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ODwyerPW
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Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:59 pm

Looking to see who flies from Albany, NY (ALB) (the State's Capitol) to New York City (JFK/LGA). Only the majors hae direct flights that are $480 if you want Non-Stop (well of course you want non-stop, they are only 3 1/2 hours from each other by car!) If you don't mind routing through BWI, the flight can be had for $277 round trip.

Albany International Airport (ALB) has Independence Air and SouthWest. Neither fly direct between ALB or JFK/LGA. Admittedly WN doesn't have a presense in JFK/LGA, but they do in Islip. Unfortunately, they don't fly there from Albany.

I can fly Independence or SouthWest direct to Washington DC (BWI) for $80 round trip, any time. But nothing to NYC.

Strange to imagine the Legacy carriers could have such a stranglehold on travel between New York's Capitol City and it's Largest City.

Guess the only saving grace would be Independence opening a route, or JetBlue establishing a presence at ALB (long rumored) and opening a route.

We have an impressive AmTrak station in Rensselaer, NY (a sister city to Albany that sits on the other bank of the Hudson River, accross from DownTown Albany New York). A Round Trip ticket on AmTrak is $85, Rensselaer to Penn Station. Time: About 2hrs 20min. I imagine that's pretty solid competition. These trains are always packed.

You'd think an LLC could fill a flight a day on that route and keep folks travel time under 1 1/2 hrs including security checks...(despite heightened security post 9/11, you can park your car and get boarded on a plane in under 35 minutes at ALB if you're not checking luggage, so long as your flying SouthWest or United and not US Airways or American....my personal experiences.)

Any thoughts?
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exFATboy
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:35 pm

JetBlue might be interested once the EMBs start coming in, not so much for the O&D market but to offer connections from ALB to Florida destinations. Other than that, I can't see a LCC stepping in here, certainly not for the business-travel market - once you factor in travel to/from Manhattan to LGA or JFK (as opposed to arriving at Penn Station on Amtrak), the train's just a better option for day-trippers to NYC.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:40 pm

It would be Amtrak for me . . . . I did the same thing while living in DC, if I had to go to NYC or BOS or PHL I took the train . . . about the same amount of time sitting on the train as ti would be standing in various lines and flying and standing in more lines.
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desertjets
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:53 pm

I would be willing to suspect that most air traffic between Albany and NYC is high yield traffic flying on state business (my tax dollars hard at work).

I suppose JetBlue once the EMB-190s could start several JFK-ALB flights. Though I question how much of that traffic would be O&D and not continuing onto Florida or the west coast.

In the end for people who are cost conscious and need to get between Albany and NYC Amtrak or driving (either all the way into the city or to a Metro North station and taking the train the rest of the way in) in is far more attractive than flying, even if a low-fare was offered consistently.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:51 am

DesertJets,
I had the same thought you did regarding the existing route...that's it's probably, indeed, high yield traffic flying on state business. So there's no 'real' business commuter case.

ANC & ExFat,
I enjoy the train ride myself as well. Best trip ever was taking it a few years back on Christmas Day, leaving at 6AM out of Rensselaer, 0 degF, without about 4" of snow on the ground. Watching the sun rise on the Hudson around Peekskill. I digress. Wish it were a bit cheaper and a bit faster though. However, I'd rather be strapped to a train seat biding my time, than standing in ticket lines, metal detector lines, bus/train lines, etc... biding the same amount of time. That's the rub. The plane is so much faster, however with the pre & post boarding activities you end up consuming the same time. So as a commuter option..air is inferior to rail on this route.


What if the route were designed not to soley rely on commuter/business traffic? For instance:
A daily JetBlue run to originate in Albany at 6AM, land at JFK, pick up folks, drop off folks, then continue on to Florida (Miami or Orlando). Make several JFK to MIA runs throughout the day. End the process by returning in the evening to Albany at say 6PM. That would give you a low cost option out of Albany. The flight would really be an Albany to Miami, but the stop over at JFK would allow you to drop off passengers and pick up passengers. You could even do a round trip again at 7PM to JFK and return to Albany at 10PM. Give you two full operating shifts for the plane. Plane would hit 3 airports a day. Guess this idea treats JFK like a mini-hub, but not too bad, as you don't have to actually switch planes. Is this practical? Is it worth for a carrier? The LLCs do this sort of thing all the time don't they? Would folks hate the brief layover in JFK, even though they don't have to actually switch planes, so much that the route would fail?

This would also allow Albany passengers to connect to other flights on B6 at JFK to continue on to other places. Or even swap over to other airlines at JFK. You'd be in a good position to board another flight by 8AM/8PM or so. (case of carrier hopping, you'd probably have to move your own bags though). I have a ton of friends who would love to begin travel out of Albany this way, instead of training or driving to JFK (hauling luggage the whole way) to save literally several hundreds of dollars on trips (ie. Europe).

learning never stops.
 
supa7E7
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New Y

Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:51 am

The ALB-NYC air market is miniscule. It is only 132 miles with excellent train connections. JetBlue doesn't fly it, because if they did, their planes would be empty.

Yes, they might capture a few bottom-barrel FLA passengers but scooping them up in ALB would double the cost of serving them. So it's just not worth it... AA and DL also refrain from ALB-NYC service for same reason.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
N1120A
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:47 am

>SouthWest<

Are you sure an airline named SouthWest flies to ALB or anywhere else in the US? I checked the certificates and there is only Southwest  Nuts
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BlatantEcho
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New Y

Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:52 am

Flew AAEagle, or whatever it was called, Saab-340 on that route a couple of years ago. It was a connection from ALB-JFK-SFO.

In any event, the train is terrible, unless they have the Accela running that route yet, which I doubt they do. If we had trains half as capable as the rest of the world, that trip would take less than an hour by train.

George
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:11 am

Distance well over 200 miles, not 132.
Train is good, for commuting. But not as a starting and ending leg for vacation flights out of JFK Who wants to lug your luggage around. Who wants to drive from Albany to New York City or worse, do the 3 1/2 hours back after landing at JFK?

I'd like the little ALB to JFK spur just for that purpose. JFK not as an ending destination (except for a few commuters), but a connecting point. Yeah the majors let you do that, but it ads in the neighborhood of $250 to $300 (per person....think about families) to price of your total flight package. Just do once in the morning, once in the evening. Make it a part of an ALB to Florida route. You underestimate how many of us Upstate New Yorkers flock to Florida regularly.

US Airways used to have a daily Metro Jet (737-300), direct to Orlando. Full when I flew it in the month of April (not exactly the dead of winter) a few years back. Tacking the ALB to JFK spur to a JetBlue flight could help it out, an opportunity for adding more passengers. It's long been rumored JetBlue will do an Albany to Orlando/Miami flight when they settle here (in the works now). I'd really like it to stop briefly in JFK, to open up all the advantages I listed previously.

If NY State employees could be lured to it, then we've got real potential. Though I doubt that wouldn't happen without a fight.
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N1120A
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:29 am

Given that B6 has stated that E190s will be good for doing non-stops from upstate NY to Florida and that a good deal of their flights from BUF, SYR, Rochester, etc. are already connecting to Florida flights, there is that potential for ALB too. I am guessing they figure that ALB is just too close to their main base to fill A320s on a regular basis
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Smalbany
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:37 am

ODwyer, I live in the Albany area and I work for the state government. Essentially travel requirements do not allow us to fly from alb to nyc. The travel rules don't exactly say thou shalt take the train to NYC, but with all the restrictions, it might as well.

Also, I don't know how you are measuring but it's not over 200 miles from Albany to NYC. Mile marker 144 on the Thruway is at Albany. Mile mark 0 is in NYC.

As others have said, there is only a small air market from Albany to NYC because the distance is so short that it is easier and faster to drive or take the train when you consider arriving early at the airport and transfers.
 
prosa
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:11 am

In any event, the train is terrible, unless they have the Accela running that route yet, which I doubt they do.

Definitely not. The Acela is an electric train powered by overhead catenary, while the rail line from NYC and Albany is electrified (by third rail, not catenary) only as far as Croton-Harmon, maybe one-third of the way.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
 
N1120A
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:25 am

>Definitely not. The Acela is an electric train powered by overhead catenary, while the rail line from NYC and Albany is electrified (by third rail, not catenary) only as far as Croton-Harmon, maybe one-third of the way.<

Well, you CAN run a high speed train on third rail (Eurostar on the UK side) but I doubt Amtrak carries the dual equipment on the Acela. Then again, you may some day go jet powered on the route with the Bombardier Jet Train
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newkai
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:41 am

">Definitely not. The Acela is an electric train powered by overhead catenary, while the rail line from NYC and Albany is electrified (by third rail, not catenary) only as far as Croton-Harmon, maybe one-third of the way."

Isn't it sad that the entire Trans-Siberian is electrified, but NYC-ALB is not!?
 
cs03
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:42 am

Having no service from KALB to KLGA/KJFK is a real pain for people going to Europe or to STT or SJU without driving to NYC! In the mid-1980s and 1990s, DL express flew KLGA to KALB, and even US had 3 737s a day for a while! When the air services got cut back, I went to Amtrak, and they provide a good service. There was even 727 service on BN in 1980 from KLGA!
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 10:54 am

ALB to JFK is 174 miles. So I over estimated a bit.

I love the SmAlbany User Name!

[Edited 2004-12-16 02:55:21]
learning never stops.
 
wants2fly
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:18 pm

I graduated from SUNY at Albany 10 years ago and I flew CO from ISP via EWR few times while studying there. I also flew TWA Express few times as well. TWA Express had direct flights between ISP and ALB.
CO's Flights were approximately 50 minutes each sector. I didn't mind the extra stop since I love flying so much. More time spending in the air or at the airport the better...
CO still have direct flights between ALB and EWR. I consider EWR one of the NYC airports.

Wants2fly
 
ScottB
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New Y

Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:32 pm

There's really not much point in jetBlue flying JFK-ALB to route passengers to Florida since they'd end up competing with Southwest doing the exact same thing (with low costs) via BWI and MCO. As others have said, the number of passengers who would actually *fly* JFK-ALB to access NYC would be miniscule -- it's just much, much faster to take the train when you can show up 15 minutes beforehand, walk right on the train, and be at NY Penn 2.5 hours later. If you flew, you'd have to make sure to be at the airport an hour beforehand, the flight would be blocked at close to an hour, and then you'd spend another hour (or more) making your way from JFK into Manhattan. You could arguably drive to Queens more quickly unless it were rush hour, since the speed limit is now 65 on much of the Thruway. And it is 145 miles from Albany to the Bronx.
 
NYCAAer
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Thu Dec 16, 2004 2:00 pm

I live in New York and go up to the Albany area to visit my parents, and I used to non-rev on American Eagle from JFK. I just miss flying there for free! It ends up taking the same amount of time on Amtrak when you consider the commute into Manhattan from JFk or LGA. But I remember the good old days when you could fly between ALB and LGA/JFK on Mohawk's FH-227s and BAC 1-11s, or American's BACs and 727s. Back then service was hourly. Later the market was served by Allegheny when they took over Mohawk, and Eastern.
 
lat41
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:41 am

The thinning out of New York service isn't an Albany only thing apparently. American Eagle used to fly several Saabs Between Providence and JFK, usually full or overbooked with connecting passengers for their overseas and Caribbean destinations. A few years ago they scrubbed the service altogether. I think Hartford got X'ed then too. US Airways Express divisions are solely handling PVD/LGA.. And CO owns the show form PVD to EWR with the only main line service from Southern N.E. to the N.Y. area along with some RJs. It's a little farther from PVD than ALB but I believe as others, that carriers aren't interested in the short stuff or what they call "tag service" which is what some of the posters want from JetBlue. The old days our area had American UsAir and National doing just that, but economics, deregulation, slot control took care of that. The Acela, when it's not busted is only 2hr 50 min from Providence so its a viable alternative.
 
ramerinianair
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:53 am

Depends where you sre in NY. There is an ISP-ALB direct if it is close for you. It's a Beech-190 for CO.
SR
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JetRanger2000
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:58 am

I also noticed the lack of flights from ALB to JFK/LGA when I was looking at flying to Europe. Though I know CO flies from ALB to EWR for about $157
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:04 am

I found the word I was looking for in some of your posts: 'Tag' flights. That would be my real interest in it. Being able to Tag of JFK for flights to Europe or elsewhere, without spending a fortune. An option for commuters would just be an added bonus in any wanted to take advantage of it.

It's available, as I stated earlier, in the form of United's $480 flight. Guess that will remain the only one.

Thanks for all of your replies,as I learned a bit of History and received quite a bit of anecdotal info.
learning never stops.
 
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STT757
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:26 am

"Who wants to drive from Albany to New York City or worse, do the 3 1/2 hours back after landing at JFK?"

My Dad retired from the State of NYabout 10 years ago, his office was on Park Ave in Manhattan but had to travel mostly to Albany every week. We live in Central New Jersey so most of the time he drove, when I turned 17 he would take me along so I could drive him up there which was great for me since I was in High School and he would let play hookie to drive him.

We would do day trips from Central Jersey to Albany, and from Central Jersey it did not take 3 1/2 hours to drive. More like 2 1/2 or 2 hours forty five minutes, when he went by himself he took Amtrak from Grand Central and later Penn Station when Amtrak made the switch for their Empire trains.

Frequent air service between Albany and all three NYC airports is not going to grow much beyond existing service, it's too short of a drive and the main source of business traffic the State of NY is not going to pay employees to fly that distance.

They will pay for flights from LGA to Buffalo, but not Albany. Also the State just built a brand new Rail hub at Rensealer, they want people to use the new facility.
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cs03
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 12:10 pm

In 1989-92, I flew from either EWR to ALB on CO (EX) or AA (ex), or on DL (Bizex) from LGA to ALB. On DL it was a B1900 or a SD360, then A Saab, and on CO it was a ATR, When AA Eagle did JFK/ALB, it was a ATR as well. I went up to ALB almost every weekend, and I was never the only PAX on board! I, also remember going to ALB on Empire Airlines, and also on Allegheny in a Convair propliner in 1976 (from JFK)!
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:23 pm

If I leave my House (5min outside of Albany) and want to drive to JFK, believe me it's 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Crossing the Tappan Zee and declaring you are in New York City 10 minutes later, doesn't count. I don't know how fast some of you drive, but unless you drive like a maniac you aren't getting from Albany to JFK significantly sooner. ALB to JFK is 174 miles. Sorry, you can't average 70 miles an hour the whole time with Thurway Toll Booths, Tappan Zee, Verazanno, etc... It's definitely 3 hours without traffic...3 1/2 with. And again, who wants that ahead of them after getting off of a plane!! Folks I do this once or twice a year...trust me.

I wish the State ahd paid for the Rensselaer Train Station. It was supposed to be the TrailWays/Amtrak hub. Trailways backed out (which was probably a good thing because of the kind of traffic it brings...let them continue over in Albany). The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA Bus company) actually owns the building. Amtraks rent is a paltry $50K a year I think? The US Post Office went in there too, which leaves the City of Rensselaer saddled with the old Post Office Bldg with no one to pay the rent. It's up for sale. The Station went 100% over budget and 2 years late. The City of Rensselaer put up quite a bit of the money too. There were some State grants...but the State did not build it. They've already had to resurface the entire parking garage after only 1 year of operation. The motor bridge crossing the Tracks has already had it's pylons reinforced. Nepotism and corruption marked the entire construction. None of this is Amtraks's fault..I don't blame them at all..someone wants to foot the bill for a beautiful new Station at 'rent controlled' rents...go for it. Quite honestly though, it hasn't had any impact on Amtrak's service. Biggest impact on the train station was 9/11. Everyone became afraid to fly and train service rose by 20%(?) or so.

Pretty building. Now you get to buy expensive coffee from the Coffee Beanery instead of the independant coffee shop that was in the old station. You also get to pay for parking, when it was free before. If you're being dropped off at the entrance, you get to climb down stairs with your luggage when boarding the train, instead of wheeling it out to the platform (60mil and we couldn't afford escalators?) People dropping off /picking up passengers get to fight with people checking their mail to get through the 1 lane entrance to the entire facility. Could have been done better. I'm all for progress, but I dislike public projects that are poorly executed, don't meet any real needs and who's legacy is a crippling debt load for a broke municipality. It's a trophy building.

Now the terminal expansion and remodel of Albany's International Airport is nothing short of a smashing success. It's wonderful. Good parking, Easy to get around, Good eats, Great observation deck with live audio of exchanges between control tower and all nearby planes (flight or taxi), etc... Prior to 9/11 on Tuesday Evenings many of us would gather in the lobby and play traditional folk music for arriving passengers---talking 4 guitars, 12 fiddlles, irish drums, tin whistles, flutes, etc... Now the security check is before that lobby, so unticketed folks can't sit in the big open central lobby, but a smaller seating area instead... oh well.

I don't want the service between Albany and New York to necessarily grow substantially, nor do I expect it. I just want a Tag flight alternative to United's monopoly once a day. I just like originating my trips out of ALB..checking my bags there..and not lugging them out of my trunk after hours of driving or lugging them off an AmTrak Train At Penn Station, onto a Subway Train, then through JFK. If Southwest ever gets established at JFK or LGA or JetBlue arrives..coupled with lower fuel prices...could just see it yet. Can't blame a frequent traveller for wishing can you?
learning never stops.
 
Smalbany
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:03 pm

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see added flights and airlines to nyc. It's just not realistic. Those flights (I'm thinking the AA flights to jfk) were some of the first ones to be cut when the majors started to need to cut expenses. I have to believe that they were not profitable.

I regularly make it from Albany to Manhattan in 2.5 hours driving in the low 70s. Take I87 to the palisades and cross the GWB. Its easy.
 
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ODwyerPW
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RE: Albany NY (NY State Capital) To JFK/LGA (New York)

Sat Dec 18, 2004 12:07 am

SmAlbany,
that's quite a feat. I've tried that route myself..but the GWB is such a a gamble (when it's backed up..it's murder). Like going i-87 - 17 - 3 -9/1 and heading through the Holland tunnel...quicker, so long as there is no bottleneck at the tunnel. again a gamble. Would take another .5 hour to get from Manhattan to JFk, or am I just going the long way?

You know what else I'm factoring in to, is the fact that I simply can't drive more than 2 hours without a bathroom/stretch break. seriously. it's just something I always have to plan in on my driving trips. I drive to Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC, DC, Fingerglakes, Rochester, Boston, Amherst etc... several times a year. I'm told by everyone that my driving times are always a bit excessive...take too long. So I guess, I just miss the flying option more than the rest of you.

Again thanks for the replies.
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