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LH658
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British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:45 pm

British Airways announced next month it will operate 4 weekly flights to Lahore, Pakistan on a 787. Kudos to Pakistan and BA! That makes to 2 British airlines will be serving Lahore, Virgin and BA. This was long waited for after the successful Islamabad operation. This flight will have better timings to meet connections going to North America.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/brit ... n-heathrow
 
NYCVIE
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British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:47 pm

Starting on 12 October, BA will begin flying from LHR to Lahore 4x a week using a 788. Schedule is as follows:

BA259 London Heathrow 1755 – Lahore 0540+1 1357

BA258 Lahore 0905 – London Heathrow 1310 1246

http://thebasource.com/british-airways- ... e-service/

Surely a competitive response to VS' new service but also given PIA's exit could have been something in the pipeline regardless. Interesting that they're starting with such short notice (less than a month). Certainly indicative of booking trends these days.
 
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SQ22
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:15 pm

Threads have been merged. Considering the recent discussions about Commercial Air Service returning to Pakistan I think this topic deserves its own thread.
 
USAirALB
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:10 pm

I wonder if this route announcement is more so just because of the slack in the fleet, and BA is simply throwing whatever on the wall and seeing if it sticks or there is a genuine amount of VFR traffic traveling right now that is attempting to avoid transit hubs. If that's the case, I wonder if we might see BA resume other VFR destinations, like DAC, CMB, LUN, EBB, etc.
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LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:54 pm

USAirALB wrote:
I wonder if this route announcement is more so just because of the slack in the fleet, and BA is simply throwing whatever on the wall and seeing if it sticks or there is a genuine amount of VFR traffic traveling right now that is attempting to avoid transit hubs. If that's the case, I wonder if we might see BA resume other VFR destinations, like DAC, CMB, LUN, EBB, etc.


Lahore has been on BA radar for a while, also due to how successful Islamabad operation is going. Also VS is also launching flights to Lahore and Islamabad says a lot, the bigger cherry on top is that PIA isn't operating to Europe or UK due to they got banned. Then with Covid that airlines are betting on VFR and leisure markets.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:32 pm

I can't see both BA and VS both thriving on service to LHE, especially targeting largely O&D. That said, BA probably has the more ideal equipment for the route in a B788. If cargo demands it, I could see an up-gauge to a B789 or a B772.
 
LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:30 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
I can't see both BA and VS both thriving on service to LHE, especially targeting largely O&D. That said, BA probably has the more ideal equipment for the route in a B788. If cargo demands it, I could see an up-gauge to a B789 or a B772.


VS is also flying with a 787, only thing is that BA is flying with a schedule that's good for connections both way to North America, Europe, and Canada. VS Lahore flight isn't set up for connections, but VS Manchester and London Heathrow flight to Islamabad is set up for connections. I bet BA will do better just to much more vast network than VS, though let's see!
 
ddp
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:59 am

Maybe someone can educate me.

Why is no one looking at Karachi? The biggest population in the country, 5 million more than Lahore, 14 million more than Islamabad.
The biggest economy in the country, it's about twice the size of the 2nd largest economy in the country (Lahore).
It is also the biggest airport in the country, so the flying market is there.

Is someone going to try to show a presence in Karachi?
 
ddp
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:03 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
I can't see both BA and VS both thriving on service to LHE, especially targeting largely O&D. That said, BA probably has the more ideal equipment for the route in a B788. If cargo demands it, I could see an up-gauge to a B789 or a B772.


BA will likely pick up a lot of passengers from Canada and the USA. Toronto, NY/NJ, DC and Dallas all have large Pakistani diasporas, and well-timed too with these flights.
 
LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:20 am

ddp wrote:
Maybe someone can educate me.

Why is no one looking at Karachi? The biggest population in the country, 5 million more than Lahore, 14 million more than Islamabad.
The biggest economy in the country, it's about twice the size of the 2nd largest economy in the country (Lahore).
It is also the biggest airport in the country, so the flying market is there.

Is someone going to try to show a presence in Karachi?


#1 issue with Karachi is safety, from the airport all the way to the 5 posh hotel's (Marriott, Movenpick, Avari, Avari Beach Luxury, and Pearl Continental Hotel) in the city is a bit of a drive that involves heavy traffic, depending on the time of day. Pre Covid times EK had 5 to 6 daily flights to Karachi, then add QR, EY, Oman Air, Kuwait Airways, Saudia, and etc. Karachi frequency allocation is much greater than Lahore and Islamabad, Also during Pre covid era Karachi only had 1 to 2 weekly flights to the UK, and 2 weekly to YYZ, compared to Lahore and Islamabad which saw almost daily flights to cities in the UK, plus flights to CPH, MXP, CDG, and OSL. Most of the diaspora in the UK and in Europe come from the Punjab region, cities near Lahore and Islamabad are also in the top 10 largest cities in Pakistan, that often if someone is in Islamabad and the flight significantly cheaper from Lahore, he or she might make the drive just cause it's not far from each cause of the cost difference o the ticket.

Though Karachi could be potential pick, BA security team has visited the airport last year.
 
myki
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:21 am

Yep, less competition in LHE and ISB, plus security risk is lower.
 
A330243
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:34 am

ddp wrote:
Maybe someone can educate me.

Why is no one looking at Karachi? The biggest population in the country, 5 million more than Lahore, 14 million more than Islamabad.
The biggest economy in the country, it's about twice the size of the 2nd largest economy in the country (Lahore).
It is also the biggest airport in the country, so the flying market is there.

Is someone going to try to show a presence in Karachi?


KHI is indeed the largest city and the largest aviation market in Pakistan. However, the vast majority of UK-PAK traffic is destined for ISB, followed by LHE, and then KHI (LHR-ISB alone had around 260,000 pax in 2019). This is largely due to the fact that most Pakistani migrants to the UK historically came from (and to a significant extent still come from) the regions around ISB.
 
A330243
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:41 am

NYCVIE wrote:
Starting on 12 October, BA will begin flying from LHR to Lahore 4x a week using a 788. Schedule is as follows:

BA259 London Heathrow 1755 – Lahore 0540+1 1357

BA258 Lahore 0905 – London Heathrow 1310 1246

http://thebasource.com/british-airways- ... e-service/

Surely a competitive response to VS' new service but also given PIA's exit could have been something in the pipeline regardless. Interesting that they're starting with such short notice (less than a month). Certainly indicative of booking trends these days.


Those times allow for good connections to and from LHE to several of BA’s North American destinations whereas VS’s schedule for LHE looks more like it’s geared for O&D and connections to EU....strangely VS’s schedule for ISB allows good connections to North America in both directions, but LHE-North America is a far bigger market than ISB-North America.
 
lalib
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:11 am

Great to see BA flying to Lahore. BA will get a headstart since VS due to commenced operations in Dec.
 
myki
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:21 am

LH658 wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
I wonder if this route announcement is more so just because of the slack in the fleet, and BA is simply throwing whatever on the wall and seeing if it sticks or there is a genuine amount of VFR traffic traveling right now that is attempting to avoid transit hubs. If that's the case, I wonder if we might see BA resume other VFR destinations, like DAC, CMB, LUN, EBB, etc.


Lahore has been on BA radar for a while, also due to how successful Islamabad operation is going. Also VS is also launching flights to Lahore and Islamabad says a lot, the bigger cherry on top is that PIA isn't operating to Europe or UK due to they got banned. Then with Covid that airlines are betting on VFR and leisure markets.

Throw in to the mix that now suddenly there's loads of slots available at previously slot-restricted airports, so there may be more new/resumed routes to come soon!
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:59 pm

myki wrote:
LH658 wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
I wonder if this route announcement is more so just because of the slack in the fleet, and BA is simply throwing whatever on the wall and seeing if it sticks or there is a genuine amount of VFR traffic traveling right now that is attempting to avoid transit hubs. If that's the case, I wonder if we might see BA resume other VFR destinations, like DAC, CMB, LUN, EBB, etc.


Lahore has been on BA radar for a while, also due to how successful Islamabad operation is going. Also VS is also launching flights to Lahore and Islamabad says a lot, the bigger cherry on top is that PIA isn't operating to Europe or UK due to they got banned. Then with Covid that airlines are betting on VFR and leisure markets.

Throw in to the mix that now suddenly there's loads of slots available at previously slot-restricted airports, so there may be more new/resumed routes to come soon!

Whilst it has been sometime since BA served Lahore one of the other factors that could come into play is that BA dropped a number of destinations over the years not because they were unprofitable bur rather they weren't as profitable as other routes. With suppressed demand BA could very well look at reintroducing routes it dropped to free up a slot and/or aircraft at LHR.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
YALAS
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:30 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
myki wrote:
LH658 wrote:

Lahore has been on BA radar for a while, also due to how successful Islamabad operation is going. Also VS is also launching flights to Lahore and Islamabad says a lot, the bigger cherry on top is that PIA isn't operating to Europe or UK due to they got banned. Then with Covid that airlines are betting on VFR and leisure markets.

Throw in to the mix that now suddenly there's loads of slots available at previously slot-restricted airports, so there may be more new/resumed routes to come soon!

Whilst it has been sometime since BA served Lahore one of the other factors that could come into play is that BA dropped a number of destinations over the years not because they were unprofitable bur rather they weren't as profitable as other routes. With suppressed demand BA could very well look at reintroducing routes it dropped to free up a slot and/or aircraft at LHR.


I’ve heard that was the case for many of BA’s former African destinations, they were profitable, but destinations in North America and Asia had higher yields and more money to be made on the whole.

I wish BA well on this route, I’m sure both them and VS can make it work well
 
CaliguyNYC
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:51 pm

A330243 wrote:
NYCVIE wrote:
Starting on 12 October, BA will begin flying from LHR to Lahore 4x a week using a 788. Schedule is as follows:

BA259 London Heathrow 1755 – Lahore 0540+1 1357

BA258 Lahore 0905 – London Heathrow 1310 1246

http://thebasource.com/british-airways- ... e-service/

Surely a competitive response to VS' new service but also given PIA's exit could have been something in the pipeline regardless. Interesting that they're starting with such short notice (less than a month). Certainly indicative of booking trends these days.


Those times allow for good connections to and from LHE to several of BA’s North American destinations whereas VS’s schedule for LHE looks more like it’s geared for O&D and connections to EU....strangely VS’s schedule for ISB allows good connections to North America in both directions, but LHE-North America is a far bigger market than ISB-North America.


From NA to LHE the connections suck. YVR, SFO & LAX work, Dallas is 5 hour wait, ORD 6 hours and JFK, YYZ, BOS etc are non starters the wait is so long. Pakistanis in the US are heavily concentrated in the NYC (JFK) area and YYZ. All other cities are small. So looks like this flight targets O&D with SFO/LAX/YVR connections. Makes sense because the COVID era is all about VFR it seems
 
AT
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:35 pm

Wow, Lahore and Islamabad are really getting some loving these days.
Lahore is a huge city and a hub of Punjab. Lots of industry = lots of cargo = $$$ for BA. Also you have the double advantage of O&D and transfer traffic. As long as safety / security remains steady, I can see this being successful and even upped to larger/more frequent flights.
 
myki
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:06 am

My guess is that KHI works for the Middle Eastern airlines as security issues on the ground have minimal impact as they can fly in, turnaround, fly back due to the short flight time. Flight deck and cabin crew staff aren't on the ground as opposed to BA and VS needing to overnight, or alternatively use up passenger seats for deadheading crew.
 
tys777
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:55 am

is this a product of reaponding to VS, using idle aircraft that would be on NA routes, or a mix of both?

I'm going with a mix of both. Not sure if they'd be starting this under normal circumstances, but I'm happy to see it.
 
A330243
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:48 am

CaliguyNYC wrote:
A330243 wrote:
NYCVIE wrote:
Starting on 12 October, BA will begin flying from LHR to Lahore 4x a week using a 788. Schedule is as follows:

BA259 London Heathrow 1755 – Lahore 0540+1 1357

BA258 Lahore 0905 – London Heathrow 1310 1246

http://thebasource.com/british-airways- ... e-service/

Surely a competitive response to VS' new service but also given PIA's exit could have been something in the pipeline regardless. Interesting that they're starting with such short notice (less than a month). Certainly indicative of booking trends these days.


Those times allow for good connections to and from LHE to several of BA’s North American destinations whereas VS’s schedule for LHE looks more like it’s geared for O&D and connections to EU....strangely VS’s schedule for ISB allows good connections to North America in both directions, but LHE-North America is a far bigger market than ISB-North America.


From NA to LHE the connections suck. YVR, SFO & LAX work, Dallas is 5 hour wait, ORD 6 hours and JFK, YYZ, BOS etc are non starters the wait is so long. Pakistanis in the US are heavily concentrated in the NYC (JFK) area and YYZ. All other cities are small. So looks like this flight targets O&D with SFO/LAX/YVR connections. Makes sense because the COVID era is all about VFR it seems


The main markets from NA to LHE are concentrated at JFK/EWR and YYZ but there is substantial demand from ORD, IAH, IAD, LAX and SFO. These schedules will work with some East Coast destinations when BA brings multiple daily flights to JFK, ORD, IAD and back.

That said the LHE-LHR market got about 200,000 passengers round trip in 2019 with significant business demand (ISB-LHR is about 400,000 pax) and cargo demand is quite large as well. BA is also the preferred carrier for most Western government traffic and will also get a lot of corporate traffic from the likes of Unilever, Shell, Standard Chartered and other British/European MNCs that do substantial business in Pakistan, so the premium demand will be okay on the route.

One thing to watch for though is Turkish Airlines’ daily flights to ISB, LHE, and KHI each that have grabbed a decent share of premium traffic (ME3 have a lot of flights too but their hubs are not as convenient as IST).
 
LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:46 am

A330243 wrote:
CaliguyNYC wrote:
A330243 wrote:

Those times allow for good connections to and from LHE to several of BA’s North American destinations whereas VS’s schedule for LHE looks more like it’s geared for O&D and connections to EU....strangely VS’s schedule for ISB allows good connections to North America in both directions, but LHE-North America is a far bigger market than ISB-North America.


From NA to LHE the connections suck. YVR, SFO & LAX work, Dallas is 5 hour wait, ORD 6 hours and JFK, YYZ, BOS etc are non starters the wait is so long. Pakistanis in the US are heavily concentrated in the NYC (JFK) area and YYZ. All other cities are small. So looks like this flight targets O&D with SFO/LAX/YVR connections. Makes sense because the COVID era is all about VFR it seems


The main markets from NA to LHE are concentrated at JFK/EWR and YYZ but there is substantial demand from ORD, IAH, IAD, LAX and SFO. These schedules will work with some East Coast destinations when BA brings multiple daily flights to JFK, ORD, IAD and back.

That said the LHE-LHR market got about 200,000 passengers round trip in 2019 with significant business demand (ISB-LHR is about 400,000 pax) and cargo demand is quite large as well. BA is also the preferred carrier for most Western government traffic and will also get a lot of corporate traffic from the likes of Unilever, Shell, Standard Chartered and other British/European MNCs that do substantial business in Pakistan, so the premium demand will be okay on the route.

One thing to watch for though is Turkish Airlines’ daily flights to ISB, LHE, and KHI each that have grabbed a decent share of premium traffic (ME3 have a lot of flights too but their hubs are not as convenient as IST).



ISB flight pre covid was doing well, now with PIA out it will out perform like anything. Rather take BA business class to ISB vs EK angle flat 777. Plus what I dislike about Middle East airports is the security you have to go through again for US bound flights, you don't face that transiting at LHR.
 
iadadd
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:53 am

ddp wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
I can't see both BA and VS both thriving on service to LHE, especially targeting largely O&D. That said, BA probably has the more ideal equipment for the route in a B788. If cargo demands it, I could see an up-gauge to a B789 or a B772.


BA will likely pick up a lot of passengers from Canada and the USA. Toronto, NY/NJ, DC and Dallas all have large Pakistani diasporas, and well-timed too with these flights.


Doesn't really work with East Coast - LHR - LHE given many of the last east coast flights arrive into Heathrow by 11 am, so having a 7 hour layover in Heathrow is not ideal; return is a little better. Not that it really matters given Lahore is already a huge O&D market, so whatever connections are made are the cherry on top
 
LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:47 am

Just did quick search for December I see that BA is also arriving at 1pm, on the return from ISB, before they were arriving after 2 pm. It seems they've changed the Islamabad flight timings as well, to meet some North American Connections
 
leftcoast8
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:47 pm

ddp wrote:
Maybe someone can educate me.

Why is no one looking at Karachi? The biggest population in the country, 5 million more than Lahore, 14 million more than Islamabad.
The biggest economy in the country, it's about twice the size of the 2nd largest economy in the country (Lahore).
It is also the biggest airport in the country, so the flying market is there.

Is someone going to try to show a presence in Karachi?


Karachi is still plagued by sectarian violence. This newspaper article from Pakistan goes into a bit more detail. The KHI attack by TTP wasn't too long ago. Islamabad, as the capital city, is locked down and highly secure.

This route announcemnet must be due to
1. PIA getting EU blacklisted
2. Gulf superhubs shutting down due to Covid
3. O&D traffic being some of the last remaining airline demand the pandemic
4. Lots of Pakistanis living in the UK: Bolton, Leeds/Bradford, Luton, Glasgow, Birmingham, etc.

The 787 also helps for a long and skinny route like this.

Though I'm not familiar with Lahore, what are the driving industries in the city? This was also the city where Sri Lankan cricketers were attacked in 2009, I assume security is much better now since SL played three T20I matches in Lahore last October, the first international cricket tour on Pakistani soil since the attack. Pakistan had been playing home matches in the UAE.
 
digitalcloud
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:15 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
4. Lots of Pakistanis living in the UK: Bolton, Leeds/Bradford, Luton, Glasgow, Birmingham, etc.


Less so for Glasgow - the population is only around 22,000. The entire Scottish Pakistani population is only around 50,000 compared to over 100,000 in Bradford alone.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:41 pm

In response now, VS is adjusting its schedule for LHE to be an arrival around 11 PM local time and departure at 3:35 AM (+1). This will commence with the summer 2021 schedule.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... f-18sep20/

BA will be targeting O&D while VS will be going for connecting traffic, although the departure from LHR only really benefits BOS and JFK connecting traffic, which likely would have been on PK in the past; the connection window is too tight for ATL flights is too tight, although there is slack on the ground at LHE to prevent return delays.
 
LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:23 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
In response now, VS is adjusting its schedule for LHE to be an arrival around 11 PM local time and departure at 3:35 AM (+1). This will commence with the summer 2021 schedule.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... f-18sep20/

BA will be targeting O&D while VS will be going for connecting traffic, although the departure from LHR only really benefits BOS and JFK connecting traffic, which likely would have been on PK in the past; the connection window is too tight for ATL flights is too tight, although there is slack on the ground at LHE to prevent return delays.


This is great news, though if Virgin partner was UA than DL it would be better, cause UA network connects to cities with large Pakistan populations such IAH, ORD, EWR, LAX, SFO, and IAD. DL is ATL, JFK, LAX, DTW, SLC, SEA, and BOS, kinda of a odd mix.What is VS other partner in North America? be awesome if SQ linked it's IAH - MAN link to VS ISB route from MAN, I think SQ and VS are partners.
 
LH658
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Re: British Airways to Lahore

Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:50 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFo6ObgImu0

Christian Turner High Commissioner of Britain discussing BA expansion in Pakistan.

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