As the U.S. is recovering from the Covid-19 Pandemic, air travel is picking back up. While Buffalo is an International airport by description, and in it's ability to handle international flights, the vast majority of 200-300 average flights per day are domestic. Buffalo is not a hub for any of the major U.S. airlines and so it functions more as a spoke. Yet there is still enough demand for travel from the region that many medium bodied aircraft and rarely wide-bodied aircraft (usually from UPS or Fedex) can be seen over the summer months. For a few hours of spotting I was quite impressed at the variety I saw.
When I first arrived the most interesting thing I spotted was a Delta 757. The registration was unrecognizable, but the twin jet was parked, functioning as a charter for a Major League Baseball team while the Toronto Blue Jays are in town.
Departure, 3:56pm: Republic Airways 5859
The first observable movement of the afternoon was a Republic Air Embraer 170 acting as Delta flight 5859 headed for Detroit (DTW). The aircraft is registered as N357FC. It is a nearly 18 year old haul that used to serve Republic Airways in U.S. Airways colors for U.S. Airways Express as N805MD. It served for a short time with American Eagle after the merger and then was reregistered to her current ID by Republic Airways before going to work for Delta. The E-170 is one of the most common sightings here in Buffalo. I spotted over four on this trip.
Departure, 3:59pm: Jet Blue Airways 1901
Jet Blue, flight 1901 to JFK. The aircraft is registered as N324JB. The ten year old Embraer 190 nicknamed "Blue Traveler" was looking good in the afternoon sun. It has been with Jet Blue for the entirety of it's career and spend a considerable time in storage over the past twelve months.
Arrival, 4:11pm: Frontier Airlines 2722
One of the only arrivals this afternoon in the time period of observation was a sleek looking Frontier A320neo. "Champ the Bronco" is one of several new neos in the Frontier fleet that have been leased to run point to point routes efficiently to support the ultra low cost business model. I always enjoy the bright and colorful tails featuring North American fauna. This aircraft was providing return service from leisure destination, Myrtle Beach (MYR). "Champ" has been with Frontier since delivery from Toulouse in 2017 and is line number 7472. "Champ is now one of the oldest of the 68 neos in the fleet.
On a side note, seeing this aircraft in person prompted a search for it in 1/400 scale. Gladly, one does exist and I was able to pick it up! Sadly, it's on the Gemini Jets 1/400 mould and has some certain drawbacks. The model itself was released in 2017 and as a result cost me more than I had hoped!
Arrival 4:16pm: Republic Airlines 3610
Three minutes after the Frontier jet touched down, and three minutes behind schedule was Republic Airlines flight 3610. This time however, Republic was flying in on behalf of United Airlines. The aircraft, another Embraer 170, landed in Buffalo after a 1 hour and 7 minute flight from Chicago (ORD). The aircraft, was unfortunately too far away to identify when my older iPhone let me down and I frankly didn't want to spend the time going through Flightaware...
Departure, 4:24pm: GoJet 4416
After a pair of arrivals, a newly painted CRJ-700 flying for United Airlines and operated by GoJet taxied past. The aircraft, N511MJ has been with about five different regional jet operators since it was delivered in 2003 to Freedom Airlines. The aircraft is just over 18 years old and is one of 52 CRJ-700s operated by GoJet. Today's movement departed Buffalo at 4:24 and arrived in Newark at 5:23.
Departure, 4:23pm: Republic Airlines 4847
Before departing our plane spotting position for the day, we were treated on more time. The final departure we witnessed was a Republic Airlines Embraer 175. Instead of wearing the livery of the airline it was operating on behalf of, the aircraft wore house colors. This was certainly a rare one. The airplane is eight years old and has always been a part of the American Airlines network. While the Republic Airlines scheme isn't anything flashy, it is certainly fun to see something different like this. The aircraft was operating for American Eagle and providing service to Philadelphia (PHL). The 1h and 24m flight touched down at the Philly main base just in time for dinner at 5:47.
As always, there's something special about plane spotting in Buffalo. I have been for over a decade and I can't thank my brother, the best plane spotting companion a guy could ask for, for joining in. I hope you enjoyed this write up of the movements from Buffalo in June 2021. I can't wait to get back to Buffalo in the future and I think anyone who has the chance to go that direction, should consider it!