Birmingham Airport 2014 - The Year in Review

Welcome to "BHX 2014 - The Year in Review" which brings the highlights
of the year at Birmingham Airport together in a photo review

2014 has been a truly historic year for Birmingham Airport with the opening
of the 400 metre runway extension at 0600 on Tuesday 27 May 2014

The opening of the extended 3,003 metre runway - and the airport's 75th anniversary -
were then celebrated on Tuesday 22 July 2014 when China Southern Airlines operated
their first non-stop Airbus A330 charter flight from/to Beijing putting Birmingham on the
world map for the development of future long haul services - full photo report here

Another historic event took place on Monday 25 February 2014 when Biman Bangladesh Airlines operated
the final ever DC10 passenger flight after first flying the aircraft from Dhaka and then spending the weekend
at BHX performing a series pleasure flights for aviation enthusiasts from all over the world

.... the aircraft arrives after its final passenger flight - while it had been hoped that the aircraft - DC10-30
S2-ACR - would stay in the UK and be preserved it returned home to Dhaka on Tuesday 25 February 2014

.... thanks to all at Biman Bangladesh Airlines for a memorable weekend!!

Monarch also chose BHX as the destination for their final Airbus A300B4-605R passenger flight - again operated
for the benefit of aviation enthusiasts - which saw G-OJMR arrive from Gatwick on Sunday 13 April 2014

Another chapter ended more quietly with the final visit of RAF Tristar C2 ZE704 on Monday 13 January 2014
- by the end of March 2014 all 6 remaining RAF Lockheed Tristar's had been ferried to Bruntingthorpe without
any of the farewell flypast's seen when the VC10 was withdrawn from service - another end of an era!

Another type we are unlikely to see again (as a civil aircraft) is the Lockheed Hercules with Air Contractors
EI-JIV departing from BHX on Saturday 26 April 2014 to Amman as it left the UK for the last time

Change was also in the air with Thomson replacing their based Boeing 767 with a new Boeing 787
"dreamliner" and Thomas Cook replacing their Boeing 757s with new Airbus A321s

It was a year of consolidation on the route development front - Aegean Airlines started Athens while
SAS/Blue1 dropped Stockholm and Germanwings dropped Berlin - flybe added lots of new routes....

.... only to drop many of them by the end of the year - and they also introduced a new "purple" colour scheme!?

It was another good year for the network scheduled carriers Air France, Brussels, Emirates, KLM,
Lufthansa, SAS, Turkish and United with many upgrades including the first visit of a Turkish Airbus A330
on Friday 19 December 2014 - as a result the passenger numbers grew strongly throughout the year

There was plenty of variety in the IT/inclusive tour charter market with TUIfly operating a weekly
Boeing 737 for Thomson Holidays and new Spanish airline Evelop Air flying for Thomas Cook
Holidays while Turkish airline Freebird operated during the off season

The ad hoc charter business was boosted by the arrival of Estonian Embraer 170 ES-AEA on Friday
17 January 2014 with one of their aircraft based at BHX ever since joining the two Cello aircraft on
the Elmdon apron while flybe also sub chartered a number of aircraft that became based including
Carpatair Fokker 100 YR-FKA, Danish Air Transport ATR 72 OY-RUG and Danu ATR 72 LY-MCA

It was a good year for special colour schemes with Monarch Boeing 757-2T5 G-MONJ being rolled out
of the hangar on Friday 4 April 2014 with "Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" titles....

.... Ryanair introducing an aircraft in National Express colours and

.... TUIfly provided some summer colour with their special schemes including aircraft
in "Haribo", "Cewe" and Hapag Lloyd "retro" colours

.... while both Emirates and Lufthansa celebrated the FIFA "World Cup" in Brazil

Other airlines visiting on ad hoc and student charters included Air Europa, Air Nostrum, Alitalia,
BA Cityflyer, Blue Panorama, CityJet, Darwin, Denim Air, Enter Air, HOP, Jet2, Jetairfly, Jettime,
Luxair, Mistral Air, Neos, Small Planet, Smart Wings, Titan, Transavia, Travel Service while
Monarch used Alba Star and Privilege Style to operate early season sub charters

We always say goodbye to a number of airlines/operators with Air Berlin finishing their long running
flights to Hannover and Paderborn on Sunday 30 March 2014 to be replaced by Hamburg Airways
- who ceased operations as the year closed - and Hi Fly who initially used an Airbus A340 on the
replacement flights. Aer Arann became Stobart Air while Eurojet the business jet and hangar
operator also went out of business in February 2014

Freighters continued to visit in all shapes and sizes - star heavy freighters were MNG Cargo Airbus
A300F TC-MCD, ULS Cargo Airbus A310F TC-LER and ATI Boeing 767F N761CX while Star Air/UPS
Boeing 767Fs made several nocturnal visits due to overnight runway closures at East Midlands

Antonovs again proved popular - for an airport that has seen a lot of Russian aircraft in recent year
there were no less than 6 first visits by Antonov 12 and 26s -

HA-TCV Antonov 26B of Aviavilsa on Thursday 10 April 2014
EW-394TI Antonov 12BP of Ruby Star on Friday 2 May 2014
UR-CZZ Antonov 12BP of Ukraine Air Alliance on Monday 2 June 2014
UR-CKL Antonov 12BP of Cavok Air on Monday 12 November 2014
UR-CKM Antonov 12BP of Cavok Air on Tuesday 13 November 2014
UR-11819 Antonov 12BP of Motor Sich on Saturday 20 December 2014

- and there were many visits by other Antonov 12 and 26s including Ukraine Air Alliance Antonov 12BK
UR-DWF which sadly crashed in Algeria on Saturday 30 August 2014 with the loss of all on board

Metros, Saabs, ATRs, West Atlantic ATPs and other smaller aircraft were again regular visitors
operating priority freight charter flights

It was a good year for diversions - plenty of rain and wind to start the year! - with British Airways
back in force including two of their new Boeing 787s! - other notables included  Virgin Atlantic
Airbus A330 G-VKSS on Wednesday 12 February 2014, Oman Air Airbus A330 A40-DE on Friday
14 February 2014 and El Al Boeing 737 4X-EXF on Friday 3 October 2014

Transit flights were limited this year to a couple of Turkmenistan Boeing 717s on their way
to/from maintenance in the US and several Beech aircraft on delivery....

.... interesting aircraft had a whole new reason to visit BHX as the new Monarch Aircraft Engineering hangar
established itself - the year started with visits by flydubai Boeing 737s for cabin fitting, then saw our first
Norwegian Boeing 787 EI-LNB on Friday 24 January 2014 followed by EI-LNA on Sunday 15 June 2014

While most of the hangar movements inevitably consisted of based flybe and Monarch aircraft other
interesting arrivals included DHL Boeing 767F G-DHLG - plus Panda! - on Wednesday 5 March 2014....

.... TCS Expeditions Boeing 757 G-TCSX on Wednesday 27 August 2014, Alpha Star Airbus A320 HZ-A2
on Thursday 28 August 2014 and Blue Dart Boeing 757F VT-BDK on Tuesday 11 December 2014 - the
airport also gained a number of long term residents with Airbus A319CJ G-NMAK being parked up since
July 2014 and now two Monarch Boeing 757s G-MONJ and G-MONK which have been parked up since
they were withdrawn from service at the start of November 2014

There was again a steady flow of biz jets movements many with exotic colour schemes or registrations
including Falcon C-GOHB, Gulfstream B-LCK - a diversion, Learjet D-CONU, Falcon I-JAMJ and I-NATS,
Learjet LV-BVE, Falcon M-EVAN, Learjet N41GJ, Challenger OE-HRR, Falcon  OY-FWO....

.... Phenom OY-PWO, Falcon PH-NDK, Challenger S5-FUN, Global TC-YAA, Global VP-CEO and Hawker 4X-CZO

Larger biz movements included Airbus A330 VP-CBE, Boeing BBJ N92SR and Airbus A319CJ G-NOAH
together with several visits by BBJ N500LS supported by Sikorsky S92 G-LAWX while....

.... biz prop visitors included Pilatus D-FUEL and M-ICKY and Piaggio PH-TCN all in interesting colour schemes!

.... while many lighter aircraft also visited including colourful Pitts S-1S Special G-FORZ

Military movements always produce something a little different with the star this year being the visit by
Irish Air Corps Agusta Westland AW139 "278" on an air ambulance flight on Monday 7 July 2014....

.... while other notable movements included Royal Thai Air Force Boeing 737 HS-CMW/11-111 which
performed a "touch and go" on Saturday 24 May 2014 while on a training flight out of Farnborough,
French Air Force Airbus A340 F-RAJB on Friday 13 June 2014 and Polish Air Force CASA C-295M
"014" which arrived on Friday 28 November 2014 for a weekend visit

Unfortunately BHX continued to receive visits albeit less regular as the year went on - and UK forces
withdrew from Afghanistan - of RAF medevac flights carrying injured service personnel on their way to
the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, now based at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
- with the withdrawal from service of the Tristar's these are now operated by C17s, Hercules or their
new Voyagers which have also made several visits on training flights and to visit the Monarch Hangar

Just one flypast by a historic aircraft this year when Rolls Royce Spitfire PR19 G-RRGN did a fly by
on Wednesday 18 June 2014 after earlier performing a flypast at a private event at the Belfry....

.... that was made up by the Royal Air Force Red Arrows who performed
a spectacular flypast - red, white and blue smoke included! -

.... over the Land Rover plant in Solihull on Wednesday 20 August 2014 conveniently firstly flying directly
across the airfield as they routed from RAF Scampton to Exeter Airport. Not to be out done Christen Eagle II
G-KALW again gave an impromptu air display over the airfield this time on Christmas Day! - photos here

So the year ends on a high with passenger numbers breaking all records and the prospects for 2015
look excellent with lots of new services already announced....

.... Icelandair start in February 2015, Norwegian will be starting at the end of March 2015 while American
Airlines will launch their new daily Boeing 757 service to New York JFK on Friday 8 May 2015. Vueling start
on Monday 1 June 2015 while Saturday 1 August 2015 will see Emirates increase their Dubai service to three
daily Boeing 777s with a good prospect of more developments to come in the New Year!

I am sure 2015 is going to be another interesting year with plenty of
new aircraft and airlines visiting BHX!

To see a larger image of any of the photos above just "click" on them

Happy New Year!!

Gordon Stretch
Birmingham Airport Photo Blog

Wednesday 31 December 2014


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