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Topic: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-03-13 05:39:26 and read 17539 times.

Turkey for 1.5 Hours: Leipzig - Antalya - Leipzig
on Sky Airlines 737-400 and 737-800




Intro
"Smile in the Sky" - that's the slogan of Sky Airlines, a Turkish holiday carrier based in Antalya. Today I'll give an impression of that airline and I will answer the question whether it made me smile. Actually I had planned to compare Sky Airlines and SunExpress in this report, but the former not only operated the inbound flight SHY759 from Antalya to Leipzig/Halle, but (unfortunately) also the outbound SunExpress flight XQ723 from Leipzig/Halle to Antalya. At least different aircraft types were used.


Background
Some weeks after returning from my US trip I found myself in flying mood again. My intention was to make one more trip involving at least one new carrier before the long winter break. I didn't want to spend a whole weekend for that, so I started searching for daytrip options. After some failures a Condor newsletter caught my attention - the airline was promoting cheap flights on its whole network. What I found most interesting were one-way flights to Turkey for less than 50 Euro - operated by SunExpress which was still missing in my log. I checked flying options from Munich and Nuremberg, but couldn't create a reasonable itinerary for a number of reasons.

Rather coincidentally I had a look at Leipzig/Halle Airport which I had never used before - and I couldn't believe what I found on a Sunday: a morning flight to Antalya on SunExpress for 46 Euro and an afternoon return flight to Leipzig/Halle on Sky Airlines for 72 Euro. The fares were quite low considering that the departure day would be only ten days away. I figured out that 105 minutes would be enough for the transfer and quickly booked both flights on Condor's and Sky's websites. Two new airlines, a new airport and a new country on one day - of course I couldn't resist. Interestingly, my father had found the idea of a daytrip to Turkey quite funny and agreed to come with me.





Sunday, 22 November 2009
Leipzig/Halle (LEJ) - Antalya (AYT)
SunExpress XQ723, operated by Sky Airlines
09:35-13:45 (09:38-13:46)
Flying time: 02:50 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 27F

Boeing 737-8BK
TC-SKH (s/n 2231), named "Rainbow"
Delivered in 04/2007


1st flight on TC-SKH
15th 737-800 flight
25th 737NG flight
48th 737 flight
87th airline



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Photo © David Alfred Eliasson - Reykjavik Aviation Photography
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Photo © Bianca Renz


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Photo © Lukas Bluth
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Photo © Frank Schauf



SunExpress doesn't offer an online check-in and I hadn't wanted to spend 10 Euro per person for a seat reservation - so I had to make sure to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure. However, when we arrived at the check-in area in the so-called "Zentralterminal" (central terminal) at 07:30 I couldn't believe what I saw: At least 100 people were already lined up in two queues in front of the SunExpress counters.  Embarrassment

Most of them were German senior citizens, complemented by some families and only two men apparently from Turkish descent. Most of them were equipped with large suitcases - I guess my father and I were the only ones just carrying hand luggage. The queue was moving slowly and after some 30 minutes I heard one of the check-in agents saying something about Sky Airlines to other travellers. My guess was she was talking to them about their return flight...

Some minutes later it was our turn. First of all I asked the agent whether window seats would be still available and, fortunately, she confirmed. Then I requested two seats at a window in the back of the plane and she asked whether I meant two seats in one row or two window seats in different rows. Two seats next to each other of course, I replied…
Here’s the following conversation which I found quite amusing:

Check-in agent: "How many pieces of luggage do you want to check in?"
PlaneHunter: "None."
Check-in agent: "Oh, do you want to buy everything in Turkey?"
PlaneHunter: "No, we'll stay just for a short time."
Check-in agent: "Aha."


Then she handed out the boarding passes to us and surprised me with the statement: "You will fly with Sky Airlines today."  eyebrow  That was quite a disappointment considering that I would not get SunExpess and end up on Sky Airlines twice. Why couldn't SunExpress contract another carrier, but exactly the one which I had already chosen anyway?  Yeah sure I was relieved a bit when the agent answered my question about the aircraft type: "It's a 738." I knew there's only a single 737-800 in the carrier's diverse fleet, so it would be still something special.

We left the central terminal (which includes a train station) and walked to the new Terminal B. Walkway between these two buildings:



Before clearing security I realized that the agent had given us window seats in different rows (22F and 27F) - despite my clear request for two seats abreast.  Yeah sure I didn't want to go back to the counters and decided to point out the problem at the gate. However, the layout of the gate area prevented me from doing so. What's strange is not just the fact that the waiting area (with seats, but without viewing opportunities) is separated from a kind of boarding zone (viewing opportunities, but no seats). The gate counters in the boarding zone are located behind glass doors - and the agent didn't open the door until boarding was started...  Yeah sure

In March 2008 DHL moved its European hub from Brussels to Leipzig/Halle, so freighters of all kinds dominate the scene:



That old building is used by the airport administration and hosts a restaurant and a viewing deck:



TC-SKH, Sky Airlines' sole Boeing 737-800, arrived from Antalya on time:



The plane - not yet equipped with winglets - was delivered factory fresh in April 2007:



As soon as the agent - the same one who had checked us in - opened the glass door for boarding I told her about the problem with our assigned seats. "I don't know how that could happen", she said, but immediately added: "There's nothing I can do now. Please ask the cabin crew." So I addressed a young female flight attendant in the middle of the cabin. I wasn't sure whether she would understand German, so I chose English. It was clear soon that she wasn't comfortable with English, but then an older flight attendant showed up and addressed me in German. I told her about our problem, but she quickly explained that switching seats would only be possible after takeoff. Both weren't overly friendly in that situation and, honestly, I wasn't interested in any more discussions, so we decided to stick with the assigned seats. At least we couldn't complain about the lack of windows...  Wink

The plane was equipped with dark blue leather seats which weren't bad in general - except for the fact that my backrest flipped back and forth a bit.



Legroom was not generous, but still acceptable:



Safety instructions could be found on the seatback - in addition to the regular safety card in the seat pocket:



Ads on the tables:



I couldn't find an in-flight magazine, but a nice duty free magazine showing all of the carrier's different tails - each of the 13 aircraft in the fleet has another color scheme:



There were permanent announcements during boarding and one of them was aimed at those people who usually need lots of time to store their stuff: "Please don't block the aisles, our time is limited." That's exactly what I thought, too, considering my limited ground time at Antalya. It was absolutely important to depart on time.

The flight was packed, apparently just a few seats remained empty. A couple in the mid 30s took the seats next to me, but they were quite friendly, so I didn't mind. Interestingly, when the man tried to take a picture of his wife the older flight attendant showed up and told him that using the camera would only be allowed after take-off. Ok, I was warned...  Wink

All announcements could be clearly understood from a technical point of view which is not necessarily common. However, some sentences were spoken at fast rate. After all passengers had taken their seats the purser welcomed everyone on board, kids were even addressed separately ("Dear kids..."). The purser then referred to a breakfast service and informed that alcoholic drinks would be subject to a charge.

Then I overheard a conversation between a young couple (experienced holidaymakers) and a young man who had never flown before (all seated behind me). They first talked about flying in general and then long-haul flights in particular. The couple was well informed: When the young guy asked about the longest commercial flight the couple referred to the service between Singapore and New York. Then all of them started to wonder what would happen if the plane had to make an emergency landing when flying "over the North Pole". ”That would be bad", was the collective conclusion...

I was glad that we left the gate almost on time, only three minutes late. DHL tails everywhere:





But not just EAT and DHL Air planes were parked in the cargo area. Some interesting visitors were Bluebird Cargo 737Fs, an ACT A300F and a Polar Air Cargo 747-400F:



During the 738's powerful take-off I also spotted a North American 767-300ER and a World Airways trijet:


These two carriers and others operating US military charter flights to and from Iraq and Afghanistan intensively use Leipzig/Halle for technical stops and crew change purposes. It has been reported that up to 80 flights with US troops pass through LEJ per month.

Climb-out into a gray sky:



The Leunawerke (= Leuna works), one of the biggest chemical industrial complexes in Germany:



Large brown coal mine on the right:



Germany soon disappeared under a dense layer of clouds:



Interestingly, the seatbelt sign wasn't switched off until at least 27 minutes after take-off. Passengers standing up were sent back to their seats. There hadn't been a turbulence announcement so I'm wondering about the reason.

Anyway, as soon as the seatbelt disappeared the flight attendants started serving a (SunExpress) breakfast. Just as advertised on the SunExpress website the tray contained warmed bread rolls, turkey ham, cheese, vegetables, jam and butter as well as a muffin:


The breakfast wasn't a culinary delight, but it wasn't bad either (apart from the tasteless jelly). It was definitely filling - the lady next to me even offered me her muffin, but I had to decline. Another round of drinks followed shortly after breakfast, but not again later in the flight. Unfortunately, I don't know about the catering on Sky Airlines' own morning flights.

Due to the lack of an IFE system and hence the absence of an airshow I had no idea about our exact routing during the flight. I checked some maps on the computer at home and I guess these mountains are in the borderland between Bulgaria and Greece:



Unfortunately, I was facing the sun most of the time which reduced the picture quality. The isle of Thassos:



There was an announcement by the captain while we were already cruising over Turkey, but it was hard to understand. The approach to Antalya with some turns over mountainous terrain was very enjoyable, but the sun prevented me from taking good pictures. It became better again after a while:





Greenhouses as far as the eye can see:







The IC Airport Hotel:



Terminal 1:


We touched down on runway 18L after a flying time of 2 hours and 50 minutes. People throughout the cabin immediately started clapping - and they did it again some minutes later after the crew's farewell message.

The presence of many interesting birds kept me busy while we were taxiing to the gate:



Sky Airlines operates from Terminal 2 (picture), but our SunExpress flight was destined for Terminal 1.



Anyone interested in exclusive connecting flights?  Wink



Our 737-800 finally came to rest next to Sky Airlines 737-400 TC-SKD - probably also operating for another carrier today:



We arrived only one minute behind schedule - so there was plenty of time left for the transfer. Also parked at Terminal 1 was TC-SGJ, currently the one and only Airbus A330-300 in the Turkish Airlines fleet. It's leased from Saga Airlines:


Due to the lack of any lines we could pass through immigration within two minutes. Since we had only taken along our ID cards the officer handed out stamped immigration cards. Welcome to Turkey - for less than 100 minutes!  Wink

After stepping into the Terminal 1 arrival hall I went to an information counter and asked whether our Sky Airlines flight to Leipzig would definitely depart from Terminal 2. The lady confirmed - and she also answered my second question about a shuttle bus. She told us to go outside, but it was impossible to find a sign or anything else. I asked a policeman who sent us towards a waiting taxi. The driver offered to take us to Terminal 2 for 5 Euro and we agreed considering we had to get there quickly. And no, walking wasn't an option due to the relatively big distance between the terminals.




Sunday, 22 November 2009
Antalya (AYT) - Leipzig/Halle (LEJ)
Sky Airlines SHY759
15:30-18:05 (15:34-17:58)
Flying time: 03:04 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 29B

Boeing 737-4Q8
TC-SKG (s/n 2195), named "Gold"
Built in 12/1991, first delivered in 01/1992 to Cayman Airways as VR-CAA


1st flight on TC-SKG
5th 737-400 flight
24th 737 classic flight
49th 737 flight



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Photo © Thomas Schwitalla
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Photo © Mario Serrano


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Photo © Michal Kaczmarek (Wlkp_Spotters)
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Photo © Krzysztof Skowronski



Former appearances:


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Photo © Frank Schaefer
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Photo © JetPix


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Photo © Thomas Posch - VAP




Antalya Airport's Terminal 2 was opened in 2005 and is almost identical with Terminal 1 opened in 1998. Check-in hall:


I was quite surprised that the two check-in counters for flight SHY759 were almost deserted, only few people were waiting in line. My conclusion was that most passengers had already checked in.  Embarrassment I handed out the printed reservation confirmation to one of the female agents and it seemed as if she didn't know what to do with it. Well, it was written in German because I had booked the flight on the so-called "German Sky Airlines" website - but all she needed were the names and/or the booking code, right? After a short conversation with her colleague she knew what to do - and she accepted my request for a window and a middle seat in the back of the aircraft. A few moments later I was glad to find out that we would sit in the last row.

At passport control I was glad that the officer didn't have a look at the stamp on the immigration card - he could have asked some questions about the purpose of our very short visit to Turkey...

After a visit to a duty free shop we went to the gate where a large crowd of German tourists was already waiting. I tried to take a picture of our aircraft, but the layout of the building and the gate area made it impossible. All I could see was a part of the tail - but that was enough to identify the aircraft. The golden tail indicated that we would fly on TC-SKG, a Boeing 737-4Q8, built in December 1991, first delivered to Cayman Airways in January 1992 and later transferred to Carnival Airlines and Olympic Airways.

Parked next to our plane were a Sky A320 and a Sky A321:


There weren't any empty seats left in the gate area, but I kept standing at the window which was better for spotting anyway. I managed to log 15 new registrations during the short stay at Antalya, including the two Sky Airlines 737-900ERs.

Prior to boarding a young airline agent asked for attention and loudly told the waiting passengers in German that they would need their passports or ID cards again - other than originally stated. Of course that caused some muttering in the crowd...anyway, we decided not to join the long queues yet. I preferred to continue spotting for a while.

Finally, after most people had taken their seats in the cabin, we stepped on board. Welcome message in golden letters:


I'm wondering whether the message color corresponds to the tail color on other Sky Airlines aircraft, too.

One flight attendant offered mint candy at the entrance, another friendly flight attendant immediately approached us, had a look at our boarding passes and accompanied us to the last row. That was nice, but definitely not necessary. I guess it's useful for certain occasional flyers.  Wink

The cabin was packed and I didn't see any empty seats except for ours. A grumpy-looking German pensioner was occupying the aisle seat - considering the reserved response to our greetings he wasn't amused about our appearance.

I was very surprised to see that the cabin was equipped with red leather seats - which were very comfortable:



However, legroom was not sufficient at all:



The old-style video monitors remained inactive all the time:



We left the gate four minutes behind schedule and started taxiing to runway 18L. Sky Airlines A321-200 TC-SKI with "antalyaspor" sticker:



TC-SKG lifted off after a long take-off roll:







About 30 minutes after take-off flight attendants offered drinks (wine and Turkish Efes beer available for 2 Euro) and distributed snack packs - which looked like amenity kits:



They contained a cheese sandwich with dill pickles, a marble cake and a refreshment towel. Again, the food wasn't a culinary delight, but not bad either.



What I found most interesting was the refreshment towel packaging: it showed exactly the plane which we were flying on:


Now I'm wondering - does Sky Airlines have 13 different packaging variants?  Wink

The remainder of the flight was rather uneventful - I kept reading most of the time and took some notes for this report. "Mr. Grumpy" next to me observed my behavior (taking pictures and notes) suspiciously, but I couldn't care less. There were two announcements by the captain during the flight, but again they were hard to understand.

Beautiful sunset:



We touched down at Leipzig/Halle Airport after a flying time of 3 hours and 4 minutes and again the passengers started clapping immediately. Well, I guess that often happens on holiday carriers.

After disembarking I took one more picture of TC-SKG which has been appropriately named Gold:




Conclusion
Flying on holiday carrier Sky Airlines was definitely an interesting experience which did make me smile a bit in the end. What I found positive were the mostly friendly flight attendants, the clean cabins and the comfortable seats. However, negative aspects were the limited low-cost style legroom and the total lack of in-flight entertainment considering that many flights take three hours and longer. It would be interesting to know how the used A320/A321s and the factory fresh 737-900ERs are equipped. SunExpress' and Sky Airlines' catering could be improved - but what they serve is still much better than nothing, of course.

It was definitely disappointing to miss SunExpress, but getting one new carrier and two of its types was not too bad either. The short trip was still worth it. Maybe I'll try again to get SunExpress later this year, together with another new carrier...


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other more or less recent reports:
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2010-03-13 06:17:01]

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: EL-AL
Posted 2010-03-13 06:32:44 and read 17403 times.

Hey PlaneHunter,

Thx for a nice TR. Photos are great, and considering the rare event that both of your Turkish charter flights departed and landed on time, you have nothing to complain about.

AYT airport is an airport that I truly hate: everything there is so expensive (like most Turkish airports), with $7.5 for coffee and $30 for average meal, it's the last place on earth I would like to spend time on. Terminal 2 is build in a way that during the summer there isn't enough seats for everyone, and spotting is impossible also. Access from the airport to the city is possible in Taxis only (of you don't have a ride to your hotel). In the summer, Sky airlines flights often late (on TLV/AYT route at least) and many passengers get stuck in AYT for hours.

Beside that, Antalya is great city for vacation, been there twice (2007 & 2008).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
That was quite a disappointment considering that I would not get SunExpess and end up on Sky Airlines twice.

Both airlines are pretty much the same.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
TC-SKH, Sky Airlines' sole Boeing 737-800, arrived from Antalya on time:

Rare moment!

Thank you for sharing,

LY

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-03-13 06:43:12 and read 17368 times.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
Hey PlaneHunter,

Thx for a nice TR. Photos are great, and considering the rare event that both of your Turkish charter flights departed and landed on time, you have nothing to complain about.

Hi Jonathan, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
AYT airport is an airport that I truly hate: everything there is so expensive (like most Turkish airports), with $7.5 for coffee and $30 for average meal, it's the last place on earth I would like to spend time on.

Sounds horrible - actually I didn't have enough time to check restaurant prices.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
Terminal 2 is build in a way that during the summer there isn't enough seats for everyone, and spotting is impossible also.

Yes, I noticed that the nunber of seats in the gate areas is quite limited.

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
Access from the airport to the city is possible in Taxis only (of you don't have a ride to your hotel).

And they charge a lot, I guess...

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 1):
In the summer, Sky airlines flights often late (on TLV/AYT route at least) and many passengers get stuck in AYT for hours.

Sounds really bad. I haven't heard any negative reports about Sky Airlines here yet - and the carriers flies to Germany a lot. I only remember reading about a 737 tail strike at STR, but that has happened to other carriers, too.


PH

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2010-03-13 07:34:03 and read 17208 times.

Hi PH,

that's what I call another interesting report! We only see Sky Airlines, but never read about them before. They seem quite good actually, and very nice to see the service concept still including a reasonable meal free of charges. Something what is missed on many other airlines nowadays, so yes, it makes a positive change.
That IC Airport hotel, is that a good spotting location for AYT? In summertime, a lot of very interesting traffic comes to the airport, and I would love to go there for spotting some day.

Regards,
Eric

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-03-13 07:54:05 and read 17161 times.

Hi PH,

Very enjoyable and interesting read about your daytrip to the south of Turkey. Looks like I'm not the only one flying all the way to Turkey just to spend some quality time at the airport  

Shame you missed Sun Express, but based on my experience last weekend you didn't miss much. But it would've been interesting to compare them on a daytime flight to my red eye flight...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
PlaneHunter: "No, we'll stay just for a short time."

Heh, I've had a few similar comments every now and then. Not that much nowadays as I mostly fly on single, one-way tickets but once many years ago the SK check in agent at HEL had a hard time coping with my HEL-CPH-SVG-OSL-ARN-HEL itinerary all on a day trip and a single ticket. She just couldn't understand I was flying to Stavanger to spend two hours there and then back  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane - not yet equipped with winglets - was delivered factory fresh in April 2007:

Interesting to see a non-wingletted -800, those are getting very rare indeed. AB used to have some in the fleet but I think they all have been equipped with the winglets by now.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Ads on the tables:

Hmm, that's a new one for me. Never seen this before. Hope FR doesn't get some ideas from this, I think they already have way too many ads.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Also parked at Terminal 1 was TC-SGJ, currently the one and only Airbus A330-300 in the Turkish Airlines fleet. It's leased from Saga Airlines:

What was it doing there? Operating a particularly heavy IST-AYT rotation or doing a charter?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Parked next to our plane were a Sky A320 and a Sky A321:
including the two Sky Airlines 737-900ERs.

Okay, I'm starting to understand what you meant by "diverse" fleet  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was very surprised to see that the cabin was equipped with red leather seats - which were very comfortable:

Interesting, I think this is the first airline that I've seen with red seats. Although it would'be been more appropriate to have golden seats on that paticular plane, I guess.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Welcome to Turkey - for less than 100 minutes!

I kinda know that feeling  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
distributed snack packs - which looked like amenity kits:

Nice idea and something different! Thumbs up.

Keep up the good work.

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-03-13 08:05:35 and read 17126 times.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
that's what I call another interesting report! We only see Sky Airlines, but never read about them before.

Hi Eric,
good to hear you liked it.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
They seem quite good actually, and very nice to see the service concept still including a reasonable meal free of charges.

The question is what Sky Airlines serves on its own morning flights - either a snack like on the afternoon flights or a tray with numerous items like SunExpress.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
That IC Airport hotel, is that a good spotting location for AYT?

I'm not sure, planes could be still too high for photo spotting. However, getting the regs should be easier.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
In summertime, a lot of very interesting traffic comes to the airport, and I would love to go there for spotting some day.

I have heard that authorities don't tolerate spotting from numerous locations around the airports. However, I have been told that some of the greenhouse sites are good for spotting - some owners grant access for a small fee and the police can't send you away.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Very enjoyable and interesting read about your daytrip to the south of Turkey.

Hi FlyingFinn,
thanks for your feedback!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Looks like I'm not the only one flying all the way to Turkey just to spend some quality time at the airport

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
She just couldn't understand I was flying to Stavanger to spend two hours there and then back

Well, why don't they just hand out the boarding passes without asking? That's why I prefer check-in kiosks.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Hope FR doesn't get some ideas from this, I think they already have way too many ads.

I can only agree.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
What was it doing there? Operating a particularly heavy IST-AYT rotation or doing a charter?

I don't know, unfortunately. Would be really interesting to know whether it operates regular domestic flights. Probably some Turkish members can tell us more?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Okay, I'm starting to understand what you meant by "diverse" fleet

Yes, they operate two A320s, two A321s, six 737-400s, one 737-800 and two 737-900ERs. One more 739ER is on order, another used 737-800 is expected to enter service with German Sky Airlines. Let's see what comes next...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 4):
Although it would'be been more appropriate to have golden seats on that paticular plane, I guess.

Absolutely!  


PH

[Edited 2010-03-13 08:07:53]

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-03-13 08:05:56 and read 17120 times.

Hi PH,

What a joy to read another report of yours again.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Rather coincidentally I had a look at Leipzig/Halle Airport which I had never used before - and I couldn't believe what I found on a Sunday: a morning flight to Antalya on SunExpress for 46 Euro and an afternoon return flight to Leipzig/Halle on Sky Airlines for 72 Euro. The fares were quite low considering that the departure day would be only ten days away. I figured out that 105 minutes would be enough for the transfer and quickly booked both flights on Condor's and Sky's websites. Two new airlines, a new airport and a new country on one day - of course I couldn't resist. Interestingly, my father had found the idea of a daytrip to Turkey quite funny and agreed to come with me.

How great! Is your father a A.net member as well?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Interestingly, when the man tried to take a picture of his wife the older flight attendant showed up and told him that using the camera would only be allowed after take-off. Ok, I was warned...

At least the attendant was willing to allow people taking pictures, even it would be after takeoff.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Just as advertised on the SunExpress website the tray contained warmed bread rolls, turkey ham, cheese, vegetables, jam and butter as well as a muffin:

It doesn't look bad. I thought that SkyAirlines had buy on board offering.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyone interested in exclusive connecting flights?

Not this time.  

It must have been a fruitful day trip with dad! Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2010-03-13 09:39:48 and read 16897 times.

Hi PH,

A very nice read and I liked the pic too, good stuff!

Whilst a shame not to get Sun Express, 2 different types on one new airline is good, alt least for me.

I've always been interested in SKY Airlines, nice colours which differ on each plane and an interesting fleet mix too, quite odd!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the layout of the gate area prevented me from doing so. What's strange is not just the fact that the waiting area (with seats, but without viewing opportunities) is separated from a kind of boarding zone (viewing opportunities, but no seats). The gate counters in the boarding zone are located behind glass doors - and the agent didn't open the door until boarding was started

- Seems a strange idea.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Ads on the tables

- Yikes, not keen on this, don't like add's on planes, save them for the magazine!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The breakfast wasn't a culinary delight, but it wasn't bad either (apart from the tasteless jelly). It was definitely filling

- Perhaps not, but better than nothing I suspect.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
another friendly flight attendant immediately approached us, had a look at our boarding passes and accompanied us to the last row

- I've only had this in First Class!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now I'm wondering - does Sky Airlines have 13 different packaging variants?

- Now that is the $64,000 question...................

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2010-03-13 10:10:38 and read 16812 times.

Hey, PH,

after a good number of really interesting intercontinental stories, welcome back now in the
"amazing" world of daytrips.

You´ve booked a interesting combination of Turkish carriers and, what a shame, flying the same airline
back and forth, but anyway Sky is the one less covered here, so not that bad at all.

Nice pictures and real detailed story, as usual, nothing else expected.
What about you´re father, more daytrips planned or isn´t that his world?.

Hope to read more from you´re travels soon
and best regards,

Markus (FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: Contact Air
Posted 2010-03-13 11:03:12 and read 16702 times.

Hi PH,

You can watch the Sky Airlines fleet at German airports frequently, but I can't remember any report about them here on A.Net, so yours was highly interesting, accompanied by fantastic pictures.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but the former not only operated the inbound flight SHY759 from Antalya to Leipzig/Halle, but (unfortunately) also the outbound SunExpress flight XQ723 from Leipzig/Halle to Antalya.

I didn't know that Sky operated any flights on behalf of XQ. It was bad luck for you that you didn't catch XQ, but at least Sky offered two different types of aircraft to you. One of the two new B 737-900 might have been even nicer...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, when we arrived at the check-in area in the so-called "Zentralterminal" (central terminal) at 07:30 I couldn't believe what I saw: At least 100 people were already lined up in two queues in front of the SunExpress counters.

Welcome to holiday travel - people are waiting for their holiday for about a year, can't await it and the arrival at the airport can't be early enough...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The breakfast wasn't a culinary delight, but it wasn't bad either (apart from the tasteless jelly). It was definitely filling

Quantity looks quite good - more than I would have expected.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
People throughout the cabin immediately started clapping - and they did it again some minutes later after the crew's farewell message.

Another indication that you are travelling on a holiday flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I managed to log 15 new registrations during the short stay at Antalya, including the two Sky Airlines 737-900ERs.

Not bad for such a short time.

And, last but not least:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
joined exactly 4 years ago today! ,

Congratulations and "happy birthday"!  

Regards
Christoph

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-03-13 11:14:50 and read 16690 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
What a joy to read another report of yours again.

Hi Suryo, good to hear you enjoyed reading!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
How great! Is your father a A.net member as well?

No, even though he likes traveling, he is not an aviation enthusiast.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
It doesn't look bad. I thought that SkyAirlines had buy on board offering.

Sky still offers food and drinks free of charge. However, the breakfast on XQ723 was provided by SunExpress.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
A very nice read and I liked the pic too, good stuff!

Hi Mark, thanks for your reply!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
I've always been interested in SKY Airlines, nice colours which differ on each plane and an interesting fleet mix too, quite odd!

Yes, with colorful schemes and a diverse fleet it's a perfect airline for the enthusiast!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 7):
- Seems a strange idea.

Indeed, I'm wondering what's the reason for the strange layout. LEJ's Terminal B is quite new.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
Nice pictures and real detailed story, as usual, nothing else expected.

Hi Markus, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
after a good number of really interesting intercontinental stories, welcome back now in the
"amazing" world of daytrips.

Well, daytrips are great, but not easy to accomplish for me. It always takes me 1.5 hours to go to NUE and even two hours to go to LEJ or MUC. HOQ is just 30 minutes away, but it offers only one destination.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
You´ve booked a interesting combination of Turkish carriers and, what a shame, flying the same airline back and forth, but anyway Sky is the one less covered here, so not that bad at all.

Getting Sky and its sole 737-800 in particular was still a nice success.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
What about you´re father, more daytrips planned or isn´t that his world?.

He enjoyed the trip, but usually his focus is on the destination.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
Hope to read more from you´re travels soon

I will start working on my next report on Monday...

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
You can watch the Sky Airlines fleet at German airports frequently, but I can't remember any report about them here on A.Net, so yours was highly interesting, accompanied by fantastic pictures.

Hi Christoph, many thanks for your words!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
One of the two new B 737-900 might have been even nicer...

Oh yes, that would have been a big surprise.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
Welcome to holiday travel - people are waiting for their holiday for about a year, can't await it and the arrival at the airport can't be early enough...

So true...

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
Congratulations and "happy birthday"!

Thanks! Time has passed quickly.



PH

[Edited 2010-03-13 11:15:57]

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: Infodesk
Posted 2010-03-14 01:02:40 and read 16217 times.

Hi Planehunter,

A very enjoyable read about your daytrip. Pity you didn't get XQ, but at least you've secured 2 Sky Airlines planes for your log, only 11 colour schemes to go  

The approach into AYT did indeed look very nice, I tend to forget just how mountainous that area is.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I told her about our problem, but she quickly explained that switching seats would only be possible after takeoff. Both weren't overly friendly in that situation

Not really the correct attitude. As the check-in agent asked if you wanted 2 seats together, then that's what you should get.

As for Mr Grupmy, don't you just hate having to sit next to such people?! Obvioulsy he didn't have a very good holiday!

Thanks for posting & happy flying
Infodesk

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-03-14 01:20:04 and read 16207 times.

Hi PH,

Another great TR, thanks for sharing!

Interesting airline and the food doesn't look bad at all - much better than nothing at all.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
so freighters of all kinds dominate the scene:

DHL on the airbridges too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane was equipped with dark blue leather seats which weren't bad in general - except for the fact that my backrest flipped back and forth a bit.

The seats look very similar to the ones on Virgin Blue... And I've just realised that for all flights I have taken on DJ's 737s, I have taken no photos of the seat from the aisle! Must be due to the rear entry.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Ads on the tables:

Strange but strategic place for an advert.. Not my ideal spot for one. I like clean tables much better.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Due to the lack of an IFE system and hence the absence of an airshow I had no idea about our exact routing during the flight

One annoying thing but I've found what could be a solution - a GPS watch! I've invested in one and for my next series, I'll have this up an running if I can work it. Seeing that you get a window seat nearly every time, you won't miss a single routing unless you take a flight like SIN-EWR and you run out of batteries!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Antalya Airport's Terminal 2 was opened in 2005 and is almost identical with Terminal 1 opened in 1998. Check-in hall:

What a sight! I like how it's seemingly full at the very bottom of the frame yet completely empty in the rest of the photo.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It was definitely disappointing to miss SunExpress, but getting one new carrier and two of its types was not too bad either. The short trip was still worth it. Maybe I'll try again to get SunExpress later this year, together with another new carrier...

Good luck with getting on SunExpress next time! Are there many TK widebody services to Western Europe?


Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: BasilFawlty
Posted 2010-03-14 09:02:00 and read 15995 times.

Hi Planehunter,

Nice trip report, we don't see many Sky Airlines trip reports so it was very interesting to read.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
About 30 minutes after take-off flight attendants offered drinks (wine and Turkish Efes beer available for 2 Euro) and distributed snack packs - which looked like amenity kits:

Now it's only that the bag has 'Bon Apetit' on it, otherwise food was the last thing I had expected inside. 

Thanks for sharing!

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2010-03-14 09:50:56 and read 15962 times.

For the fare you paid catering seems excellent and sufficient. Interesting that they have such new equipment.

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: Reifel
Posted 2010-03-15 14:30:17 and read 15530 times.

Hi Planehunter,

Thank you for your report.
I flew Sky Airlines a few weeks ago for a two-day-trip to Antalya (but it was the "real", not the "operating for SunExpress"), I didn't knew that Sun Express was contracting a competitor for some flights.

We got a regular meal (like on your flight back) and not the bigger "Sun Express meal".

Did you knew that Sky Airlines have terrific low fares for last minute travel, especially in the winter season? i.e. if you want to fly to Antalya tomorrow you will not pay more than 120 EUR for the flights, including one or two nights with transfers in a basic hotel (available through GTI).
That's why I did. However I was not keen to take the transfer bus for several hours to my hotel in Alanya just for one night, so I booked the IC Airport hotel (shown in your picture) seperately, which was not bad at all (the rooms were huge).

I was lucky to get the same old 737-400 from FRA to AYT that you had ("Gold") and on the way back we got the 737-900, although we had a stop in Basle...

In our flight there were mainly turkish passengers, almost no holiday passengers at all (I was flying in January). I was surprised to see that the Terminal 2 (the big one) was completely closed during the winter season and all flights were operating from Terminal 1. So I didn't had any problems with the connections. I never saw any terminal shuttle in AYT though... not sure if there is one. Don't think so. You can walk, but as you stated this can take very long. Not an option if you only have 1,5 hours between flights.

Concerning the passport checks, In my opinion turkish officers don't really care about german citizens and why and how long they spend a visit. Actually in AYT from my experience I have never been asked any single questions, and I went there quite a few times. Could be that you were connecting from/to Northern Cyprus i.e.

I realized too that clapping is very popular in Turkey. Not only (as always) the tourists are clapping, but if you take a regular domestic turkish flight most people will also clap after landing.

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: The777Man
Posted 2010-03-15 19:16:18 and read 15449 times.

Very nice report and too bad you missed out on XQ going there.......

Daytrips are fun but sometimes a bit tiring. I agree that I'm sometimes a bit concerned what the immigrattion people will say when they see I'm just going for the day. I had some strange comments about it in SYD last year. I recently did a daytrip for spotting at FRA and it was a long day. I was a bit surprised you only brought your ID card for a flight to Turkey; don't think they are a member of Schengen or EU yet.

Food seems to be okay both ways and nice that it's free at least. Legroom seems tight but that's to be expected on charter carriers.

Weird that they didn't use the overheard monitors. May as well use them if they are installed......

I like the bag you got on the return, smart on behalf of Sky,

Looking forwatd to the next report!

The777Man

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: oa260
Posted 2010-03-16 04:16:25 and read 15351 times.

Hi nice report as always. Some really nice photos.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
TC-SKG,

Funny that is used to be with OA and now Reg. is SKG - Thessaloniki.  

I prefer the blue leather seats than red.

Thanks for the report.

OA260

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: RebelDJ
Posted 2010-03-16 05:25:25 and read 15316 times.

Very Interesting report, PlaneHunter.

One thing I'd like to ask, though is what was your back-up plan if your flight had been too late arriving to make your return connection?

Always thought that when reading on day tripreports.

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-03-25 12:15:19 and read 14530 times.

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11):
A very enjoyable read about your daytrip.

Thanks Infodesk, good to hear you liked it.

Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11):
Pity you didn't get XQ, but at least you've secured 2 Sky Airlines planes for your log, only 11 colour schemes to go

Indeed, good point!  
Quoting Infodesk (Reply 11):
As for Mr Grupmy, don't you just hate having to sit next to such people?! Obvioulsy he didn't have a very good holiday!

Who knows. Maybe he was one of those permanently grumpy guys...

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
Another great TR, thanks for sharing!

Hi Nicholas, thanks a lot!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
One annoying thing but I've found what could be a solution - a GPS watch! I've invested in one and for my next series, I'll have this up an running if I can work it.

Sounds interesting, maybe that could be a solution.

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 13):
Nice trip report, we don't see many Sky Airlines trip reports so it was very interesting to read.

Thanks, Jeroen!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 14):
For the fare you paid catering seems excellent and sufficient. Interesting that they have such new equipment.

Yes, I cannot complain about the value for money.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 15):
We got a regular meal (like on your flight back) and not the bigger "Sun Express meal".

Hi Reifel, thanks for your feedback. Did you fly out in the morning?

Quoting Reifel (Reply 15):
I booked the IC Airport hotel (shown in your picture) seperately, which was not bad at all (the rooms were huge).

Good to hear, I may use it for a two-day trip in the future.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 15):
I was lucky to get the same old 737-400 from FRA to AYT that you had ("Gold") and on the way back we got the 737-900, although we had a stop in Basle...

You were really lucky to get the new 739ER - and an additional stop. Did you know in advance that the 739 would operate the flight?

Quoting Reifel (Reply 15):
I was surprised to see that the Terminal 2 (the big one) was completely closed during the winter season and all flights were operating from Terminal 1. So I didn't had any problems with the connections.

That's odd.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 15):
I realized too that clapping is very popular in Turkey. Not only (as always) the tourists are clapping, but if you take a regular domestic turkish flight most people will also clap after landing.

Interesting, I didn't know that.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Very nice report and too bad you missed out on XQ going there.......

Hi Lars, thanks for your reply.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Daytrips are fun but sometimes a bit tiring.

Indeed, I always prefer trips with at least one hotel night.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
I had some strange comments about it in SYD last year.

Australian Immigration is not easy to deal with...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
I was a bit surprised you only brought your ID card for a flight to Turkey; don't think they are a member of Schengen or EU yet.

No, not a member yet. But there are more countries around the EU which you can enter with an official ID card.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 16):
Weird that they didn't use the overheard monitors. May as well use them if they are installed......

I guess these monitors have never been used since the plane joined the fleet.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 17):
Hi nice report as always. Some really nice photos.

Thanks, Phil!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 17):
I prefer the blue leather seats than red.

I really liked the red seats, they were so different from the common models used everywhere.

Quoting RebelDJ (Reply 18):
Very Interesting report, PlaneHunter.

Thanks!

Quoting RebelDJ (Reply 18):

One thing I'd like to ask, though is what was your back-up plan if your flight had been too late arriving to make your return connection?

Always thought that when reading on day tripreports.

I didn't have a back-up plan. However, if the LEJ-AYT flight had been delayed by more than 45 minutes we most likely wouldn't have gone on board.


PH

[Edited 2010-03-25 12:17:11]

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: BZNPilot
Posted 2010-08-13 14:18:27 and read 12164 times.

Hi PH,

Great report, I really enjoyed reading this one. I like the idea of a daytrip and have done several myself, but never with an international itinerary like this. What a great idea to fly to another country (actually outside the EU and to another continent even) for just an hour or two! I would be nervous that the immigration cops would find it suspicious, but it seems like you didn't have any problems.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
What's strange is not just the fact that the waiting area (with seats, but without viewing opportunities) is separated from a kind of boarding zone (viewing opportunities, but no seats). The gate counters in the boarding zone are located behind glass doors - and the agent didn't open the door until boarding was started...

Interesting to hear how the LEJ airport is. I have never used it, but always wanted to when I was a resident of Halle. I certainly went through the train station many times while going between Halle and Leipzig. I don't think I'll have the chance to go back there anytime soon, so I was glad to at least read about LEJ and see your pictures.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then all of them started to wonder what would happen if the plane had to make an emergency landing when flying "over the North Pole". ”That would be bad", was the collective conclusion...

Hahaha! Well, at least they reached a true conclusion!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Large brown coal mine on the right:

I remember well the smell of Braunkohle in Halle. You mentioning this brings back memories!

Thanks for posting this great report. I enjoyed it a lot.

Best regards,
BZNPilot

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: vandenheuvel
Posted 2010-08-14 03:11:29 and read 11874 times.

Hi PH. Interesting to read about a flight on Sky airlines. I never knew what to expect from this carrier. The aircraft and catering looked very decent.

I like your short visit to Turkey. Considering it's quite a distance from Germany.

Topic: RE: Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-08-17 03:52:53 and read 11406 times.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 20):
Great report, I really enjoyed reading this one.
Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 20):
Thanks for posting this great report. I enjoyed it a lot.

Hi BZNPilot, thanks a lot for your feedback, great to hear you liked it!

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 20):
I would be nervous that the immigration cops would find it suspicious, but it seems like you didn't have any problems.

I had hoped they wouldn't ask anything and luckily they didn't...  
Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 20):
Interesting to hear how the LEJ airport is. I have never used it, but always wanted to when I was a resident of Halle. I certainly went through the train station many times while going between Halle and Leipzig. I don't think I'll have the chance to go back there anytime soon, so I was glad to at least read about LEJ and see your pictures.

Interesting - how long did you live there?

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 21):
Hi PH. Interesting to read about a flight on Sky airlines. I never knew what to expect from this carrier. The aircraft and catering looked very decent.

I like your short visit to Turkey. Considering it's quite a distance from Germany.

Hi Tim, many thanks for your comments!


PH


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