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New Airport: Memmingen To Palma On TUIfly B737-300  
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2898 posts, RR: 23
Posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6294 times:

In February, TUIfly announced they'd start operations from Memmingen, a former airbase located somewhere in the middle of nowhere which is better known as the Allgaeu. Initially, one B737-300 would be based at FMM, operating flight to TXL, HAM, PMI, VCE, AYT, NAP and HER. Me being the curious type of guy, I really wanted to try out this new airport. Unfortunately it was quite difficult to find any flight to the holiday destinations at all - I guess most seats were taken by TUI (the tour operator). Finally I found one flight and booked it, for 19,99EUR, plus the "Zug zum Flug" railway option for another 19,99EUR.

FMM-PMI
X3 2416
16 July 2007
STD: 10:05 ATD: 10:15/10:18
STA: 12:05 ATA: 12:07/12:10
Seat: 25F
Number of passengers: 146 (out of 148 seats)
B737-300
D-AGEG
Built in 1988


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Photo © Frank Kuehne


I had flown on this particular aircraft before, back in the good old days when DBA still existed. As you can see, this aircraft had quite a lot of operators before.
DBA:

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Photo © Marcel Schmidt


DBA "Willkommen zum Fussball":

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Photo © Rob van Ringelesteijn


DBA white engines:

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Photo © Samy-Jay Greve


Germania:

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Photo © Stefan Welsch


Ukraine International:

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Photo © Jordi Grife - Iberian Spotters


Monarch:

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Photo © JetPix




At 6am, I left home for the train ride to Memmingen. S-Bahn to Stuttgart, ICE train to Ulm, and then RegionalExpress to Memmingen. From there, there was supposed to be a bus to the airport. I expected some more passengers, but I soon found myself standing alone waiting at the bus stop in front of the railway station next to the sign "Allgaeu Airport". 10 minutes behind schedule, a huge coach bus arrived. I was surprised to be the only passengers, but apparently the driver was even more surprised to have any passenger at all - because when I wanted to pay, she just said "I can't sell you a ticket, I don't have a cash box with me!". Great, a free bus ride to the airport. At 09:00, I arrived at the airport.

Even though I like the old-fashioned way of checking in at the airport counter, I had used the online check-in option on TUIfly's website this time, just because I wasn't sure at what time I'd arrive at the airport. So I had now a bit of time to explore this newly-opened airport.

The terminal building - a former military hangar:


Inside the terminal building, there are nine check-in counters, three of them were staffed for the TUIfly departure to PMI:


Next to the terminal, there is a spot from where you can overlook the small apron through a fence. There was just no activity at all, as TUIfly is the only airline flying to FMM, and the only FMM-based aircraft was just on its way back from TXL. On the other side of the terminal, one could see the airport staff pulling the baggage carts from the terminal to the parking position - by hand! I decided to go through security soon.

Gate area:


The gate area is quite small, certainly big enough for one full B737 flight, but it might sometimes become cramped when TUIfly bases their second aircraft there in autumn. Anyway, it's a nice, clean and bright terminal, with a glass front facing towards the apron. Free local newspapers were distributed, apparently a marketing idea of the local newspaper publishing house.

At 09:30, our aircraft arrived from TXL:


The two gate agents started boarding by 09:55, and as they do not have a computer at the gate, they had a passenger list and had to cross out every name. By the way, I was surprised how many passengers had checked in online on this holiday flight, I had checked in the day before in the early afternoon and had sequence number 018.

All passengers queued at the front door, but with row 25 (out of 27 rows) I thought the back door would be the better choice. A young flight attendant in HLX uniform welcomed me. There was a choice of free newspapers distributed at the door, however the choice was quite limited. IIRC, it was the choice between "Handelsblatt" and "Gala". That was it! I had expected a bit more, to be honest.

I took my seat in row 25, the cabin was equipped with grey leather seats, legspace was quite low, but at least the cabin was in a clean appearance. TUIfly (Or should I say Germania, as this aircraft is still operated by them) did their best to keep the "status quo" of this old cabin, however it looks like they didn't upgrade the cabin since the 80s: No video screens at all, no audio (I thought both would be a standard on TUIfly?), this aircraft didn't even have individual air vents above each seat, I had never seen this before. Well yes I did, on exactly this aircraft when I last flew it on DBA.

Boarding was completed soon, and next to me on 25E, there was a guy who had been seperated from his girlfriend because they checked in late, the girlfriend was sitting on a middle seat some rows to the front. He asked me politely if I would change my seat so they could sit next to each other, but I replied just as politely "No". It's not my fault if they came late to the airport.

Doors were closed, and both cockpit (two male) and cabin (three female) made their welcome announcements. We taxied to the runway, taxied on the runway until the end and made a 180� turn there - no taxiways at FMM...

Take-off on runway 24 into a crystal clear sky:





The city of Memmingen:


At this moment, the power of my camera's batteries was low. But don't worry, I had some spare batteries with me. But, stupid me, I had forgotten to charge those, so this was the last photo I could take on this trip. Which is quite a pity, because we flew over some quite nice landscape, and visibility was good: First the Allgaeu, then the Lake Constance, the Alps, Genua, Turin, Nice, Marseilles, Mediterranean Sea. Anyway, all I could do was enjoy the scenery, but no more pics.

A few minutes after take-off, the cabin crew came around and distributed toys for the children. Then they made an announcement about TUIfly being the new airline evolving from the Hapagfly/HLX fusion, and that meals and drinks on holiday flights were still for free, so we should just ignore the menu cards in our seat pockets. Today they had the choice between turkey and cheese sandwiches, however, they had run out of turkey somewhere around row 20, so passengers sitting behind this row didn't have the choice and had to take the cheese option. I didn't mind, as I would have had taken cheese anyway.

One drink service on this flight, I had a Fanta.

The captain made two more announcements about our routing, which was very welcome due to the lack of monitors / airshow.

The f/as did their duty free sales, and before landing, they distributed a "Mars" bar to everybody.

Very unusual approach into PMI: Whenever I flew to this island before, we appoached over the water. However, this time we crossed the whole island once from north to south and then landed into southwestern(?) direction. A hard landing and strong breaking, then the traditional applause. We soon arrived at the jetway, and at the door the f/as offered some sweets in "Hapagfly" design. The brand TUIfly had been introduced in December last year, and they still have "Hapagfly" sweets - hey, just imagine how many sweets they must have in stock Big grin

I met with Contact Air, who wanted to join me on my FMM-PMI flight, but the flight had been sold out already when he wanted to book, so he had taken a STR-PMI flight on Condor instead.

Conclusion
TUIfly brought me from A to be on-time and for quite cheap. The use of German railway for just 19,99EUR is a nice feature. Cabin was clean and comfortable (though with limited legspace). There were a dozen small things I was missing, e.g. a wider newspaper selection, and the meals used to be of a bigger quantity - however, the quality of the sandwich was good, it tasted great. The cabin equipment was very basic, but good enough for short flights. I hear you say "That's what you get when flying a low-cost airline", but I don't fully agree. TUIfly is not HLX, TUIfly is HLX and Hapagfly. The holiday flights are former Hapagfly routes, with the majority of passengers having tour operator holiday packages. Given this fact, the frills like newspaper selection or meal service were bit too basic. Anyway, it was a nice flight, and I got it quite cheap. The airport of Memmingen is new, nice and sympathic, I liked it a lot - even though its location is too far from where I'm living to use this airport regularly. But it was nice to try it out.

This is the end of my report about a new German airport, I hope you enjoyed reading. Once again my apologies for the lack of inflight pics. I hope you liked it anyway, and I'm looking forward to reading your comments. Regards, Alex.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1662 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6256 times:

Hi Alex,

It sure is a nice airport, a pity that only one airline is serving it up till now.
Are there any future plans for furhter expansion lets say from AB or U2 ?

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
At this moment, the power of my camera's batteries was low. But don't worry, I had some spare batteries with me. But, stupid me, I had forgotten to charge those, so this was the last photo I could take on this trip

Somehow I feel familiar with this issue  Smile

Thanks for sharing!
Gruss,

Joost ( DALCE )



flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineHAM From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6149 times:

Didn´t Dauair fly there before their bankruptcy? I think it was to DTM, but it might have been a planned route which they never started.

User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6144 times:
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Good report Alex!

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
a former airbase located somewhere in the middle of nowhere

- I like that, very amusing and it would appear true!

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
He asked me politely if I would change my seat so they could sit next to each other, but I replied just as politely "No". It's not my fault if they came late to the airport.

- Well done, if you wanted a middle seat you would have chosen it!

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
Very unusual approach into PMI: Whenever I flew to this island before, we appoached over the water. However, this time we crossed the whole island once from north to south and then landed into southwestern(?) direction

- I always seem to approch over land, I'll see if i's different on my flight from MAD on saturday.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5023 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6106 times:

Hello, Alex,
nice report.
I thought about some days ago about your announced trip from FMM.
It looks good all around according to your pics. Maybe I will try it out someday!.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
D-AGEG
Built in 1988

A well known machine to me, I think Christoph also had it in his log.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
but the flight had been sold out

Interesting, it seems the idea to start business from FMM was not that bad.
When I´ve checked fares, FMM was mostly not top on the list for the cheapest flights.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6658 posts, RR: 78
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6065 times:

Hi Alex,

very nice report, interesting to read about FMM. Travelers around that airport can applause the authorities for supporting the project - similar projects like an expansion of HOQ were blocked...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4208 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5968 times:

Alex,

well written report. Sorry to see your camera went out of power   As I also told to 'DALCE' last week: you won't forget charging them a second time  

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
He asked me politely if I would change my seat so they could sit next to each other, but I replied just as politely "No". It's not my fault if they came late to the airport.

Bad luck for him, with an a.nutter next to him 

Gruß
Eric

[Edited 2007-07-19 23:16:46]


"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2582 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5601 times:

Nice report - it was interesting to read about this small, new airport. I am all for ex-military airfields like these being used as new civil airports. I hope FMM proves to be popular , but from what you say it sounds like it has got off to a great start.

User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4692 posts, RR: 43
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5575 times:

Very nice report, Alex. Finally a new airport in Germany to visit - unfortunately, TUIfly only flies once daily from CGN to FMM in the early afternoon, which probably is one of the worst possible times if you want to plan a daytrip to check out the place.

Didn't you run out of batteries for one of your earlier daytrips, too, or am I mixing things up here?



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5508 times:

Hi Alex,

thanks for this great report and the pictures - it was interesting to read about your flight to our meeting at Majorca. Memmingen seems to be a nice airport - I have to try it out myself some time.

Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
however it looks like they didn't upgrade the cabin since the 80s: No video screens at all, no audio (I thought both would be a standard on TUIfly?), this aircraft didn't even have individual air vents above each seat



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Quoting Ndebele (Thread starter):
D-AGEG
Built in 1988

A well known machine to me, I think Christoph also had it in his log.

Yes, indeed I have already been on this bird with TUIfly; it was on a German domestic flight STR-LEJ earlier this year. I have to agree with Ndebele - the cabin layout of this aircraft is all right for short domestic flights of the former HLX-network. But it doesn't meet the standard of today's holiday travel. The lack of video screens including the air-show, an audio system as well as individual air vents probably isn't really appreciated by many holiday travellers. But this is the difficulty for TUIfly at many points: it isn't easy to mix a low-cost airline with a holiday carrier.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2898 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5378 times:

Hi there and thanks to *everyone* for the replies!

Quoting DALCE (Reply 1):
Are there any future plans for furhter expansion lets say from AB or U2 ?

No, or well at least I haven't heard about any other airline planning to fly to FMM. One has to consider that this is a really rural region with limited outbound traffic. They're talking about the inbound traffic as well, though I just don't see the Allgaeu mass tourism that justifies inbound charters. FMM is not INN.

Quoting HAM (Reply 2):
Didn´t Dauair fly there before their bankruptcy? I think it was to DTM, but it might have been a planned route which they never started.

Yes you're right, and I think they operated some flights into FMM before their bankruptcy.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
- I always seem to approch over land, I'll see if i's different on my flight from MAD on saturday.

So you visited PMI on saturday - a pity, a short PMI meeting would've been nice if you had been there on monday. Anyway, this sounds to me like there's an BA319-131 report coming soon, looking forward!
Regarding the landing direction: it's definitely not like I'm a frequent visitor to PMI. I've been there thrice before, all landings over water.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Interesting, it seems the idea to start business from FMM was not that bad.
When I´ve checked fares, FMM was mostly not top on the list for the cheapest flights.

Interesting, I didn't check the fares lately. Good luck for me that during the first days after the announcement of the new routes, all tickets were sold for 19,99EUR.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
very nice report, interesting to read about FMM. Travelers around that airport can applause the authorities for supporting the project - similar projects like an expansion of HOQ were blocked...



Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 7):
I am all for ex-military airfields like these being used as new civil airports.

I've heard experts say that FMM was probably the last completely new passenger airport for Germany, as every region has its own airport now. Regarding HOQ, it's bad luck for the region, however if the HOQ-PMI flights a few years ago had been so successful, they wouldn't have discontinued them? I don't know much about HOQ and the background, so I can't talk.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 6):
Sorry to see your camera went out of power



Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 8):
Didn't you run out of batteries for one of your earlier daytrips, too, or am I mixing things up here?

Yes, it happens to me all the time. I'm simply not a professional photographer, I just do it for the reports.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 9):
the cabin layout of this aircraft is all right for short domestic flights of the former HLX-network. But it doesn't meet the standard of today's holiday travel.

You hit the nail on it's head, as we would say in German. Very good conclusion.

Regards, Alex.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6658 posts, RR: 78
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5317 times:

Quoting Ndebele (Reply 10):
Regarding HOQ, it's bad luck for the region, however if the HOQ-PMI flights a few years ago had been so successful, they wouldn't have discontinued them? I don't know much about HOQ and the background, so I can't talk.

The loads were indeed good, but all flights were operated with BAe 146 due to the short runway - and that's not the kind of equipment tour operators rate as economic for holiday flights any more. Until recently, Hamburg International Airlines had held out the prospect of starting flights from HOQ after a runway expansion.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
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