As I already indicated in my last spotting topic, I was already planning my upcoming spotting trip. For a change, I didn’t visit my home airport at Munich this time but went to Germany’s busiest airport at Frankfurt. Crazy as I am, I left the house at 5.00 am to catch the first train to Frankfurt which eventually arrived there at 9.20 and later returned at midnight with more than 700 pics on my SD card. I didn’t manage to catch all the planes I was interested in but the trip nevertheless was a success (even though the second last arrival of the day turned into a very frustrating event). So let’s start and have a look at the catch of the day:
After I picked up my rental car for the day I headed straight to the “Zeppelinheim” spotting point in the east of the airport since runway 07 operations had most planes bound for the north and east were using runway 07C for takeoff and I already new the one plane I wanted to catch whatever it costs was scheduled to depart for Chicago later that morning. While I’m not a fan of airports where most pics just result in a plane before sky, the great weather that day still made for some nice motives such as this Uzbekistan Airlines Boeing 787 bound for Tashkent.
Not really planned but rather surprising was the presence of the next special livery. China Airlines’s Boeing 777 wearing the Boeing House Colors was one of rather few two-engined long haul aircraft I included in this topic. But rest assured it’s not the only special livery I caught on Thursday.
Unlike the special 777, the following plane was very much expected. In fact, it was the main reason I decided to visit Frankfurt. Not long ago, Lufthansa announced that they would retire their MD-11F fleet by 2020 due to low demand in the cargo sector. Even though retirement is very close, several aircraft have already been repainted to the new Lufthansa livery such as D-AILD seen arriving on runway 07R.
Another part of my EDDF bucket list was spotting Lufthansa’s 747 fleet. While Munich is a Lufthansa hub just like Frankfurt, the entire jumbo fleet is based in Frankfurt. The only 747 of the airline I spotted before this week was D-ABYA which toured Germany when the new Lufthansa livery was introduced (back then, weather was horrible and ice cold so the images turned out rather bad). In contrast to the MD-11, this plane wears the first version of the livery with the blue which was considered to dark shortly after introduction.
Another new plane but still wearing an “old” livery: United is operating its Newark-Frankfurt route using the very new Boeing 787-10. But let’s get back to quad jets again.
Frankfurt is not only main hub for Lufthansa but also a place for some stunning retro liveries. While Condor’s Boeing 767 “Achim” left for Las Vegas 20 minutes too early for me to catch it, I managed to get pics of the departure of the (in my eyes) most beautiful jumbo jet in the world - Lufthansa’s 1970s retro jet D-ABYT, a four year old Boeing 747-8i.
Not only Boeing can do quad jets, Airbus produced some of them as well. While Munich hosts a fleet of Airbus A340-600, Frankfurt also hosts the airline’s A340-300 fleet. And what should I say - this plane really proves that earth is curved on a daily basis, freshly painted in the new colors, D-AIGU named after the German city “Catrop-Rauxel” attempts to start its transatlantic flight.
Another A340 which appeared rather surprising arrived in the evening. After it was transferred to Eurowings some time ago, D-AIGX, still painted in the low cost colors, arrived back from maintenance in with Lufthansa Technik in Manila before rejoining the Lufthansa main line in the near future.
Next to 747s and A340s, Frankfurt is also a huge hub for A380 operations. With Emirates, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Asiana Airlines, six different airlines visit the airport with the world’s largest airliner on a regular basis. Spotting the Asiana Airlines livery was another to-do for me since I really love the color scheme.
While we’ve only seen American, European and Asian airlines so far, Frankfurt also gets some flights from South America operated by LATAM. While the 787 arrives there after a stopover in Madrid, the Boeing 777 is flying to Frankfurt from South America directly.
With the day coming to an end slowly but surely, I had to change my location due to the sun moving north. This led me to a spot near the line up of runway 18 close to the cargo area. You better believe I kinda freaked out, when D-ALCJ, named “Namaste India” and painted in the old (and therefore more colorful) livery, was pushed back right in front of me and afterwards taxiing straight towards me in the beautiful evening light. This aircraft type is a real beast!
From my new position I was waiting for the last few arrivals I wanted to catch. While I managed to catch another Boeing 747-8 inbound from Seoul on the Korean Air flight, the one arrival I was really looking forward to turned out to become a real spotting fail. Apart from the morning flight operated by an A380, Thai Airways is also sending an A350 from Bangkok in the evening. While that aircraft type can technically also use the new “07L” runway I was lucky enough that the 350 was once again sent to 07R where I was waiting. Unfortunately my camera decided to shut down right when it appeared from behind the trees so I only got a horrible shot of the plane already slowing on the runway. Guess I’ll have to return to Frankfurt or visit another airport to catch that beauty properly.
I hope you enjoyed this little selection of pics which once again was way too small to get all the interesting stuff in. As usual you can always find more spotting pics on a regular basis on my twitter and Instagram profiles as well as on JetPhotos/FlightRadar24, where I just crossed the 300 pic milestone.
See you next time!
My spotting topics on the IFC
Spring Spotting 1
Spring Spotting 2 with Lorenzo
Spring Spotting 3 (feat. Hekla Aurora)
August spotting with some sunrise shots
September 30 with quite some special liveries and bizjets
Spotting in Zurich on the way to Cosford
Spotting Laura and more in Birmingham
Spotting in fog with a sunny end
Special planes at Munich - Munich Security Conference feat. E-4B
Valentine’s Spotting 2019 - Civil Traffic around the Munich Security Conference
Retro Time - British Airways BEA A319
First weekend in Innsbruck - Charter Flights in the Alps
Second Innsbruck Spotting Weekend
Bringing Israeli soldiers to Munich - El Al 747
Another visit of ElAl’s queen - El Al 747
Spotting in the Morning Sun - South African Special Livery A340-300
London Calling - Spotting at MUC and LCY on the way to London
London Heathrow Evening Spotting Before the Meetup
Lonon Heathrow Meetup Spotting
Last Day at Heathrow: Landor, Negus and more
Government Jets and New Perspectives at Munich Airport
TL;DR service for @dush19: Actually, I can’t be bothered to continue this any longer but: Planes, Planes, Planes.