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eire123
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:54 pm

Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:30 pm

With Flybe gone this now leaves a massive gap in the schedule out of Belfast City Airport, and already Loganair have swooped in to pick up a couple of the abandoned routes,BHD to Aberdeen and Inverness.
This leaves a handful of profitable routes up for grabs. I am guessing that Stobart Air under the Aer Lingus Regional banner could pick up the following:

BHD - LCY, (EI has presence in both airport, and Stobart Air already operated aircraft on behalf of Flybe on this route)
BHD - BHX (EI has presence in both airports)
BHD - LBA
BHD - MAN
BHD - EDI

But I would question if the following would be attractive enough for anyone else to want?

BHD - SOU
BHD - EXT
BHD - EMA
BHD - GLA (easyjet have this pretty much covered out of BFS)?
BHD - CWL
 
iRISH251
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:32 pm

Post-Brexit (i.e. after 31 December 2020), unless otherwise agreed, it is very unlikely that an EU carrier would be granted rights to operate UK domestic services. One of the consequences of Brexit.
 
eire123
Topic Author
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:44 pm

They would operate under the Stobart Air license, plus, I this this is a bit of a red herring, that would mean Ryanair UK flights and the existing EI flights would be canned eg, BHD - LHR.
 
IADCA
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:00 pm

eire123 wrote:
They would operate under the Stobart Air license, plus, I this this is a bit of a red herring, that would mean Ryanair UK flights and the existing EI flights would be canned eg, BHD - LHR.


Stobart Air is an Irish company too, so that doesn't help. And existing EI flights would indeed be canned, which is why those flights will move to carriers with UK AOCs. Possibly the Flybe AOC will get moved around within Connect to allow Stobart to operate domestic UK flights, but it would also be a saleable asset.

And to answer part of the question, I also have some doubt as to BHD-EMA. I've taken that a few times (first with FR and then BE) and the fares were often at levels that I just can't see being terribly attractive to a new operator.
Last edited by IADCA on Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Andy33
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:02 pm

eire123 wrote:
They would operate under the Stobart Air license, plus, I this this is a bit of a red herring, that would mean Ryanair UK flights and the existing EI flights would be canned eg, BHD - LHR.

Ryanair has a UK registered airline subsidiary specifically for this purpose to ensure it can continue to operate those routes it wants to. Aer Lingus could do the same, or, perhaps, swap their rotations LHR-BHD with BA in exchange for extra rotations on LHR-DUB. Since all flights are codeshared by BA and EI anyway on these routes, the effect on passengers would be minimal.
 
bennett123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:15 pm

FR has previously shown little interest in internal routes.

Not sure that this will change.
 
Galwayman
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:40 pm

Cant see FR or EI continuing to operate domestic routes after next year , not worth all the hassle ... losing UK domestic routes will be a small price to pay for the exclusion of Easyjet (irrespective of flag of convenience) from the single market . AF/KLM/LH will want Easy gone asap ....
 
Galwayman
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:43 pm

Cant see FR or EI continuing to operate domestic routes after next year , not worth all the hassle ... losing UK domestic routes will be a small price to pay for the exclusion of Easyjet (irrespective of flag of convenience) from the single market . AF/KLM/LH/IAG will want Easy gone asap ....
 
factsonly
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:45 pm

Andy33 wrote:
Since all flights are codeshared by BA and EI anyway on these routes, the effect on passengers would be minimal.


No Sir........If there is no UK-EU aviation agreement that permits cabotage, EI would no longer be able to sell tickets on UK (BA) domestic sectors after 31 December 2020.
Same applies to BA who would no longer be able to sell Irish/Spanish domestic sectors on EI/IB operated flights.
International through ticketing LHR-MAD-AGP and DUB-MAN-INV would still be permitted.

All EU carriers may have to halt operating (selling) UK domestic sectors, Ryanair has clearly chosen to avoid that situation with its Ryanair UK AOC.
In reverse, UK based easyJet set up EasyJet Europe Airline GmbH in Vienna with 140 aircraft to maintain its extensive intra-EU network.
 
mutu
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:47 pm

All this Brexit nonsense again. Cant really see much changing at all.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:52 pm

I'm surprised Loganair didn't opt for GLA-BHD, perhaps too much going on already ? The fact EasyJet do the BFS route is one thing but having Flybe as well certainly kept the pricing competitive. I don't see those EasyJet flights being particularly cheap now. Ferry prices will no doubt go up as well.
 
Keano757
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:54 pm

Eastern Airways has announced Teeside as a new route. I know that doesn't do anything for the old FlyBe routes but could lead to them picking some up perhaps?
Stobart would be my bet for LCY and SOU. Can't see BA Cityflyer doing BHD-LCY.
Who else is there? So far, BHD has responded well to the situation so I'm optimistic they will deliver and that we will find out more on the 'number of airlines interested' soon enough.
 
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nighthawk
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:32 pm

There are still a lot of unserved routes following flybe's collapse. I can't help but feel there's room for a new entrant in to the market, perhaps even Stobart Air taking on some routes of their own outside of the Aer Lingus franchise agreement.
 
eire123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:42 pm

Keano757 wrote:
Stobart would be my bet for LCY and SOU. Can't see BA Cityflyer doing BHD-LCY.


BA Cityflyer I would not rule out, as there is strong business traveller traffic on that route and yields where pretty solid on that one.. Just wonder if they have the metal to take that on?
 
opticalilyushin
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:57 pm

BHD had the foresight to start negotiations with other carriers months ago, when news about Flybe's poor finances were made public. That is how the Loganair routes were announced so quickly, and more announcements are to be made soon.

eire123 wrote:
With Flybe gone this now leaves a massive gap in the schedule out of Belfast City Airport, and already Loganair have swooped in to pick up a couple of the abandoned routes,BHD to Aberdeen and Inverness.
This leaves a handful of profitable routes up for grabs. I am guessing that Stobart Air under the Aer Lingus Regional banner could pick up the following:

BHD - LCY, (EI has presence in both airport, and Stobart Air already operated aircraft on behalf of Flybe on this route)
BHD - BHX (EI has presence in both airports)
BHD - LBA
BHD - MAN
BHD - EDI

But I would question if the following would be attractive enough for anyone else to want?

BHD - SOU
BHD - EXT
BHD - EMA
BHD - GLA (easyjet have this pretty much covered out of BFS)?
BHD - CWL


Some of these largely O&D routes could be picked up by Easyjet, if it can get the capacity issue sorted at BFS, routes like Leeds or East Midlands, 4x daily with Flybe could become 2x daily with them. Routes like Manchester and Birmingham need to be sorted fast as there are large numbers of passengers that connect onto other carriers there. LCY is being looked at as there are corporate contracts for that route. SOU has a strong cruiseship market, especially coming upto the summertime (that is if people aren't put off the idea of catching a virus!)
 
bennett123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:06 pm

IMO, the most at risk is EXT.

The only other airlines flying from EXT are TUI and FR, neither seems to have much enthusiasm for internal routes.

Looking at BHD, the only other operators are EI, BA, T3, KL and LM.

Of these, Brexit would probably rule out EI and KL, and BA seem to have little enthusiasm for internal flights. That leaves T3 or LM.

I doubt that someone will move in without existing operations at either EXE or BHD.
 
alan3
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:14 pm

Would this loss of Belfast City routes be an occasion to think about merging airports in Belfast? Move whatever's left over to International? It's a very small city to have two airports.
Last edited by alan3 on Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ShamrockBoi330
Posts: 353
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:17 pm

factsonly wrote:
Andy33 wrote:
Since all flights are codeshared by BA and EI anyway on these routes, the effect on passengers would be minimal.


No Sir........If there is no UK-EU aviation agreement that permits cabotage, EI would no longer be able to sell tickets on UK (BA) domestic sectors after 31 December 2020.
Same applies to BA who would no longer be able to sell Irish/Spanish domestic sectors on EI/IB operated flights.
International through ticketing LHR-MAD-AGP and DUB-MAN-INV would still be permitted.

All EU carriers may have to halt operating (selling) UK domestic sectors, Ryanair has clearly chosen to avoid that situation with its Ryanair UK AOC.
In reverse, UK based easyJet set up EasyJet Europe Airline GmbH in Vienna with 140 aircraft to maintain its extensive intra-EU network.


I read that statement differently, as the codeshares on LHR DUB, no ALL codeshares.

As in ; EI swap BHD LHR with BA in exchange for BA swapping LHR DUB from BA to EI.... there are codeshares on LHR DUB so consumers won't notice any reductions, these aren't domestic codeshares, would these be affected under your scenario?
 
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FabDiva
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:39 pm

bennett123 wrote:
IMO, the most at risk is EXT.

The only other airlines flying from EXT are TUI and FR, neither seems to have much enthusiasm for internal routes.

Looking at BHD, the only other operators are EI, BA, T3, KL and LM.

Of these, Brexit would probably rule out EI and KL, and BA seem to have little enthusiasm for internal flights. That leaves T3 or LM.

I doubt that someone will move in without existing operations at either EXE or BHD.


EXT has already gained Loganair and Aurigny. I wouldn't be surprised if more follow. Certainly could see a daily Aer Lingus ATR, it could prove successful if it connects with the US flights (which Flybe didn't). Suspect someone will launch AMS before long.
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:21 pm

For BHD I think EI regional could be a good option, but I'm not sure they have the aircraft to operate it. flyBe operated SOU, CWL and EXT. I would think EI would be interested in at least SOU and CWL. There are also the IoM flights Stobart were in the process of taking over. I think the plan was to have 2x ATRs on IoM, plus the EI branded DUB-IOM, so any selection of those routes would use up most of the slack in the fleet.
The EI base at BHD is on different T&Cs to the rest of the company, so it might be possible for Stobart to operate the E190s from BHD. the fares easyJet are commanding on BFS-MAN are staggering, where seats are available. This might be temporary as demand readjusts, but it looks like there might be room for strong competition on quite a few of the ex flyBe routes.
 
bennett123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:58 pm

Assuming that EI will be able to operate UK internal flights post December 2020.

FabDiva.

I was referring to flights from BHD to EXE.
Last edited by bennett123 on Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
bennett123
Posts: 9732
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:59 pm

Mods

Please can you delete.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:11 pm

bennett123 wrote:
Assuming that EI will be able to operate UK internal flights post December 2020.

FabDiva.

I was referring to flights from BHD to EXE.

Wouldn't Northern Ireland be considered, as per the Northern Ireland protocol, actually covered by EU acquis, and thus have flights between Northern Ireland and the rest of UK being, possibly, not entirely "intra-UK", from legal point of view? Customs for sure. On the other hand, no idea if route authorities would be subject to same approach.
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opticalilyushin
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:39 am

Phosphorus wrote:
bennett123 wrote:
Assuming that EI will be able to operate UK internal flights post December 2020.

FabDiva.

I was referring to flights from BHD to EXE.

Wouldn't Northern Ireland be considered, as per the Northern Ireland protocol, actually covered by EU acquis, and thus have flights between Northern Ireland and the rest of UK being, possibly, not entirely "intra-UK", from legal point of view? Customs for sure. On the other hand, no idea if route authorities would be subject to same approach.


Do you mean post-Brexit? If so, the only difference should be a customs check, which would probably be no different to what it is currently like to fly from the UK to the Channel Islands...
 
Arion640
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:55 am

Galwayman wrote:
Cant see FR or EI continuing to operate domestic routes after next year , not worth all the hassle ... losing UK domestic routes will be a small price to pay for the exclusion of Easyjet (irrespective of flag of convenience) from the single market . AF/KLM/LH/IAG will want Easy gone asap ....


Flights will just be operated by Easyjet Austria instead.
 
redroo
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:08 am

alan3 wrote:
Would this loss of Belfast City routes be an occasion to think about merging airports in Belfast? Move whatever's left over to International? It's a very small city to have two airports.


It is crazy.

It really only used to be BFS then BHD grew and grew. It’s not like BFS is that far from the city either.

Highly unlikely to change however.
 
vfw614
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:30 am

Flybe's demise has wiped the capacity of dozens of Q400 from the domestic market. There is no way LM or T3 are in a position to fill those gaps, given their relatively small size and their fleet of predominantly 30-50 seaters. To be honest, I am slightly worried that they are overstretching themselves already with the routes they have announced, particularly Loganair. Of course numerous routes are up for grabs, but Flybe has not gone under for no reason and I can already hear the moaning of punters who will complain that Loganair and Eastern are milikng them for not charging Ryanair-style 19,99 GBP fares...
 
sandyb123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:32 am

redroo wrote:
alan3 wrote:
Would this loss of Belfast City routes be an occasion to think about merging airports in Belfast? Move whatever's left over to International? It's a very small city to have two airports.


It is crazy.

It really only used to be BFS then BHD grew and grew. It’s not like BFS is that far from the city either.

Highly unlikely to change however.


There are only 6 arrivals & Departures at BHD today. That can not be good for business.

Is there a political reason the two airports have been kept alive? Having flown to both a few times in recent years BHD was by far the nicer experience, but BFS by far the busier. With the loss of BE in recent weeks coupled with the whole Coronavirus maelstrom, BHD does not look viable as it stands?.

As the directors of a Uk Limited company, there is a self-test that must now be done. Is there a credible chance that the business can continue to trade through this period?

• Yes: then bunker down, cut costs and carry on
• No: Then pull the plug and enter administration

It's a tough tough call (and one that I had to make myself many moons ago) but you need to be careful as an individual because of the potential personal ramifications of burying your head in the sand.

Sandyb123
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IrishLessor
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:44 am

Sandyb123.
This debate has been done to death, but in summary;
BHD while a great little airport has a very short runway so nothing past Malaga works, restricted opening hours (0630-2130), and has very poor car parking options for holiday stays. It is a boutique airport of sorts very close to the city centre. BFS is a bit outside the city and carries the majority of pax of any Belfast Airport, mostly dominated by low cost airlines. It has no runway or opening hours restrictions and has a much more extensive network.

And BHD has more than 6 arrivals; it's actually 9;
KLM X1
Aer Lingus x3
BA x 4 and
Eastern x1
 
Boeing74741R
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:12 pm

Isn't there a limit on total annual movements at BHD? It's academic at the moment given how much spare capacity has suddenly emerged, but that combined with the other reasons cited would forever be a ceiling on the amount an airline(s) can grow at BHD.

Never used BHD (yet) but I have used BFS numerous times. Its location I can live with as there's a decent enough bus service to Belfast city centre, but I'm not a fan of the terminal building at all. Poorly laid out, cramped and could do with investment. BFS stands to gain from increased passenger numbers as Flybe competed with easyJet on a number of routes to/from Great Britain, but the terminal needs looking at if the airport authority wants to grow passenger numbers significantly. The only thing that's stopped me from going to BHD during my previous visits to Belfast was Flybe's prices and the plethora of options that used to exist to both Belfast airports from LPL and MAN.

Does Belfast need two airports? Probably not I'd say and I can completely understand why some would prefer BHD over BFS. That said, we are where we are.
 
jghealey
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:24 pm

Ignoring the Brexit issue, perhaps CityJet would be willing to take over the BHD-LCY route under their existing EI franchise with RJ85s? Perhaps a DUB-LCY-BHD-LCY-DUB routing. Otherwise I think Stobart under EI would be a great fit for the other routes, though I can't see what benefit this would bring EI (as unlike flights at DUB these aren't feeding their international flights)
 
sandyb123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:29 pm

IrishLessor wrote:
Sandyb123.
This debate has been done to death, but in summary;
BHD while a great little airport has a very short runway so nothing past Malaga works, restricted opening hours (0630-2130), and has very poor car parking options for holiday stays. It is a boutique airport of sorts very close to the city centre. BFS is a bit outside the city and carries the majority of pax of any Belfast Airport, mostly dominated by low cost airlines. It has no runway or opening hours restrictions and has a much more extensive network.

And BHD has more than 6 arrivals; it's actually 9;
KLM X1
Aer Lingus x3
BA x 4 and
Eastern x1


I stand corrected on 9 vs 6 (assuming you aren't counting the BA / EI codeshares) but still that number is down from the planned 98 movements today. It's a commercial operation and 90% of their revenue was thanks to BE and associated passenger services from those BE passengers.

Sorry but personally speaking as much of a dump BFS is, it's going to win the inevitable single airport race in Belfast. The only question relates to the Bombardier / Airbus factory at BHD which makes the C-series / A220 wings. Actually aren't they taken to final assembly by ship?

Sandyb123
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bennett123
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:25 pm

IMO, Brexit is the Elephant in the room here.

Will the UK agree to an EU carrier doing internal flights?.
 
Clydenairways
Posts: 1293
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:27 am

Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:31 am

bennett123 wrote:
IMO, Brexit is the Elephant in the room here.

Will the UK agree to an EU carrier doing internal flights?.


But surely it would impact the current EI route to LHR if that was the case.
 
CometOrbit
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:44 pm

bennett123 wrote:
IMO, Brexit is the Elephant in the room here.
Will the UK agree to an EU carrier doing internal flights?.


It will if the EU reciprocates.
All on the table in the current trade negotiations..
 
EIEIDW
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:22 pm

Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 6:54 pm

Eastern Airways launching BHD-SOU
 
bennett123
Posts: 9732
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Which is more important, UK internal flights operated by EU carriers or EU internal routes operated by UK carriers?.
 
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FabDiva
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Re: Belfast City Routes Up for Grabs - who will take over?

Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:31 pm

ISTR that in the No Deal Docs the UK was not going to object to EU airlines operating domestically with the hope that the EU would reciprocate. That was however under the previous administration, the current one may have other ideas

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