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panam330
Topic Author
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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 11:58 am

Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:32 am

I've been thinking about it recently. WN serves various airports in the Northeast/New England, and this area seems to be where they are expanding the most at present.
SYR doesn't have a whole hell of a lot of choices, when it comes to airlines. They are as follows:

American Eagle:
ORD (ERJ140/145, CRJ700)

United Express:
ORD (CRJ200, BAe 146)
IAD (CRJ200)

Continental Express:
EWR (ERJ)
CLE (ERJ)
ALB(CO Connection EMB120)

US Airways/ US Airways Express:
BOS (CRJ200)
LGA (DH8, CRJ200)
BDL (J41)
DCA (J41,733)
BWI (DH8,J41)
PHL (319, 320, DH8, ERJ, CRJ200)
PIT (ERJ, CRJ200, 319, 320, DH8)
CLT (319, 320)
CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO (Saturday only 733)

JetBlue:
JFK (320)

Delta/ DLX:
CVG (CRJ200)
ATL (CRJ700, MD80)

TransMeridian:
SFB (727, 757, MD80)
LAS (727, 757)
FLL (seasonal 727)
PIE (seasonal 727)

Northwest:
DTW (DC9)
MSP (CRJ200 op. by Pinnacle)



That being said, SYR does have the traffic to sustain WN operations, I think. We have over 500,000 passengers a year going through the airport; . TMA stopped its FLL and PIE flights due to lack of equipment (so they say... I flew to FLL with them at least 4 times, and it was PACKED each time). I think that WN could give SYR some much needed relief from the high fares of the majors, at the same time making a hell of a profit.

WN could manage to steal at least 3 gates here, in Terminal A. US Airways has gates 1-11; 12 and 13 are vacant. WN could manage to snatch gate 11 and possibly 10 also, from US, giving them 3-4 gates.

I believe we could sustain services to the following airports on WN:



SYR-MDW (3x daily)
SYR-BWI (2-4x daily)
SYR-CO / KMCO), USA - Florida">MCO (2x daily)
SYR-TPA (1x daily)
SYR-FLL (1x daily)
SYR-RDU (1x daily; supposedly there is quite a few O&D passengers)
SYR-LAS (kill off TMA!; 1x daily)



Anybody feel like commenting, feel free to Big grin!
 
panam330
Topic Author
Posts: 2203
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:33 am

Crap. I can't see the Great Circle Mapper pictures. I don't know if they worked. Can you verify, please?

Thanks in advance  Smile!
 
lowrider
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:42 am

Maybe, but don't hold your breath. There is too much other low hanging fruit for Southwest. Why fight for it when you can go to other cities and have it given away. One only has to look at Philidelphia and see what they think USAir's future is like. That will leave a vacuum there. Other cities east of the Mississippi are far more underserved and will probably be considered first.
Proud OOTSK member
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:01 am

It seems to me that all four medium-size Upstate NY airports could easily support Southwest together at the same time. Syracuse's catchment area is several hundred thousand people smaller than Rochester's, and its median income has historically been lower. But Syracuse is also more underserved than Rochester at the moment, which suggests that both airports remain good candidates for WN.

Rochester, a corporate-traffic heavy market, has responded enthusiastically to JetBlue and AirTran. Five years ago US Airways carried nearly 50 percent of ROC traffic; now US carries 22 percent and B6/FL together carry 30 percent. In 2003, a very weak year for Rochester's economy, our air traffic matched 1987's 2.5 million for the first time, and--get this--2004 figures are up 9.9 percent from that. Almost a *ten percent* one-year growth in enplanements despite the weak Upstate economy. And there are still many markets that still have no LCC presence and high fares from ROC--Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Detroit, for example.

In 2003, Buffalo only missed its 2000 peak of 4.25 million by a half-percent--still carried 4.1 million. That's despite losing Rochester travelers who now have low-fares at our own airport. So clearly BUF's strength did not depend upon those Rochester pax.

Similarly, I'd be very surprised if ROC's strength is depending upon a large catchment from Syracuse. After Southwest entered ALB in 2000, SYR only suffered a small decline, 2 or 3 percent, I forget which. That was in a year when Syracuse's economy was hurting, as it has for many years. So it's not even clear that WN's entry at ALB caused all of that decline.

Given a choice, it seems to me that ROC is still the stronger of the two candidates for WN than is SYR. But better yet would be to enter both airports, which could easily meet WN's target of 10 dailies. WN's entry did not cause BUF or ALB to lose mainline Cartel-network carrier service at a faster rate than ROC and SYR have lost during the same period. There's been a downward trend in network-carrier capacity in Upstate NY in the past few years as both business and leisure travelers have rebelled against the gouging that we suffered from the Cartel in the '90s.

When airfares are reasonable, both business and leisure pax will fly, and Upstate NY still has much untapped potential. AirTran could add BOS-ROC and BOS-BUF and revive those moribund routes (3 US CRJ's on routes that supported 722's in the '80s? please).

(more)

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:10 am

I'd guess that WN stations at ROC and SYR would both start with a few BWI and MDW flights; Chicago is still a glaring hole in Upstate's low-fare portfolio, and it's historically been a large market from Upstate. At both markets, WN could probably run one daily to FLL and/ or TPA. Transmeridian has MCO covered at SYR and AirTran has it covered at ROC.

ROC-BWI would mean a head-to-head duel with AirTran; AirTran might have to wind up redeploying (say to ROC-BOS) because WN's cost structure is lower and they could make money on lower fares. But if WN was willing to live with 5 dailies to BWI from ROC, I think both could coexist.

So I'd see WN stations at ROC and SYR as follows:
ROC: 5 BWI (7 if AirTran withdrew); 3 MDW; 1 TPA; 1 FLL.
SYR: 6 BWI; 2 MDW; 1 TPA; 1 FLL.

In both cases, PHX as a possible choice instead of one of the Florida cities, depending upon the market.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
kith
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:16 am

I don't think SYR could support WN (though it would help us in ITH-yeah..right). With independence air there now along with B6, I don't think it will work. Airtran used to fly into SYR, why did they stop? I think TMA stopped some of the FL flights because of demand, not much business demand to FL during the week, keeping in mind the only time a lot of people fly is near school vacations. Years ago there was a plan made to close ELM, ITH, BGM and build a "regional jetport" maybe then WN would come down here. I know they've been pretty successful at ALB.
 
ScottB
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:34 am

Actually, at this point, I believe both ROC and SYR could support a Southwest station, but it's not likely to happen for a couple of years absent the failure of US Airways (if Southwest were to take advantage of such a "market opportunity"). The way I see it is as follows: WN would need at least two gates available at each airport (and I think many of the "empty" gates at SYR may still be held by US). They'd need available gates at both BWI and PHL, since I feel PHL is key to WN's future expansion in the Northeast and Midatlantic region.

My view is that ROC and SYR would start with similar service profiles: 4 dailies to both BWI and PHL, along with one to MCO, perhaps one to TPA, and probably one to LAS (and maybe PHX as well). I doubt ROC-MDW or SYR-MDW would happen unless ALB-MDW and BUF-MDW had already been started. ROC/SYR-FLL are VERY unlikely given that the only cities in the region with daily non-stops to FLL are ISP, PHL, and BWI. I expect that things would be pretty similar to the way they opened ALB and BUF, except for the PHL frequencies in lieu of a few to BWI.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:36 am

The old AirTran was a different airline than the current one. It was a small carrier that flew one or two dailies on 737-200's from a slew of cities to MCO. ValuJet bought them in 1997 in order to take over their identity. After ValuJet did that, they renamed themselves AirTran and redeployed the AirTran 737 fleet to support hub-and-spoke operations from ATL. So a lot of cities that had the old AirTran, and were supporting perfectly profitable services, lost AirTran.

In Upstate NY, old AirTran had one 737-200 daily nonstop to MCO from BUF, ROC, SYR, and ALB. But new AirTran axed all but BUF and gave BUF three dailies to ATL. Redeployment of resources for the new business plan. It does not reflect badly in any way upon ROC, SYR, and ALB.

Even with Independence Air in the picture, I don't think either ROC or SYR would have difficulty supporting Southwest stations. WN serves lots of parts of the country that DH doesn't. Also, there isn't enough population in the Southern Tier to support a WN station, even at a putative regional airport.

Jim

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
EAL727
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:43 am

Southwest has one major parameter for any new city. It must be underserved and overpriced. Without hard data, I doubt that SYR falls into that category. Furthermore, SYR is probably just a pinch too close to Southwest's BUF operation (140miles). My understanding is that WN feels that people will drive up to 3 hours to find their low fares. Just an opinion.
Got time to spare? Go by air!!
 
panam330
Topic Author
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:03 am

Scottb,

If WN looked at the past service SYR has had to ORD, they may slap 4-5 MDW frequencies onto the starting schedule, should they ever introduce operations to SYR.
We've had 707s, DC10s, MD80s, etc. to SYR. Obviously, Chicago is a business destination. It has always been a strong performer, but AA, UA, and the businessmen favor frequency over larger aircraft. If this was not the case, AA and UA would most likely have switched back to smaller mainline aircraft. But, September 11 may have played a factor in the re-introduction of mainline equipment to SYR. I read long, long ago (over a year now) in the paper that AA was going to add mainline aircraft to the schedules at Hancock.
WN would without a doubt make AA and UA sh*t a brick if they joined them on the Upstate NY- Chicago routings.
The empty gates here at SYR are not held by US Airways. Only Gates 1-11 are held by US. Check www.syrairport.org.

KITH,

I actually e-mailed TMA about a month back. I asked them why the routes were dropped, and when/if they would return. They said that they were re-deploying the aircraft for the charter division for the summer season, as loads were not as strong as the winter season. They said that the FLL route is most likely going to reappear again in time for the winter season. No word on PIE.


Southwest would knock the pants off any airline up here in ROC and SYR. Maybe not with the Florida routes, but a Chicago route would scare the competition for sure. I hope that WN comes in here, and they do so well that we get a flight to PHX as well as LAS. Las Vegas is a very popular route on TMA. I have no idea why it remains at 2x weekly. One of my brothers took them to LAS twice (in March and last week), and said that there was "maybe 5" seats open, both times.
I still stand by my original post, and think that we can support "basic" WN operations here- ie. BWI, MCO, TPA, LAS, plus MDW and FLL. RDU is said to have favorable O&D from SYR, and I think that WN knows where the demand is. I really don't care if they go to RDU non-stop- I don't need to go there  Big grin. Just MCO, TPA, LAS, and MDW. That would cover it.
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:11 am

What a bad, bad attitude about RDU.. there are just as many New Yorkers in RDU as there are in Syracuse! LOL....
Aiming High and going far..
 
ScottB
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Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:19 am

EAL727-

You're definitely lacking hard data. SYR is one of the 25 highest-fare markets in the U.S., with fare levels nearly 20% above the national average. And PVD is less than two hours from Hartford, while WN serves four airports in the L.A. area and both PBI and FLL.
 
panam330
Topic Author
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:19 am

EAL727,

Underserved, yes. Except to cartel hubs, and the luxury of 1x daily to SFB, and our Saturday only service to MCO. Are the people of SYR ripped off? Absolutely. Try getting a walkup fare for SYR-ORD on AA for $149. They'd laugh in your face. Just a quick glance on AA.com for a 6AM to ORD for tomorrow, 7/16, and I get this:

AMERICAN AIRLINES
OPERATED BY AMERICAN EAGLE 4182
SYR Syracuse 07/16/2004 06:15 AM
ORD Chicago 07/16/2004 07:13 AM
ER4

Your Price
1 Adult(s)
350.70 USD
36.40 USD
387.10 USD

Your Total Price 387.10 USD


That's a little over-the top. I'll admit it's nothing compared to most places, but that's still high for a walk-up fare for a 607 mile-long flight. It's the exact same price on UA.
Might not be a big deal to some to pay almost $230 more than WN (I think their walk-up is $149, but it may be $249. Even so, it's a $130-$230 savings, depending on the walk-up fare of WN). I don't think many people would choose AA or UA over WN at this point, unless they're in love with their FF account, and adore those CRappyJets or ERJs. I'd take a 737 over both any day, and I love ERJs.
That, to me, constitutes fare gouging. WN would make a killing.

Edit: 200th Post!

[Edited 2004-07-16 03:26:12]
 
EAL727
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:00 am

RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:53 am

Scottb - I appreciate your argument, but I think you are comparing "apples to oranges". The upper-state New York market does not come close in comparison to the LA Basin, or Florida operations. In fact, Southwest elected to enter PBI as an "overflow" station for FLL where flights were chronically oversold and space was limited. Needless to say, there is likewise ample traffic to support multiple airport ops in Southern CA too. BDL and PVD are successful by pulling passengers from the the huge BOS market.

I am not just speculating. Southwest has publicly stated that they avoid destinations within 3 hours driving time of an existing Station. Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule based upon the local market, but I don't see SYR as being one with BUF located just 140 miles away.
Got time to spare? Go by air!!
 
ScottB
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:10 pm

I suspect they may have said it's less likely that they'll serve a new station within three hours of an existing one, but that doesn't rule it out entirely. WN has committed to serving RIC in the future; it is less than 3 hours from ORF. IND and SDF are less than three hours apart. AUS and SAT are less than 100 miles apart. PHX and TUS are under two hours' drive. RNO-SMF is slightly over two hours. JAX-MCO is under 2.5 hours. Even ALB-BDL (airport to airport) is about 1:45. And trust me, BDL draws VERY little traffic from Boston, aside from perhaps the Worcester area (but PVD is MUCH more convenient to Wormtown, especially with Rt 146 improvements).

SYR is a large enough market for WN, and they'll be there in time. They just have bigger fish to fry first.
 
DCA-ROCguy
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:20 pm

Heck, RIC is barely an *hour* from Norfolk, maybe 1.5 in heavy traffic. Scott is correct, I think, that the likeliest scenario to draw Southwest into both SYR and ROC would be a US Airways failure. As I've said before, I've stopped predicting the demise of US. Like one of Cesar Romero's zombies they just keep going, no matter how financially irrational it is for the banks to keep propping them up.

But if US were to go down, SYR, ROC, and a number of other medium-size markets would be good candidates for entry within six months. Some of those idled US 737-300's could be painted in the canyon periwinkle of 733 operator Southwest pretty quickly, to speed market entry until WN gets more 73G's.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
jeffie813
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:26 pm

In fact, Southwest elected to enter PBI as an "overflow" station for FLL

you are correct when you say that initially PBI would handle overflow. however, it quickly became apparent that PBI was much more than that, especially with 36,000 passengers in one month. that was two years ago. PBI is definitely a destination in its own right. as time goes on, FLL will become the "overflow handler" for MIA while PBI will continue to grow on the basis of it's palm beach, martin, and st. lucie county passenger base.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:06 pm

There's an interesting site out there called Faremeasure.com. It lets you pick an airport and you can view all city pairs in that market in chart form and it tells you the distance, the number of passengers traveling each day on the route and the average one-way fare. I believe it gets its data from the Department of Transportation's Consumer Airfare Report. You can sort the data by distance, number of daily passengers, average fare paid, and alphabetically by city.

Here is the SYR market sorted by average paid fares from the highest to the lowest.

Then, when you click on the city pair, tells you who is the market share leader on the route and what percentage of the market it has, as well as who is the low-fare carrier (if any) on that route and what their market share is.

Look for high-cost, short to mid haul routes where US is the dominat carrier and charges upwards of 80 cents a mile and that's where Southwest should fly to if they ever started service to SYR.

LoneStarMike

 
newkai
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:39 pm

RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:02 pm

This topic inspired me to finally sign up for a membership.

PanAm330, I don't know where you got the 500,000 a year figure. Last year it was around 1.3 million, and this year it could easily exceed two million. The airport's site is a bit slow at updating their stats, but in the first two months of this year alone there were over 310,000 passengers going through the airport (Up 22% from the same period last year).
http://www.syrairport.org/about/hancockfield/factsandfigs.cfm

And don't forget that Independence also flies to IAD 8x a day. There are now 21 daily flights to the DC area, with a total of over 900 seats:

6:00am Independence Air CRJ to IAD
6:20 United Express CRJ to IAD
6:40 US Airways Express CRJ to DCA
7:24 US Airways Express J41 to BWI
7:45 US Airways Express DH8 to DCA
8:15 Independence Air CRJ to IAD
10:05 Independence Air CRJ to IAD
10:25 United Express CRJ to IAD
11:25 US Airways Express J41 to BWI
11:45 US Airways Express E70 to DCA
12:30pm Independence Air CRJ to IAD
2:10 US Airways Express J41 to BWI
2:30 United Express CRJ to IAD
2:20 Independence Air CRJ to IAD
3:00 US Airways Express CRJ to DCA
4:20 US Airways Express DH8 to DCA
4:55 Independence Air CRJ to IAD
6:00 Independence Air CRJ to IAD
6:20 US Airways Express J41 to BWI
7:28 United Express CRJ to IAD
9:05 Independence Air CRJ to IAD

Total Flights: 21
Total Seats: 964

This is the weekday schedule starting Monday, August 9. Until then the listed US Airways CRJ flights are operated using DH8s. (Yeah, I was bored!)

So I wouldn't say SYR doesn't have a lot of choices. But I agree that it could support WN. 140 miles is quite a bit and if WN decides to start flying to another upstate city I would be surprised if if were anything else than SYR. Well, the only other possibility would be ROC, but that's much closer to BUF.

Personally I think SYR is experiencing a renaissance: This year alone, US is upgrading service, NW started MSP service, and Indy started with the IAD service.
 
zrb2
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:10 pm

Newkai- you brought up the one point that I was thinking. That there is a tremendous amount of seats to fill between SYR and metro Washington now that Indy Air is on board. I can't forsee SYR getting WN at any point in the near future.
 
newkai
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:45 pm

About the gate situation:

US Airways only has gates 5-10 at SYR. It gave up 1-4 and 11 about a year ago. Check: http://www.syrairport.org/services/maps/

Under the "Airlines" section of that site there's a "gate map." This is outdated. The "Airport Map" that the is linked above is the accurate one (except Indy hasn't been added).

Gates not leased:
Terminal A: 1-4, 11-12
Terminal B: 19, 23, 26

Personally, I think that United should move over to Terminal A so that its Milage Plus Premier customers can use the US Airways Club.

[Edited 2004-07-17 14:58:22]
 
panam330
Topic Author
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 6:38 am

Newkai-

Thank you for providing that. I used the outdated "gate map" rather than the airport map. I didn't realise that we had so many open gates! Also, I did indeed leave out Indy Air. There are a hell of a lot of seats to D.C., but I still believe that WN can fill them before US can, unless US can match WN's price, which most likely isn't going to make US' flights to WAS profitable. They will break even if they're lucky at WN's price.

Should WN come here, I for one, wouldn't hesitate to fly them.
 
174thfwff
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:10 am

The problem is that people DO drive from Syracuse all the way to LGA, JFK, Newark, Buffalo all the time to get better prices. I think the low cost carriers are really saving myself and my community money by coming here, and I further foresee them doing well in an area that will take advantage of the offerings.

-174th
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
Indio66
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:22 am

RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Sun Jul 18, 2004 11:11 pm

I believe that WN is better off attaching hub cities held by the majors, some of whom are struggling. Think PIT, CLT, CVG . . . .


 
desertjets
Posts: 7693
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RE: Could SYR Support WN Operations?

Mon Jul 19, 2004 2:58 am

Like most Central New Yorkers here, I would rather not spend 2-3 hours on the Thruway to get to Buffalo or Albany to catch a Southwest flight. Stations at both ROC and SYR would also benefit from passengers coming from southern tier and north country communities, that would have had even longer drives to take advantage of the lower airfares from BUF and ALB.

Though I would tend to agree with the consensus that now is not the time for WN to enter the CNY market. With USAirways upgauging to EMB-170s and A32x/737 equipment on the big market flights it would be a less attractive market to enter. But I do honestly belive that a large scale entry of an LCC would be welcomed with open arms. Independence Air has already gotten a strong response up here in SYR. The 8x dailies to Dulles open up a lot of markets. Perhaps once Jetblue gets its EMB-190s, we will see more than 3x daily to JFK.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia

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