Wet and Rainy Spotting at San Francisco

March 15, 2020

Hey everyone! Because of coronavirus, my school was canceled, and I now have way too much free time, so I decided to head on over to San Francisco Airport to do some spotting. Lots of cool aircraft were scheduled to fly in, and they were using the 28s for departures and arrivals, so it was an excellent time to visit. There was quite a bit of rain, but it stopped for a couple of hours (and began pouring just before British Airways could depart so I couldn’t catch that).

I’ll get right to the pictures, so here they are!

KLM is one of 2 airlines that currently flies their 787-10s to San Francisco, and it operates 7 of 12 weekly services to Amsterdam. Soon, they’ll switch it to all 12 weekly flights, but there’s still a bit of time before that happens. This is PH-BKG, a 2-month old aircraft headed to Schipol!

SAS will be replacing their A330/340 that flies to the airport with their A350 in June, but is suspending these flights due to the coronavirus beginning on March 17! Here’s OY-KBC, a 17-year old A340-313, touching down on runway 28L.

Then came Japan Airlines’ 777, operating as JL1 to Tokyo Haneda. They’ll be adding a second flight to San Francisco with their 787 soon to Narita, so that will be cool to see!

A couple of days ago, an Emirates A380 flight to Dubai from Los Angeles was canceled, so they decided to keep it there for 2 days before flying it back. This messed up the schedules, and Emirates had an extra A380 on the ground in Los Angeles, so they flew it to San Francisco and moved the one here to storage for a couple of days. Here’s A6-EOM in the “United for Wildlife” livery, a refreshing change from the Expo ones they usually send. Unfortunately, it was delayed for 2 hours, so I could not see it depart.

While many other airlines are cutting service to the United States, Air France will continue flying a 777 daily to San Francisco (which was supposed to be 2 daily, and increasing to 3 later in the year). This is F-GSQF headed to Paris, with an Emirates A380 moving to storage in the background.

One of United’s A319s, N848UA, in the new livery arriving from Phoenix, and this was probably the smoothest landing I saw a narrow-body do that day!

Cathay Pacific began flying their A350-1000s to San Francisco last year but dropped some of those flights because of the coronavirus. Today, they upgraded it from the normal A359 to the A35K, which was pretty cool to see land! Here’s B-LXA, Cathay’s first A350-1000 taxiing to its gate after an 11-hour flight from Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, Norwegian will be suspending most of its flights to San Francisco for a while. This means that this may be one of their last flights to Paris for a while from San Francisco!

Delta has multiple flights a day to New York with their 757s, and flew in their SkyTeam livery today! Spotted it for the first time, so here’s N705TW taxiing to 28L for departure.

Aaaand to end the topic, one of the main reasons I ended up coming today was to see the Qantas Yam Dreaming livery which I’d seen before, but not taken a very good picture of. It ended up back-taxiing a runway instead of going onto a proper taxiway, but I still got an okay shot of it. This is VH-ZND, a 2-year old 787-9 that flew in from Brisbane. They’ll be suspending these flights in mid-April, but that also means they’ll be flying in their 747s from Sydney again!

Check out my other topics!

Spotting at San Jose [Featuring the 787 and A321neo]
San Francisco Spotting [From the SkyDeck]
Spotting at San Jose Airport!

And follow me on Instagram if you’d like to see more pictures!


Ayy this aircraft was my first ever A350 flight in December


Nice shots, I especially love the Qantas Dreamliner and the KLM Dreamliner shots.


And you told me you were going to San Jose (SJC/KSJC) 😡


Cool! I have yet to fly on an A350

Thanks! Those are probably my favorite too!


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Really cool pictures, with a great variety of aircrafts! Well done, thanks for sharing!

May I ask which zoom level (e.g. 10x) you used for the pictures?

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Told ya it was going to SFO, heehee.

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Beautiful shots, amazing job mate

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I love all of these shots. My favorite shot is actually the JAL B777-300ER, even though I tend to be more of an ANA guy. (Sorry, @ran)


Thanks! Not sure exactly what you mean by zoom, but I have an 18-135mm lens and I basically just zoomed in all the way for most of the pictures, then cropped them and made them look a little bit sharper.

Yup, was really excited to see it depart Los Angeles because I knew it couldn’t be heading to Dubai already.

Thank you!

One of my favorites too, thanks!

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Really nice! SFO has so many nice widebodies

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Yup, some days have some more too as a lot aren’t daily flights!

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Wow they all look SO amazing. Love the variety of all the airlines 🤩

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Why sorry? :) it’s fine, JAL is another amazing airline!

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The Yam Dreaming is 😍

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It certainly is an amazing livery!

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That location is really good for spotting. Maybe not a great idea to spot in the midst of a global pandemic but great pictures nonetheless 😂

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It certainly is, thank you! And don’t worry, it’s a park that’s pretty big so you aren’t close to many other people ;)

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Awesome pics my friend. Love the JAL shot, the background is so cool with the tower and letters. That Cathay shot is awesome too, but then again, they all are. What camera do you use?

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Sony A6400 with an 18-135mm lens, looking to upgrade my lens though. Thanks!

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