During my run this past weekend, I had scheduled an overnight stop-over in Lisbon so that I would have a chance to see the city instead of just transiting it.  Since it was my first time in Lisbon I thought this made sense and I’m glad I did (more on my stay coming soon).

Almost always when I travel, I seek out opportunities for plane spotting and usually will pick my destinations based on this addiction.   Lisbon was going to be a challenge because it is not known for its plane spotting (at least within the airport) because of the gate designs.   Reviews that I read on Lisbon plane spotting were not positive and some reviewers stated it was impossible for decent spotting within the airport terminal.   They must have had their eyes covered by their lens caps because nothing could be further from the truth.

Though ‘LIS’ is not known as a global gateway and is dominated by Portuguese national carrier TAP, it still provides great opportunities to see aircraft up close and to even see a few unique carriers and liveries as well.   Is it FRA, MUC, LAX or ZRH?  No.   But is it worth packing your camera and exploring?  Absolutely.

There are however a few challenges with LIS.   One, most of the glass in the older part of the terminal has a dotted coating and a green hue to help with glare and Air Conditioning efficiency.  However, if you make your way down to the new part of the terminal, specifically the large glass walls near Gate 26, you will be rewarded with clear views of LIS traffic and less tint in the glass.  Incidentally gate 26 give you a good look at the Non-Schengen ramp so you’ll see most TAP ‘Heavy’ and international long haul flight departures.

Most of the following pics were taken from the gate 26 areas.  Some were taken at other locations and aboard aircraft.  I’ve indicated the locations in each photo’s caption.



Hi Fly’s A310 – notice the ‘less is more’ livery…. 🙂 Taken from aircraft while taxiing to takeoff


Plenty of European regional activity – This AF A319 is heading to CDG. Taken near Gate 22


Angolas TAAG 777 – taken from aircraft


Another view of D2-TEG, this time from terminal – notice the green cast? That’s due to the tinted glass in some parts of the airport.


EK’s 777 prepares for departure to DXB. Taken from Gate 26.


TAP heavies lined up at the non-Schengen gates. Taken from Gate 26.


Lufthansa’s A321 ahead of departure to FRA. Taken from Gate 16.


My SWISS ride to ZRH arriving from ZRH. Taken from Gate 26.


Sata is the Azores national airline. I love this livery. The metallic blue paint scheme does not come through here, but it is fantastic! Taken from aircraft.


TK’s 737 arriving from IST. Taken from Gate 26 as she parked at a non-Schengen gate.


LIS is the home base for TAP so there are tons of medium range TAP aircraft everywhere! Taken from aircraft.


A TAP A330 making her way to takeoff


Another example on a TAP A320


Another efficient livery – this time it’s Euro Atlantic’s Boeing 767 – though I suspect she will be heading to the paint shop soon based on other ‘YU’ aircraft I saw at the field. Taken near Gate 24