeping NZ safe. The result of the latter is that the Royal New Zealand Air Force is a small force with little strike capability. Also being NZ it is friendly and easy to visit.
In part 1 I looked at the layout and spotting opportunities at Guangzhou Baiyun. In part 2 I'll focus on the traffic I saw in the 3 hours early morning that I was there on December 16, 2018 and the 7 hours evening I was there on Thursday 3, January 2019. Paradoxically the first shorter period was far more productive than the latter, partly due to a very favourable taxi to the runway.
This past December I found myself travelling back to the UK at rather short notice. Living in Auckland there is a wide choice of possibilities flying this route nowadays and you can go via the US, Asia or the Middle East. We chose the cheapest option, which was with China Southern Airlines via Guangzhou. Although the cheapest it almost certainly wasn’t the worst and spotting at CAN was something, I was keen to do, at least for the few hours of my stopover. Here’s a look at CAN.
After 15 days in North Queensland it was almost time for home but we ended our trip with a flight down to the state capital Brisbane, where we stayed a night. Brisbane is a much busier and spotter friendly airport than Cairns, however once again spotting wasn't really on the table. Nonetheless I did capture some interesting subjects.
There has been a silence here at Yesterday's Airlines for the past two weeks, due to a family holiday, but I am back now and ready to get back into the usual diet of aviation history and 1:400 releases. Before I do that however let's take a quick look at what has been going on and what I've seen on my hols.
At the end of January 2006 my wife and I took a short trip out to Great Barrier Island. For those unfamiliar with the geography Great Barrier is New Zealand's sixth biggest island (285 sq kms) situated about 100km NE of Auckland. You can get there by car ferry but the best way is to fly into the main airfield at Claris. So that's what we did leaving as you'd expect from Auckland International.
Bearing in mind that these photos are never going to win any awards I hope this and future entries provide an interesting example of how traffic and the Auckland Airport itself has changed since I've been living in NZ. I start with a variety of shots from 2005. Back then the airport had two viewing areas - one in each terminal and what now seems like old fashioned visitors like 747s!
Hopefully this will be the first in a series of photo essays showing how traffic has changed at AKL.
I grew up in the West Sussex town of Horsham, which for those unaware of England's geography, is a historic market town just south of the 'new town' of Crawley and its adjacent international airport London Gatwick. I spent much of my childhood watching aircraft on the viewing area or alongside the runway. I went to an all boys Secondary school (that's for ages 11-16 - like US High School I think) and a progamme they ran was a two week work experience break. Somehow I lucked out and spent 2 weeks with the engineering department of Northwest Airlines!
The backpacking trip around NZ of my, by then, fiance and myself was sadly cut short by the news of my father's illness back home. If an upside can be found from it all there was at least the chance to fly in a Jetstream 41 and take the rather entertaining route of Dunedin-Christchurch-Nelson-Auckland. Once again these are all scans of print photos so apologies for the quality however the content is still I believe of interest and Origin Pacific was a great little airline.
Wellington is hardly renowned for its international operations, however at the time it did have some interesting visitors including scheduled widebodies, flights to the Pacific islands and out to the isolated Chathams. Here we look at the jets and one interesting prop heavyweight. Jet traffic back then was dominated by the 737 whereas nowadays its the A320 but even though both types are hardly unusual the liveries they wore were sometimes different (at least if you're a European).