President Joko Widodo of Indonesia arrived in Sydney on a drizzly Saturday morning. President Widodo was in town to discuss trade, military and tourism during the two nations annual leaders meeting. President Widodo also met with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian before having a private dinner with Prime Minister Turnbull at Point Piper. This was President Widodo's first visit to Australia however he was scheduled to visit late 2016 but due to religious tension in Indonesia he was forced to post-pone his visit until early this year. President Widodo concluded his two day visit on Sunday departing back to Jakarta on Sunday afternoon at around 5:30pm. During his visit of Sydney President Widodo traveled on Boeing 737-800BBJ A-001, a specially modified BBJ built and delivered to the Indonesian government in 2012.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 'Bibi' Netanyahu arrived in Sydney early Wednesday morning from Singapore. The 'scenic' flight route from Singapore took over 11 hours, as the plane had to avoid Indonesian airspace. During the visit Prime Minister Netanyahu had talks with both Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Netanyahu also visited a Jewish school, attended the Central Synagogue in Bondi and had a stroll along the famous Manly Beach. Security was very tight during Netanyahu's visit with road blocks being set up around the airport three hours prior to his departure. All inbound and Outbound traffic around the airport were brought to a standstill 20 minutes prior to his departure until he was wheels up. He departed on the 26th of February at 12:30pm for Hong Kong and again tracked east to avoid Indonesian air space. El Al Israel Airlines privately charted Prime Minister Netanyahu during his visit of Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. The aircraft they used was Boeing 767-300ER 4X-EAR which is specially configured to carry the PM and his delegates. Prime Minister Netanyahu is due to have is own private aircraft specifically for diplomatic visits. It is due to be delivered mid way through the year.
Emirates Skycargo 77F 'A6-EFL' has visited Sydney for the first time with the Rose sticker applied in celebration of Valentines day. EFL departed Singapore for Sydney where she landed at 0945 local time. After suffering unknown technical difficulties whilst in Sydney, she was forced to stay overnight and then departed the next afternoon bound for Hong Kong. Unknown for how long the stickers will last, it certainly is an eye catching livery. EFL is the only airframe in the EK Skycargo fleet with the sticker applied.
In recent days, Qantas have applied special Mardi Gras scheme aboard one of their A330 Aircraft 'VH-QPJ' which is also adorned in the new roo scheme. As the official airline partner of the Sydney Mardi Gras, they have applied rainbow stickers on the title, tail and engine cowls celebrating the LGBTQ community. Qantas has taken the initiative to step forward, and has really paid off. They have received media attention attention throughout the world and the livery has proved to be a hit on social media throughout both the spotting and the LGBTQ communities. The aircraft has since been given a very appropriate nickname, the Qantas GAY330.
Guns and Roses have commenced their ‘Not in this Lifetime’ tour which has taken them into Sydney aboard their leased luxury Boeing 767 Jet of Aeronexus which is configured with only 96 premium lie flat seats. ‘ZS-NEX’ the aircraft, which has had several different stickers applied to advertise their tour, recently landed on Australian soil, coming in from Auckland arriving at Brisbane before continuing to Sydney with callsign ‘ARN1A’ to commence the Australian part of their tour. The aircraft is currently in Melbourne and will visit Adelaide and Perth in the coming days before jetting off to Singapore to continue their world tour which will last another six months. The aircraft arrived during darkness on the 10th, and left just after sunset on the 13th, with many spotters and die hard fans watching the aircraft depart into the fiery sky.
Asiana Airlines announced a very interesting summer schedule into Sydney this season. Continuing with the usual A330-300s Asiana swapped aircraft to the 777-200ER which arrived in Sydney on the 1st November. This was followed by six brief appearances from the A380 on the 14th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, and 27th November which gave passengers and enthusiasts the first look at the aircraft type in Asiana colours in Australia. The A380 then made more appearances serving the OZ801/802 route from 28th December to the 22nd January where the much anticipated return of the iconic 747 replaced the A380. The 747 is currently still operating on flights to Sydney however according to the Asiana website the 777-200s are scheduled to resume the ICN-SYD Return service from the 28th February.