"South China Shuffle"
March 2004

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

"Cantonese Boys"

We had decided to make Sunday a full day in Guangzhou, not departing to our next destination until tea-time at the earliest. I was awake again before the sun rose, but when it did, it showed another pretty hazy day. While we had secured the hotel room until 1900 by paying an additional 180RMB, and therefore was able to log all day from our window, we decided that we really should get out and sample the true Guangzhou experience at the end of the runway, our last chance to witness one of the great one-runway locations in the world before the airport closes in June.

So after foregoing breakfast, as we doubted its appeal and also didn't want to miss anything, we set off by foot, basically following our nose, passing by 'real China' at close quarters, and got straight to the end of the runway in about 15 minutes. The area under the approach to runway 03 is extremely busy, with a main road, and masses of people all around, many of which with their noses pressed up against the fence, viewing the aeroplanes themselves - it was a location that reminded me slightly of the area under the final approach to Kai Tak. We were a little unsure of where we would be the least inconspicuous whilst spotting and photographing, but finally settled on a spot on an elevated section of a shopping area just to the east of the approach (close to a fitness club - the 'Sunshine Club' ?), by no means unpopulated, but we were not to be bothered here during the day- that's not to say the locals were not very curious at our presence. Before our departure from the UK I had contacted some local photographers, whose work is published on the airliners.net web site, and we met up with three during the day, one in particular (Eric) being very helpful and providing us with his cellphone number so we could arrange to meet up. Mid-afternoon Eric took us to another photo-spot, a location I won't describe too much, suffice to say it was 6 floors up, and provided a superb view down onto the holding point. Quite a surreal experience to be photographing from such a point in China, and probably the moment of the week !. Late afternoon came too soon however, and we bade our farewells to the three 'Cantonese Boys', and a Japanese spotter who we had met up with too, and made our way back to the hotel, via the airport terminal to buy the first food of the day to pass our lips, to prepare for the next leg of our journey.

We had logged 103 B-# airliners during the day, 19 of which were new to me - some pretty significant milestones were passed however, seeing my last China Eastern MD.90, and last China Southern Boeing 757.

Sun 14/3/04 Guangzhou-Baiyun CAN/ZGGG

9M-MKI A.330-322 0116 Malaysian Airlines System
9V-SVN 777-212ER 30873 431 Singapore Airlines
B-2052 777-21B 27358 24 China Southern Airlines
B-2054 777-21B 27360 48 China Southern Airlines
B-2055 777-21BER 27524 55 China Southern Airlines
B-2057 777-21BER 27604 106 China Southern Airlines
B-2058 777-21BER 27605 110 China Southern Airlines
B-2065 777-2J6 29744 280 Air China
B-2143 DC-9-82 49851 1807 China Southern Airlines
B-2152 DC-9-82 53164 2041 China Northern Airlines
B-2155 737-66N 28649 887 China Southwest Airlines
B-2156 737-66N 28650 932 China Southwest Airlines
B-2157 737-84P 32600 1015 Hainan Airlines
B-2161 737-86N 28655 965 Air China (ex China Southwest Airlines)
B-2207 A.320-214 1028 China Eastern Airlines
B-2223 A.319-112 1679 Air China
B-2256 MD-90-30 53582 2198 China Eastern Airlines
B-2262 MD-90-30 53585 2224 China Eastern Airlines
B-2269 MD-90-30 53589 2259 China Eastern Airlines
B-2282 A.321-231 1776 China Northern Airlines
B-2286 A.321-131 0550 Sichuan Airlines
B-2288 A.321-231 2067 China Northern Airlines
B-2323 A.300B4-622R 0739 China Northern Airlines
B-2341 A.320-232 0551 Sichuan Airlines
B-2343 A.320-232 0696 China Southern Airlines
B-2345 A.320-232 0698 China Southern Airlines
B-2346 A.320-232 0704 China Southern Airlines
B-2347 A.320-232 0705 China Southern Airlines
B-2348 A.320-232 (0709?) Sichuan Airlines
B-2350 A.320-232 0712 China Southern Airlines
B-2351 A.320-232 0718 China Southern Airlines
B-2352 A.320-232 0720 China Southern Airlines
B-2353 A.320-232 0722 China Southern Airlines
B-2363 A.320-214 0883 China Eastern Airlines
B-2365 A.320-232 0849 China Southern Airlines
B-2401 A.320-232 0710 China Southern Airlines
B-2496 767-3Q8ER 30301 762 Air China
B-2529 737-505 26297 2578 Xiamen Airlines
B-2533 737-3Z0 27138 2436 China Southwest Airlines
B-2542 737-5Y0 24897 2003 China Southern Airlines
B-2543 737-5Y0 24898 2079 China Southern Airlines
B-2544 737-5Y0 24899 2093 China Southern Airlines
B-2546 737-3Y0 25175 2150 China Southern Airlines
B-2547 737-5Y0 25176 2155 China Southern Airlines
B-2548 737-5Y0 25182 2211 China Southern Airlines
B-2567 767-36D 27685 686 Shanghai Airlines
B-2570 767-36D 27941 770 Shanghai Airlines
B-2571 737-39P 29410 3053 China Eastern Airlines
B-2580 737-3J6 25080 2254 Air China
B-2583 737-31B 25897 2554 China Southern Airlines
B-2586 737-3Z0 27047 2357 Air China (ex China Southwest Airlines)
B-2597 737-3Z0 27176 2495 Air China
B-2636 737-86N 28574 67 Hainan Airlines
B-2637 737-86N 28576 103 Hainan Airlines
B-2638 737-8Q8 28220 212 Hainan Airlines
B-2643 737-89L 29878 379 Air China
B-2656 737-3Q8 26292 2519 Xiamen Airlines
B-2675 737-86Q 32885 1147 Hainan Airlines
B-2676 737-84P 32602 1170 Hainan Airlines
B-2680 737-76Q 30282 1143 China Eastern Airlines
B-2682 737-79P 33038 1219 China Eastern Airlines
B-2695 737-81B 32923 1213 China Southern Airlines
B-2697 737-81B 32925 1250 China Southern Airlines
B-2801 757-21B 24014 144 China Southern Airlines
B-2802 757-21B 24015 148 China Southern Airlines
B-2803 757-21B 24016 150 China Southern Airlines
B-2806 757-21B 24401 232 China Southern Airlines
B-2807 757-21B 24402 233 China Southern Airlines
B-2808 757-26D 24471 231 Shanghai Airlines
B-2811 757-21B 24714 262 China Southern Airlines
B-2815 757-21B 24774 288 China Southern Airlines
B-2816 757-21B 25083 359 China Southern Airlines
B-2817 757-21B 25258 389 China Southern Airlines
B-2822 757-21B 25884 461 China Southern Airlines
B-2823 757-21B 25888 575 China Southern Airlines
B-2824 757-21B 25889 583 China Southern Airlines
B-2830 757-28S 32343 1015 China Xinjiang Airlines
B-2838 757-2Z0 27260 613 China Southern Airlines
B-2839 757-2Z0 27269 615 Air China
B-2849 757-25C 27517 698 Xiamen Airlines
B-2851 757-28S 29215 797 China Xinjiang Airlines
B-2909 737-3Y0 26082 2456 China Southern Airlines
B-2912 737-5Y0 26100 2538 China Southern Airlines
B-2919 737-3Q8 24987 2268 Wuhan Airlines
B-2927 737-31B 27290 2595 China Southern Airlines
B-2952 737-31B 27519 2678 China Southern Airlines
B-2959 737-31B 27520 2775 China Southern Airlines
B-2978 737-36N 28561 2896 China Eastern Airlines
B-2979 737-36N 28562 2908 China Eastern Airlines
B-2981 737-3W0 28972 2919 China Eastern Airlines
B-2991 737-75C 29085 90 Xiamen Airlines
B-5021 737-81B 32927 1290 China Southern Airlines
B-5022 737-81B 32928 1323 China Southern Airlines
B-5037 737-66N 29892 1305 Air China
B-5040 737-81B 32929 1348 China Southern Airlines
B-5041 737-81B 32930 1355 China Southern Airlines
B-5042 737-81B 32931 1362 China Southern Airlines
B-5047 737-341F 24278 1660 China Postal Airlines
B-5058 737-330QC 23835 1465 Hainan Airlines (Yangtze River Express titles)
B-5062 737-76N 28585 173 Hainan Airlines (Shan Xi Airlines titles)
B-5071 737-341QC 24277? China Southern Airlines (China Post titles)
B-5072 737-341QC 24279? China Southern Airlines (China Post titles)
B-5076 737-86N 32739 1434 Shanghai Airlines
B-6007 A.320-214 2056 China Eastern Airlines
F-GNIH A.340-313X 0373 Air France
HL7514 767-38E 25763 656 Asiana Airlines
HS-TEG A.330-321 0112 Thai Airways International
JA014D A.300B4-622R 0836 Japan Air System
N688CZ 777-21BER 27606 121 China Southern Airlines
PK-YTK 737-4Y0 24687 1865 Batavia Air

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From Guangzhou we had planned to go next to Shenzhen, approximately 150KM down the eastern side of the Pearl River. Again to save time we had decided to make this sector airport-to-airport in a taxi, and asked the front desk clerk to arrange such a ride at a fixed price as we checked out. The car arrived ten minutes later, looking nothing like a taxi, indeed we suspected that its driver was a member of the desk clerk's family, out to make a little extra - he even stopped to pick up a friend just around the corner from the hotel, presumably to provide himself with a little company - a little disconcerting though !. 500RMB was the agreed price for the journey, and dispelling our worst fears of muggings etc., we got to Shenzhen-Boaon Airport in about an hour, just as it was getting dark.

While I had familiarised myself with the airport from photos etc. before departure from the UK, my initial impressions were that it was much bigger than I had thought, with significantly, the Sunway Airport Hotel, another famous 'hotel with a view', much further away from the airport manouevring area than I had hoped for. We managed to get the right room however, again after two attempts, 1026 on the top, 'Deluxe floor'. Any even numbers between 1014 and 1032 would suffice, although the higher number the better, while it's also likely that any floor higher than 5 would be sufficient. From the hotel you can see the most northerly of the terminal aprons (the terminal has two main piers), and the first part of the north end of the runway and associated taxiways. It was difficult to tell in the gathering gloom, just how easy it would be read aircraft off on the ground the next morning, whilst the runway in use was 33, left to right as we looked, meaning that we wouldn't see landers as they would turn off short before clearing the terminal building, while the departures might be a little too far away to identify with any certainty. We took a walk to the terminal, and the only viewing spot we could find was on the on-ramp on the departures level, an area basically immediately between the hotel and the airport, giving the same views, albeit much closer. I was a little worried about the next morning's viewing, as we tucked into our first westernised food in a couple of days in the 'Sports Bar' on the ground floor of the hotel.

Shenzhen, as well as the home of course of Shenzhen Airlines, is another China Southern base, its lure for the enthusiast coming from the fact that part of the carrier's fleet is based here and is not seen at Guangzhou, most notably involving members of the 'single aisle' Airbus fleets. We only read off 3 aeroplanes in the short time trying during the evening, and sure enough 2 of these were 2 of our last 4 China Southern A320s.

Sun 14/3/04 Shenzhen-Baoan SZX/ZGSZ

B-2327 A.300B4-622R 0750 China Northern Airlines
B-2367 A.320-232 0881 China Southern Airlines
B-2368 A.320-232 0895 China Southern Airlines

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

Copyright on all text and images within this web site remains with A.Hutchings (2006).