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Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa (pix)  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 10971 times:

Canaries Prop-Hopping: ACE-LPA-ACE on Islas Airways & Naysa


Background
This ACE-LPA-ACE trip report is number two in a series of three reports. For all those interested in the background of the entire trip and the first part of the series (MUC-MAD-ACE), here's the link:
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321 (by PlaneHunter Jul 24 2007 in Trip Reports)


Planning & Equipment change
Shortly after my girlfriend and I had booked our trip to Lanzarote in early May, I checked the domestic flight options from Arrecife. Since the enthusiast wouldn't go alone this time, I didn't evaluate a major fun flying trip across several islands, but concentrated on an option which would include enough time for some sightseeing. Fares to Tenerife or La Palma were quite expensive on the favoured days, so we decided to go to Gran Canaria. We picked Islas Airways' morning departure (only two daily flights between ACE and LPA) for 50,50 Euro per person and checked the numerous Binter Canarias flights for returning to ACE. Several flights would be operated by Futura (B733 and B734) and I chose a late afternoon departure on a B734 - definitely more interesting than the common Binter ATR 72s. The fare was exactly the same, 50,50 Euro each. While the booking process on Binter's website can be switched to English or German, Islas talks Spanish (except for a few pages in other languages). Anyway, booking the Islas flight wasn't a big deal even in Spanish.

Only few weeks after booking the trip I noticed Binter had changed the allocation of flights. I was disappointed about spotting "AT7" on the computer screen, but then found the addition "operated by Naysa". At least another rare carrier - and there was a chance to get one of the brand new ATR 72-500s delivered in June.


Sunday, 08 July 2007
Lanzarote (ACE) - Gran Canaria (LPA)
Islas Airways IF410
08:35-09:05 (08:16-09:01)
Flying time: 00:39 (hrs)

ATR 72-202
EC-JCD (MSN 452), first delivered to Bangkok Air in 06/95 as HS-PGC
Economy Class (free seating)



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Photo © Christian Koester
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Photo © Jenny Coffey




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Photo © Pedro Aragão
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Photo © Ben Pritchard



Former appearance:

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Photo © Paul Massey




Check-in
Slightly over an hour prior to departure we took a taxi to the airport (ten minutes-drive) and entered the domestic terminal. The Islas counter was still closed and opened a few minutes later. A friendly female agent quickly handed the boarding passes to us - after asking for a certain row she explained there would be free seating and only 14 pax booked on this flight anyway.

Boarding
The security checkpoint didn't open until around 07:30 which resulted in a long queue. Finally we made our way to the gates and I spotted EC-JCD parked on the tarmac. At around 08:00 I walked around for a while and thought there would be some time left since boarding time had been given as 08:15. However, from the opposite side of the gate area, I suddenly realized no more passengers were seated or standing at our gate, and my girlfriend was already waiting next to the gate exit. I returned quickly and indeed we were the last two pax missing - the agent from the check-in earlier had already asked for me, my girlfriend said. And it wasn't even five minutes past 08:00.

We walked to the aircraft and I asked a ramp worker whether it's ok to take pictures (which is, according to certain airlines, not always tolerated on the tarmac). He smiled and invited me to do so. Btw - note the captain next to the door.










Cabin Comfort & Seating
Two friendly F/As, one of them still very young, dressed in chic blue uniforms, welcomed us on board. Some good seats in the rear section were already occupied so we walked down to the front end and choose row 2. The seats were just fine for the short flight...




...as well as as the pitch.




Departure
At only 08:16 EC-JCD was already pushed back and started taxiing to runway 03 - quite ahead of schedule. Just behind the white houses on that small hill you'd find the Beatrix Hotel which is a good choice for spotters.




After a short takeoff roll we turned left...






...and soon climbed through the clouds.




Service
Drink service started a few minutes later and we were offered a "Cafe Solo" (= espresso) in tiny cups as well as water. The coffee was strong, but tasted excellent with lots of sugar.



After the trash had been collected again I had a look into Islas' inflight magazine which is quite interesting, though written entirely in Spanish. There is a page which shows a list of all the airline's five aircraft together with registrations. I had a closer look at an article covering the purchase of six new ATR 72-500 which are planned to be delivered between late 2007 and 2009.


Approach
There was an announcement from the cockpit, but only in Spanish - probably some pieces of information about the remaining flying time and the arrival. Gran Canaria showed up on the right, partly covered with clouds, and the approach was started.






Final descent over numerous warehouses and industrial plants:




We touched down at 08:58 and stopped at a remote position three minutes later next to a Binter ATR 72-500.





Gran Canaria


Early Return Check-in
After a short bus tour to the terminal we walked to the departure hall in order to check in for our return flight in the afternoon. Binter's check-in machines are easy to operate and within two minutes we had our boarding pass. A young Binter employee had shown up immediately and asked for assistance as soon as we had entered our data. Nice move, though his English was only basic.

Las Palmas
We went back to the arrival hall and waited for the bus to Las Palmas which is, with roughly 400,000 inhabitants, the largest city on the Canary Islands. After a 20 minutes ride we arrived at a central bus terminal and decided to walk to the harbor alongside the water front. As so often it was overcast all day - locals call that phenomenon "Panza de burro" - so walking wasn't a problem.

Some views of the copious Las Palmas harbor area:








There's a central city beach with nice sand in that part of the city, but facing some large cargo ships, it's not really attractive:




Las Palmas navy base:




Cargo ships seen from the upper floor of a large shopping mall:




We had plenty of time left after lunch and some shopping and decided to visit the "Museo Elder de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia":




One of the main attractions just next to the entry: The front section of an Iberia DC-9-30.




All individual markings are gone, so I couldn't identify the plane. Later at home I checked ATDB and it turned out that the nose sections had once been part of EC-DGB, a DC-9-34 first delivered to Aviaco in October 1979. The aircraft was retired in December 2002 and later scrapped. The nose section was placed at the museum in 2004. Too bad the section's interior wasn't accessible.


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Photo © Stuart Haigh - topjetpix
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Photo © JetPix



We spent some 1,5 hours at the museum which covers all kinds of technical and scientific topics - very recommendable. In the afternoon we walked back to the bus station and returned to the airport.


LPA spotting
There is an observation deck at LPA airport, accessible for passengers only. Traffic was quite low in the afternoon so I didn't explore the deck but decided to have a seat at the glass front in the gate area. Here's EC-IYE - Islas' sole ATR 42-300.





Sunday, 08 July 2007
Gran Canaria (LPA) - Lanzarote (ACE)
Binter Canarias NT536 (operated by Naysa)
16:30-17:10 (16:42-17:23)
Flying time: 00:33 (hrs)

ATR 72-202
EC-GRU (MSN 493), first delivered to Binter Canarias in 12/97
Economy Class (free seating)



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Photo © Roel van der Velpen - MST-Aviation
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Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt




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Photo © STEVE BUTLER
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Photo © Daniel Nicholson




Short delay
I had waited all the time for any white Naysa plane to arrive, but I only spotted Binter aircraft. Close to our boarding time of 16:10 I guessed there had either been an aircraft change or the flight would be delayed. When we left the glass front and walked over to our gate I was a bit irritated to see that some 50 passengers were already waiting in line at the gate - just like at MAD, people had lined up exactly at the time printed on the boarding pass. Due to free seating on this flight again, I was concerned about a good seat now.
The time passed and since other flights had already been delayed, I guessed the same would happen to us. But then some 15 minutes later boarding was finally started.


Boarding
As we left the building I immediately noticed some pax in front of us headed to a Binter aircraft in old colors, registered EC-GRU.




Only some moments later I spotted this sticker:




Now it was clear we would indeed fly on a plane operated by Naysa - but not on the new ones I had hoped for. At home I found out Binter had transferred its four ATR 72-200 to Naysa in the weeks before our trip.

Cargo door still open:




Cabin Comfort & Seating
Even though many passengers had entered the plane before us, we managed to get a row in the rear part which still offered acceptable views. The interior in general looked quite worn. Here's a cabin view pic from the database:


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Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters




While the seats weren't much different from the ones on the Islas plane...




...the seat pitch was definitely worse. Very uncomfortable seating, even for a short hop. While Islas' EC-JCD is equipped with 70 seats, Naysa's EC-GRU is equipped with 72 - but that can't make such a difference, can it?




Departure
Boarding was completed quite fast, even though the flight was totally full. We left the gate at 16:42, taxied to the runway...




...and took off seven minutes later. Facing the sun and seated at a scratched window negatively affected the picture quality.




Turning left above the clouds:




Snack
F/As were friendly like on Islas and offered water as well as peanuts.




Approach
The flight was shorter than in the morning and after paging through the "Noticias" inflight magazines, we started the descent, flying across a part of Fuerteventura...




...and passing the tiny uninhabited island "Isla de Lobos" off the coast of Fuerteventura:




This is the "Playa de los Pocillos", the closest beach from our RIU "Olivina" hotel:




"Spotters' heaven" on the very right - the Beatrix hotel:




We touched down at 17:21 and stopped at the gate two minutes later. Only some more minutes later we took a taxi and went back to the hotel, preparing for another extensive dinner buffet...



Conclusion
Flying Islas Airways and Naysa / Binter was a pleasure, both carriers enable simple and smooth inter-island travel. Binter's main advantages are a more advanced website and the dense network with lots of frequencies. On-board service is quite similar, though not really a major issue considering the short flight duration on the inter-island routes. Both carriers' ground and cabin crews were friendly and professional. Seating was more cramped on Naysa, not to forget the worn interior in general. However, I cannot comment on Binter's ATR 72-500s which operate on most flights. In the end, I can recommend both carriers.


Next report:
ACE-BCN-MUC on Spanair MD-83 and A320


As usual, comments, opinions and questions welcome!


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter

[Edited 2007-08-26 19:47:11]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8551 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 10943 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
only 14 pax booked on this flight anyway.

- Yikes, pretty low, was there a Binter flight at a similar time?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Just behind the white houses on that small hill you'd find the Beatrix Hotel which is a good choice for spotters

- Thanks, always good to know.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There is a page which shows a list of all the airline's five aircraft together with registrations. I had a closer look at an article covering the purchase of six new ATR 72-500 which are planned to be delivered between late 2007 and 2009

- Interesting to note they list the aircraft registration details, not seen that before.

Great stuff as always, look forward to the return report.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5171 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10854 times:

Hi, PH,

thanx for posting that interesting story.
I remember also a flight on Binter´s ´72´s on "your" route.
But I think that was fixed seating.
Is free seating new on Binter?.

And I remember also a flight with NAYSA, but on a much more special aircraft,
a Beech 1900D from Santa Cruz de la Palma into Tenerife Sur.

Best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4270 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10794 times:

PH,

liked it very much reading about this rather 'special' flight inside the Canaries. Good to see you comparing both type of ATR 72's, and the conclusion about the seatpitch. I think I will spot some of the ATR's next month when I go for a holiday at Tenerife myself. No flights booked in my holiday there by the way... so just expect 2 charterflights only to be reported here  Wink

Cheers,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineS5FA170 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 534 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10725 times:

Is Binter part of the Austrian network? The logo looks similair, albeit in green!


Prepare doors for departure and cross-check.
User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3428 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10697 times:

Hey PH!

What a totally cool trip and a nice TR to share it with us. May i ask how much you paid for the whole thing? Next time i'm on the Canaries, i'll definately do some Island hopping aswell Big grin


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10523 times:

Thanks for all your replies!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 1):
Yikes, pretty low, was there a Binter flight at a similar time?

Indeed, there was a NT flight at about the same time. Islas is facing tough competition by Binter - interesting to note that both flights costed exactly the same.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
But I think that was fixed seating.
Is free seating new on Binter?.

I don't know - when was your last Binter experience? I guess free seating makes sense on these short routes in order to keep costs down.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 2):
And I remember also a flight with NAYSA, but on a much more special aircraft,
a Beech 1900D from Santa Cruz de la Palma into Tenerife Sur.

Definitely a special aircraft, though I prefer slightly "bigger" ones (30 seats+)...

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 3):
so just expect 2 charterflights only to be reported here

Which carrier will you fly?

Quoting S5FA170 (Reply 4):
Is Binter part of the Austrian network? The logo looks similair, albeit in green!

No affiliation at all, but indeed, the logos look somehow similar.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 5):
May i ask how much you paid for the whole thing?

101 Euro per person - not really cheap, but still reasonable.

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 5):
Next time i'm on the Canaries, i'll definately do some Island hopping aswell

I can only recommend that - the secenery is lovely and you can choose between numerous interesting flights (e.g. operated by Futura, Naysa etc.).


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10464 times:

I like to fly there on my Flightsim so it was nice to see your
real shots.

I have also been at this islands many times and seen the
atr:s on the tarmac.

Top report!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10262 times:

Quoting Bofredrik (Reply 7):
I like to fly there on my Flightsim so it was nice to see your
real shots.

So which is your favourite airport on the Canaries?


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineTaichen From Spain, joined Jul 2001, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10254 times:

Binter was founded by Iberia, it is now an independient carrier. Of course the "similarity" (?) with the Austrian logo is just a coincidence.

User currently offlineRAFVC10 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 10169 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
So which is your favourite airport on the Canaries?

For the variety of airlines and aircrafts that you can see there, without any doubt, Tenerife South Reina Sofia; for the calm and the new and nice airport, La Gomera.

Gerard



El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 10054 times:

Hi PH,

great report and very nice pics. It is always interesting to combine two different airlines on the same route, so that you can compare their service.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While the booking process on Binter's website can be switched to English or German, Islas talks Spanish (except for a few pages in other languages). Anyway, booking the Islas flight wasn't a big deal even in Spanish.

I find it really strange that Islas doesn't speak English - neither on their booking web-page nor in their in-flight magazine or the announcement from the flight deck. After all, the Canaries are full of foreign tourists and I guess you weren't the only non-Spanish passengers that used Islas' service. Well, they seem to be a good airline anyway.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 9919 times:

Thanks, Christoph!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 11):

I find it really strange that Islas doesn't speak English - neither on their booking web-page nor in their in-flight magazine or the announcement from the flight deck. After all, the Canaries are full of foreign tourists and I guess you weren't the only non-Spanish passengers that used Islas' service. Well, they seem to be a good airline anyway.

Indeed, they are a good airline but they really need to improve that aspect in order to match Binter.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9597 times:

Hi there,

Finally I found some time to read your report, as I already wrote in my last email, I am pretty busy lately with various things that amuse me so sorry for the late reply.

The report is excellent as always, great pics and much details. In fact, I am thinking now about a Canary Island hopping trip, there is nothing better than flying to my favourite country when it is winter here in Germany. Be prepared and expect some questions regarding flight fares and airlines on the Canary Islands at the beginning of next year, when it is cold and grey here in Germany and when I am in need of some sun and warm temperatures.

Patrick


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9499 times:

Thanks, Patrick!

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 13):
In fact, I am thinking now about a Canary Island hopping trip, there is nothing better than flying to my favourite country when it is winter here in Germany. Be prepared and expect some questions regarding flight fares and airlines on the Canary Islands at the beginning of next year, when it is cold and grey here in Germany and when I am in need of some sun and warm temperatures.

No problem, just go ahead and ask.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17067 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 9123 times:

Really interesting and great TR.

Enjoyed to read it.

The pics are really great.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineUsair320 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 991 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 8961 times:

Nice report! I have extensive family that are from Las Islas Canarias, but most of which are from Tenerife. In about 1 week I am going to visit them and my routing looks something like this:ABQ-ORD(AA MD80) ORD-MAD(IB 343) MAD-TFN(IB 752 op. Audeli) and on the second week of my trip I will fly NT to see my aunt and uncle who live on Fuerteventura.

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8920 times:

Thanks a lot for your new replies!

Quoting Usair320 (Reply 16):
In about 1 week I am going to visit them and my routing looks something like this:ABQ-ORD(AA MD80) ORD-MAD(IB 343) MAD-TFN(IB 752 op. Audeli) and on the second week of my trip I will fly NT to see my aunt and uncle who live on Fuerteventura.

Sounds like a nice trip. I'm sure you'll enjoy the NT part. Can we expect a trip report? I'm particularly interested in the IB A343 and 757 flights. I flew IB's A343 some years ago (MAD-MIA) and it was rather disappointing (seat pitch, catering, F/As). Would be nice to read more about their current offerings. My Spanair MAD-ACE-BCN legs were quite basic, so I'm wondering what IB has to offer on Canaries flights.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineUsair320 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 991 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8897 times:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
Sounds like a nice trip. I'm sure you'll enjoy the NT part. Can we expect a trip report? I'm particularly interested in the IB A343 and 757 flights. I flew IB's A343 some years ago (MAD-MIA) and it was rather disappointing (seat pitch, catering, F/As). Would be nice to read more about their current offerings. My Spanair MAD-ACE-BCN legs were quite basic, so I'm wondering what IB has to offer on Canaries flights.

IB has the same offerings as JK does on the flights to Las Islas. I have actully flown with NT before and I really enjoyed their offerings on my flight to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from TFN.


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