Spotting Report: The First Flight of China Airlines A350 to Vienna and More

Spotting: The First China Airlines A350 Flight to Vienna and Some Fokkers in Bratislava

As my friend Philippe from Prague who currently lives in France was visiting his family Slovakia, we decided to meet up. With both his and my time in Slovakia running out, we had to act.

After checking the weather forecast and schedules for Tuesday on Monday night, it was decided – we would go to Vienna to see the departure of the first China Airlines A350 flight on January 10.

Vienna: The First China Airlines A350 Flight

We met up at Bratislava bus station shortly after 9AM and grabbed an Uber ride to Bratislava airport where we picked up a rental car at Budget.

Less than an hour later, we were arriving near runway 16 at Vienna airport.

The weather was not as sunny as we expected, but that didn’t detract us from getting into the -6 degrees cold outside and walking over to a hill which offers good views of the runway.

[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Spotting

Our rental Skoda Fabia.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Spotting

Walking to the spot.


Unfortunately, at this time of year, the light aligns with the axis of the runway around 11AM which was also the scheduled departure time of flight CI64 to Taipei. Still, the aircraft are nicely lit when they’re entering the runway.

Shortly after we arrived at a spot, a pair of Austrian 767s and a couple of narrow-bodies departed.

[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300

Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300 lining up.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Austrian Airlines Airbus A321

Austrian Airlines Airbus A321 lining up.


Then, at quarter past eleven, the China Airlines A350 (B-18902) appeared in the distance.

A couple of minutes later it got near to us, and entered the runway. Finally, at 11:21AM, it took off and started heading towards Taipei.


[full_width padding=”10px 10px 10px 10px”]China Airlines Airbus A350-900

The China Airlines A350-900 taxiing to runway 16.


[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]China Airlines Airbus A350-900

Entering the runway.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]China Airlines Airbus A350-900

Starting its take off roll with the Vienna tower.


[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]China Airlines Airbus A350-900

Besides us, there was one other person at the spot.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]China Airlines Airbus A350-900

Lifting off while blowing away some snow.


Vienna: Emirates A380 and Then Some

With the A350 in the air, and the light at the runway 16 spot being unacceptable, we headed back into the car, and drove to the next location – the runway 11 approach spot. Located on a field covered with snow, the aircraft were nicely lit thanks to the reflection of the snow.

We stayed there for a couple of minutes during which we had the chance to photograph the Austrian Airlines retro jet, as well as an Emirates A380 arriving from Dubai.

[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-200 Retro

Austrian Airlines Airbus A320-200 in retro colors landing on runway 11.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Emirates Airbus A380-800

Emirates Airbus A380-800 with a nearby oil refinery in the background.


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Emirates Airbus A380-800

Emirates Airbus A380-800 shortly before landing on runway 11.


As the weather was getting worse, and no more interesting traffic was expected, we decided to drive back to Bratislava.

Bratislava: A Glance at Fokkers

Another hour-long drive and an Asian all-you-can-eat lunch later, we were wondering what to do, and in the end, we decided to go take a look at Fokkers parked at Bratislava airport.

During our visit, five Fokker 100s were parked in the Austrian Technik Bratislava area of the airport. Unfortunately, none of them were photographable nicely from the outside, but below are at least some photos for reference.

The first one of them, a Fokker 100 registered TR-LGQ and wearing Air Affaires Gabon livery has been stored at the airport for over four years now.

The other four included three ex-Austrian Airlines aircraft being prepared either stored or prepared for delivery to their next owner, and an IRS Airlines (from Abuja) Fokker 100 registered 5N-SAT that has been stored at BTS for over four years now as well.

[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Air Affaires Gabon Fokker

Air Affaires Gabon Fokker 100 in a sad state.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Fokkers

ex-Austrian Airlines and IRS Airlines Fokker 70/100s.


During our stay near the Gabon Fokker, we were approached by a friendly security staff – not to be sent away, but for a chat.

Bratislava: An Unexpected Surprise from Australia

After spending some time around the Fokkers, we decided to head back to the airport, return the car, and head to the bus station before bidding each other a farewell.

When we dropped the car off, we noticed there was an Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 parked near the terminal. Since it was parked close to the fence and clear of any clutter, we spent some time photographing it, as well as a DHL A300 that was parked next to it.

[one_half padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]Alliance Airlines Fokker 100

Alliance Airlines Fokker 100 on a maintenance visit from Australia.


[one_half_last padding=”010px 10px 10px 10px”]DHL A300

A DHL A300 with a Ryanair 737-800 taxiing by.


Having taken enough photos, we ordered Uber once again, and headed to the bus station to end the little trip.

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