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Topic: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-07 11:21:59 and read 26548 times.

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Regular transatlantic flyers between North America and Europe will undoubtedly be familiar with the most northerly and eastern provinces of Canada: towns and cities like St John’s, Gander and Goose Bay are all well known, particularly in aviation circles, but usually for most people, it’s because these names appear on the inflight map from an altitude of at least 30,000 ft and usually because they are enroute to New York, or Boston, or Toronto, or eastbound to London, Paris or Amsterdam, blissfully unaware of the amazing beauty below that Newfoundland and Labrador behold.

I’ve always dreamed of visiting this part of the world, ever since I saw some pictures of the colourful rows of houses in St John’s in an old encyclopedia we had at home in Australia and the fact that St John’s claims to be one of the oldest city in North America. I was always fascinated by places and different lands, and vowed that one day, I would touch down in this part of Canada and see these places, especially St John’s, for myself. Now being based in London, that goal is so much more easily achievable.

“Terranova”, or to use its English name, Newfoundland, has a rich history and I knew I would be interested in exploring more, starting with St John’s. That’s how this trip all started. But you know what happens though sometimes, particularly if you have an addiction to flying - you start planning a simple trans atlantic trip and the next thing you know, you’re adding a flight here, a flight there, a multi stop flight here, a hop to Montreal, and day trip to Toronto... and then you realise that you’ve spent nearly all your holiday money on the flights alone. Well, that’s what happened to me and I wasn’t even feeling feverish at the time of booking!

This is the first part of my 2012 trip to Canada. By co-incidence there have been a few reports from the land of the maple leaf (and its airlines) this year from regular A.net contributors, particularly abrelosojos, MSS658 and FlyingFinn which certainly provided me with lots of inspiration. I ended up booking a number of flights while I was in Canada - covering a number of cities and towns in Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec. This part of the report will cover the transatlantic sector and St John’s.

TRANSATLANTIC A319s

Air Canada’s seasonal A319 service to St John’s is unique – it’s the only Airbus narrowbody transatlantic flight from Heathrow and it’s the only Air Canada A319 flight to anywhere in Europe. Anyone who has seen the babybus parked over at Terminal 3 on their travels through Heathrow will have to admit that it still seems bizarre to see one of Air Canada’s A319s here, even though the flights to St John’s have been operating for a number of years now.

Although that may be the case, it’s still weird seeing Air Canada A319s at Heathrow. It’s like seeing United 767-300s in Continental colours. It just doesn’t look right.

This would be today’s route.



I was very excited to experience this flight, given its unique status and so very soon, the departure day arrived. Two weeks away from London loomed and I was more than ready to leave this manic city for new pastures on the other side of the Atlantic.

Sadly, no OLCI was possible for me even though I had received an email from Air Canada the day before advising me I could do so. I had a sneaky suspicion that Canada still views someone with my name as a potential terrorist on their “no fly list” – something the USA seems to have (thankfully) abandoned. That will teach me to have a common sounding name. Bugger.

I turn up at T3 about 3 hours before departure. Why? I just like to be early. Straight over to join a growing queue of people for the line “check in assistance”. A number of Air Canada flights were due to leave in the next few hours to ports all over Canada so the Air Canada check in areas were a hive of activity. Thankfully the line moved quickly and I sound found myself chatting to a very friendly young female agent, who explained to me that yes, my suspicions about their suspicions were correct and she needed to validate my personal details to ensure I was not involved in any kind of terrorist activities, financing or otherwise. I had pre-selected my seats online at the time of booking (and which could be changed by managing my booking) so I was pleased to see these were in the system when the BP spat out my requested seat for AC823. Wishing me a great holiday, I thanked the agent, and I was soon heading upstairs to departures.

You never know what you are going to see at LHR – that’s what makes it such an interesting airport for us spotters. Sadly today was pretty run of the mill – although if you’d never been to LHR before, you would have been agog at all of the gorgeous aircraft on their stands and around the place.

Might as well get into the Air Canada mood. One of 4 Air Canada aircraft on the ground at Heathrow when I was there.

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No, this is not DFW

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LEAVING LONDON

Unfortunately, I am unable to spot my little babybus anywhere so I wander around the zoo that is T3 airside and head to one of the (few) proper windows to see whether I can find her. Thankfully I see her parked – with her rear end to me on a remote stand, not far from where my BA 767 was parked when I flew to Larnaca back in May. Unfortunately for me, there was absolutely no way of getting a decent (or any kind of) photo of my chariot so I’d have to wait until we were bussed to the aircraft... or so I thought.

Hanging around airports is not usually a problem for me and today was no different. I love people watching, the aircraft coming and going, and all the activity of an airport. I could sit around for hours quite happily, which definitely makes me a sad individual in many ways. Perhaps I look suspicious, perhaps Air Canada was right to add me to their suspicious list? Who knows.

I get quite comfy but before too long, I see we have a gate for AC823 and I start heading in that general direction.

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Being one of the first there, I am surprised to see our A319 has been dragged to a proper jetway gate so in contrast to her rear end, I was now face to face with the aircraft that would fly me across the ocean to St John’s.

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And closer up – so I could check the registration later. Thanks Marc for confirming the correct registration.

Date: September 2012
Flight: Air Canada AC823
From: London Heathrow (LHR) – St John’s Newfoundland (YYT)
Aircraft: A319-112: C-GITR (delivered new to Air Canada in 2001)
Seat: 22F, Economy Class

A passport and BP check is done at the gate and then I get to sit down and wait for the boarding call to be made. The waiting area soon started to fill up although not uncomfortably so. It was interesting to see who was flying to St John’s this Sat afternoon – quite a mix of people really. Looks like some tourists, some locals going home, some younger travellers such as me (although not so young these days in my case).

Boarding is a relaxed affair – no scramble to be first on the aircraft. This would set the tone for much of my travels in Eastern Canada – everyone was relaxed and so very polite and chilled out. It made for a remarkable contrast to the hurried and selfish “me me me (and me first)” attitude that pervades much of London life these days. Sigh.

I am greeted at the door by a petite female Asian flight attendant who is on welcoming duty at the door. I then find myself at my allocated seat, just behind the wing on the starboard side. Getting settled, I soon discover that the flight is actually quite busy. By the time I get seated, I spot one of the other flight attendants working in Economy, and my first question to myself is: “When did Air Canada go ghetto?” This young guy (you can tell I am getting old) had a sparkly earring in both ears, a shifty looking expression, and looked like he would be quite at home in a dodgy club somewhere. He wasn’t particularly friendly to any of the passengers, simply going through the motions of preparing the cabin, and I am “pleased” to say that he managed to work that flight for the full 5 plus hours without once even cracking a proper smile.

The other 2 crew members however, seemed a lot more friendly, and less likely to want to stab me.

I had thought that as this was getting toward the end of the season, the flight may not have been quite so full, but by the time the door was closed, we were pretty much full in Economy and Business looked fairly well represented too. Good for Air Canada’s bean counters for sure. I end up having the middle seat free, with a lady who I guess is in her 60s, sitting in the aisle seat. Unusually for me, I strike up a conversation with her – and comment that it looks like we’re going to have seat in between us spare so we can spread out.

Hey big brother

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My seatmate and I then end up having a really nice chat during push back and taxi to the runway, which today, was 27L for take offs. Announcements were being made in English and then French by the petite Asian flight attendant. In between nattering away I did manage to get a few snaps without appearing rude (and she never asked me why I was taking so many pictures ). I wonder whether the crews of these aircraft were thinking “How the heck did that little babybus get here?” “What are Air Canada thinking sending an A319 to London?” “Gosh, loads from Toronto must be so poor if they are using an A319”!

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Not long in the queue and we are powering up, and commencing our take off run –passing the new Heathrow East/T2 structure, which has gone up remarkably fast (fast by British standards in any case).

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Lifting off for our 5 and a bit hour flight, and passing all the BA family down below at T5

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We then pass Windsor and it looks like Eaton Dorney, where the Olympic rowing events were held

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Before climbing higher and settling into our cruise, which today, would mostly be at 36,000 ft.

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INFLIGHT

Most readers will be familiar with Air Canada’s IFE and “EnRoute” so I won’t cover any of that, other than to say that I do like the Airshow map which I was able to watch for most of the journey. Air Canada are allowing passengers to keep their earphones on for take off and landing so long as they are plugged into the Air Canada system. In other words, you could start watching TV from the minute the IFE was switched on, right up to the minute the aircraft pulled into the gate at the other end. This policy is quite different to any other airline I’ve flown with of late, who usually have a blanket ban on any earphones for take off and landing.

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Seat pitch was good. I did not feel cramped in the seat at all.

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Yep, it’s definitely an A319


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FOOD AND DRINK

An hour or so after take off and there seems to be some action from the crew as lunch is being prepared. No menu on Air Canada in Y so it was just pot luck what would turn up on our tray tables. My new friend and I briefly chatted as lunch was handed over to me. The contents consisted of thus: roasted chicken and vegetables, along with a side of brown and white rice, a small pasta salad, a moderately fresh but cold bread roll, and a cookie for dessert.

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The drinks cart comes alongside soon after and I choose some white wine to go with lunch. All in all, quite a small little picnic – and having read jwhite’s recent report on his Virgin flights to JFK, it seems that someone has pressed the “shrink transatlantic meals in Y” button, because the portions being served on my flight very much reflect what fellow tripreporter, jwhite recently received on VS. At least we were being fed I guess. Having said that, the quality was actually quite good. The main course, what there was of it, is tasty and I pretty much finished the whole tray.

Dedicated to lychemsa, whose tireless critique of transatlantic carriers’ dessert choices remains steadfast.

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After the food service is complete, the crew then come down again offering tea and coffee. Given airline coffee tends to fluctuate between awful and revolting, I steer clear and ask for some tea instead. The tea is nice.

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We leave the old world over Southern Ireland and commence our transatlantic journey. The crew then come down the aisle with duty free items for sale, although I did not see many purchases being made.

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After finishing our meals, my seatmate and I resume our chat, and she tells me she has lived in St John’s for over 40 years, having migrated there from the UK with her husband. She then tells me she had been flying Air Canada frequently between the UK and Canada for several decades and had noticed a steady decline in the way in which Air Canada operates today, compared to those heady days of the 1970s and 80s. I am thinking that you could say the same thing about most legacy airlines these days but I choose not to interrupt her, and it was interesting to hear about how transatlantic flying has changed over the years. We then resume our solitary seated positions and I turn to the IFE and alternate with my music and reading.

AIR CANADA - 75 YEARS OF INNOVATION

As many already know, Air Canada are celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. Everything is branded accordingly and I am lucky to discover that September’s edition of EnRoute is full of lots of juicy historical details and information about Air Canada over the years. A very nice addition to my collection. I just love the inflight route maps from days past – how yummily retro and note how Air Canada did not have a single flight to Asia in 1971. Quite remarkable how the world has changed since then.



The bigger surprise is that I find out that Air Canada has also included this amazing wall chart showing the historical evolution, by airline and aircraft type and the years these were operated. Very nice and thank you Air Canada for going to such an effort. It does make me realise however just how old airlines like KLM and Qantas are. I remember when Qantas was celebrating its 75th anniversary, but that was way back in 1995. I subsequently then spend much of my time when flying internally with Air Canada trying to locate additional wall charts for friends and a.netters alike but they proved to be as elusive as an Air Labrador Twin Otter despite my checking multiple seat pockets on numerous flights!



The poster contains the website www.designparavion.com so if anyone was interested, I am sure they could reach out and contact these folks to see whether they have any more posters available.

Not much to see above the Atlantic today and our path was too far south to pass any landmasses enroute. Just a deep blue sky above. Pretty smooth flying, apart from a brief patch of turbulence.

Throughout the flight, I count at least 3 water runs being carried out by one of the flight attendants. Here’s a cabin view after lunch.

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And the odd contrail of a fellow transatlantic flight – we would however be turning off the beaten path much earlier than them, as it wasn’t long before the map shows us getting close to Newfoundland.

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Getting near to our destination.

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I spot the “hand behind the seat” exercise in a row far ahead of me and automatically think of WideBodyRoga - this one’s dedicated to you!



About an hour before landing, I hear activity going on with the crew and soon discover that a tea and coffee and drinks run is being undertaken, along with the handing out of a cinnamon muffin for afternoon tea. Nothing too glamorous but it hits the spot and the muffin was not as dry and tastless as it looked on first glance. I have a 7UP to go with it.

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Now getting closer to our destination, to remain glued to the window, to try and catch my first glimpse of Newfoundland.

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ARRIVAL INTO ST JOHN’S

Mentally revisiting a map of St John’s I had studied before leaving, I placed the airport and the runways and sat there trying to work out which direction we would land from. The crew spend time then getting the cabin ready for our arrival while fellow passengers continue to doze or read. The middle aged English couple in the row in front of me are getting chatty with the guy on the aisle seat next to them, who is from St John’s and is giving them all kinds of tips on what to do and places they should not miss while in Newfoundland.

Now I get to see land for the first time in just over 5 hours. This is where Canada begins (or ends)!

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Our approach takes us to the south of St John’s itself where we then head out over water again because we end up approaching the airport from the west. I don’t see anything of the City of St John’s sadly even though I am on the right side of the aircraft.

We make a couple of steep right turns over water - looks like a nice day down there

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before lining up for runway 11, which I believe is the longest of the runways at YYT.

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We have a smooth touchdown and rollout and then commence a relatively swift taxi to our gate. My first glimpse of the modern terminal at St John’s. Looks pretty quiet here this afternoon though. Few other flights at this time of day. We pull into Gate 1 and soon enough following the “ding”, passengers are on their feet and collecting their belongings. The couple in front are still being talked at by the local guy, but they don’t seem to be too bothered.

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Good afternoon St John’s



The petite friendly Asian flight attendant was on hand to bid everyone farewell, and thanked us, along with the cockpit crew, who had also joined her. A nice touch. My ghetto friend was nowhere to be seen.

Here she is, at the end of her transatlantic journey – thank you C-GITR!

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Being the only flight of any kind to have recently arrived our passage through Canadian Immigration was pretty swift. Entering Canada on my Australian passport was met with the “You’re a long way from home” comment from the friendly immigration officer, which led to a series of questions of why I was in Canada, where I was going to be and why, and whether I knew anyone in any of the places I was visiting. While not overly intrusive, I did feel like I had to have a convincing story. I made sure not to mention the number of local flights I had planned, for fear of raising suspicion – you never know these days. With that, he was convinced I wasn’t a threat to Canada, and so I was welcomed officially onto Newfoundland soil for the first time.

St John’s has a lovely terminal building – ultra modern and spacious and it seems to be right size for the volume of passengers using it. I ended up flying through St John’s 3 times at different times of the day and can confirm that it never felt crowded or cramped. My bag comes off pretty quickly and I am all set to head out and find a ride into town into my hotel in Duckworth Street, in downtown St John’s.

In mid stride, I am accosted by seatmate and chatty neighbour from the flight who then asks me where I was staying. On giving my response, she tells me that her husband was here to pick her up and they would be happy to drop me off at the hotel on their way home. Not being used to such acts of random kindness, I wasn’t sure what to say other than stumble out with the “thank you very much but it’s OK I am happy to catch a taxi” but she would not hear of it. Next thing I know, me and my stuff were in the car and she had introduced me to her husband who had no problems dropping me off at my hotel.

Being profusely thankful, we made our way into town for the short less than 10 minute ride. The previous week, I am told, St John’s was hit by a mini hurricane which brought down some power lines and lots of trees in the area. That was evident during the drive as there were clumps of tree branches and bits of debris still lying around. No trouble finding the hotel, I am soon saying my farewells and thank you to the friendly couple before checking in to the hotel. Kindness from strangers still does exist in small quantities in 2012 and I am reminded of it in St John’s.

I am staying at the Courtyard Marriott which is nothing to look out outside, but seemed to have everything I needed on the inside, and the welcome was indeed friendly and genuine – “ah so you’re from London, I’ve always wanted to visit.... Did you have any problems during the Olympics?” and “Welcome to St John’s – please let me know if there’s anything else we can do for you”.

Pretty good so far I think and I head upstairs to my room and the enormous bed – how I love decent sized rooms and beds in North American hotels. I was here - finally!

AIR CANADA ASSESSMENT

Air Canada provided a good flight across the Atlantic. Although it was an A319, it felt no less comfortable or cramped across the pond than if it had been a widebody, although the flight was a lot shorter than a standard west bound transatlantic flight. It was great to tick this unique flight off my list. I had a nice comfy, seat, a friendly seat neighbour, no screaming children around me (which is usually the norm these days for me), and we arrived into St John’s more or less on time. The quality of the food served on this short crossing was good, my only criticism was the small portion sizes. The flight attendants were a mixed bag, but that’s what you get with a large legacy airline these days. Air Canada offer a good product across the pond, and I’d certainly not hesitate to fly with them at any time. Even though there is no competition on the Heathrow - St John’s route, on balance, Air Canada offer a good product across the pond, and I’d certainly not hesitate to fly with them at any time. It was great to be part of Air Canada’s 75th anniversary year - and I still had more flights with AC on this trip.

END OF PART ONE

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-07 11:23:23 and read 26687 times.

PART TWO

ST JOHN’S AND SURROUNDS

A quick review of the hotel’s facilities and after a bit of unpacking, I decide to head out for a walk. It’s only 4pm local time and still light outside, although the day is turning progressively hazy and slightly overcast.



St John’s maintains the title of the oldest English speaking city in all of North America. When discovering some of its history, it’s not surprising why. For centuries, it has been visited by seafarers from all parts of Europe but was claimed as a English colony in the name of Lizzie I in 1583. It was then captured by the Dutch in 1665, attacked 3 times by the French but retaken by the British each time. It played a strategic role in the American Revolutionary War in the 1700s by being used as a base for British forces, as well as again when the US invaded Canada in 1812 and more latterly, provided an airbase for the US during World War II.

One of the most accessible, but not the easiest of walks in St John’s is up to Battery Rd/Signal Hill which rewards you with panoramic views over the city and its important harbour. Some of the walk is relatively flat, and then it suddenly gets quite steep. An older gentlemen enjoying the afternoon light sitting in a chair in front of his house calls out good afternoon and mentions to me as I pass by that I still have a steep climb ahead. No joke!

I start to think this is better than a gym workout or a run as the road and pathway ahead does get a lot steeper, but I figure it’s got to be worth the pain in my legs to keep going.

Not long after I find myself outside the Geocentre (for more information about this place see: http://www.geocentre.ca/) and I spot two large-ish statues of dogs so headed off for a quick look.

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It all makes sense now. The dog statues are “en homage” to the origins of the Labrador and Newfoundland breed of dogs – which is I am betting what most people outside of Canada associate with the word “Labrador” these days – not the large tract of land north of Newfoundland, but the floppy eared, friendly dog who will eat anything!

Before making my way across the road and through a short path to the first of the lookout vistas -



and

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and during the following day, I go further up to the Cabot Tower which marks the highest point, overlooking “the Narrows” which is the entrance into St John’s harbour. The tower was started in 1898 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland. It was also convenient that Queen Victoria was celebrating her diamond jubilee at the time! In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message at a position near the tower, the letter "S" in Morse Code sent from Poldhu, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Needless to say is that it get quite blustery up here - hold on to your hat!

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which provides some great views. I end up coming up here a few more times before leaving St John’s, including on my last night - watching the twinkling lights as the sun slowly disappears after a gorgeous day.

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I spend the next three days exploring St John’s as well as doing a couple of short trips outside of the city.

I see where Canada begins (or ends) at Cape Spear which is the most north easterly point in North America where I have a nice chat with a couple from the other London in Ontario about how much we’re all enjoying Newfoundland and end up taking a snap for them in front of this sign.



There is also this lighthouse here.



Some distances from this spot

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Gorgeous coastal Newfoundland scenery everywhere

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St John’s also gets a lot of fog at this time of the year. One evening, it was particularly moody

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I also get to wander around St John’s on the Monday I was there. It is bliss that I don’t have to go work and can just meander about without any particular agenda or schedule. I start the day with some coffee at “Coffee Matters” just up the road from me.

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Before heading out to see some of the historical parts of the city, including a park named after a gentlemen with the same surname as my great grandfather. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen the name with such a high profile!

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The park from another angle in the crisp autumn sunshine



The old Colonial Building is currently being restored – by all accounts, lots has happened here over the years as it was the seat of the Newfoundland government from 1850 to 1959.

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It’s hard to miss the Basilica of St John the Baptist which overlooks most of the city and you can see it from almost any vantage point around the city.

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St John’s is very hilly away from the harbour front, and there are rows of colourful houses all around the city, with one part known as Jellybean Row. These are perhaps the iconic images of St John’s that most visitors take away with them.

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Plus quite a few examples of public art - including this huge mural reflecting Newfoundland history and local life

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St John’s is definitely worth a visit, if you’re in this neck of the woods - people here are proud of their heritage and more importantly, are incredibly friendly and welcoming. Part 2 sees me saying farewell to the City of St John’s for flights north to Goose Bay in the Big Land - Labrador, via Gander, again with Air Canada.



Thanks very much for reading and please feel free to leave a comment.

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Going Retro, Chasing The Sun: BA B763 To Cyprus (by palmjet May 21 2012 in Trip Reports)

1 Long Day, 3 Short Virgins: Virgin's New ATR72 (by palmjet Feb 9 2012 in Trip Reports)

The Reindeer Route To Australia In J (by palmjet Dec 15 2011 in Trip Reports)

Flying An Old Lady: Aer Arann To London City (by Palmjet Jul 2 2011 in Trip Reports)

Arctic "Dash" With Wideroe: 2 Days, 7 Stops (pics (by Palmjet Jun 22 2011 in Trip Reports)

"888": 8hrs, 8 Segments On An Aussie Dash 8 (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

Keep Climbing & Don't Stop - 48hr DL Marathon (by Palmjet Dec 15 2010 in Trip Reports)

Snow-2-Sun: BA J To Tampa And Beyond (pics) (by Palmjet Dec 22 2010 in Trip Reports)

Iceland Yes, Volcano No, FI451 LHR-KEF (pics) (by Palmjet Oct 9 2010 in Trip Reports)

Ballina Boomerang: Coastal Flying With REX (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 10 2011 in Trip Reports)

Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)

The Return: KL E190 TLS-AMS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 28 2010 in Trip Reports)

Baby 737 To Dresden And Back - W/pics (by Palmjet Sep 4 2010 in Trip Reports)

Short Haul Austrian 738(w) VIE-LHR W/pics (by Palmjet Sep 3 2010 in Trip Reports)

Cayo Coco - Havana, Aero Caribbean W/pics (by Palmjet Jul 16 2010 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-10-07 12:01:39 and read 26384 times.

Hi Palmjet,

great report with many nice pictures! Very good idea to try that A319 transatlantic service - I wouldn't mind doing so either, but I have already flown on an AC A319. Almost 5 hours as well, but almost entirely over land - SFO-YUL. But the map didn't work back then...

I have always been fascinated by that part of Canada, I don't know why. I really need to go there one day.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Although that may be the case, it’s still weird seeing Air Canada A319s at Heathrow. It’s like seeing United 767-300s in Continental colours. It just doesn’t look right.

Well said.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
“When did Air Canada go ghetto?” This young guy (you can tell I am getting old) had a sparkly earring in both ears, a shifty looking expression, and looked like he would be quite at home in a dodgy club somewhere. He wasn’t particularly friendly to any of the passengers, simply going through the motions of preparing the cabin, and I am “pleased” to say that he managed to work that flight for the full 5 plus hours without once even cracking a proper smile.

Ah, that's bad.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I wonder whether the crews of these aircraft were thinking “How the heck did that little babybus get here?” “What are Air Canada thinking sending an A319 to London?” “Gosh, loads from Toronto must be so poor if they are using an A319”!

Well, some might also say: "Wow, AC sends all-Business Class aircraft to LHR!"  

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The drinks cart comes alongside soon after and I choose some white wine to go with lunch. All in all, quite a small little picnic – and having read jwhite’s recent report on his Virgin flights to JFK, it seems that someone has pressed the “shrink transatlantic meals in Y” button, because the portions being served on my flight very much reflect what fellow tripreporter, jwhite recently received on VS. At least we were being fed I guess. Having said that, the quality was actually quite good. The main course, what there was of it, is tasty and I pretty much finished the whole tray.

The meal looks okay, but it's nothing special.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Dedicated to lychemsa, whose tireless critique of transatlantic carriers’ dessert choices remains steadfast.

Totally justified, a cookie's not a dessert!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The bigger surprise is that I find out that Air Canada has also included this amazing wall chart showing the historical evolution, by airline and aircraft type and the years these were operated. V

Very cool stuff!


PH

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: vsmike
Posted 2012-10-07 14:25:27 and read 25843 times.

Neat report from an easily forgotten corner of the planet. Like you, I had only thought of these isolated land masses as way markers for TATL crossings - as well as large breed types of dogs. But I guess people actually live there as well, only God knows why. Point-of-fact: I think the area was settled by Bulgarians, during the Bulgo-Labradorian wars of 1982? But I could be wrong about that.

Interestingly, my father has kept breeder-grade Newfoundland ("Newfy") dogs for years. They are quite enjoyable and relatively docile dogs despite their girth. Same could be said about my father... but he's just an a-hole. Anyways... thanks for sharing this tale. I sincerely hope you didn't manage to fly any 737-600s intra-Canada...

Best,
VSM

[Edited 2012-10-07 14:26:33]

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: 767747
Posted 2012-10-07 16:24:39 and read 25532 times.

Hello, Palmjet! What an awesome report!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I turn up at T3 about 3 hours before departure. Why? I just like to be early.

Me too! I always like showing up early, it gives me more time to plane spot!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I ended up booking a number of flights while I was in Canada - covering a number of cities and towns in Newfoundland, Labrador and Quebec.

Sounds like a great trip!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The drinks cart comes alongside soon after and I choose some white wine to go with lunch. All in all, quite a small little picnic – and having read jwhite’s recent report on his Virgin flights to JFK, it seems that someone has pressed the “shrink transatlantic meals in Y” button, because the portions being served on my flight very much reflect what fellow tripreporter, jwhite recently received on VS. At least we were being fed I guess. Having said that, the quality was actually quite good. The main course, what there was of it, is tasty and I pretty much finished the whole tray.

Yes, what is going on with the shrinking Y meals?! They're getting smaller and smaller! I think Emirates is the only airline that still seems to serve really plentiful, appealing meals that fill you up. With that small meal, I'd be hungry for more than just a muffin before landing!  

Great photos from St. Johns! It looks like a really nice town, and an interesting place to visit. I'm looking forward to the next part!

Best,

Matthew

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: SCQ83
Posted 2012-10-07 16:45:25 and read 25487 times.

Thanks for the report. Really interesting... I had no idea AC sent A319 to anywhere in Europe.

Every time I happen to be in a window seat in a daylight trans-con to BOS, I am amazed looking at that part of Canada. Have you visited St. Pierre et Miquelon? It must be a funny place... the only remaining French territory in North America.... not far from St. John's.

Which other transcontinental Europe-America routes are served with A319/32X or B737? I am thinking of the famous A318 LCY-JFK and PrivatAir for LH/LX.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2012-10-07 19:08:05 and read 25281 times.

Hey palmjet!

How nice to finally get to read about your Canadian adventure. Personally I've been waiting for this trip to happen for a long time now, ever since you told me about it several months ago.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Air Canada’s seasonal A319 service to St John’s is unique – it’s the only Airbus narrowbody transatlantic flight from Heathrow and it’s the only Air Canada A319 flight to anywhere in Europe. Anyone who has seen the babybus parked over at Terminal 3 on their travels through Heathrow will have to admit that it still seems bizarre to see one of Air Canada’s A319s here, even though the flights to St John’s have been operating for a number of years now.

Even after you told me about this, and even after reading your TR, if I saw an AC A319 at LHR, my first reaction would be "WTF?". You just can't help it.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Why? I just like to be early.

I hear ya. I'm just like that too. I do this even if my hotel is inside the freaking airport.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
No, this is not DFW

Hard to believe!


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I love people watching, the aircraft coming and going, and all the activity of an airport. I could sit around for hours quite happily, which definitely makes me a sad individual in many ways. Perhaps I look suspicious, perhaps Air Canada was right to add me to their suspicious list? Who knows.

Sounds like *cough* someone I know . We a.netters are very similar after all...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Boarding is a relaxed affair – no scramble to be first on the aircraft. This would set the tone for much of my travels in Eastern Canada – everyone was relaxed and so very polite and chilled out. It made for a remarkable contrast to the hurried and selfish “me me me (and me first)” attitude that pervades much of London life these days. Sigh.

Ah, Canadians. You gotta love them.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
This young guy (you can tell I am getting old) had a sparkly earring in both ears, a shifty looking expression, and looked like he would be quite at home in a dodgy club somewhere.

It seems like chavs have made their way over the pond and even into the aviation industry... The world is doomed.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I spot the “hand behind the seat” exercise in a row far ahead of me and automatically think of WideBodyRoga - this one’s dedicated to you!

Argh! At least his arm is not reaching far back enough. I particularly hate it when a person's hand occupies the space immediately in front of my face. On a different note, I like the fact that there is now an entire class of photos dedicated to me, just like lavatory photos are dedicated to Jonas and under-the-wing photos dedicated to Markus. I feel quite honored! 
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
In mid stride, I am accosted by seatmate and chatty neighbour from the flight who then asks me where I was staying. On giving my response, she tells me that her husband was here to pick her up and they would be happy to drop me off at the hotel on their way home. Not being used to such acts of random kindness, I wasn’t sure what to say other than stumble out with the “thank you very much but it’s OK I am happy to catch a taxi” but she would not hear of it. Next thing I know, me and my stuff were in the car and she had introduced me to her husband who had no problems dropping me off at my hotel.

Wow, that's so nice. There is no way I would have accepted this anywhere else in the world, but this being Canada, it's a whole different story.


Thanks for the very entertaining report palmjet! St. John's looks fantastic! Looking forward to the rest!

Stojan

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-10-07 22:21:41 and read 24997 times.

Nice report Palmjet, and a nice insgith into Terranova! Looks like the AC flights are quite nice...lunch looks good.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
“When did Air Canada go ghetto?”

Ha, maybe it's just the guys from small town Newfoundland trying to pretend they're from the big city?!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The contents consisted of thus: roasted chicken and vegetables, along with a side of brown and white rice, a small pasta salad, a moderately fresh but cold bread roll, and a cookie for dessert.

Tasty

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-08 01:07:37 and read 24774 times.

Hi PH

Thanks very much for your comments.

Quote:
great report with many nice pictures! Very good idea to try that A319 transatlantic service - I wouldn't mind doing so either, but I have already flown on an AC A319. Almost 5 hours as well, but almost entirely over land - SFO-YUL. But the map didn't work back then...

It's not often that you think of the A319 operating these long-er flights but it's worth remembering they do have the range are able to do these type of sectors comfortably. Nice!

Quote:
I have always been fascinated by that part of Canada, I don't know why. I really need to go there one day.

Me too! There is lots to see and do. Interestingly, one of the tour guides told me in St John's they do get a number of German tourists visiting so Newfoundland seems to be well on the map in Germany at least!

Quote:
Well, some might also say: "Wow, AC sends all-Business Class aircraft to LHR!"

Good point - let's hope that's what they were thinking!

Quote:
The meal looks okay, but it's nothing special.

Pretty standard fare but not fatty or greasy at all. I guess that was a plus.

Quote:
Totally justified, a cookie's not a dessert!

Fewer airlines these days across the Atlantic are offering the type of desserts that were common in days gone by. I think this is not going to change.

Thanks again!

Hola VSMike -

Quote:
Neat report from an easily forgotten corner of the planet. Like you, I had only thought of these isolated land masses as way markers for TATL crossings - as well as large breed types of dogs. But I guess people actually live there as well, only God knows why. Point-of-fact: I think the area was settled by Bulgarians, during the Bulgo-Labradorian wars of 1982? But I could be wrong about that.

I was so surprised about the strong Bulgarian influence in Newfoundland. I will be mentioning that in Part II!

Quote:
Interestingly, my father has kept breeder-grade Newfoundland ("Newfy") dogs for years. They are quite enjoyable and relatively docile dogs despite their girth. Same could be said about my father... but he's just an a-hole. Anyways... thanks for sharing this tale. I sincerely hope you didn't manage to fly any 737-600s intra-Canada...

I had no idea that was the case. Those dogs are huge for sure - must cost a fortune to feed! 737-60s in Canada? Me? Never!

Hi M

Thanks for your comments - hope you are well

Quote:
Me too! I always like showing up early, it gives me more time to plane spot!

Agreed - I hate being late to an airport although I cant recall whether I have ever been late to an airport. There are just too many things to see and do!

Quote:
Sounds like a great trip!

Overall, it was a brilliant trip. Hopefully I will be able to cover some additional flights I took in Canada.

Quote:
Yes, what is going on with the shrinking Y meals?! They're getting smaller and smaller! I think Emirates is the only airline that still seems to serve really plentiful, appealing meals that fill you up. With that small meal, I'd be hungry for more than just a muffin before landing!

Seems like a sign of the times, in Y at least. Thankfully I had eaten before flying so I wasn't that hungry throughout the flight. I think some airlines count on this....

Quote:
Great photos from St. Johns! It looks like a really nice town, and an interesting place to visit. I'm looking forward to the next part!

I can only recommend a visit to St John's - one of the friendliest places I have visited in a long time.

Hi SCQ83

Quote:
Thanks for the report. Really interesting... I had no idea AC sent A319 to anywhere in Europe.

Every time I happen to be in a window seat in a daylight trans-con to BOS, I am amazed looking at that part of Canada. Have you visited St. Pierre et Miquelon? It must be a funny place... the only remaining French territory in North America.... not far from St. John's.

Thanks for your comments. Yes, the AC 319 is a rarity at LHR for sure. I understood it was originally a year round flight but then got reduced to summer season only. The numbers must have worked because AC has been operating the seasonal service for a number of years. My seatmate told me it was such a godsend - as she ordinarily has to go via Halifax (backtracking) to get to Europe so the non stop flight to London was very popular (with her at least!)

Quote:
Which other transcontinental Europe-America routes are served with A319/32X or B737? I am thinking of the famous A318 LCY-JFK and PrivatAir for LH/LX.

There's only a handful and they are all premium flights - Air Canada is unique in that the A319 operates with normal J and Y seats!

Hi WBR

Quote:
How nice to finally get to read about your Canadian adventure. Personally I've been waiting for this trip to happen for a long time now, ever since you told me about it several months ago.

Thanks! You need to go - that's all I can say!

Quote:
Even after you told me about this, and even after reading your TR, if I saw an AC A319 at LHR, my first reaction would be "WTF?". You just can't help it.

Very true indeed.

Quote:
I hear ya. I'm just like that too. I do this even if my hotel is inside the freaking airport.

hmmmm that sounds familiar....

Quote:
Argh! At least his arm is not reaching far back enough. I particularly hate it when a person's hand occupies the space immediately in front of my face. On a different note, I like the fact that there is now an entire class of photos dedicated to me, just like lavatory photos are dedicated to Jonas and under-the-wing photos dedicated to Markus. I feel quite honored!

I know - it was only a partial hand. I know the position you mean....! Yes, all my subsequent hand behind the seat pics will be dedicated to you.

Quote:
Wow, that's so nice. There is no way I would have accepted this anywhere else in the world, but this being Canada, it's a whole different story.

Me either - being the suspicious and cyncial Londoner that I have become....

Hi Gabe

Thanks for your comments - I am getting around to commenting your recent Asia series. Thanks in advance for posting these so quickly!

Quote:
Ha, maybe it's just the guys from small town Newfoundland trying to pretend they're from the big city?!

  I don't believe the crew were YYT based - not sure where the aircraft then went on to - perhaps either to Halifax, Montreal or Toronto. I wasn't aware that AC had any cabin crew based in St John's.

Cheers - and safe travels!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2012-10-08 03:14:09 and read 24551 times.

The meals on AC are slightly better than US carriers; no lettuce as a starter.

I love BONTE cookies but it is not a proper desert. Interesting that AC now operate to St Johns. I knew about Halifax as I see it as a connecting option from NYC.

AC also offer decent legroom. However they lost my suitcase and never found it again. So it is an airline that caused me considerable trauma.

[Edited 2012-10-08 03:17:40]

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: jwhite9185
Posted 2012-10-08 12:25:40 and read 23833 times.

Interesting read there PJ. I noticed that the winglets and flap fairings have a green outline round them? Never seen this on any other jets before. Maybe something to do with this one going transatlantic?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, I am unable to spot my little babybus anywhere

I caught a glimpse of it landing around 06:45 that morning when I was on the coach in. Too slow to get my camera out though and like you, I couldn't see it anywhere from the terminal!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I am surprised to see our A319 has been dragged to a proper jetway gate

Seemed there was a lot of shifting round that morning - my VS jet was towed round from gate 21 to gate 1 about 45 mins or so before boarding. No idea why...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The other 2 crew members however, seemed a lot more friendly, and less likely to want to stab me.

Always a plus point.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
having read jwhite’s recent report on his Virgin flights to JFK, it seems that someone has pressed the “shrink transatlantic meals in Y” button,

So it would seem. Be interesting to see BA's offerings next year. Although that will be in Y+ I'm let to believe VS' Y+ offerings have had a similar treatment.

Looking forward to the next instalment!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2012-10-08 15:17:38 and read 23614 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Great report and pictures, did enjoy your documented journey on this summer service.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
This is the first part of my 2012 trip to Canada. By co-incidence there have been a few reports from the land of the maple leaf (and its airlines) this year from regular A.net contributors

- Indeed, there have been a few trips there this year, more so than usual it seems to me.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Air Canada’s seasonal A319 service to St John’s is unique – it’s the only Airbus narrowbody transatlantic flight from Heathrow and it’s the only Air Canada A319 flight to anywhere in Europe. Anyone who has seen the babybus parked over at Terminal 3 on their travels through Heathrow will have to admit that it still seems bizarre to see one of Air Canada’s A319s here, even though the flights to St John’s have been operating for a number of years now.

- Agreed, it still seemd odd seeing them sat next to their larger AC workmates, the 77W and 763's.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
It’s like seeing United 767-300s in Continental colours. It just doesn’t look right.

- Agreed!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
You never know what you are going to see at LHR – that’s what makes it such an interesting airport for us spotters. Sadly today was pretty run of the mill – although if you’d never been to LHR before, you would have been agog at all of the gorgeous aircraft on their stands and around the place.

- A the spotters mecca, except for us locals, it becomes a bit slow at times, at least for us reg spotters.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
No, this is not DFW

- It looks like it at times though!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I spot one of the other flight attendants working in Economy, and my first question to myself is: “When did Air Canada go ghetto?” This young guy (you can tell I am getting old) had a sparkly earring in both ears, a shifty looking expression, and looked like he would be quite at home in a dodgy club somewhere. He wasn’t particularly friendly to any of the passengers, simply going through the motions of preparing the cabin, and I am “pleased” to say that he managed to work that flight for the full 5 plus hours without once even cracking a proper smile.

- Makes you wonder what kind of system the airline has in place to monitor staff performance and customer service.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
we were pretty much full in Economy and Business looked fairly well represented too. Good for Air Canada’s bean counters for sure. I end up having the middle seat free, with a lady who I guess is in her 60s, sitting in the aisle seat.

- Result, an empty seat next to you on a longhaul makes the difference!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Unusually for me, I strike up a conversation with her

- Your a better man than me, I tend not to.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The contents consisted of thus: roasted chicken and vegetables, along with a side of brown and white rice, a small pasta salad, a moderately fresh but cold bread roll, and a cookie for dessert.

- Small but reasonable looking, one of the better looking Y dishes I've seen from AC of late.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
After the food service is complete, the crew then come down again offering tea and coffee. Given airline coffee tends to fluctuate between awful and revolting, I steer clear and ask for some tea instead. The tea is nice.

- Indeed, you can't do that much damage to tea.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I find out that Air Canada has also included this amazing wall chart showing the historical evolution, by airline and aircraft type and the years these were operated

- Nice touch AC!

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: vio
Posted 2012-10-08 15:52:02 and read 23560 times.

Great report mate! I really enjoyed it. That's something I'm looking forward to in the future, is to fly with ACs A319 to LHR. I've been to a lot of places in this fine country of ours, but I shamefully admit I haven't been to the Maritime provinces yet.

Thanks for the great report, well written text and great photos. Looking forward to your other reports

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: FlyKev
Posted 2012-10-08 17:03:47 and read 23510 times.

This is fast becoming a great year for Canada in regards to trip reports.

Excellent report on a fascinating flight. Its odd to think of an A319 crossing the Atlantic but YYT is certainly a short hop. The on board product however does look more than suitable for a flight of this length.

I look forward to the next part.

Kev.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-10-08 21:42:04 and read 23188 times.

Every year there seems to be one country that has lots o trip reports - and 2012 seems to belong to Canada! Thanks for adding to the collection this year with this unique flight. It is indeed special doing these routings, and the 319 is quite the flight on TATL. Seems like your experience mirrors mine - overall above average product on AC mired by inconsistent crew. I have not been to YYT, but have it on my agenda. Perhaps, one day?

Thanks for sharing, and look forward to the next installment. Simply love the pictures of the locale!

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-10-09 04:20:17 and read 23016 times.

Great report James  

Lovely photos and great to go TATL on the A319 ! Would love to do that someday. Canada is great and after my trip back in December last I intend to go again soon .

Love the retro 75 years maps too ! They used to fly LHR-NCE with an L10-11 !

Regards

Philip  

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-10-09 09:48:56 and read 22754 times.

Hi James,

Fantastic trip report with many great pictures!
Knowing that AC fly this seasonal route to YYT with an A319 its great to see a report on it! Its been a while since I have flown AC and they still seem to be doing a good job, although I agree that the food portion looks a bit small but that seems to happen with many other carriers.
Love your pictures of St Johns and its surroundings, Canada is such a beautiful country!


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I made sure not to mention the number of local flights I had planned, for fear of raising suspicion

Cant they allready see that in the system?

Looking forward to part 2!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-10 00:59:23 and read 22295 times.

Hi J

Quote:
Interesting read there PJ. I noticed that the winglets and flap fairings have a green outline round them? Never seen this on any other jets before. Maybe something to do with this one going transatlantic?

Thanks for your comments - yes, I noticed that too as soon as I sat down. Never seen this on an A319 before and I wasn't sure what they were for - perhaps identifying whether or not there was any ice on these parts of the wing during the winter months?

Quote:
I caught a glimpse of it landing around 06:45 that morning when I was on the coach in. Too slow to get my camera out though and like you, I couldn't see it anywhere from the terminal!

Yes, it's an early arrival from St John's - my seatmate was telling me that on the way over to London, the flight was packed full.

Quote:
Seemed there was a lot of shifting round that morning - my VS jet was towed round from gate 21 to gate 1 about 45 mins or so before boarding. No idea why...

I guess it's more more common than we think at T3.

Quote:
Always a plus point.

You said it!

Quote:
So it would seem. Be interesting to see BA's offerings next year. Although that will be in Y I'm let to believe VS' Y offerings have had a similar treatment.

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.

Hi Mark

Quote:
Great report and pictures, did enjoy your documented journey on this summer service.

Thanks very much

Quote:
Indeed, there have been a few trips there this year, more so than usual it seems to me.

It must be Canada year from an A/net perspective for sure.

Quote:
Agreed, it still seemd odd seeing them sat next to their larger AC workmates, the 77W and 763's.

Yes, it felt strange to be boarding such a small aircraft for an overwater flight like this, parked near and around widebodies!

Quote:
As the spotters mecca, except for us locals, it becomes a bit slow at times, at least for us reg spotters.

Yes, the repeat BA Airbus fleets now start to drive me crazy!

Quote:
Makes you wonder what kind of system the airline has in place to monitor staff performance and customer service.

I am all for freedom of expression but I thought airlines generally were quite strict about their dress codes for their customer facing staff.

Quote:
Your a better man than me, I tend not to.

Me either - that flight was an exception. I think it was the joy of knowing I was leaving for 2 weeks away from everything in London and not having to go to work for 2 weeks either.

Thanks Mark

Hi vio

Quote:
Great report mate! I really enjoyed it. That's something I'm looking forward to in the future, is to fly with ACs A319 to LHR. I've been to a lot of places in this fine country of ours, but I shamefully admit I haven't been to the Maritime provinces yet.

Thanks for your comments. Pleased you enjoyed! A few of my Canadian buddies have said the same thing - when you live in such a big country, you always think that you can go, but when you actually live there, you don't. I had the same issue when I lived in Australia and now regret it - there are some fantastic places there which I should have visited! Go to Newfoundland if you can - it's great.

Hi FlyKev

Quote:
This is fast becoming a great year for Canada in regards to trip reports.

Thanks for your comments - yes! I really enjoyed your Air Transat experience.

Quote:
Excellent report on a fascinating flight. Its odd to think of an A319 crossing the Atlantic but YYT is certainly a short hop. The on board product however does look more than suitable for a flight of this length.

The product was indeed more than fine for the relatively short hop. I could have happily spent a few more hours on the A319 without any issues!

Quote:
I look forward to the next part.

Hopefully coming soon! Cheers

Hi Alex

Quote:
Every year there seems to be one country that has lots o trip reports - and 2012 seems to belong to Canada! Thanks for adding to the collection this year with this unique flight. It is indeed special doing these routings, and the 319 is quite the flight on TATL. Seems like your experience mirrors mine - overall above average product on AC mired by inconsistent crew. I have not been to YYT, but have it on my agenda. Perhaps, one day?

It does - I think there have been some great reports this year from this part of the world   Good on Air Canada for trying something different and it seems that the link, albeit seasonal, to YYT is a godsend for those YYT'ers who want to travel to Europe without having to backtrack to Halifax. Yes, quite a standard AC flight. I had a very nice flight on the return YUL - LHR with a totally different set of crew. Report coming soon!

Quote:
Thanks for sharing, and look forward to the next installment. Simply love the pictures of the locale!

It's a gorgeous part of the world! Thanks again

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-10 01:16:46 and read 22275 times.

Hi Philip

Quote:
Lovely photos and great to go TATL on the A319 ! Would love to do that someday. Canada is great and after my trip back in December last I intend to go again soon.

Thanks Philip - glad you enjoyed. I really enjoyed Canada as well. I am already planning another trip back again next year.

Quote:
Love the retro 75 years maps too ! They used to fly LHR-NCE with an L10-11!

It was quite lucky to be travelling during September when there was so much focus on their 75th birthday. LHR - NCE on an L10-11 would have been super!

Hi Brendan

Quote:
Fantastic trip report with many great pictures!
Knowing that AC fly this seasonal route to YYT with an A319 its great to see a report on it! Its been a while since I have flown AC and they still seem to be doing a good job, although I agree that the food portion looks a bit small but that seems to happen with many other carriers.

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed. I was really pleased to be able to tick this flight off my list of "musts". Nice to see Air Canada providing a link for folks there to London - which of course, gives them a world of choices for connections.

Quote:
Love your pictures of St Johns and its surroundings, Canada is such a beautiful country!

Thank you - agreed. It's a beautiful place.

Quote:
Cant they allready see that in the system?

I had flights booked with a number of different airlines and routes - not sure all of these would have been visible in one place!

Thanks again

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-10-10 07:57:28 and read 22078 times.

Hi PJ('s)  

A lovely read once again, accompanied with your signature crisp clear pics. This way of crossing the pond - in a babybus - doens't look half that bad actually. AC did provide you with all due necessities for an enjoyable flight. And let's just assume that the ear-ringed FA had a bad hair day 

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I could sit around for hours quite happily, which definitely makes me a sad individual in many ways.

No it doesn't make you a sad person - au contraire! (I know the feeling lol!)

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Well, that’s what happened to me and I wasn’t even feeling feverish at the time of booking!

I remember a certain report not too long ago about some special booking circumstances, yes  

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
and less likely to want to stab me

I'm sure he wasn't all that bad?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Lifting off for our 5 and a bit hour flight

That's actually not very long. But indeed YYT is at the very end of the east coast.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Yep, it’s definitely an A319

It says 'M' behind the type, any idea?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Dedicated to lychemsa, whose tireless critique of transatlantic carriers’ dessert choices remains steadfast.

Lol!

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: longhauler
Posted 2012-10-10 16:12:42 and read 21766 times.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 17):
Thanks for your comments - yes, I noticed that too as soon as I sat down. Never seen this on an A319 before and I wasn't sure what they were for - perhaps identifying whether or not there was any ice on these parts of the wing during the winter months?

It is reflective tape. You will see it on all "extremities" to avoid being hit by ground equipment. It used to be red, with the new paint scheme, green tape is now used. You may not notice it, but it matches the green of the door outlines and shadow of the logo!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 19):
It says 'M' behind the type, any idea?

M after the aircraft type is in in-house designation for safety cards, it designates that it is an extended "over-water" equipped aircraft ... in a fleet where they were not always "over-water" equipped. Maritime, (but the French maritime, not the English one).

In the past there have been Air Canada safety cards for the B727M, B767M, A319M and A320M. Yes, there was a time when AC had some non extended over-water equipped B767s.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: A340600
Posted 2012-10-10 16:48:41 and read 21756 times.

Thanks for sharing, I would love to do this trip. I travelled a fair bit with AC this past summer and was very impressed with them. Great pictures too.

346

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-10-11 02:38:45 and read 21561 times.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 20):
M after the aircraft type is in in-house designation for safety cards, it designates that it is an extended "over-water" equipped aircraft ... in a fleet where they were not always "over-water" equipped. Maritime, (but the French maritime, not the English one).

In the past there have been Air Canada safety cards for the B727M, B767M, A319M and A320M. Yes, there was a time when AC had some non extended over-water equipped B767s.

Thanks for the info. Now the 'M' makes sense to me  

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: lukeyboy95
Posted 2012-10-11 10:02:41 and read 21334 times.

Hi Palmjet,


A highly interesting TR on a route I think we are all quite intrigued by. Which begs the question whether EZY might try this out one time in the future, since they stretch their aircraft the long distance to Jordan and Israel.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The bigger surprise is that I find out that Air Canada has also included this amazing wall chart showing the historical evolution, by airline and aircraft type and the years these were operated. Very nice and thank you Air Canada for going to such an effort

That is a very nice collectible!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
On giving my response, she tells me that her husband was here to pick her up and they would be happy to drop me off at the hotel on their way home. Not being used to such acts of random kindness,

How lovely, that is a nice welcome!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
ST JOHN’S AND SURROUNDS

Beautiful (and I bet bleak in the Winter) area... many of my friends are based out of there on the offshore oil industry.

AC looked excellent (apart from the yob)! Although it confuses me why they put rice and roast chicken.

Cheers

Luke!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: infodesk
Posted 2012-10-11 11:51:59 and read 21275 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Great report about an unusual route. I had no idea that AC even flew it, let alone with a A319. It must have been quite a strange feeling, was it not, to cross the Atlantic on a narrowbody. I'm not sure I'd like it to be honest!

Love your photos of St. John's, particularly the night time ones from the viewpoint. On some photos it has a distinct Arctic feel to it, the weather contributes to that I'm sure, but also the landscape and the coloured houses.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I’ve always dreamed of visiting this part of the world, ever since I saw some pictures of the colourful rows of houses in St John’s in an old encyclopedia we had at home in Australia and the fact that St John’s claims to be one of the oldest city in North America. I was always fascinated by places and different lands, and vowed that one day, I would touch down in this part of Canada and see these places, especially St John’s, for myself

I take my hat off to you. That's what's travelling is all about, isn't it? My fascination with Greenland that began in my teens and I too have vowed to go there one day, before all the ice melts.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Hanging around airports is not usually a problem for me and today was no different. I love people watching, the aircraft coming and going, and all the activity of an airport. I could sit around for hours quite happily, which definitely makes me a sad individual in many ways.

People watching is just the best past time ever, it can keep me amused for hours  
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Given airline coffee tends to fluctuate between awful and revolting, I steer clear and ask for some tea instead. The tea is nice.

I generally find that on board tea is never very hot, particularly on Swiss. I still order it though. easyJet do the best cups!

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: roberts87
Posted 2012-10-11 12:51:46 and read 21259 times.

Great report, thanks for sharing! Great to read about this niche route. Kinda weird to fly Westbound on a transatlantic journey that only takes 5 hours. You are taking this flight back too?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
and then you realise that you’ve spent nearly all your holiday money on the flights alone

Very familiar!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-10-11 13:55:26 and read 21228 times.

Hi, PJ,

now that´s a set of lovely pictures.
Been to Canada myself, but these part of the country looks like really welcoming, great.

Also the flight on the A319, sure nothing special, is really special on this route in the end, well done to catch it this way.
Looking for more now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: longhauler
Posted 2012-10-11 14:30:52 and read 21225 times.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 24):
Great report about an unusual route. I had no idea that AC even flew it, let alone with a A319. It must have been quite a strange feeling, was it not, to cross the Atlantic on a narrowbody. I'm not sure I'd like it to be honest!

I have crossed the Atlantic in a B707, DC-8, VC-10, IL-62, TU114, etc ... all narrow-bodies. The Economy experience in this case would be no different, and on a few levels quite a bit better. I like the idea of going through Customs, or waiting for baggage as one of 120 passengers, rather than one of 400!

The YYT-LHR route has a long history. Of course, the stop in YQX was required for years due to capability of aircraft. In the 1980s the Newfoundland Atlantic stop changed from YQX to YYT, as YYT is the corporate centre of Newfoundland. It was always an en-route stop on the YHZ-LHR route, sometimes stopping in YYT, SNN, PIK, etc. When it was decided that YHZ-LHR could support a daily non-stop B767-300, the YYT stop came under scrutiny, and it was decided to cancel the stop ... and backtrack those LHR passengers from YYT through YHZ.

There was huge public outcry over canceling the stop. A LOT of bad press for AC, who the public required that they offer trans-Atlantic options from the easternmost province! Remember, when this occurred, AC was and still is a private corporation.

It would appear a lot of Canadians still think of AC as a government airline. In answer to this bad press, AC started the A319 operation. It is very expensive and in no way operates at a profit. The two A319s used had to be reconfigured and maintained for an ETOPS 120 operation and dedicated flight crews had to be trained and tested on Atlantic operations. Then, those crews have to be retested every year! It is all very costly!

I am always surprised every year at the start of the busy season, that this route survives.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-12 00:40:26 and read 21074 times.

Hello Nils!

Quote:
A lovely read once again, accompanied with your signature crisp clear pics. This way of crossing the pond - in a babybus - doens't look half that bad actually. AC did provide you with all due necessities for an enjoyable flight. And let's just assume that the ear-ringed FA had a bad hair day

Thank you! It was indeed a very pleasant flight. Bad hair day? I think he had more than that!

Quote:
No it doesn't make you a sad person - au contraire! (I know the feeling lol!)

Good -safety in numbers

Quote:
I remember a certain report not too long ago about some special booking circumstances, yes

Hmm yes me too - am still paying it off too.

Quote:
I'm sure he wasn't all that bad?

Oh you have no idea..... I was petrified!

Quote:
That's actually not very long. But indeed YYT is at the very end of the east coast.

Nope - indeed a very short westbound ocean crossing by ocean crossing standards.

Hi longhauler

Quote:
It is reflective tape. You will see it on all "extremities" to avoid being hit by ground equipment. It used to be red, with the new paint scheme, green tape is now used. You may not notice it, but it matches the green of the door outlines and shadow of the logo!

Thanks for that. The green tape indeed looked as though it matched very closely to the dark greens used elsewhere. Is it only the A319s at AC which have this? I don't remember seeing it used on other AC aircraft types??

Quote:
M after the aircraft type is in in-house designation for safety cards, it designates that it is an extended "over-water" equipped aircraft ... in a fleet where they were not always "over-water" equipped. Maritime, (but the French maritime, not the English one).

In the past there have been Air Canada safety cards for the B727M, B767M, A319M and A320M. Yes, there was a time when AC had some non extended over-water equipped B767s.

Fascinating - especially about the B767! Thanks for this.

Hi A340600

Quote:
Thanks for sharing, I would love to do this trip. I travelled a fair bit with AC this past summer and was very impressed with them. Great pictures too.

Pleasure - thanks for reading and posting a comment.



Hey lukeyboy95

Quote:
A highly interesting TR on a route I think we are all quite intrigued by. Which begs the question whether EZY might try this out one time in the future, since they stretch their aircraft the long distance to Jordan and Israel.

Ha! Thanks for your comments. It's an interesting route. A few years ago, Astraeus were operating summer charters with a 737 from LGW to Deer Lake, which is on the other side of Newfoundland from St John's. These seemed to only last a couple (if that) seasons but.... as you say, watch this space. Who knows what EZY will do !

Quote:
That is a very nice collectible!

A very nice and welcome surprise.

Quote:
How lovely, that is a nice welcome!

It was indeed - a great start to the holiday

Quote:
Beautiful (and I bet bleak in the Winter) area... many of my friends are based out of there on the offshore oil industry.

AC looked excellent (apart from the yob)! Although it confuses me why they put rice and roast chicken.

Yes - people did say that they get some pretty wild weather there at times - but like the UK, the weather is very changeable and nothing ever stays the same for too long. Newfoundland is becoming increasingly wealthy again as a result of all the oil exploration - that was quite evident when I was in St John's. Many of the boats in the harbour when I was there were for servicing the oil platforms.

AC were indeed fine. I also thought the rice and chicken combo was a little odd but it all tasted good.

Hi Hannah

Quote:
Great report about an unusual route. I had no idea that AC even flew it, let alone with a A319. It must have been quite a strange feeling, was it not, to cross the Atlantic on a narrowbody. I'm not sure I'd like it to be honest!

Thanks for your comments. The route is not that well known and as it's only seasonal, it probably is pretty low down on the list of priority flights for most people. My seatmate was so happy that she did not have to backtrack to Halifax to visit her family in the UK. It was more than fine crossing the ocean in the A319. The crossing was actually very fast and at times, I had to keep reminding myself that I was even on an A319!

Quote:
Love your photos of St. John's, particularly the night time ones from the viewpoint. On some photos it has a distinct Arctic feel to it, the weather contributes to that I'm sure, but also the landscape and the coloured houses.

Thank you - I love low light photography. It's a passion so I've been trying to find good places for some night shots both here in the UK and when I was in Canada - results have been mixed but it's been a lot of fun so far.

Quote:
I take my hat off to you. That's what's travelling is all about, isn't it? My fascination with Greenland that began in my teens and I too have vowed to go there one day, before all the ice melts.

I totally agree - it's about inspiration no matter where it comes from, to get out there and do something or see something new. I also want to go to Greenland - it looks amazing. I was reading a story about possible air links between Northern Labrador and Greenland being operated, which apparently would be the first time Canada and Greenland would be linked by a regular air service. Imagine that - we could fly from Europe to Canada and beyond by skipping across the Arctic and northern climes - Europe - Iceland - Greenland - Labrador. That would be a trip report!

Quote:
I generally find that on board tea is never very hot, particularly on Swiss. I still order it though. easyJet do the best cups!

No, probably for safety reasons in case the aircraft hits turbulence? me too - it's still usually better than the coffee. Thanks for the tip ! Cheers

Hi roberts87

Quote:
Great report, thanks for sharing! Great to read about this niche route. Kinda weird to fly Westbound on a transatlantic journey that only takes 5 hours. You are taking this flight back too?

Thank you - yes, it was a very short flight going west, but when you look at Newfoundland on a map - you realise just how further east and north it is compared to places like Boston, New York etc. No, this was only a one way flight. I returned to the UK from Montreal. There were a few stops on the way before I got to Montreal though...!

Hi Markus

Quote:
now that´s a set of lovely pictures.
Been to Canada myself, but these part of the country looks like really welcoming, great.

How's things? Glad you enjoyed. Yes, I can highly recommend this part of Canada. I know you've been and posted some great reports - I remember your KL M11 flight from YUL!

Quote:
Also the flight on the A319, sure nothing special, is really special on this route in the end, well done to catch it this way. Looking for more now.

It was indeed - thanks. Yes - more coming!

Hi longhauler

Thanks for your further post -

Quote:
The YYT-LHR route has a long history. Of course, the stop in YQX was required for years due to capability of aircraft. In the 1980s the Newfoundland Atlantic stop changed from YQX to YYT, as YYT is the corporate centre of Newfoundland. It was always an en-route stop on the YHZ-LHR route, sometimes stopping in YYT, SNN, PIK, etc. When it was decided that YHZ-LHR could support a daily non-stop B767-300, the YYT stop came under scrutiny, and it was decided to cancel the stop ... and backtrack those LHR passengers from YYT through YHZ.

There was huge public outcry over canceling the stop. A LOT of bad press for AC, who the public required that they offer trans-Atlantic options from the easternmost province! Remember, when this occurred, AC was and still is a private corporation.

It would appear a lot of Canadians still think of AC as a government airline. In answer to this bad press, AC started the A319 operation. It is very expensive and in no way operates at a profit. The two A319s used had to be reconfigured and maintained for an ETOPS 120 operation and dedicated flight crews had to be trained and tested on Atlantic operations. Then, those crews have to be retested every year! It is all very costly!

I am always surprised every year at the start of the busy season, that this route survives.

I was fascinated by all the avia displays at YQX when I was there in transit. It was nice to see such a detailed record of transatlantic air crossings. Interesting about the YYT route - not surprisingly, perhaps some politics also got involved. Re the perception of AC as a public carrier - the same is true in Australia of Qantas (and it too is majority privately owned). I did not appreciate the current YYT flights were not profitable - even though they are only seasonal? On my flight, the loads in both classes looked pretty good. J was almost full when I boarded. Having said that, it must be a nice change for the crews to fly the route, compared to most of the other A319 routes AC operate?

Thanks again all

Palmjet

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-10-13 02:36:54 and read 20829 times.

Hello Palmjet

Great trip report and thanks for sharing your first report on the Canada series  
It must be a strange feeling to fly the 319 longhaul, well longhaul. I don't think it's much longer than a LON-IST or JFK-LAX routing. Air Canada seems to provide great service as usual, well with an exception of 1 F/A.

Newfoundland looks great as well, would enjoy going there one day.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: AlwaysOnAPlane
Posted 2012-10-13 07:28:38 and read 20735 times.

Hi PJ.

It was great reading your report on this baby-bus transatlantic hopping macine. Indeed, very strange seeing a small bird from a carrier so far away parked on stand.

The meal service looks quite tasty overall. I would defo be happy to get that cinnamon bun, regardless of it's small size!

Man, I love those names on the IFE map mid Atlantic. Porcupine Bank, Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone... Brilliant.

That 75th poster (as previously discussed) is just so ultra cool. Thanks for the website link, I will try my luck with them directly.

Lovely, windswept looking local scenes on arrival too mate.

Look forward to more updates.
Cheers, Lee.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: longhauler
Posted 2012-10-13 08:31:01 and read 20703 times.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 28):
Having said that, it must be a nice change for the crews to fly the route, compared to most of the other A319 routes AC operate?

The Air Canada Public Participation Act requires that Air Canada maintain a pilot base in YWG! It is not really required operationally, so there are only roughly 20 crews, (20 CAs and 20 FOs). When the YYT flights started on the A319, Transport Canada required that all pilots on the base that operated the flight be ETOPS trained and tested. As it adds one day in the classroom and one day in the simulator a year onto the normal training schedule, it made sense to assign the flights to the smallest base ... YWG. By comparison, there are over 400 A320 crews in YYZ.

So the routing is usually, YWG-YYZ/YUL-YYT (layover) YYT-LHR (layover) LHR-YYT-YYZ/YUL-YWG. It would a great change of destination for other bases, but in YYZ on the A320, for example, there are layovers in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and of course, all over North America. I think they already have enough cool places to see!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2012-10-13 10:18:12 and read 20636 times.

Hi palmjet,

thanks a lot for this great report. Really something special to do a transatlantic flight on an A319. And again Air Canada lives up to its reputation, seems like you had quite a nice flight with them, maybe with the exception of that one FA.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I could sit around for hours quite happily, which definitely makes me a sad individual in many ways. Perhaps I look suspicious, perhaps Air Canada was right to add me to their suspicious list? Who knows.

Don't worry about that. I love hanging around in airports as well. And aren't we all a little crazy in a way? Crazy, but harmless   ...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
All in all, quite a small little picnic

But it looks really good, nicely presented.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The bigger surprise is that I find out that Air Canada has also included this amazing wall chart showing the historical evolution, by airline and aircraft type and the years these were operated.

Wow, that looks indeed interesting, great idea by AC to put all this together for their anniversary.

Also thanks for your pictures of St. Johns and the surroundings. That looks like an area I would love to visit as well. Now looking forward to read the next part.

Cheers
CaptainRed

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: SR117
Posted 2012-10-13 20:43:44 and read 20465 times.

Hey there PJ !!

Thanks a lot for this report, and I do hope to see more of your adventures in Canada.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Hanging around airports is not usually a problem for me and today was no different. I love people watching, the aircraft coming and going, and all the activity of an airport. I could sit around for hours quite happily, which definitely makes me a sad individual in many ways. Perhaps I look suspicious, perhaps Air Canada was right to add me to their suspicious list? Who knows.

Airports are very fun places, the combination of constant buzz, airplanes and the promise of exotic travel make for an exciting combination.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The other 2 crew members however, seemed a lot more friendly, and less likely to want to stab me.

Perhaps that is precisely the kind of crewmember you want to have in case you have a shady passenger on board, someone from the wrong side of the tracks who knows how to do battle with a broken bottle ! I'm not sure the petite french speaking lady would fare too well in this category...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The contents consisted of thus: roasted chicken and vegetables, along with a side of brown and white rice, a small pasta salad, a moderately fresh but cold bread roll, and a cookie for dessert.

That looks pretty decent, was it the only choice though?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I am soon saying my farewells and thank you to the friendly couple before checking in to the hotel. Kindness from strangers still does exist in small quantities in 2012 and I am reminded of it in St John’s.

Ahh yes, always so nice to have nice things happen during your travels, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Doing the transatlantic hop in an A319 doesn't seem bad at all, in all honesty I'm not all that convinced that big planes make a difference, especially in coach, it's not like any of that extra space on the 747 alleviates the fact that you're stuck in the middle section of the 3-4-3 configured jumbo and trapped ! Gimme a comfy A319 with an empty seat next to me any day ; )

Very nice pics from St John's as well, looks like a nice and relaxing place to have a vacation, how did you get around? It doesn't seem like a place where you'd have an extensive public transportation system.

Thanks again for posting
Ricardo

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: ushermittwoch
Posted 2012-10-13 23:37:25 and read 20421 times.

Just beautiful. I'd like to go some day.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: aerdingus
Posted 2012-10-17 03:58:53 and read 19999 times.

Thanks for this, really enjoyed the unusual A319 T/A report & the unusual location. It's a wild part of the world I'd love to see. When I was in Ontario they thought I was from Newfoundland because apparently the accents are similar....  

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-10-19 01:12:43 and read 19641 times.

Hi Palmjet!

Very nice to see a report on this unusual route !

It must be an odd feeling to board a 319 when you know you are crossing the Atlantic.

St John's looks great !

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-10-19 08:32:45 and read 19573 times.

Hello Palmjet!

Great report,
I really enjoyed reading about your flight on this very unique route. Glad to see that AC didn't disappoint either.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
bizarre to see one of Air Canada’s A319s here, even though the flights to St John’s have been operating for a number of years now.

Indeed, I saw the AC A319 at LHR for the first time myself this spring. Really weird!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The contents consisted of thus: roasted chicken and vegetables, along with a side of brown and white rice, a small pasta salad, a moderately fresh but cold bread roll, and a cookie for dessert.

Doesn't look bad, I would have enjoyed that meal as well. But as you said, it does look a little on the small side.

Martin

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: I39OO
Posted 2012-10-20 06:19:30 and read 19336 times.

Palmjet,

thank you! God knows how many times I've seen Air Canada's 319 at Heathrow's T3 and dreamt of flying over the Atlantic on it... I won't probably do it for a long time, but it's good to see what I'd see should I, one day, finally make it.

Air Canada's service might have lost a beat or two in the past, but they seem to me to be quite a good carrier with good employees. I know they have issues with transfers sometimes, but generally speaking they look pretty OK to me. And St. John's is definitely a gem of a place, thank you for bringing us there!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-10-25 11:23:29 and read 18839 times.

Hello Palmjet,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience of this special place called Newfoundland (or “Terranova”). What a marvelous array of pictures of St. John and surrounds!   


I had to remember the name because of an exam at the elementary school back in Indonesia, but unlike you, it never came across my find to go there on discovery.  


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Sadly, no OLCI was possible for me even though I had received an email from Air Canada the day before advising me I could do so. I had a sneaky suspicion that Canada still views someone with my name as a potential terrorist on their “no fly list” – something the USA seems to have (thankfully) abandoned.

I cannot see anything wrong with ‘Palmjet’.  


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
(although not so young these days in my case).

But young at heart!   


Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Seat pitch was good. I did not feel cramped in the seat at all.

It must be 32 inches!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
is giving them all kinds of tips on what to do and places they should not miss while in Newfoundland.
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I am accosted by seatmate and chatty neighbour from the flight who then asks me where I was staying. On giving my response, she tells me that her husband was here to pick her up and they would be happy to drop me off at the hotel on their way home. Not being used to such acts of random kindness, I wasn’t sure what to say other than stumble out with the “thank you very much but it’s OK I am happy to catch a taxi” but she would not hear of it. Next thing I know, me and my stuff were in the car and she had introduced me to her husband who had no problems dropping me off at my hotel.

Such genuine kindness is truly impressive. I do hope other people would do the same to them when they’re abroad.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
I start to think this is better than a gym workout or a run as the road and pathway ahead does get a lot steeper, but I figure it’s got to be worth the pain in my legs to keep going.

To be honest, I would go for both gym and the walk. A great workout combo!


Best wishes,
Suryo  

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-10-28 14:29:13 and read 18263 times.

Hi Marc

Quote:
Great trip report and thanks for sharing your first report on the Canada series
It must be a strange feeling to fly the 319 longhaul, well longhaul. I don't think it's much longer than a LON-IST or JFK-LAX routing. Air Canada seems to provide great service as usual, well with an exception of 1 F/A.

Newfoundland looks great as well, would enjoy going there one day.

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the first part. It was strange to be crossing the Atlantic in such a small aircraft in theory, but in practice, it felt no different to being on widebody! Newfoundland is one of the most beautiful parts of Canada to explore - I hope you can get there too!



Hi Lee

Quote:
It was great reading your report on this baby-bus transatlantic hopping macine. Indeed, very strange seeing a small bird from a carrier so far away parked on stand.

The meal service looks quite tasty overall. I would defo be happy to get that cinnamon bun, regardless of it's small size!

Man, I love those names on the IFE map mid Atlantic. Porcupine Bank, Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone... Brilliant.

That 75th poster (as previously discussed) is just so ultra cool. Thanks for the website link, I will try my luck with them directly.

Lovely, windswept looking local scenes on arrival too mate.

Thanks! The cinnamon muffin was very tasty - not dry and stale at all (which is what I was expecting!) Yes, the IFE had some interesting names included. Let me know if you don't have any luck with the website re the poster. It is such a cool treat. Very unexpected - thanks to Air Canada!

More to come.. Thanks again

Hi longhauler

Quote:
The Air Canada Public Participation Act requires that Air Canada maintain a pilot base in YWG! It is not really required operationally, so there are only roughly 20 crews, (20 CAs and 20 FOs). When the YYT flights started on the A319, Transport Canada required that all pilots on the base that operated the flight be ETOPS trained and tested. As it adds one day in the classroom and one day in the simulator a year onto the normal training schedule, it made sense to assign the flights to the smallest base ... YWG. By comparison, there are over 400 A320 crews in YYZ.

So the routing is usually, YWG-YYZ/YUL-YYT (layover) YYT-LHR (layover) LHR-YYT-YYZ/YUL-YWG. It would a great change of destination for other bases, but in YYZ on the A320, for example, there are layovers in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and of course, all over North America. I think they already have enough cool places to see!

You **really** don't like this route at all by the sounds of it? Are you saying London is not as cool as the other layover places??  


Hi CaptRed

Quote:
thanks a lot for this great report. Really something special to do a transatlantic flight on an A319. And again Air Canada lives up to its reputation, seems like you had quite a nice flight with them, maybe with the exception of that one FA.
..
Wow, that looks indeed interesting, great idea by AC to put all this together for their anniversary.

Thanks - it remains a pretty unique flight. The crew were pretty good apart from the one guy, but in any large organisation like AC, it's pretty expected.

Quote:
Also thanks for your pictures of St. Johns and the surroundings. That looks like an area I would love to visit as well. Now looking forward to read the next part.

Apparently, St John's gets a lot of German visitors. In fact, when I was in Halifax in transit, we were parked next to a D-registered Condor 763. I was surprised to see it there and never realised Condor flew to Halifax.


Hi R

Quote:
Thanks a lot for this report, and I do hope to see more of your adventures in Canada.

Ha! There is lots more to come. Thanks for your comments.

Quote:
Airports are very fun places, the combination of constant buzz, airplanes and the promise of exotic travel make for an exciting combination.

..

Perhaps that is precisely the kind of crewmember you want to have in case you have a shady passenger on board, someone from the wrong side of the tracks who knows how to do battle with a broken bottle ! I'm not sure the petite french speaking lady would fare too well in this category...

I know. I love airports too. It's the promise of exotic travel that always makes it special for me! I never thought about the said FA in that way - but thanks for bringing a whole new perspective...!

Quote:
That looks pretty decent, was it the only choice though?

Yes, there were no other choices from memory. Although now that I think about it, that's not right.. perhaps there was a fish choice too.

Quote:
Doing the transatlantic hop in an A319 doesn't seem bad at all, in all honesty I'm not all that convinced that big planes make a difference, especially in coach, it's not like any of that extra space on the 747 alleviates the fact that you're stuck in the middle section of the 3-4-3 configured jumbo and trapped ! Gimme a comfy A319 with an empty seat next to me any day ; )

Very nice pics from St John's as well, looks like a nice and relaxing place to have a vacation, how did you get around? It doesn't seem like a place where you'd have an extensive public transportation system.

Totally agree - size of the plane made no difference to me. It's hard to explain but as a passenger you did not even notice. I was certainly comfortable - and arguably as you say, more comfortable than being jammed on a fully loaded 777.


Hi ushermittwoch

Quote:
Just beautiful. I'd like to go some day.

Thank you! Hope you can get there too.

Hi aerdingus

Quote:
Thanks for this, really enjoyed the unusual A319 T/A report & the unusual location. It's a wild part of the world I'd love to see. When I was in Ontario they thought I was from Newfoundland because apparently the accents are similar....



Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the report. Yes, the accent in Newfoundland has a very strong Irish feel to it. Made it feel even more unique.

Hey The777Man

Quote:
Very nice to see a report on this unusual route !

It must be an odd feeling to board a 319 when you know you are crossing the Atlantic.

St John's looks great !

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed and yes, the A319 was certainly different. The smallest aircraft I have crossed the Atlantic for sure!

Hi Martin - thanks for your comments. AC did a good job. It's been nearly 9 years since I last flew with them.

Quote:
Doesn't look bad, I would have enjoyed that meal as well. But as you said, it does look a little on the small side.

Portions could have been bigger!

Hi I39OO

Quote:
thank you! God knows how many times I've seen Air Canada's 319 at Heathrow's T3 and dreamt of flying over the Atlantic on it... I won't probably do it for a long time, but it's good to see what I'd see should I, one day, finally make it.

Air Canada's service might have lost a beat or two in the past, but they seem to me to be quite a good carrier with good employees. I know they have issues with transfers sometimes, but generally speaking they look pretty OK to me. And St. John's is definitely a gem of a place, thank you for bringing us there!

Glad to be of service! Yes, I've seen the 319 there often and have always dreamed of taking that flight to St John's. AC did a good job - not brilliant, but kudos for them for offering this route. I had a comfy ride and got from A to B in pretty good shape. Thanks again.

Hi Suryo

Quote:
Thank you so much for sharing your experience of this special place called Newfoundland (or “Terranova”). What a marvelous array of pictures of St. John and surrounds!

I had to remember the name because of an exam at the elementary school back in Indonesia, but unlike you, it never came across my find to go there on discovery.

Thanks for your detailed comments. Glad you enjoyed the report.

Quote:
I cannot see anything wrong with ‘Palmjet’.

Me either!

Quote:
Such genuine kindness is truly impressive. I do hope other people would do the same to them when they’re abroad.

I know. It was lovely to be surrounded by such friendly people for a change. London can be pretty harsh sometimes.

Quote:
To be honest, I would go for both gym and the walk. A great workout combo!

You are much fitter than me my friend !!

Thanks again Palmjet

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: CYP353
Posted 2012-10-29 14:56:55 and read 18033 times.

Hi palmjet,

what a great report covering a flight whose performance I've always wondered about when seeing the plane at LHR! Special thanks also to longhauler for the interesting operational insights!

I'm a huge fan of "northern" scenery, and your nightshot of St. John's alone just put it on my to-visit list. And being an even bigger fan of Twin Otter operations, I can't wait for your report covering that part! The Beeches come right behind on my personal favourites list, so I also enjoyed your second installment a lot. Thanks for the work put into this!


Thanks so much and best regards,

Tis

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: longhauler
Posted 2012-10-29 21:22:36 and read 17946 times.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 40):
You **really** don't like this route at all by the sounds of it? Are you saying London is not as cool as the other layover places??

I fly the B767, so I have seen more than my share of the UK. I love London, very much, and if I could get there without flying into LHR, I would do it in a heartbeat. But lately, security issues for aircrew have made any operation through LHR unpleasant. As I have spent a lot of time in Switzerland in the past, I do a lot of GVA, and ZRH, when the aircraft flies there.

Lately my European flying has been on AC's "low yield" B767s to vacation type markets. Again, much as I love London, there is just something about BCN ....  

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-01 01:34:54 and read 17612 times.

Hi Tis

Quote:
what a great report covering a flight whose performance I've always wondered about when seeing the plane at LHR! Special thanks also to longhauler for the interesting operational insights!

I'm a huge fan of "northern" scenery, and your nightshot of St. John's alone just put it on my to-visit list. And being an even bigger fan of Twin Otter operations, I can't wait for your report covering that part! The Beeches come right behind on my personal favourites list, so I also enjoyed your second installment a lot. Thanks for the work put into this!

Thanks so much for your comments. Glad you enjoyed. I am in the midst of reading your North Korea "epic" which I am enjoying very much - I will post a comment when I get through it. Your pics are stunning.

St John's is a lovely little city. It's also very photogenic if you like taking pics.

The Twin Otter report is now up. There's also another Beech flight so hopefully that should keep you happy too  

Cheers Palmjet

Hi longhauler

Quote:
I fly the B767, so I have seen more than my share of the UK. I love London, very much, and if I could get there without flying into LHR, I would do it in a heartbeat. But lately, security issues for aircrew have made any operation through LHR unpleasant. As I have spent a lot of time in Switzerland in the past, I do a lot of GVA, and ZRH, when the aircraft flies there.

Lately my European flying has been on AC's "low yield" B767s to vacation type markets. Again, much as I love London, there is just something about BCN ....

Ha! That's OK - I won't take it personally that you prefer BCN over LHR! It's interesting to hear what you say about security issues for aircrew here - from a passenger perspective, I would say that security issues (at least in terms of processing passengers) has become a lot better than it was 2 - 5 years ago. Having said that I stood in a huge line at T3 the other week which was not fun at all. Safe travels to you - next time I see an AC 767 going over my place in London, I'll think of you..!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: imiakhtar
Posted 2012-11-04 14:45:40 and read 17156 times.

Justplanes have just released their AC 319 DVD covering this flight. The preview is worth a watch. Can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JQq1HjyVKA&feature=plcp

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: nipoel123
Posted 2012-11-05 11:05:21 and read 17048 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Interesting report on an oddball route. Good read, always interesting to read about 'stanger' routes.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Kindness from strangers still does exist in small quantities in 2012 and I am reminded of it in St John’s.

And in the rest of Canada, particularly in the east, I have experienced. It surprised me, to say the least.

Nick

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: ghYHZ
Posted 2012-11-06 03:23:51 and read 17050 times.

Around 2006 when Air Canada split the YHZ-YYT-LHR service into non-stop segments.....the new YYT-LHR A319 route was on a strange schedule for a typical transatlantic flight:

The flight to Heathrow was during the day, leaving St. John’s at 1pm local time, arriving LHR at 9pm and missing nearly all onward European connections. Returning......it left Heathrow at 10:30pm......arriving back in St. John’s just after mid-night local. Again, missing all onward connections........ Consequently, the loads were poor and the flight discontinued.

Then about three years ago Air Canada relaunched the A319 route on a more traditional schedule: overnight to LHR and returning during the day to YYT and now seams to be doing quite well.

During the couple of years AC wasn’t flying a transatlantic route from Newfoundland……..UK airlines did:

There was a weekly Astraeus 73G LGW-YDF (Deer Lake)......a town with a population of 5,000 in western Newfoundland (also serving Corner Brook)…….YDF was probably one of the smallest markets with transatlantic service! The YDF route was even done in the winter serving the Humber Valley Resort.......popular with Brits for the skiing at adjacent Marble Mountain. Monarch also did this route for awhile along with LGW-YYT.

(Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson was a Captain for Astrasus……wonder if he ever got to Deer Lake?)

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-11-08 04:03:48 and read 17048 times.

Hi imiakhtar

Quote:
Justplanes have just released their AC 319 DVD covering this flight. The preview is worth a watch. Can be found here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JQq1...=plcp

Thanks for that - yes, I had seen this advertised recently. How timely!


Hi nipoel123/Nick

Quote:
Interesting report on an oddball route. Good read, always interesting to read about 'stanger' routes.

Thanks for your comments. It's certainly a different type of route using an aircraft type that is not often used for transatlantic flights.

Quote:
And in the rest of Canada, particularly in the east, I have experienced. It surprised me, to say the least.

Me too!

Hi Gary

Quote:
Around 2006 when Air Canada split the YHZ-YYT-LHR service into non-stop segments.....the new YYT-LHR A319 route was on a strange schedule for a typical transatlantic flight:

The flight to Heathrow was during the day, leaving St. John’s at 1pm local time, arriving LHR at 9pm and missing nearly all onward European connections. Returning......it left Heathrow at 10:30pm......arriving back in St. John’s just after mid-night local. Again, missing all onward connections........ Consequently, the loads were poor and the flight discontinued.

Then about three years ago Air Canada relaunched the A319 route on a more traditional schedule: overnight to LHR and returning during the day to YYT and now seams to be doing quite well.

During the couple of years AC wasn’t flying a transatlantic route from Newfoundland……..UK airlines did:

There was a weekly Astraeus 73G LGW-YDF (Deer Lake)......a town with a population of 5,000 in western Newfoundland (also serving Corner Brook)…….YDF was probably one of the smallest markets with transatlantic service! The YDF route was even done in the winter serving the Humber Valley Resort.......popular with Brits for the skiing at adjacent Marble Mountain. Monarch also did this route for awhile along with LGW-YYT.

(Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson was a Captain for Astrasus……wonder if he ever got to Deer Lake?)

Thanks for the further comments. Interesting about how the schedule has been changed which seems to make much more sense from my perspective. I remember the Astraeus flights to Deer Lake - it seemed a very oddball route from here as most people in the UK had no idea where Newfoundland was, let alone Deer Lake! I thought Mr Dickinson was a 757 Captain - not sure whether the 75 was ever used to YDF? It's a shame the Deer Lake flights did not survive.

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: triple7man
Posted 2012-11-08 04:33:06 and read 17050 times.

Just Planes has recently put out an excellent DVD/Blu Ray on this route. It is taken in the cockpit and you learn a lot about the pilots work, and what is involved in ETOPS. I would highly recommend this DVD, and that is before I have even seen it; that's how good Just Planes makes them.

http://www.worldairroutes.com/AirCanada319.html

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: rampbro
Posted 2012-11-27 20:16:39 and read 16652 times.

Great trip report! It must be such a trip to see an AC 319 at LHR!

I loved your pictures of St. John's; that's my home city and you have captured it beautifully. Great shot of little Bell Island!

Topic: RE: Terranova Transatlantic: AC A319 To St John's
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-12-14 09:19:25 and read 15484 times.

Hi guys, thanks for the further replies

Hey triple7man

Quote:
Just Planes has recently put out an excellent DVD/Blu Ray on this route. It is taken in the cockpit and you learn a lot about the pilots work, and what is involved in ETOPS. I would highly recommend this DVD, and that is before I have even seen it; that's how good Just Planes makes them.

http://www.worldairroutes.com/AirCan....html

By co-incidence, a friend of mine told me about this at the same time! Interesting to see. Thanks for the recommendation.

Hi rampbro

Quote:
Great trip report! It must be such a trip to see an AC 319 at LHR!

I loved your pictures of St. John's; that's my home city and you have captured it beautifully. Great shot of little Bell Island!

You have a great home city! Glad you enjoyed the pics and the report.


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