An Ongoing Passion for Flight & Flying Designs
For over a decade, we have actively pursued our perpetual fascination and awe with the ever-expanding universe of flight.
The following portfolio reflects this with the spectacular diversity of airlines, their liveries, history, and aircraft.
Following our passion for local photography, the images in this blog are exclusively captured at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ), the 2nd busiest international airport in the Americas by passenger count. It's quite an astonishing feat, and by way of reference, this equates to 49.5 million passengers per year, just over ten million short of New York’s JFK International Airport passenger volume. Originally named Malton Airport, it received its first passenger flight on August 29th, 1939, bringing it near to its 80 year anniversary. The modern name change occurred in 1984, honoring Lester B. Pearson, Canada’s 14th Prime Minister and a recipient of the Nobel Peace prize in 1957. With two terminals and five active runways, Pearson served close to a whopping half-million aircraft movements in 2018. True to its location, Pearson sports the world’s largest de-icing facility, a quintessentially Canadian feat.
Furthermore, our adventure expands beyond these images. We have included a story behind each aircraft that highlights the unique history and set of circumstances that guide the aircraft to YYZ, completing this voyage of discovery.
Robson and David
*Note, you can visit our resources page on our site at Aviation References
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-400M (PH-BFV) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a beautifully sunny winter Saturday 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-400M (PH-BFV) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) on a beautifully sunny winter Saturday 2019. With an age of some 20 years, the Dutch national carrier took possession of this particular Boeing 747-400M in 1999, and the iconic jumbo jet has flown faithfully throughout. A minor disturbance, however, did occur in winter 2019, whilst the jetliner found itself in the push-back phase of departure at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (KLM's principal hub). During this maneuver, executed in conjunction with an adjacent KLM 787 Dreamliner, the 747 suffered noticeable damage to its right wingtip following a short collision between the two aircraft, requiring the temporary grounding of both planes. Specifically, the starboard wing tip of the 747 struck the starboard horizontal stabilizer of the 787-9 Dreamliner. Although experiencing a relatively significant blow to its aerodynamic structure, KLM's 747-400 returned to the skies a mere three days later, inflicting no casualties from the accident, a testament to the survivability of Boeing's iconic design - the personification of reliability indeed. Although KLM has had the privilege of servicing the Boeing 747 since 1971 (a 747-200 variant originally), the airline has announced plans for a total retirement of all 747s by 2021. This would see its three 747-400s and 5 747-400Ms (“M” representing “combi” variant - transporting both passengers and freight concurrently) removed completely from their fleet, set to be succeeded by more recent jetliners. Interestingly, the combi version of the 747-400M was launched in 1989 with KLM; KLM was the launch customer of this particular aircraft and will have flown it for some 30 years. The retirement of the 747 is a growing theme among modern airlines, due in part to the increased ETOPS limit of modern twin engine aircraft, rendering the 747s 4 engine set-up as an inefficient design, comparatively speaking. ETOPS is an acronym in aviation - Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards - referring to an aircraft's maximum legal flying time away from the nearest suitable airport in the case of only one engine functioning during an emergency situation. The current ETOPS top ratings allow for the likes of the Airbus and Boeing family of twinjets to be certified with limits allowing upwards of 5 plus hours. For reference, a low ETOPS rating requires a flight to follow a strict route, frequently requiring adjustments to the flight path in order to never stray more that the specified ETOPS time limit from an airport. This creates flight routes with longer distances and rarely provides a direct route. With high ETOPS rating, a more direct, shorter route can be taken, saving both time and fuel in the process, a major gain to airline customers (such as KLM in this case). In all, the 747 originally possessed the advantage here, with four engines, allowing for some of the best ETOPS equivalent ratings), however, current technologies has caught up in the twin engine category. The 747 still proves great for cargo airlines, however, given 4 engines can lift a tremendous amount of cargo weight - hence why many retired passenger 747 will be converted to freight operations. With the closing chapter of this iconic jumbo jet on the horizon, The Queen of the Skies continues to inspire those who stop and observe its design. Enjoy the image!
Air Belgium A340-300 (OO-ABB) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a gloriously stellar Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Belgium A340-300 (OO-ABB) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) on a gloriously stellar Saturday afternoon 2019. This is the same wet-leased aircraft we have observed on numerous occasions flying for British Airways in order to provide lower disturbances to the British carrier's operations due to inspections of the global Boeing 787-9 aircraft TRENT 1000 Rolls Royce engines which comprises a significant portion of their long-haul fleet. The A340 family was designed with four iterations. The initial model (in this image) became the A340-300, which launched in 1987 and entered into service during 1993 at 209ft (63.7m). Developed and launched side-by-side was the shortest model, the A340-200, measuring in at 193ft (59m). A few years later came the the A340-600 at a whopping 246ft (75m), almost 40 feet longer than the -200 variant, and the A340-500 (superseded by the A350-900) at 223ft (68m). These models were concurrently developed in 1997 and simultaneously launched in 2002. Of note, European airlines Lufthansa and Air France became the first launch customers of the A340 aircraft in March of 1993. Lufthansa launched the A340-200, while Air France first received the A340-300, which became a very special transaction as it marked the 1000th Airbus aircraft delivery to a customer. In addition, the launch customer of the A340-600 was Virgin Atlantic in 2002, and although Air Canada was expected to become the launch customer of the A340-500, its entry into creditor protection in 2003 led to the Emirati airline Emirates grabbing this title. Emirates would launch their A340-500 on a Dubai-New York route on its first route to the Americas. With four engines and a testament to the distance capabilities of this aircraft, in 1993, the A340-200, called "World Ranger", departed from the Paris airshow en route to Auckland, New Zealand, in 21 hours and 31 minutes. This marked the longest non-stop flight at the time (measuring in at 19,277km), breaking 6 world records of various topics during the process. The plane returned to Paris a few hours after touchdown, clocking in at a stellar return-trip time of 48h 22m (including the stop over). That round-trip record held until 1997 when a Boeing 777-200ER flew some 20,000km from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur. Although not seen from this perspective, it should be noted that the winglets of the A340 stand tall at an impressive nine feet, however, this becomes hardly noticeable when compared to the gigantic wingspan of the jetliner (of any model). Interestingly, this aircraft variant also includes a unique and rare centre wheel mount on the bottom of the fuselage in between the two wing struts. Known as a three-leg main landing gear, due to the three wheel sections descending from the centre belly, this setup is frequently referred to as the "twin boogie" by manufacturers and pilots alike. As one of 379 A340 exemplars ever built, enjoy!
Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport overhead en route to runway 23 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) overhead en route to runway 23. This aircraft was delivered to Air Canada in May 2017 and is currently serviced as one of 38 Boeing Dreamliners in their fleet, 29 of which are 787-9 models. On the underbelly of this aircraft, Air Canada's new livery is on full display, now including a retro black design and a new and prominent red Canadian flag (Air Canada's Rondelle) surrounded by the retro black. The engines on this Dream liner are General Electric's GEnx-1B, the most powerful of this engine family, offering quieter and more efficient fan blades. This engine is also used on the Boeing 747-800 and surpassed one million flight hours in 2017 (two years before this capture) on a Cargolux 747-8 freighter. Truly, a different view of this aircraft's belly yields a new appreciation for these modern engines (they're loud — but nowhere near as loud as they used to be). Enjoy!
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-400(M) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a dazzling Saturday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-400(M) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) on a dazzling Saturday morning 2019. Interestingly, note the unique logo on the fuselage resembling the number "100" with a banner in Dutch colours intertwined, representing KLM's 100th anniversary this year. The airline was founded in 1919 as KLM, denoting the company as the first airline in the world to reach its centennial operating under its original name. Also celebrating another global milestone, Boeing's 747 family of aircraft is commemorating its 50th anniversary since the inaugural flight in February of 1969, a testament to the aircraft's phenomenal capabilities. Colloquially known as the "Queen of the Skies", the 747, with six million parts, is incredibly still in production and will retake its throne as largest passenger airliner still in production once the Airbus A380 is phased out entirely due to its planned production termination in 2021. Coincidentally, the first 25 Boeing 747 orders (747-100 model) were placed on Boeing's 50th anniversary in 1966 by PAN AM Airlines. The variant of the 747 in this image, the 747-400, has been in operation for 30 years now, another remarkable number, since 1989. Importantly, although KLM was not the first airline to use the 747-400 model, they were first at operating the combi (passenger and freight) variant of the 747-400 in the same year. All five of KLM's 747-400s are named after famous international cities, this plane is named after Johannesburg. Also on this plane, KLM's updated livery is on full display, sporting a similar design to its predecessor but with a tweaked fuselage top. Now, the "drop nose" is being used to add flow to the livery instead of a linear and non dynamic design. See the other KLM aircraft in the "Soaring Blog" for the older livery. With its fascinating versatility and history, we implore all to stop and enjoy the sight of the only true iconic jumbo jet. Enjoy!
Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a thrilling Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) on a thrilling Saturday afternoon 2019. Currently, Lufthansa operates a whopping fleet of 32 747s, 13 of which are 747-400s, the rest are 747-8Is. This denotes the company as the largest operator of the Boeing 747-8Is. Although this specific 747-400 has been flying since 1997, the "Queen of the Skies" 747 family has been in operation for 50 years, and the 747-400 variant has been in the air for 30. Apropos of Lufthansa's fleet, the airline has the distinction and honour of receiving Boeing's 1500th 747 ever built, certifying the aircraft as the first ever wide bodied plane to reach the 1500 milestone, a testament to the incredible lasting and useful design of the 747. Indeed, the 747 operates as the most successful jumbo jet on the market, with rival company Airbus terminating production of their closest counterpart, the A380, by 2021 - just over a decade after that plane was unveiled. To note the immense size of the 747, take into consideration the six million parts that are built into the aircraft, three million of which are fasteners, making the plane intrinsically one of the most resilient and structurally robust ever built. Also note the 275 km of internal wiring, further adding to its colossal 183 500 kg (over 700 000 pounds) weight. Requiring 14 crew members and accommodating nearly 400 passengers, Lufthansa's 747-400s are to be retired from passenger service by 2025, replaced with Boeing's latest 777-9s. However, due to the versatility of the 747 family, these planes, even when retired from passenger operations, will likely continue to operate as freight only planes, extending the life of the jumbo jet even further. Despite its impressive record and list of accomplishments, at the heart of the 747s success, by its chief engineer, Joe Sutter, "safety is the prime design objective of the 747... it shall be given first priority in all design decisions", a very admirable and proven statement. On a final note, the 747 has carried millions of people and umpteen tons of cargo to all corners of the earth, across all oceans and over both poles - to the benefit of all. Enjoy!
Emirates Airlines A380-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a remarkable Sunday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Emirates Airlines A380-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Dubai International Airport (DXB) on a remarkable Sunday morning 2019. Unusually so, this Airbus A380 was Emirates' second aircraft flying into Pearson Airport on this day, Sunday, July 21st, 2019, an increase from the scheduled single flight. This was due to safety precautions taken as a result of experienced engine troubles of the previous day on Emirates' A380 returning to Dubai. One of the super jumbo's four engines experienced a catastrophic failure, forcing the flight crew to shut down the engine and return to Toronto just over 20 minutes into the flight. As the damaged engine would require significant time for a replacement, Emirates dispatched another A380, arriving the following day in addition to their regular A380 flight, in order to recover the stranded passengers. This additional A380 is also sporting Emirates' special Dubai Expo 2020 livery, which can be found on 40 of their aircraft. The circular designs located on the mid fuselage are blue on this aircraft but also include green and orange on Emirates' other aircraft sporting this livery. Each colour represents one of the three main themes for the Dubai 2020 Expo: blue for mobility, green for sustainability, and orange for opportunity. Significantly, the logo of the Dubai Expo 2020 is inspired by a ring found at a 4000-year old archaeological site in the UAE. Of which, the logo is located near the front of the fuselage next to the English title. Amazing to have an extra A380 "rescue" plane for the day, don't you think? Enjoy!
Emirates Airlines A380-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a sensational Sunday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Emirates Airlines A380-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Dubai International Airport (DXB) on a sensational Sunday morning 2019. Founded in 1985, Emirates has grown explosively in size, financial success, and prestige. Currently, Emirates owns over 250 aircraft, denoting it as the largest airline in the Middle East, and, astonishingly, well over 100 of these are Airbus A380-800s, the largest passenger airplane in the world. Apropos of the super jumbo, the airline's inaugural A380 flight to Toronto was in 2009, making its ten-year anniversary 2019 — when this image was captured. Additionally, the UAE's largest airline operates a current fleet of only Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, despite its massive size, with more diverse orders placed, allowing them to fly to all six inhabited continents. In 2014, the company was named the World's most valuable airline brand. Subsequently, 2016 brought with it the naming of Emirates as the World's Best Airline by SKYTRAX, one of the most prestigious awards in the airliner community. Emirates also received this recognition in 2013. Interestingly, Emirates is not the national flag carrier of the UAE — this is reserved for Etihad Airways, the airline of Abu Dhabi. Emirates is instead recognized as the national airline of Dubai, one of the seven Emirates of the UAE. The company's standard livery was created by Negus & Negus and consists of "Emirates" written in Arabic calligraphy as well as English on the fuselage. Also, the vertical fin sports an intriguing design of the Emirati flag. and the logo, found on the engines, is of also two parts and languages: Emirates written in Arabic calligraphy and English beneath. With their current motto "Fly Better", can you Emirates ask for anymore? Enjoy!
Air Belgium Airbus A340-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a sunny July afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Belgium Airbus A340-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a sunny July afternoon 2019. This is not an Air Belgium flight, however. This aircraft, though flying Belgium's colours, is wet leased (leasing the entire aircraft and operations including pilot and cabin crew) from Air Belgium to British Airways for their BA93 flight en route from London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) to Toronto Pearson. But why? Well, this is due to the ongoing global issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, mandating the forced inspection of all engines and subsequent grounding of any aircraft using it. Consequently, British Airways, which operates a fleet of 787-9 aircraft utilizing this massive piece of engineering, has been forced to rearrange their long haul flights. To reduce the inconvenience, the Heathrow-based airline has decided to lease additional aircraft for these routes. This includes its LHR-YYZ flight (one of two daily), now using Air Belgium's Airbus A340-300 + cabin and crew. Enjoy!
Air France Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air France Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon 2019. France's national carrier flew into operation in 1933 following a merger between five significant companies, with one specific member, Compagnie Générale Transaérienne, having the distinction of being the oldest air transport company in France (1909). Significantly, June of 1945 brought the nationalization of the airline, when it became the state owned flag carrier of France. A few decades later, in 1974, Air France moved its principal operations to the brand-new Charles de Gaulle Airport, the same airport in which the airline finds its modern hub. Additionally, in 2000, Air France became a founding member of the Steam Alliance, one of the world's largest airline networks, promoting "high quality and seamless service". Interestingly, shortly thereafter, Air France merged with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, effective 2004, which became known as the Air France-KLM Group and effectively privatized the airline once again — adding to Air France's already impressive history of air company mash-ups. The otherwise simplified Eurowhite livery of 2009 retains a seahorse, to be found on the engine, from Air Orient, one of the company's five founding members. The plane pictured is just one of 70 Boeing 777s in Air France's fleet and was delivered to the airline approximately 17 years ago, which, as it flies over our cameras, brings literal truth to their slogan "France is in the Air". Enjoy!
Air France Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an appealing Sunday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air France Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) on an appealing Sunday afternoon 2019. The 777-200(ER) aircraft pictured above is capable of carrying some 300 passengers depending on specific configuration and finds its place among 68 Boeing 777s in Air France's fleet, with 25 of these being the 777-200(ER). Although 68 is by many accounts a large fleet, the figure represents only a small portion of the airline's total fleet size of 220 passenger aircraft from both Boeing and Airbus. The large majority of these planes are narrow-body, short to medium-haul aircraft. Specifically, the Airbus A320 series accounts for 114 planes, translating to the company allocating over half of its fleet to a single narrow-body family. In addition, the company is currently in the process of significant modernization, with the ageing/inefficient Airbus A340 and A380 long-haul jetliners to be replaced with 28 new A350-900s. The A350-900 is also slated to go a ways in replacing the 777-200(ER). 60 new Airbus A220-300 models are also on order to supplement the existing fleet of A320 family aircraft. Furthermore, it is important to note that, as a two party company, Air France and KLM are both looking to simplify their fleet operations and logistics. Going forward, KLM will move with Boeing wide-body jets (specifically the Boeing 787 Dreamliner), and Air France will purchase equivalent Airbus models (like the aforementioned A350-900). The simplification comes as a result of both respective airlines wishing to stick with their most popular manufacturer; KLM already operates a majority Boeing fleet, so future orders from the American manufacturer allow for similar maintenance operations and smoother transitions to newly received aircraft, and the same applies to Air France with Airbus. Hence, as a move that is not often seen with large fleet airlines, the company has no plans for Boeing 787 aircraft to complement their A350s. Indeed, this is an interesting situation, and, as the future is just as important as the past and present, we avidly look forward to France's revised fleet and operations. Enjoy!
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a phenomenal Saturday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Boryspil International Airport (KBP) on a phenomenal Saturday afternoon 2019. This route, currently operated as PS241, was recently launched, offering a unique direct flight to Ukraine's capital, Kiev - the airline's headquarters. Formerly Ukraine's national carrier and now privatised, UIA commenced operations in November 1992, following the fall of the Soviet Union. The 777-200(ER) wide-body long-haul aircraft pictured above, acquired by the airline in mid 2018, is one of three of the same model in a total fleet of 45 planes. These 777s are being used to replace UIA's older 767 model aircraft, with an aim to increase on board passenger comfort and fare value. Note UIA's livery, which incorporates an abstract bird in yellow surrounded by blue, representing Ukraine's national colours. Welcome to Toronto, Ukraine International!
AeroLogic Boeing 777-FZN arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an impressive Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
AeroLogic Boeing 777-FZN arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Frankfurt Main Airport (FRA) on an impressive Saturday afternoon 2019. Founded in 2009 as a joint venture with an unique 50/50 split between Lufthansa and DHL, the latter of which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, Aerologic is currently celebrating their 10 year anniversary. Within DHL’s 50% split, AeroLogic is part of the DHL group of six aviation companies, all members of the mammoth Deutsche Post DHL company - the world's largest logistics company, moving over one billion parsecs per year and employing over one half million workers in all divisions. AeroLogic operates one of the world's most modern freighter fleets with eleven advanced Boeing 777-F cargo aircraft. Logistically, this airline splits operational use between the two partners (DHL and Lufthansa) at different times during the week. Lufthansa retains the use over the weekends on behalf of Lufthansa cargo, typically flying to America - or Canada in this case - and DHL Express's network to Asia is served during the weekdays. The livery is a simple design: printed is Aerologic's title, half of which is coloured yellowish-orange - a colour that both parent companies sport in their respective liveries. Not just passenger planes arriving but some great freight operators and their planes too. Enjoy!
Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an enthralling Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Hainan Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) on an enthralling Saturday afternoon 2019. Founded in 1989, Hainan Airlines has matured to become the fourth largest airline in China by fleet size (behind the "China Big three"), the largest independent airline in mainland China, and has received phenomenal recognition for nearly unmatched quality in all aspects. In 2019, Hainan received the SKYTRAX World's 5-Star Airline rating for the ninth consecutive year, and the airline has placed 7th in the SKYTRAX "World's top 10 Airlines" list for both 2018 and 2019, cementing its place as a global Airline of superlatives. Historically, Hainan took its first name as Hainan Province Airlines, denoting its headquarters and founding location on Hainan Island, southern China, before rebranding to the modern Hainan Airlines in 1996. Of note, this 787-9 Dreamliner was delivered to the company in late June 2019, weeks before this image was captured, and, on this subject, Hainan has on order an additional eight Boeing 787-9s, balanced by a further nine A350-900s from Boeing competitor Airbus. From their motto, 'Fly your Dreams", this beautiful Dreamliner completes their colourful livery. Enjoy!
Westjet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an awesome Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Westjet Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Calgary International Airport (YYC) on an awesome Saturday afternoon 2019. Though Westjet currently operates a majority fleet of 737 aircraft, the airline has made significant progress towards global expansion through the acquisition of long range aircraft. In 2015, Westjet began operating four 767-300(ER) aircraft as an interim step, and in early 2019, Westjet begins acquiring Boeing's 787-9 Dreamliners to eventually replace the older 767-300(ER)s. The Dreamliner in this image was delivered in January 2019, months before this image was captured. Furthermore, to be delivered in 2021 and 2022 respectively (pending updates on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 groundings and setbacks in Canada), Westjet will also gain 737 MAX 7 and 737 MAX 10 aircraft, bringing further modernization to the fleet and route expansion possibilities. As this Dreamliner is a new aircraft for the airline, it sports Westjet's new livery, unveiled in May 2018. Most notably, this new version tweaks the "Westjet" text on the fuselage and includes in smaller text "The Spirit of Canada" (on the port side — our side) and "L'esprit du Canada" (on the starboard side), with a modernized maple leaf displayed on the tail. With their slogan "Love where you're going", we look forward to where Westjet chooses to fly next and on which aircraft they use to get there. Enjoy!
Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a magnificantly sunny winter Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) on a magnificently sunny winter Saturday afternoon 2019. Interestingly, this particular plane, C-GHPQ, has been iconicsized by Hogan, a miniature model company, who has created a 1:200 scale exact model of this aircraft, likely acknowledging that this jetliner was the very first Dreamliner Air Canada received in May of 2014. Clearly, this unassuming Dreamliner is a popular one. In addition, although returning from London, England, a rather underwhelming route from the perspective of a YYZ planespotter, this hardly sums up Air Canada's expansive route network with the Boeing Dreamliner, utilizing both 787-9 and 787-8 variants. The Boeing 787 aircraft was first launched by Air Canada five years ago in 2014 with this very plane, which, at the time, served two destinations. Since then, the fleet has grown to 37 787s; these modern aircraft visit five continents encapsulating 31 destinations, with some 27 languages spoken throughout the system. As a testament to Air Canada's rapid growth in both fleet quantity and quality, in 2019, it was announced by SKYTRAX that Air Canada would receive the prestigious "2018 best airline in North America" certificate and is also the only North American international airline to receive a four-star ranking on the site. A good looking resume, indeed. From such a beautiful and modern aircraft offering such versatility to any operator choosing to fly it, of which over 65 have so chosen, enjoy the image!
Aer Lingus Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a sensational Sunday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Aer Lingus Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Dublin international Airport (DUB) on a sensational Sunday afternoon 2019. Founded in 1936 with a standard livery in use as of the post-war 1940s, we find Aer Lingus' livery to be one of the most recognizable among the aviation world. In 1949, the green livery was first used but in a different form than we see today. Today's green top was introduced in 1956, and in 1965, the large green shamrock was launched on the vertical tail fin. The next significant lasting change was in 1974, when a new livery brought a combination of blue and green colours (both still in use) and the elimination of the "international" from the airline's title. This A330-200 aircraft is expected to be repainted into Aer Lingus' updated livery (unveiled in January 2019) by 2021 along with the rest of their fleet of 51 aircraft. The new livery includes a somewhat controversial eurowhite design (appreciated by us) with teal replacing green as the primary colours. The famous shamrock is not thrown away, however, and is still shown predominantly on the tail fin, a nod to its significance and use for 80 years as part of Aer Lingus's look. Smart liveries, smart looks, and smart routes, Aer Lingus follows true to their slogan "Smart flies Aer Lingus". Enjoy!
Air Italy Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B., Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a glorious Sunday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Italy Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a glorious Sunday afternoon 2019. This flight, IG923, is a newly launched (as of summer 2019) non-stop route from Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) to Toronto Pearson, operating six times weekly. Air Italy itself is a recently founded airline too, established in February 2018 and in business as of March. Air Italy, now Italy's second largest airline, was created to eventually replace Alitalia as the country's future flagship carrier due to Alitalia's ongoing issues with insolvency. Note Air Italy's intriguing logo on the vertical fin and engines - Maroon and Mint Green colours incorporate a specially designed letter "Y" to look similar to a bird. Enjoy!
Alitalia Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a splendid Sunday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Alitalia Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Rome Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO) on a splendid Sunday afternoon 2019. Today's Alitalia has operated since 2009 with roots from more than 70 years ago. Italy's former flag carrier entered into bankruptcy in 2008, fortunately, a consortium of investors stepped forward and bought the Alitalia brand and select assets, relaunching as a new "Alitalia". The brand derives its name from the Italian words "ali" and "Italia" ("wings" and "Italy" respectively). The newest livery design is from 2016, sporting a strong "A" on the tail in the colours of the Italian flag and a similar "A" on the fuselage as part of the word "Alitalia". Interestingly, the company Landor, which created the original logo in 1969, is responsible for the newest incarnation of this famous livery, a clear indication of their affinity for conceiving memorable and meaningful designs. Additionally, a series of white lines can be seen extending towards the tail, inspired by F1 racing cars on the pearl-white fuselage. Although the airline is facing renewed financial challenges, its iconic name in flight along with a rich history and a tenacity for success, Alitalia is truly a "Dream it, Live it" testimonial. From Toronto to Alitalia, mille grazie! Enjoy!
Condor Airlines Boeing 767-300ER arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a spectacular Sunday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Condor Airlines Boeing 767-300ER arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a spectacular Sunday afternoon 2019. As part of the European Thomas Cook Group, Condor Airlines finds its place with Thomas Cook Scandinavia and Belgium airlines. The 767 model pictured above is Condor's designated long-haul airliner, allowing Condor to travel to leisure destinations such as the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Founded in 1955 and now part of the previously mentioned Thomas Cook Group, it has adopted the unified colours for its livery. Apropos of the logo, the Sunny Heart symbolises the unification of airline brands for the whole airline group. With Condor's slogan "born to fly", enjoy the image and Heart!
Air Transat Airbus A310-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a superbly cloudy Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Transat Airbus A310-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a superbly cloudy Saturday afternoon 2019. Of note, this specific plane commenced its operations with Emirates, having received the aircraft in 1992, and was subsequently transferred to Air Transat in 2001, bringing the aircraft near its 30th anniversary. As for the specifications of this dated Aircraft, the A310 was the second airliner produced by the now mammoth aircraft manufacturer Airbus. First flown in 1982 and measuring in at approximately 153ft (47m), it allows for Air Transat's passenger capacity of up to 250, in a two class configuration. Air Transat remains one of the largest operators of the Airbus A310, with 6 presently in service. However, this plane and model will be soon replaced by the forthcoming Airbus A321LRs in early 2020, bringing an end to The A310's eventful yet safe service with the Canadian airline. With over 28 years in flight, C-GPAT (pictured here) has taken a significant place in history, specifically resulting from a critical mechanical failure back in March 2005. Whilst flying from Cuba to Canada, the aircraft experienced a significant rudder issue, in which much of the unit failed and detached from the rear fuselage in mid flight. Following loss of control, the A310 began to "dutch roll" before stabilization by the pilots and returned successfully to Cuba after well over an hour of manual flight without rudder control. Repairs were made, allowing this aircraft to continue its frequent flights, culminating with its arrival at YYZ on this Saturday. As a result of this event, subsequent safety inspection programs were modified to prevent future issues associated with the durability and maintenance of The A310 and similar Airbus models. From a model with such an iconic history, enjoy the image!
Caribbean Airlines 737-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a fantabulous Saturday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Caribbean Airlines 737-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Port of Spain Piarco International Airport (POS) on a fantabulous Saturday morning 2019. Caribbean Airlines serves as the national airline of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as well as the largest airline of the Caribbean islands. Commencing operations in 2007, Caribbean Airlines superseded the previous national carrier of Trinidad and Tobago, BWIA (British West Indian Airlines), which had operated in the Caribbean since 1937. As a result of BWIA's predicted demise during its last months of operation in fall of 2006, a new livery for a new airline was proposed. The livery proposal would be passed and become the official design for Caribbean Airlines, commencing operations shortly after BWIA ceased service. The then new livery included a hummingbird on the tail, serving as a nod to the Island of Trinidad's recognition as the "land of the hummingbird". The design also makes use of the airline's colours: blue, green, and purple, as well as the flag CARICOM (Caribbean community of fifteen country members, five associate members, and eight observers) next to the flag of Trinidad and Tobago at the rear of the fuselage. In addition, the 737-800 aircraft in this image represents a large portion of the airline's 17 planes, of which 12 are 737-800s. Showcasing the company's plans for expansion, these 737-800s are slated to be replaced by the Boeing 737 MAX 8, pending updates on its groundings and successful inspections. With their slogan "The Warmth of the Islands" and one of the most colourful and unique liveries seen at Pearson, enjoy!
Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737-800(WL) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an astonishing Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737-800(WL) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Varadero Juan Gualberto Gomez Airport, Cuba (VRA), on an astonishing Saturday afternoon 2019. Founded in 2005, Sunwing Airlines, Canada's low-cost travel provider, is a subsidiary of the larger Sunwing Travel Group and is privately owned, however, the TUI Group of Germany, the world's largest conglomerate leisure, travel, and tourism companies, does hold a significant minority share, providing major benefits to the airline. Sunwing's participation in the group itself also proves advantageous as the Canadian airlines leases out some of its short-haul aircraft during its quieter season to accommodate the influx of passengers TUI experiences during Europe's peak summer season. Moreover, as a member of this mammoth group, Sunwing joins five other European airline companies. And, Critically, if you look at the entire air fleet, TUI Airlines and its subsidiaries operate only Boeing airplanes, like the Boeing 737-800 in this image, with the exception of a few from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer. In addition, although only servicing 18 aircraft in its fleet, Sunwing certainly has made its mark on the industry as its parent, the Sunwing Travel Group, is Cuba's largest travel provider, sending some 700,000 vacationers to the country each year. Interestingly, although out of Canada, in the recent years, Sunwing Airlines has expanded to operate out of more than a dozen US cities, each serving Caribbean destinations. To fully appreciate Sunwing's operational scale, understand that the 737-800 in this image began its day at 6:00 in the morning on a flight from Toronto to Varadero, Cuba. CFRP then returned to YYZ for a few hours, only to depart once again, this time to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Finally, the aircraft would leave Montego Bay, touching down in Montreal just after midnight. Similar non-stop schedules are operated daily on every aircraft in Sunwing's fleet. Indeed, Sunwing Airlines represents a tremendous growth story; now with over 22,000 annual flights and nearly 75 destinations around the world, the airline cements its place as Canada's low-cost tourist airline, just as the company once aspired to become. Enjoy!
Westjet Boeing 737-800 “Magic Plane” arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a dramatic Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Westjet Boeing 737-800 “Magic Plane” arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a dramatic Saturday afternoon 2019. C-GWSZ, the 737-800 pictured above, was delivered to Westjet in February of 2010 in standard livery. Shortly thereafter in 2013, however, the Canadian carrier would bring a drastic overhaul to the aircraft’s appeal. Inspired by Walt Disney World, the “Magic Plane” is designed to tell a story along the fuselage in a linear fashion, from tail to cockpit. Showcasing Disney’s famous Mickey Mouse as “Sorcerer Mickey” on the vertical fin, a plethora of magical elements lead the observer to the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World towards the nose of the aircraft. Interestingly, the Disney magic theme continues throughout the entire aircraft, externally and internally. Passengers receive a special cookie resembling a Disney character without consideration to their route, and the headrests of the cabin seats include a number of bright stars. A typical painting job for an aircraft of this size requires well under a week of time to complete. But since the entirety of Westjet’s 737 needed to be covered in their dazzling display, this painting job took a mind-boggling 24 days to wrap up with a team of 26 specialists working constantly. In addition, an incredible 36 unique colours were used to bring the art piece together, significantly more than would have been required for Westjet’s standard livery. Nonetheless, this is an exceedingly smart decision to woo passengers into flying with Westjet for their next visit to Walt Disney World in Florida. A very worthwhile month's investment to create this magical livery that brings a smile to everyone's face. What a pleasure it is to see such a magical approach to the often monotonous commercial aviation liveries. Psst, there's another Disney livery in Westjet's fleet... Enjoy!
Westjet 737-800 "Frozen Plane" arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a magical Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Westjet 737-800 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a magical Saturday afternoon 2019. This 737-800, C-GWSV, was purchased by the Westjet in 2009, and, in 2015, was repainted from the airline's standard livery into the current “Disney Frozen-themed plane”. The design takes inspiration from Dosney's Frozen, a hit animated film released in 2013, and gradually transitions from cool to warm tones as you move along the fuselage. Note that the Canadian airline also operates another 737-800 sporting a Disney design, but that livery takes inspiration instead from Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. For such a unique painting job (work of art), a team of masters were recruited from Germany, USA, and Canada to dedicate an incredible 21 full days of time to render this exceptional livery. During the process, a whopping 643.5 liters (170 gallons) of paint were used - a significant increase from the typical 130 liters (35 gallons) for a short haul aircraft like the 737. Also, an incredible selection of 23 different colours were used to cover the aircraft, six unique colours alone were used to paint the umbrella. In fact, the livery's artwork was so demanding that an airbrush artist had to be brought in to work on some of the smaller details. Clearly, the airline cut no corners as the cabin of the aircraft also follows the theme of cool to warm with appropriate decals and headrests added for passengers' magical enjoyment. It's awesome, enjoy the magic!
Westjet Boeing 737-700 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a gloriously cloudy Saturday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Westjet Boeing 737-700 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a gloriously cloudy Saturday morning 2019. In this image, Westjet sports a Boeing 737-700, currently 16 years of age and capable of seating some 134 passengers (for Westjet in the standard two-class configuration). First launched by Southwest Airlines in 1993, this popular 737 model measures some 110ft (33.6m) in length, and is Westjet's most popular 737 model, with 52 presently in service, in their predominantly 737 fleet. Interestingly, as the tires fold into the aircraft's belly without coverings, the sides of the tires are perpetually exposed during all stages of flight. For aerodynamic purposes, "hub caps" are observed covering the Boeing 737 wheel wells (the white parts). These are linked to ground speed sensors that interface with anti-skid systems when landing and taking off, and if these items were not exposed, the pilots would be rendered incapable of identifying the relative ground speed of the aircraft. Therefore, the aircraft cannot safely fly without said hub caps, hence the Boeing 737's distinctive and recognizable black, circular marks underneath the fuselage in flight. As the 737-700 is another popular derivative of Boeing's extremely successful short-haul airliner, its fuselage design originates from that of the Boeing 707, first launched in 1957, which includes the optional "eyebrow" windows, located above the cockpit. This aircraft model sports Boeing's "blended winglets", standing eight feet tall and functioning to reduce fuel burn (by lessening "vortex drag"), reduce take off noise, lower engine wear, and increase fuel efficiency by upwards of five percent on select aircraft. This is the third of four generations of Boeing 737 aircraft, known as the Next Generation (or NG for short), and includes the 737-600s, 700s, 800s, and 900s, although the latter is presently not found in Westjet's fleet. Of note, the first generation of Boeing 737s included of the 737-100, 737-200/200A (of which many ruggedized versions are still flying); the second generation was made up of the "classic models”, the 737-300, 737-400, and 737-500; the fourth generation includes the newest MAX aircraft, comprised of the MAX 7, 8, and 9 variants, set to replace the 700, 800, and 900 models, respectively, along with a forthcoming MAX 10 - to be the largest 737 to date - currently under development. As a tribute to Boeing's phenomenal 737 project, note that more than 25 percent of the world wide fleet of "large commercial jetliners" are comprised of the iconic aircraft, a categorically staggering figure. In 2018, Boeing reached production of a whopping 52 of these airplanes per month, each requiring just ten days to complete! From another fascinating Boeing 737 model, enjoy the image!
Westjet Boeing 737-600 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a spectacularly cloudy Saturday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Westjet Boeing 737-600 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a spectacularly cloudy Saturday morning 2019. Of Westjet's 124 plane fleet, all but 7 are Boeing 737 aircraft, clearly indicative of the company's fondness of this famous design. The 737 in this image is a 737-600 variant, the smallest in Westjet's fleet, coming in at about 102ft (31.2m) and at 13 years of age, is presently one of 13 in service. Launched in 1995 with SAS Airlines as Boeing's "third generation derivative of the original 737", the 737-600 would supercede the 737 “classic models” (the Boeing 737-300, 400, and 500 series), created by the drive for increased fuel efficiency following the well-documented inefficiencies of the previous iterations. Westjet's ’600 models carry some 113 passengers in a two-class configuration. This generation, although currently dated, featured at the time of release numerous avionics advancements and appreciated features, including redesigned wings (sporting larger areas and wingspans), increased fuel capacity, higher max takeoff weight (MTOW), improved engines (CFM 567 series), modern "glass cockpits" (no longer completely analogue), interior redesigns for comfort and practicality, and, of course, culminating with longer flying range. It competes, along with the rest of Boeing's 737s, with similar sized and performing Airbus A320 series. However, this plane does join over 7000 737 NG (Next Generation) aircraft ordered to date, a simply mind-boggling statistic. An equally astonishing feat has the 737-600 joining a whopping 1250 737s (of all variants) flying at any given point in time, with two either departing or arriving somewhere every FIVE seconds, a testament to the sheer popularity and success of Boeing's revolutionary design. Following Westjet's favourable experience with this family, many future plans have arisen, continuing to build upon the 737. Plans have been put forth to acquire 33 Boeing 737 MAX 7 advanced aircraft and 12 MAX 10s, both of which are new high-performance additions to their fleet. An additional nine 737 MAX 8s are slated to be added, complementing Westjet's existing fleet of 13 MAX 8s. From such a cute and stubby plane we always love to catch, enjoy the image!
Flair Airlines Boeing 737-400 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a stunning Satirday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Flair Airlines Boeing 737-400 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a stunning Saturday afternoon 2019. Operating as a Canadian low cost, low fare airline out of Edmonton International Airport (YEG), Flair serves charter flights to northern oil industries, government customers, and world tours, as well as the everyday passenger. This Flair Airlines 737-400 jet (out of a total fleet of 8) is an outdated variant of Boeing's 737 series of aircraft, delivered to Alaska Airlines (the plane's previous operator until late 2017) in 1998. Flair is currently in the process of retiring these aircraft, to be phased out completely by 2020. They will be replaced by Boeing's newer 737-800 model. The plane pictured above is one of a few left retaining the red and purple name and logo, now both updated in February 2019 to better align with Flair Airline's slogan "Plane and Simple", planely a good move. Enjoy!
Raglan Airlines Boeing 737-200C(Adv) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a superbly sunny winter Saturday 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Raglan Airlines Boeing 737-200C(Adv) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (YUL) on a superbly sunny winter Saturday 2019. This aircraft is operated by Glencore International, an international mining powerhouse. The company has routes tracing back to the Falconbridge Raglan nickel mining complex in 1995, located in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, Canada, whose access is exceedingly limited. Through subsequent mergers with various mining companies, including Noranda Mines and Xstrata in 2013, Glencore Xstrata was formed via the merger of Glencore International and Xstrata, now known simply as Glencore International. This is critical to recognize as Glencore Canada operates this airline. The particular mine to which this 737-200 flies is accessible by ship less than eight months per year; there is no other access other than through air travel, and this is where the aging Boeing 737-200C (manufactured in 1979, joining Glencore in 2005) comes into play. As a combi 737, C-FFAL is able to transport both passengers (mining employees) and cargo (various equipment) concurrently. It also fares exceedingly well in tough conditions. To give an idea of the harshness of the environment of upper Quebec, the mining site is located in sub-arctic permafrost with an average underground temperature of negative 15 degrees centigrade (-5F). It is a cold, desolate, frozen region yielding little hospitality. As such, a ruggedized, versatile aircraft is required. The 737-200 modified is a prefect fit. The short-haul jet is a remarkable specialty variant of Boeing's classic design, serving 45 years around the world to remote, low infrastructure areas. In keeping with the needs of the aforementioned conditions and, specifically, the adverse landing and take off challenges at the Raglan mine, the aircraft features numerous visual and structural enhancements. Notably, large cargo doors on the forward port side of the fuselage aid with the "combi" nature of many northern operations, a gravel deflector underneath the forward wheel (resembles skis) is designed to prevent debris from spraying into the engines from the forward wheel during landings on gravel, like a miniature shield, vortex dissipators on each engine nacelle (the protruding rods) that function to prevent the turbofans from intaking debris, such as gravel, during unpaved landings, like those associated with northern airports, through the use of "compressor bleed air" (high pressure air release). Ferrying 50,000 passengers and three million pounds of cargo per year using only two of these aircraft, Glencore and the 737-200C have certainly exemplified their versatility. Indeed, the 737-200C is one of the best-suited aircraft for these purposes. As such, approximately a dozen northern airlines utilize these proven aircraft and their numerous adaptations in regular use. It is scheduled to fly for another 15 years with Raglan, bringing its total lifespan to about 50 years. With two planes supported by a team of just 22 with zero issues, enjoy the image! (observe Raglans logo, an inukshuk, too.)
Air Transat Airbus A321-200neo (C-GOIE) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a magnificantly crisp winter Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Transat Airbus A321-200neo arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from London Gatwick International Airport (LGW) on a magnificently crisp winter Saturday afternoon 2019. Received in May of 2019, months before this capture, this particular Airbus aircraft marks Air Transat's very first A321-200neo received, C-GOIE. As such, miniature model manufacturer ezToys has designed a very special 1:200 model of this exact plane, a very intriguing feat indeed. Moreover, note that the "neo" addition to the names of certain Airbus aircraft serves as an acronym for "new engine option", allowing carriers to augment the performance of their fleets using the newest engine models. On the A321-200neos, the turbofan is by Pratt & Whitney, the PW1133G engine. This proves to be instrumental to the success of the narrow-body, mid-range aircraft series, their economic gains, eco-friendly operations, and pinnacle performance (distance). This engine has now, after 20 years of development and 10 billion dollars, produced the standard engine of choice for Airbus' A320s. In addition, a testament to this revolutionary design occured in October 2019, when the 1000th A320neo family aircraft was delivered, a mere 3 years since its first delivery in January of 2016. An equally impressive figure has the A320neo series receiving a mind boggling total of 7000 plus orders from more than 115 airlines as of late 2019, denoting it, unequivocally, as the fastest selling commercial aircraft in history. This stupendous growth is due in part to the numerous advantages brought by the neo series engines: mainly, a 16% reduction in fuel burn, 50% shaving in greenhouse emissions, and a whopping 75% drop in noise emissions. Dependability is also a critical aspect, and the engine certainly does not let down here either; on the A320neo, the PW1133G jet has reached a reliability of 99.9%. Simply put: in 1000 hours of flight time, only 1 hour is needed for "down-time"! And close to home at YYZ, it is a pleasure knowing that this engine design was tested in Canada. In all, with a beautiful - and efficient - addition to Canada's vacation airline, enjoy the image!
Avianca Costa Rica Airbus A320-200 (N495TA) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a fabulous Saturday 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Avianca Costa Rica Airbus A320-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from El Salvador Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (SAL) on a fabulous Saturday 2019. To understand why this aircraft was en route from San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, and not Costa Rica (as would seem from the airline's name), it is important to note Avianca Costa Rica's parent company, Avianca. Avianca is a group of eight Latin American flagship airlines, each of which uses the "Avianca" title followed by the flag country of the airline for their names. Due to the close ties these airlines share, we expect that the fleets may be dived up among the individual parties as Avianca and its subsidiaries essentially act as one brand. Hence, this aircraft, although operated by Avianca Costa Rica, could be serving on an Avianca El Salvador route. Historically, the modern Avianca group was created in 2009 when TACA, the leading airline in South America at the time, and Avianca Colombia merged, forming a new pan-Latin American Avianca. Interestingly, Avianca Colombia, the national carrier of Columbia when in operation, was formed one hundred years ago this December 5th as SCADTA, making Avianca, due to the merger in 2009, the second oldest airline in the world behind KLM. The livery of Avianca Costa Rica is shared between the other airlines in the Avianca group, and the design is of 2013, a result of the merger between Avianca Colombia and TACA. The new logo is rooted in the bird symbols of both airlines, a condor, long associated with the Latin Americas, in the case of Avianca. Also, it appears that the logo is a map of the Americas, denoting the region from which the modern group soars. From Avianca's slogans "With Pleasure" and "It's for You"; to see a piece of Latin America fly into North America is always a pleasure. Enjoy!
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an outstanding Sunday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on an outstanding Sunday afternoon 2019. Note that China Eastern Airlines is one of the "China Big Three", the three largest airlines in the country; Air China, China Southern Airlines, with China Eastern Airlines as the second largest behind China Southern. Interestingly, and a switch from thirty years ago, these airlines are projected to overtake the U.S. "Big Three" (Delta, United, and American Airlines) in fleet and occupational size in the coming years and decades. Indeed, China Eastern Airlines has grown immensely in influence as well as size, now recognized as one of China's top 50 most valuable brands. Their livery and logo, on the other hand, incorporates a famous swallow design by Bang Strategic Brand Design. This swallow was designed with a great degree of care, with the wings of the bird (the red) depicting a sky bridge and the tail (the blue) resembling the Huangpu River that flows by Shanghai - the airline's principal hub and headquarters. Furthermore, the wings and tail of the swallow together roughly form the China Eastern initials: C.E. As vibrant and dynamic as China Eastern Airlines is, never do they lose their focus as "World-Class Hospitality with Eastern Charm", or so the reviews say. Enjoy!
Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-200LR arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a magnificent Sunday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Boeing 777-200LR arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a magnificent Sunday afternoon 2019, en route from Karachi's Jinnah International Airport (KHI) - the airline's headquarters. Formed in 1946 as Orient Airways, PIA has a long and rich history. The airline became known as Pakistan International Airlines in 1955, becoming the flag carrier of Pakistan in the process. Of note, PIA was Boeing's first launch customer for the 777-200LR aircraft in 2006 (this image is of that same aircraft in new livery - meaning this was the world's first commercially operated 777-200LR). This accomplishment also benefited Boeing as it positively influenced the success of the Chicago-based company's 777-200LR model. Today's livery was created in 2010, sporting a large Pakistan national flag on the tail and the text "Pakistan International" in gold underneath the large "PIA" on the fuselage. Enjoy the image from "Great People to fly with", PIA!
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an exceptional Sunday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 777-200(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) on an exceptional Sunday morning 2019. Note that KLM stands for "Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij", which unsurprisingly translates to 'Royal Dutch Airlines". KLM is the flag carrier of The Netherlands, using the Schiphol Airport as its hub, and was founded in 1919. This makes it the oldest airline in the world still in operation, nearing its 100th anniversary as of October 2019. Furthermore, during its establishment, the airline received the royal blessing and status by then Queen Wilhelmina, providing the airline with the emblem of the crown and cross on its logo/livery and the rare "Royal" component to its full name": KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The livery also uses the well known "Dutch Blue" colour, which flows in linear fashion along the upper fuselage, despite some calling this livery design "dated". In 2004, KLM merged with Air France, resulting in the world's largest airline group. Interestingly, the phrase "The Flying Dutchman" (located on the rear of the fuselage) was KLM's former frequent flyer's program and shares its name with a famous old sailor's legend. From avid plane spotters worldwide to KLM, congratulations for 100 years fulfilling your slogan "Journeys of Inspirations". Enjoy!
Eurowings Airbus A330-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a stellar Sunday morning - Photo by Robson Smith
Eurowings Airbus A330-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a stellar Sunday morning 2019. Despite the livery, this is actually Brussels Airlines flight SN551 originating from Brussels Airport (BRU) en route to Toronto Pearson. It is important to note that Brussels Airlines and Eurowings are both part of the Eurowings Group, which is itself a subsidiary of the larger Lufthansa Group. As part of this arrangement, Brussels Airlines has been chosen as the long-haul competency partner, responsible for all long-haul flights of this group. Consequently, Brussels Airport will become the hub of all future long-haul flights for the Eurowings Group, and as the Brussels-Toronto route is considered a long-haul destination, Brussels Airlines is the registered operator of this Eurowings aircraft. Enjoy the image!
Korean Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a lovely Sunday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Korean Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN) on a lovely Sunday morning 2019. As the current flag carrier of South Korea, with roots going back to the establishment of Korean National Airlines (KNA) in 1946, Korean Air Lines was founded in 1962 through the nationalization of KNA by the South Korean government. In 1969, 50 years ago, the airline was fully privatized and remains so to this day. Of note, The airline's name was changed from "Korean Air Lines" in 1984 to the modern and well recognized "Korean Air". The logo is a reflection of their national heritage through the red and blue colors of the South Korean flag, also present throughout the livery of their aircraft. The round design also incorporates the yin and yang concept with a white dividing section representing a turning propeller. Celebrating 50 years of flight with a vision to become "a respected leader in the world airline community", a goal to fulfill the "Excellence in Flight" reputation, and, as the "Wings of the People", the future of Korean Air is clearly focused on becoming the 'Wings of the World". Enjoy!
EgyptAir Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a delightful morning - Photo by Robson Smith
EgyptAir Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Cairo International Airport (CAI) on a delightful morning 2019. Established in 1932 as Misr Airlines, EgyptAir has been subject to numerous name changes throughout almost 90 years of operation. In 1949, when the Egyptian State became the sole shareholder of the air company, the title was changed to Misrair for just under a decade. In 1958, upon the formation of United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria), Misrair was renamed United Arab Airlines (UAA). Finally, in 1971 as the country changed its name to Arab Republic of Egypt, the airline followed suit and was rebranded to the modern EgyptAir. Note the falcon on the the fuselage and tail, a unique logo rooted in Egyptian mythology, taken from Horus, "the winged god of the sun". From their motto "Enjoy the Sky", enjoy the image!
Etihad Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on an astounding Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Etihad Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) on an astounding Saturday afternoon 2019. Etihad, the airline pictured which acts as the national flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, operates a 777 fleet of 19 aircraft, with each capable of carrying 412 passengers and flying a range of some 15,900 km (9,880 miles). Etihad's fleet is further supplemented by a cargo fleet of six 777-F freighters, each with a reduced range of 9,000 km (5,590 miles) but the capacity to carry in excess of a whopping 100,000 kg (220,000 lbs) of cargo. Powered by General Electric's superlative GE90 engines (specifically, the -115b model), Etihad's 777-300(ER)s and 777 freighters are at the helm of some of the most advanced pieces of hardware available to the aviation industry. At the time of their release in 2009, the GE90-115bs were proposed-designed to fly the 777-300ER and boasted the highest thrust capabilities on the market. Moreover, these remarkable feats of engineering had the distinction of being one of the quietest in their class per pound of thrust with superior fuel efficiency and lower overall emissions compared to previous designs. Although the above specs of the GE90-115b engine are dated by a decade, some or all may still stand today, denoting its impressive ahead-of-the-game engineering. Also in 2009, the engines reached over two million flight hours, a testament to their phenomenal and proven capabilities. Note, while the 777s fuselage is 620 cm (244 inches) wide, the GE90-115b is some 340 cm (128 in) in width — equating to over half the diameter of the aircraft it serves! However, the engine doesn't halt here; the nacelles, or aerodynamic coverings, for the power unit brings the total diameter to an astounding 420 cm (166 inches), augmenting the footprint to about three quarters of the diameter of the 777's fuselage. Unsurprisingly, this engine holds the title as the largest in history, only to be superseded by GE's future successor and derivative, the GE9X. In fact, the engine is so large that, unless the large fan blade is removed, it cannot fit into a 747 freighter, one of the largest aircraft in its class. Historically, GE's outstanding hardware has broken numerous records and has accomplished extraordinary feats. The engine is rated for 115,000 lbf (pounds of force), allow it to power a Boeing 747-100 in actual flight for three hours (test!). It also held the record for the highest thrust ever recorded for a commercial engine at 127,000 lbf, only marginally surpassed by the GE9X in 2017. However, all of this means nothing is not safe. IFSD (in-flight-shutdown-rate) is a mere one in one million flight hours, of which the GE90 series has accumulated more than 50 million, with over eight million on-off cycles in its twenty years of history. Now, that's engineering in flight, Enjoy!
Air Canada Airbus A330-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a dramatically cloudy Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Canada Airbus A330-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Dublin International Airport (DUB) on a dramatically cloudy Saturday afternoon 2019. Although Air Canada operates quite diversely, with Boeing, Airbus, and other manufactures, the Airbus A330 long-range model as seen in this image is comparatively unique among its fleet, with only 10 of these jetliners currently in service. Moreover, this specific aircraft has been in their fleet since 2001, with the airline currently putting forth no retirement plans. In fact, Air Canada's A330s have planned deliveries through 2020 and are presently set to replace their ageing and similarly sized Boeing 767 aircraft in the future. Additionally, the livery supported on this aircraft is slightly out of date, with Air Canada now refreshing their fleet to an updated retro livery. The livery here, however, has no historical component and was inaugurated just under a decade and a half ago in 2005. Interestingly, as this aircraft has been serving under Air Canada since the turn of the century, it has already undergone two unique liveries and will soon be repainted once again to fit in with the rest of its fleet, a unique situation to observe, indeed. Although we adamantly admire the Boeing 777, of which Air Canada operates a plethora, it is always a pleasure to view such a unique aircraft among their gigantic and fast growing fleet of some 200. Enjoy!
Air Transat Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a magnificently cloudy Saturday morning 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Air Transat Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a magnificently cloudy Saturday morning 2019. The colourful Airbus A330-200 long-haul jetliner pictured above (at 17.5 years, matching with the average fleet age of its airline) represents one of 39 total aircraft in Air Transat's fleet. Specifically, the Montreal-based company has organized their operations to reflect a split between both Airbus and Boeing manufacturers. On the side of Airbus, a significant 20 A330 long-haul airliners are serviced, denoting the company as having allocated over half its fleet to one aircraft make. In more depth, 16 of these are A330-200 variants, with 4 of the larger, slightly shorter ranged A330-300, and during peak winter season, three A330-200s are leased to the European Condor Airlines. To supplement these aircraft are 6 A321 short-haul planes of various models, with a further 13 on order, mainly A321LR (Long Range) models. These will be replacing the current and ageing fleet of 6 Airbus A310-300s, the final flight of which is planned for April 2020. With Boeing, a total of six planes are operated, one 737-700 and 5 737-800s, with no future orders. Note, as Air Transat is presently in the process of translating to an Air Canada division, following its purchase by the Canadian national carrier, the future fleet of Canada's leisure airline may indeed differ from these detailed expectations. Recognizing success, we wish Air Transat all the best regarding their new voyage with Air Canada. Enjoy!
Aer Lingus Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a delightful Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Aer Lingus Airbus A330-200 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Dublin International Airport (DUB) on a delightful Saturday afternoon 2019. This aircraft, of course, belongs to the Irish national carrier and proudly flier the Irish Shamrock on its vertical fin. Uncoincidentally, Aer Lingus has made use of the shamrock as their commercial aviation callsign, a nod to its cultural significance. On another note, the specific A330-200 in this image, with an age of nearly 20 years, represents one of 57 aircraft in the Irish fleet, of which there are a 13 Airbus A330 jetliners (5 -200s and 8 -300s). Additionally, the carrier has plans to complement their existing A330-300 fleet with four more of the same model, and, importantly, the fleet will be refreshed to exclusively Airbus models in the near future. This is thanks to the retirement of Aer Lingus' lonely 2 Boeing 757 models in the new year. Presently, the airline operates the Airbus A320 model for short-haul destinations (6 in total with both the A320-200 and A320LR, Long Range, variants). Going forward, the fleet will be augmented by an additional 5 A321 models, with the company also awaiting the new A321XLR, Extra Long range, variant (the distance champion of the A320 family). The XLR is not scheduled until 2023, however, whereas all other orders seem to be relatively imminent. In other words, Aer Lingus, with an average fleet-age of 13 years, has a total of 15 aircraft orders (give of take) and some retirement plans in order to bring operational modernization. After all, this will give Aer Lingus an exclusive Airbus fleet (save for the Avro aircraft operated by Aer Lingus's CityJet). On a tangent, an equally intriguing fact has the air company achieving 50 years with no crash fatalities and all the while supplementing their colourful aircraft liveries with a unique title, in this case, "St. Thomas." From the official airline of the Irish rugby team, Enjoy!
Eurowings Airbus A330-300 arriving at Toronto LEster B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Brussels Aiport (BRU) on a dramatically cloudy Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Eurowings Airbus A330-300 arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Brussels Airport (BRU) on a dramatically cloudy Saturday afternoon 2019. Note that Eurowings was founded in 1990 in Germany, bringing the airline close to its 30th anniversary, and currently uses the appropriate "Eurowings" callsign for their operations. As a recap, the unique A330 aircraft pictured in this image was, at the time of capture, being operated by Brussels airlines (hence the Brussels Airlines flight number) as the two are closely interlocked in an alliance, an alliance led by the Lufthansa Group. The Lufthansa Group declared in summer of 2019 that all long haul flights of Eurowings would be operated by other airlines of the group, such as Brussels. Equally interesting. this aircraft represents one of 161 commercial aircraft in Eurowing's large fleet and, specifically, one of 11 A330 models all told (split into two models: 7 A330-200s, serviced by sister company SunExpress Deutschland, and 4 A330-300s, operated by Brussels Airlines, which is, of course, reflected in this image). The fleet of the European mammoth is solely composed of Airbus aircraft and, in the future, will be skewed towards Airbus A320neo model planes (20 on order) to satisfy the company's new mandate of servicing only short-haul destinations. Significantly, the balance of the fleet is wet leased (leasing whole aircraft including pilots and crew), and these aircraft are again predominantly Airbus. The German company has additional plans to phase out 16 wet leased Bombardier Q-400s and 6 Boeing 737-800s from their operations. It appears that, although Eurowings has historically flown numerous long-haul routes, the airline is aiming towards becoming a full-out discount, shout-haul airline in the Lufthansa Group family. Simply told, the organizational structure of the Lufthansa group (including Eurowings) has become quite convoluted in recent years, is and will continue to be subject to continuous optimization in business, with considerable competetit complexities, which is always a blast to follow. Enjoy!
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a tremendous Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) en route from Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport (HKG) on a tremendous Saturday afternoon 2019. Cathay Pacific, which derives its name from an alternate historic English name for China, "Cathay", operates routes to over thirty countries from five continents, with three million passengers carried in June 2019 (including Cathay Dragon, their regional subsidiary). On the livery, note the Oneworld airline alliance trademark, of which Cathay Pacific was a co-founding member from its inception in 1998. Moreover, the Cathay Pacific logo carries a design called the "brushed wing" on both the body and the tail. A Swire Group flag is also located in small print towards the rear of the aircraft, denoting their importance as an early and continuously significant investor in the airline. This is Cathay’s slightly tweaked modern livery design. To see their older livery, view the second Cathay Pacific 777-300(ER) (specifically the vertical stabilizer) in our “Soaring Blog”. To credit their slogan "Move Beyond", Cathay, with a modern fleet of over 150, has come a long way since their one Douglas DC-3 twin-engined propeller prop aircraft used in 1946. Enjoy!
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a striking Saturday afternoon 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKG) on a striking Saturday afternoon 2019. The plane pictured in this image is of the 777 family, the first entirely new Boeing airplane model in over a decade when released in the mid nineties. The plane was the first ever Boeing "fly-by-wire" aircraft, allowing it to operate exclusively through "computer mediated controls". As a bonus, the 777 project was the first ever jetliner to be designed 100% digitally and was also "preassembled digitally" — no model mockups were required whatsoever, a first for the commercial aviation industry. At the time, as the next largest aircraft to the 747, another Boeing design, the 777 could seat upwards of 380+ passengers and in subsequent models could reach up to an astonishing range of some 9,400 miles or 17,400 km. Although the 777 family is celebrating its 25th year anniversary (since the release of the 777-200 in 1994), the proven plane continues to evolve, pushing boundaries in manufacturing, technology, efficiency, and comfort. In the soon to be released 777X, Boeing sports composite wings and the latest in integrated technologies. In our image, the model is a 777-300(ER) and was delivered to Cathay Pacific in 2015. However... Cathay's history with Boeing goes back much further — as far back as 1970. The company was the first launch customer for the 777-300 in 1998, and, throughout their relationship, Cathay Pacific has also been the launch customer for two other significant Boeing aircraft: the iconic 747-400 and the 777-200. The success of the 777 has been without peer, with more than 60 customers, over 1600 deliveries, and a whopping 2030 orders to date, making this the most popular wide bodied aircraft ever produced by any company, surpassing that of even the 747. Moreover, of eight possible models, the most popular variant is the 777-300(ER), with over 800 deliveries and shown above proudly arriving in Toronto. Enjoy!
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a sublime Sunday afternoon 2019
China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on a sublime Sunday afternoon 2019. The 777-300(ER) aircraft pictured above was delivered to the second largest airline in China in April of 2017, although China Eastern's ties with the aircraft date back to 2014 when they received their very first 777-300(ER) in September of that year. The plane also makes up a sizable portion of the airline's 20 777-300(ER)s in their fleet of over a whopping 550 passenger planes. With a split between Airbus and Boeing jetliners, this fleet makes use of both short and long-haul aircraft and includes significant plans for expansion in the future. Interestingly, China Eastern Airlines was the first Chinese airline to place an order with Airbus, and these planes continue to have significant influence on their operations. The backbone of the entire fleet is the Airbus A320 series (including the Airbus A319, A320, and A321 aircraft), and, when taking into account all variations of all models, accounts for 316 planes, with another 46 modern A320neos on order. On the Boeing side, the most popular jet is the 737-800 with 111 in operations, however, when including all variations of the 737 series, this number jumps to 153. Hence, 469 planes, representing the vast majority of their fleet, is made up of just two aircraft series, servicing the domestic and local routes. For long-haul services, the wide-body Boeing 777-300(ER) and the Airbus A330 serve as the most popular, with the newer Boeing Dreamliner to eventually supplement the 777 and the Airbus A350-900 to complement the A330. It is also important to note that the airline has shown interest in the Chinese COMAC C919, which should act as a Chinese competitor to the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737 families. China Eastern is slated to be the launch customer for this plane in the early 2020s. All in all, as one of the 50 most valuable Chinese brands, China Eastern has a bright and promising future in global flight and service. Enjoy!
Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a gloriously crisp winter Saturday 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) on a gloriously crisp winter Saturday 2019. This Boeing 777-300ER was delivered to the Emirati National carrier in 2013, exactly ten years after the airline's foundation, and currently represents a small portion of its total fleet size of approximately 111 aircraft (including six Boeing 777F cargo planes). Along with the aircraft pictured, there are 19 passenger 777-300ERs serviced along with 30 Boeing 787-9s and seven 787-10 aircraft. To finish up Boeing's side, numerous Dreamliner purchases have been put forth (37 in total with 12 787-9s and seven 787-10 variants), along with six of the forthcoming 777-9s. For Airbus, on a regional scale, the A320 series accounts for 20 planes (19 A320-200 and 10 321-200 models), allowing the airline to operate its entire short-haul fleet with European aircraft. For the future, 26 orders for the new A321neos have been placed, most likely in order to replace the aging A320 aircraft. In order to complement the longer range platforms, ten A330-200 are serviced and an amazing ten Airbus A380-800 superjumbos are used frequently as well. Interestingly, although with 20 A350-1000 orders placed with deliveries starting in 2019, only five have been confirmed, and an even smaller three received (yet stored). In a forward thinking manner, Etihad Airways shows much interest in the future of biofuels, launching the first commercial aircraft, a Boeing 787, using locally produced bio-fuel derived from the Salicornia plant in January of 2019. This move parallels an effort to become much greener and "an even more sustainable airline". The flight lasted for a worthy seven hours. Denoting themselves as "one of the most advanced fleets in the world, with the latest entertainment and mouth-watering food", Etihad has certainly lived up to their vision of extravagant in-flight service, Enjoy the image!
China Southern Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a marvelous Sunday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
China Southern Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ), on a marvelous Sunday afternoon 2019, from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) — the company's headquarters and principle hub. China Southern Airlines is one of the "China Big Three", comprising the three largest airlines in the country; Air China, China Eastern Airlines, with China Southern Airlines as the largest. China Southern is currently riding on record growth; with plans to operate 1000 planes by 2020 (hundreds more than their present ~750 aircraft), this represents some 33% growth in fleet size in under three years. In addition, China Southern's Vice Chairman and President Tan Wangeng has gone on record stating plans to manage a fleet of 2000 jets by 2035 (equaling a three-fold increase in just over 15 years), a testament to China's phenomenal growth. Indeed, China and its aviation industry demonstrate unprecedented expansion, with Chinese airlines predicted to purchase well over 7500 new aircraft worth over $1.2 trillion throughout the next 20 years. Note: on the livery, the Kapok flower (located on the blue tail) is the city flower of Guangzhou, which adds beauty to their slogan "Fly into your dream". Enjoy!
Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a majestic Sunday afternoon - Photo by Robson Smith
Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Istanbul Havalimani Airport (IST) on a majestic Sunday afternoon 2019. Founded in 1933 as Turkey's national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines has shown phenomenal growth, morphing into one of the largest and most significant airlines in the world. Turkish now operates routes to approximately 304 destinations, the most of any airline when ignoring subsidiaries. The Istanbul-headquartered airline also flies to over 120 countries, which, again, tops the chart. The livery is composed of three significant components. The white fuselage with blue lettering "Turkish Airlines" is referred to as "Eurowhite" livery. The abstract grey tulip towards then rear of the aircraft is significant as the history of the tulip as well as its name (derived from the Ottoman Turkish word "tülbend") is a strong component of Turkish history. Lastly, a striking red tail includes the company logo, which depicts an artistic greylag goose, also located on the belly of this plane. Clearly, Turkish Airlines' motto "Widen Your World" is a prefect fit. Enjoy!
Philippine Airlines Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) during a warm sunset 2019 - Photo by Robson Smith
Philippine Airlines (PAL) Boeing 777-300(ER) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, (MNL) during a warm sunset 2019. Since its inception in 1935 and formal operations as The Philippines' national flag carrier in 1941, Philippine Airlines has secured numerous accomplishments. In 1947, the airline became the first South East Asia airline to fly to Europe. The two flights, heading to Rome and Madrid respectively, each took two days to complete and required stops at Calcutta, Karachi, and Cairo, at the time, a remarkable testament to the rapid technological advancements in flying. Philippine Airlines also became the first Asian carrier to fly into China on two new routes to Beijing and Canton in 1979. Closer to home, PAL launched its first ever non-stop flight to the North American east coast in 2012 on a route to Toronto, Canada. The now regularly scheduled flight was inaugurated using another 777-300(ER). The current "Eurowhite" livery has the name "Philippines" on the fuselage, indicating that PAL is the primary flag carrier of the Philippines. The tail and the winglets sport the PAL logo, which incorporates two triangles (blue and red) representing sails with a yellow sunset superimposed on top. Welcome to Toronto, Philippine Airlines, promoting itself as "The Heart of the Filipino". Enjoy!
LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on a beautiful Sunday evening - Photo by Robson Smith
LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport (WAW) on a beautiful Sunday evening 2019. As with many of our national carriers, LOT's history brings us back numerous decades and includes multiple points of interest. Based in Warsaw and established in 1928, LOT Polish is one of the oldest airlines still in operation. Serving over 130 destinations through over 80 aircraft, with the majority departing from their home hub Warsaw Chopin Airport, LOT further manages to spread its wings throughout the world. The Dreamliner in this image was acquired by the airline in spring 2019. Interestingly, the airline's first Dreamliner received in 2012 also brought with it LOT's new livery and logo as seen on this aircraft. In particular, note the logo on the tail that depicts a flying crane. The original logo design by Tadeusz Gronowski in 1929 shows a similarly designed crane flying away from the aircraft. The new version amends this to position the crane in a way that shows it flying forwards, among other changes. With their slogan "You chose the direction", we thank LOT for choosing Toronto. Enjoy!
Approaching Giant - KLM Boeing 747-400(M) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport on a gloriously cloudy Saturday morning 2019.
Approaching Giant - KLM Boeing 747-400(M) arriving at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (AMS) on a gloriously cloudy Saturday morning 2019. Of note, the average KLM fleet age is just under 12 years, although the average KLM 747 clocks in at over 22 years (this 747 is about 17 years mature), something important to note when observing fleets with such iconic (but old) aircraft. Significantly, KLM's fleet of ten 747s has been equally split between the passenger only variant (747-400) and the passengers/freight variant (or "combi" 747-400(M)), and KLM Cargo furthermore operates an additional 3 Boeing 747-Fs. Along with many other airlines, the Dutch flag carrier has plans for an intended retirement of their "Super Jumbo" 747s by 2021, to be replaced by 787 aircraft. However, there is no doubt that the 747-400s, once retired, including this plane, will continue their life in the freight-only business, a testament to the jetliner's incredible longevity. KLM's overall fleet operates 119 commercial passenger planes: 13 Airbus A330s (to be retired by 2025), 16 aircraft of the 787 family (split between 13 of the 787-9 model and three 787-10), 29 aircraft of the Boeing 777 family (15 777-200ER variants and fourteen 777-300ER), with many other short-haul aircraft (such as a whopping 51 Boeing 737s). As a new focus to operate exclusively Boeing, the only new orders to be added to their fleet are of the American giant, with the 787-10 (12 orders, deliveries through 2023) and the Boeing 777 (an additional 2 of the 777-300ER). Indeed, the fleet modernization of KLM is one of much excitement and will certainly prove to be quite fun to observe in the future, when the overhaul is expected to be completed. From such an iconic airline and fleet, Enjoy!