Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

Spotting in Thailand, Part 1. Suvarnabhumi Airport

 

One thing we can all agree on is there is a mass of airlines and airplanes the world over. While it’s fun chasing liveries and specific types in your local area, state or around Australia, the rest of the world has some interesting things to see as well. So with this in mind I and a few like minded spotters decided to head to Thailand for a week to spot the two major airports in and around Bangkok. If you’re not familiar with the airports in Bangkok we better give you a run down on the localities. Bangkok has two major airports: – Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK).

An interesting fact is Suvarnabhumi (translated means ‘Golden Land’) is the largest airport in the world encompassing 2,980 hectares and is also the main hub for Thai Airways International and Bangkok Airways. Also interestingly it claims to have the world’s tallest free-standing control tower at 132.2 metres or 434 feet and the world’s fourth largest single-building airport terminal 563,000 square metres or 6,060,000 square feet. In 2015 the airport handled 52.9 million passengers, up by nearly 14 percent from the previous year. Costing an estimated ฿155 billion (approximately $7 billion AUD),  the airport has two parallel runways (60 m wide, 4,000 m and 3,700 m long) and two parallel taxiways to accommodate simultaneous departures and arrivals (more on this later). Some very impressive stats I think you’ll agree.

Having been to Bangkok many years ago I was really looking forward to returning to Thailand and my traveling companions and myself were not disappointed in the variety, rarities and oddities which we saw.

 

BKK Line up (1 of 1)
Rooftop overview from the Phoenix Hotel

 

This overview will present you a snapshot of the airport, spotting and show the variety of aircraft which can be seen operating to it. Most of my spotting for BKK was done from the fantastic Phoenix Airport, which provides you with a rooftop spotting area in between the two parallel runways 19R and 19L. The Hotel is fantastic and the staffs are very friendly and accommodating. The Phoenix Hotel is located approximately 15 minutes from the airport, roof top viewing provides great photos where a 100-400 lens with a zoom length of approximately 100-200 is needed for large airliners and 250-350 for smaller aircraft. Of course this will depend on your camera gear for the clarity and the like.

We did venture out to look at other locations including a small fishing village where we were treated to some stools to sit and enjoy the afternoon shooting with the light behind us. The taxi drive to this spot was 10 minutes and cost about $10 AUD. One piece of advice I can recommend to anyone thinking of spotting in Thailand is take large quantities of water and sunscreen. Both are needed in abundance. The days we spent outside saw it reach high 30s and with humidity getting as high as 80%.

 

BKK Phoenix (1 of 1)

 

Weather can play a big part of spotting and of course being in a tropical environment storms are inevitable. This means that you’re adjusting your camera settings to compensate for the changes in light. I did learn a lot about my cameras ability and my own strengths and weaknesses in the ever changing conditions. Now let’s get onto the good stuff! Bangkok is probably one of the more interesting places in the world for the variety of airlines. Over 100 serve the airport around the year. On top of this is approximately 25 plus freight operators. The variety of types is as interesting as the airlines. BKK is defiantly the biggest hub for 747 operators and fans of the type like me are well catered for!

With regular visits from types like the A340, 767, A330, 777 and also rarities like 757s and even the odd A310 calling into the airport daily it is a spotters paradise. Personally it was never a dull moment watching Flight Tracker24 or FlightAware and looking at the types lining up on their way in was fantastic. Incidentally the hotel offers free Wi-Fi as does many of the places around Bangkok to aid your spotting.

So onto the planes as there is so much variety I’ve divided them up into the various types. So many airlines operate into BKK so the photos are numerous. So sit back and enjoy this photo diary of a week at the airport.

 

Boeing 747 operators:

HS-TGB Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TGB Thai Airways Boeing 747-400
HS-TGG Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TGG Thai Airways Boeing 747-400
HS-TGO Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TGO Thai Airways Boeing 747-400
HS-TGX Thai Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TGX Thai Boeing 747-400
HS-TGY Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TGY Thai Airways Boeing 747-400
HS-TGZ Thai Airways Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TGZ Thai Airways Boeing 747-400
B-16401 Eva Air Cargo Boeing 747-400SF ASO (1 of 1)
B-16401 Eva Air Cargo Boeing 747-400SF
B-16482 Eva Air Cargo Boeing 747-400F ASO (1 of 1)
B-16482 Eva Air Cargo Boeing 747-400F
B-16483 EvaAirways Boeing 747-400F ASO (1 of 1)
B-16483 Eva Airways Boeing 747-400F
B-18211 China Airlines Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
B-18211 China Airlines Boeing 747-400

B-18208 China Airline Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)

B-18207 China Airlines Boeing 747-400 ASO (1 of 1)
B-18207 China Airlines Boeing 747-400
B-18717 China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F ASO (1 of 1)
B-18717 China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F
B-18715 China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F ASO (1 of 1)
B-18715 China Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F
4X-ELE Israel Airlines Boeing 747-412 ASO (1 of 1)
4X-ELE Israel Airlines Boeing 747-412
N576UP UPS Boeing 747-400F ASO (1 of 1)
N576UP UPS Boeing 747-400F
JAO4KZ Nippon Cargo Airlines Boeing 747-400F ASO (1 of 1)
JAO4KZ Nippon Cargo Airlines Boeing 747-400F

Boeing 777 Operators:

HS-TJF Thai Airways Boeing 777-200 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TJF Thai Airways Boeing 777-200
HS-TKA Thai Airways Boeing 777-300 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TKA Thai Airways Boeing 777-300
A7-BEI QATAR Boeing 777-300 ASO (1 of 1)
A7-BEI QATAR Boeing 777-300
G-YMMU British Airways Boeing 777-200ER ASO (1 of 1)
G-YMMU British Airways Boeing 777-200ER
A6-JAD Etihad Boeing 777-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
A6-JAD Etihad Boeing 777-300ER
HB-JNC Swiss Boeing 777-300 ASO (1 of 1)
HB-JNC Swiss Boeing 777-300 ASO
F-GSQP Air France Boeing 777-300 ASO (1 of 1)
F-GSQP Air France Boeing 777-300
A6-JAE Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
A6-JAE Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER
B-16703 EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
B-16703 EVA Air Boeing 777-300ER
A6-ETC Etihad Boeing 777-300 ASO (1 of 1)
A6-ETC Etihad Boeing 777-300
HB-JND SWISS Boeing 777-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
HB-JND SWISS Boeing 777-300ER
OE-LPD Austrian Airlines Boeing 777-200 ASO (1 of 1)
OE-LPD Austrian Airlines Boeing 777-200
HB-JNE SWISS Boeing 777-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
HB-JNE SWISS Boeing 777-300ER
B-16702 Eva Air Boeing 777-300 ASO (1 of 1)
B-16702 Eva Air Boeing 777-300

Boeing 787 Operators:

5Y-KZE Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 ASO (1 of 1)
5Y-KZE Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8
VT-ANK Air India 787-8 ASO LR (1 of 1)
VT-ANK Air India 787-8

 

JA801A ANA Boeing 787-8 ASO (1 of 1)
JA801A ANA Boeing 787-8
G-CIXO Norwegian Boeing 787-9 ASO (1 of 1)
G-CIXO Norwegian Boeing 787-9

JA803A ANA Boeing 787-8 ASO (1 of 1)

HS-TQA Thai Airways Boeing 787-8 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TQA Thai Airways Boeing 787-8
JA825J JAL Boeing 787-8 ASO (1 of 1)
JA825J JAL Boeing 787-8
A40-SB Oman Air Boeing 787-8 ASO (1 of 1)
A40-SB Oman Air Boeing 787-8

Boeing 767 Operators:

VQ-BUO AzurAir Boeing 767-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
VQ-BUO AzurAir Boeing 767-300ER
JA801F ANA Cargo Boeing 767-300F ASO (1 of 1)
JA801F ANA Cargo Boeing 767-300F
ET-ALJ Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
ET-ALJ Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER
UK67004 Uzbekistan Airlines Boeing 767-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
UK67004 Uzbekistan Airlines Boeing 767-300ER
JA8358 ANA Cargo Boeing 767-300F ASO (1 of 1)
JA8358 ANA Cargo Boeing 767-300F
ET-AMF Ethopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER ASO (1 of 1)
ET-AMF Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER

Boeing 757 Operators:

N949FD FedEx Boeing 757-200F ASO (1 of 1)
N949FD FedEx Boeing 757-200F
VP-BOO Royal Flight Boeing 757-200 ASO LR (1 of 1)
VP-BOO Royal Flight Boeing 757-200
P4-KCU Air Astana Boeing 757-200WL ASO (1 of 1)
P4-KCU Air Astana Boeing 757-200WL

Boeing 737 Operators:

XY-ALF Myanmar Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
XY-ALF Myanmar Boeing 737-800
PK-GFN Garuda Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
PK-GFN Garuda Boeing 737-800 Retro Jet
9M-MXF Malaysian Airlines Boeing 737-800 ASO 2 (1 of 1)
9M-MXF Malaysian Airlines Boeing 737-800
B-6986 SDA Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
B-6986 SDA Boeing 737-800
HS-TDG Thai Airways Boeing 737-400 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TDG Thai Airways Boeing 737-400 one of two left in service.
S2-AHC Regent Airways Boeing 737-700 ASO (1 of 1)
S2-AHC Regent Airways Boeing 737-700
B-5113 China Southern Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
B-5113 China Southern Boeing 737-800
B-5817 China Eastern Boeing 737-700 ASO (1 of 1)
B-5817 China Eastern Boeing 737-700
B-5640 CHINA Southern Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
B-5640 CHINA Southern Boeing 737-800 in Skyteam Alliance livery
B-5657 XIAMEN Airlines Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
B-5657 XIAMEN Airlines Boeing 737-800
B-1512 Shanghai Airlines Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
B-1512 Shanghai Airlines Boeing 737-800
B-6066 Hainnan Airlines Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
B-6066 Hainnan Airlines Boeing 737-800
F-ONGA Air Austral Boeing 737-800 ASO (1 of 1)
F-ONGA Air Austral Boeing 737-800

Airbus A380 Operators:

A6-EEC Emirates Airbus A380 ASO (1 of 1)
A6-EEC Emirates Airbus A380
A7-APA QATAR Airbus A380 ASO (1 of 1)
A7-APA QATAR Airbus A380
HS-TUB Thai Airways Airbus A380 ASO 2 (1 of 1)
HS-TUB Thai Airways Airbus A380

Airbus A340 Operators:

EP-MMB Mahan Air Airbus A340-300 ASO (1 of 1)
EP-MMB Mahan Air Airbus A340-300
B-18803 China Airlines AIrbus A340-300 ASO (1 of 1)
B-18803 China Airlines AIrbus A340-300
RP-C3438 Philippine Airlines Airbus A340-300 ASO (1 of 1)
RP-C3438 Philippine Airlines Airbus A340-300
D-AIGM Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 ASO (1 of 1)
D-AIGM Lufthansa Airbus A340-300

Airbus A350 Operators:

B-LRC Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 ASO 3 (1 of 1)
B-LRC Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900
OH-LWC Finnair Airbus A350 ASO LR (1 of 1)
OH-LWC Finnair Airbus A350-900

Airbus A310 Operators:

EP-MNP Mahan Air Airbus A310 ASO (1 of 1)
EP-MNP Mahan Air Airbus A310

Airbus A330 Operators:

A9C-KD Gulf Air Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
A9C-KD Gulf Air Airbus A330
RP-C8760 Philippine Airlines Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
RP-C8760 Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300
D-AXGB Eurowings Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
D-AXGB Eurowings Airbus A330
AR-ALO Sri Lankan Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
AR-ALO Sri Lankan Airbus A330-300
HS-TET Thai Airways Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TET Thai Airways Airbus A330-300
9K-APB Kuwait Airlines Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
9K-APB Kuwait Airlines Airbus A330-300
HS-TEL Thai Airways Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TEL Thai Airways Airbus A330-300 in Star Alliance member livery
VQ-BQZ Aeroflot Airbus A330-300 ASO (1 of 1)
VQ-BQZ Aeroflot Airbus A330-300
B-LNS Air Hong Kong Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
B-LNS Air Hong Kong Airbus A330-300
B-16307 Eva Air Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
B-16307 Eva Air Airbus A330
TC-JOF Turkish Airbus A330-300 ASO (1 of 1)
TC-JOF Turkish Airbus A330-300
9V-STR Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300 ASO (1 of 1)
9V-STR Singapore Airlines Airbus A330-300
B-LBA Catahy Pacific Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
B-LBA Catahy Pacific Airbus A330
JY-AJQ Royal Jordanian Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
JY-AJQ Royal Jordanian Airbus A330
HL8025 Korean Air Airbus A330 ASO (1 of 1)
HL8025 Korean Air Airbus A330-300

Airbus A321 Operators:

B-8492 Air China Airbus A321 ASO (1 of 1)
B-8492 Air China Airbus A321
B-MAP Air Macau Airbus A321 ASO (1 of 1)
B-MAP Air Macau Airbus A321
B-1616 China Southern Airbus A321 ASO (1 of 1)
B-1616 China Southern Airbus A321
VN-A332 Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321 ASO (1 of 1)
VN-A332 Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321

Airbus A319 Operators:

HS-PGN Bangkok Air Airbus A319 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-PGN Bangkok Air Airbus A319
A5-BAC Bhutan Airlines Airbus A319 ASO (1 of 1)
A5-BAC Bhutan Airlines Airbus A319

Airbus A320 Operators:

HS-PGW Bangkok Air Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-PGW Bangkok Air Airbus A320
HS-TXT Thai Smile Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-TXT Thai Smile Airbus A320
RDPL-34188 Lao Airlines Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
RDPL-34188 Lao Airlines Airbus A320
B-5669 Shenzhen Airlines Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
B-5669 Shenzhen Airlines Airbus A320
B-6902 Spring Airlines Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
B-6902 Spring Airlines Airbus A320
B-6713 China Eastern Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
B-6713 China Eastern Airbus A320
HS-VKB Vietjet Air.com Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-VKB Vietjet Air Airbus A320
9N-AKX Nepal Airlines Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
9N-AKX Nepal Airlines Airbus A320
9V-TRW Tigerair Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
9V-TRW Tigerair Airbus A320
B-1800 China Southern Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
B-1800 China Southern Airbus A320
9V-TAE Tigerair Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
9V-TAE Tigerair Airbus A320
HS-PPK Bangkok Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-PPK Bangkok Airbus A320
VQ-BNI Ural Airlines Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
VQ-BNI Ural Airlines Airbus A320
RP-C3270 Cebu Pacific Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
RP-C3270 Cebu Pacific Airbus A320
9V-JSA Jetstar Pacific Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
9V-JSA Jetstar Pacific Airbus A320
V8-RBW Royal Brunei Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
V8-RBW Royal Brunei Airbus A320
RP-C86912 Philippine Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
RP-C86912 Philippine Airbus A320
VT-IFZ Indigo Airbus A320 ASO (1 of 1)
VT-IFZ Indigo Airbus A320

ATR Operators:

HS-PGF Bangkok Air ATR-72 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-PGF Bangkok Air ATR-72
HS-PGD Bangkok Air ATR72 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-PGD Bangkok Air ATR-72 (note the A380 in the circuit underneath)
HS-PGG Bangkok Air ATR72 ASO (1 of 1)
HS-PGG Bangkok Air ATR-72
RDPL-342225 Lao Airlines ATR72 ASO (1 of 1)
RDPL-342225 Lao Airlines ATR-72

 

I’d like to say a massive thank you to the staff at the Phoenix Hotel located at 88 Ladkrabang Soi 7 Ladkrabang Bangkok . My Thai isn’t that great but they were very accommodating and made the experience one to remember. The food was absolutely a highlight here, and is something I’m already missing. Also a big thanks to Thai Airways for very comfortable flights to and from Bangkok. The service and friendly staff means that I will be flying with you again soon.

Finally to enable this article to happen, I need to make mention of the photography equipment and guidance form a friend. I use Canon equipment for all my stories. Currently I’m, using a Canon 7D with a 100-400 f4.5-5,6 IS for the photos in this article, all saved onto Sandisk CF cards and edited using an Apple MacBook Pro.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 comments

  1. Awesome photos Dave,staying here mid March 2017 for 3 days,and can’t wait now after seeing what you have posted.Stayed at the Grand Inn Come 2 years ago,the airport views were very good from room 541 but didn’t like the hotel much.Kind Regards

  2. Enjoyed your article Dave, heading up to BKK next Saturday to stay at the Phoenix for five days. Looking forward to the spotting.

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