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Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty  
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29666 times:

Flying with Captain Niki Lauda: HOQ-FRA-VIE-FRA-HOQ on
Cirrus Airlines Dornier 328, Niki A321-200 & Adria Airways CRJ200




Background
In January Cirrus Airlines announced the takeover of operations on the state-subsidized Hof/Plauen-Frankfurt route from April 1, offering code-share flights to Lufthansa's main hub. After Augsburg Airways DHC-8-300s and Contact Air ATR 42-500s the even smaller 31-seat Dornier 328s would be used now - excellent news for me considering that this rare type and this airline were still missing in my log. Just like its predecessors, Cirrus Airlines chose to offer three daily round-trips on weekdays and only one each on Saturdays and Sundays. I found reasonable same-day return fares on a Tuesday in early May and selected the first HOQ-FRA flight in the morning and the last FRA-HOQ flight in the evening.
Since I would have plenty of time at Frankfurt I started searching for possible flights to squeeze in between. It wasn't easy to find interesting options at a reasonable price, but in the end Adria Airways' Frankfurt-Vienna-Frankfurt flights caught my attention. I'm not a fan of the CRJ100/200, but I would get a new airline. However, I wasn't keen to fly on the same carrier twice so I booked a VIE-FRA late afternoon flight on Adria Airways and added a rather cheap FRA-VIE morning flight on Niki, to be operated by an A321. I had already flown on Niki's A320 twice, but not yet on the carrier's A321.





Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Hof (HOQ) - Frankfurt (FRA)
Cirrus Airlines C91520
06:00-07:00 (06:01-07:02)
Flying time: 00:49 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 11A

Dornier 328-110
D-CIRB (c/n 3017)
First delivered to Air Engiadina as HB-AEF in 09/1994


1st flight on D-CIRB
1st Dornier 328 flight
92nd airline



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Photo © Eelco Vonk
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Photo © Georg Noack


Former appearances:

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Photo © Steven Mills
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Photo © Charles Falk


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Photo © Ralf Langer



Flying from Hof/Plauen Airport was very convenient once again - after a 40 minutes drive I was able to park my car free of charge only 50 meters away from the small terminal building:



I had already used Lufthansa's online check-in service in the evening before and walked straight to the sole security checkpoint. While passing the two check-in counters a friendly female agent asked me if I already had a boarding pass. I confirmed and she said: "Then you must be Mr. PlaneHunter." She handed a regular boarding pass over to me and explained that a scanner for self-printed boarding passes wasn't available. So it seems no other passenger had checked in online for this flight...

After passing security I took a seat in the small gate area - here you can see about 50 percent of all available seats:



D-CIRB, built in August 1994, was pulled out of the hangar shortly after my arrival. 30 minutes later boarding was started and I was surprised that the passenger load was less than 50 percent on a weekday morning flight.

The Dornier 328 is one of the best looking small aircraft in my opinion:



All passengers were welcomed by a cheerful and charming female flight attendant. The leather seats were comfortable...



...and legroom was absolutely sufficient for short hops. I didn't feel cramped at all in that small cabin.



Another positive surprise followed after engine start-up: Both the noise level and the vibration level were quite low compared to other turboprop aircraft. We left the parking position almost on time and taxied to the nearby 1480-meter (4856 feet) runway:



Engines howled, brakes were released and the Dornier rocketed down the runway, lifting off quickly into the gray skies - what an impressive take-off!



Always nice to break through the clouds:



As soon as the seat belt signs had been switched off the flight attendant served cold and hot drinks:



After taking a cabin shot...


... the flight attendant kindly said: "I hope you take pictures because you find it nice." I shortly told her about my hobby and confirmed that I was impressed by the plane.

Not even 20 minutes after take-off the captain informed us that he had already started descending and referred to a remaining flying time of 20 minutes. After collecting all the trash in the cabin the flight attendant showed up again with a basket and offered small snack packages containing salty stuff and candy.

Soon we passed Frankfurt Airport to the north...





...and finally touched down at runway 07R after a flying time of 49 minutes:



On the way to the regional aircraft apron in the north-eastern corner of the airport we passed numerous heavies...



...and many other aircraft:


I had plenty of time for the transfer so I enjoyed the long bus tour to Terminal 1 and wrote down several registrations.




Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Frankfurt (FRA) - Vienna (VIE)
Niki HG8771
09:40-11:00 (09:33-10:50)
Flying time: 00:57 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 35F

Airbus A321-211
OE-LES (MSN 3504), named "Boogie Woogie"
Delivered in 05/2008


1st flight on OE-LES
6th A321-200 flight
9th A321 flight



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Photo © Dennis Löffler
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Photo © Martin Djupenstrom



After arriving at Terminal 1 I immediately took the SkyTrain to Terminal 2. I had already checked in on the evening before, so I could go straight to security. The gate number hadn't been announced yet, so I took a seat next to window in a passage. However, viewing opportunities weren't good in that lower Terminal 2 area. Later I continued spotting from the gate.

OE-LES, the first of two A321-200s in the Niki fleet, arrived on time and taxied to a remote parking position. Some 30 minutes later a bus brought us to the aircraft. The passenger load in the 50 to 60 percent range didn't justify an A321, but probably there had been more people on the VIE-FRA flight. I was glad that the equipment hadn't been changed.





Delta 777-200LR and 767-300ER parked next to Lufthansa 747-400s:



After a friendly welcome by a female flight attendant I took my window seat in row 35. The slimline seats weren't bad...





...but legroom wasn’t very generous:



Niki ads were shown on the fold-out screens during boarding:



After flying Niki twice in the past I wasn't overly excited, but an announcement by a flight attendant suddenly changed my mind: "The captain on this flight is...Niki Lauda."  Wow!
Several other passengers were surprised, too, and I heard some "ohs" and immediate chatter. While the plane was leaving the parking position I started wondering about the possibility of a flight deck visit after landing.

Actually you can hear Niki Lauda's voice on every Niki flight because it was used for the safety video - but this time his voice also came straight from the flight deck: During taxi Niki Lauda made a welcome speech, telling us that we would take off from runway 07R and climb to an altitude of 35000 feet.

Safi Airways 767-200ER YA-AQS awaiting its next service to Kabul:



15 minutes after leaving the parking position OE-LES rolled onto runway 07R and accelerated:



Interesting line-up: China Eastern A330-200 (hardly visible), South African A340-600 and Thai 747-400 in retro colors:



As soon as the flight attendants had passed with their trolley I took the chance to make a cabin shot:



Niki offers free sandwiches and free non-alcoholic drinks on all flights - and not just common stuff, but sandwiches freshly prepared by famous caterer DEMEL. The triangle design once introduced on Lauda Air has become legendary:




These cheese and tomato sandwiches look tasty, don’t they? I can tell they ARE tasty! No doubts, they can be called gourmet sandwiches. I also found it quite nice that the flight attendants always offered an additional drink - either hot or cold, depending on the first choice. All those who don't like sandwiches can order DEMEL gourmet meals available at prices between 8 and 12 Euro. However, for all flights lasting less than 90 minutes, these need to be pre-ordered on Niki's website.

Later in the flight I went to the galley and asked a flight attendant whether it would be possible to talk to Niki Lauda for a minute after landing. She replied that he usually leaves the flight deck and says goodbye to his passengers after landing, so chances would be good.

After an approach through gray skies...



...we touched down after a flying time of 57 minutes and - unfortunately - taxied to a remote parking position:


Now I knew it would be difficult to achieve my goal, but I was determined to try my luck. Passengers were allowed to use both the front and rear exit for disembarking, so it was impossible to gain ground. Finally, after most people had left the plane, I was able to walk forward. However, Niki Lauda wasn't there and the cockpit door was closed. So I asked a flight attendant about the possibility of a short flight deck visit and she immediately promised to ask. Another man was waiting, too, but he was just keen to get an autograph. Some seconds later the flight attendant returned with good news - but she kindly added that we should hurry. The man walked in first, got a magazine page signed and left quickly.

Then it was my turn - I walked in, said hello and shook hands with Niki Lauda. While his young (and smiling) female first officer wore a uniform, Niki Lauda wore blue jeans, a brown pullover and the characteristic red cap. I told him that I like his airline and he quickly replied: "Always keep flying with us." Then I asked if it was ok to take pictures and he agreed - but he politely asked me to hurry, "because all other passengers are waiting in the bus".


The flight attendant behind me suddenly asked if I also wanted a postcard. Of course I confirmed and - surprisingly - she handed the postcard over to Niki Lauda who quickly signed it for me:


I wasn't satisfied with my first picture because the flash had been deactivated - so I asked for a final picture. Niki Lauda agreed, but pointed out again that all the other passengers were waiting in the bus. Anyway, this time I was entirely satisfied with the picture:


Then I thanked Niki Lauda for granting me access to the flight deck, said goodbye and walked to the bus. I guess some of the people waiting there weren't amused about my late arrival, but I couldn't care less.  Wink

Here's the signed postcard:




Vienna Spotting
After arrival at Terminal 1 I immediately went on top of the P4 parking structure next to the NH Hotel. However, views were obstructed by the new Skylink Terminal. Then I walked to P3 where I could see parts of the apron and runway 11/29:



OE-LES with Captain Niki Lauda departing again:





I missed several aircraft arriving at and departing from the other runway, but I was still able to log numerous new registrations. One of the most interesting visitors was Estonian Air 737-500 ES-ABO in "Tallinn 2011" special colors:



Austrian and Tyrolean are clearly dominating here:






Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Vienna (VIE) - Frankfurt (FRA)
Adria Airways JP174
16:25-17:55 (16:51-18:13)
Flying time: 01:07 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 10D

Bombardier CRJ200LR
S5-AAJ (MSN 8010)
Delivered in 01/2005


1st flight on S5-AAJ
4th CRJ100/200 flight
6th CRJ flight
93rd airline



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Photo © Javier Gonzalez - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Michael Priesch - Spotterteam Graz



Checking in online hadn't been possible on the day before, so I left the parking structure 1.5 hours prior to departure and went to a check-in machine in Terminal 1. I selected seat 11D, printed the boarding pass and passed security. Unfortunately, viewing opportunities weren't good in the B gates area, but I was still able to log a few registrations. Even though boarding time was coming closer, the aircraft hadn't arrived yet. Finally an Adria Airways CRJ showed up and only 15 minutes later the boarding process was started. Less than 20 people entered the bus, so for a second time on that day the passenger load factor was less than 50 percent.

Two Adria CRJs were parked at the apron and we stopped next to S5-AAJ, the newest of seven CRJ100/200s in the fleet, delivered in January 2005:





All passengers were welcomed by a friendly female flight attendant. Another flight attendant - a young male - was polite, but very reserved and didn't smile at all. When I noticed the lack of a window in row 11, I asked him whether I could switch to 10A and he agreed by robotically saying "yes". The leather seats weren't bad...



...and legroom was generous, too:



Parked next to us was sister ship S5-AAI - unfortunately it had started raining:



Some minutes after the scheduled departure time the captain informed us about a 35 minutes delay because only one runway could be used for take-offs. Well, I didn't hear him mentioning Frankfurt, but later I would find out that traffic had been restricted at Frankfurt, not at Vienna. While we were waiting on the ground the male flight attendant offered water and orange juice - nice service!

We finally left the parking position 26 minutes late and soon took off from runway 29:



Shortly after take-off cold and hot drinks as well as cheese and salami ciabattas were offered. I decided to try the cheese variant:


The quite big and fresh ciabatta tasted very good - well done, Adria Airways!  thumbsup 

After I had finished eating it was time for a cabin shot:



The approach direction was still the same as in the early evening:



Air Namibia A340-300 parked in front of a LH Technik hangar:



We touched down after a flying time of 1 hour and 7 minutes and taxied to a remote parking position near the airport's large fuel depot:


A female passenger involved in a discussion with the Adria crew delayed the departure of our bus, but I didn't mind at all considering that I had been responsible for a similar delay earlier today.  Wink

After arriving at the Terminal 1 B concourse I walked over to concourse A, using the tunnel under the apron: Looks quite dull, doesn't it?






Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Frankfurt (FRA) - Hof (HOQ)
Cirrus Airlines C91527
21:05-22:05 (20:53-21:50)
Flying time: 00:34 (hrs)
Economy Class, Seat 11A

Dornier 328-110
D-CIRB (c/n 3017)
First delivered to Air Engiadina as HB-AEF in 09/1994


2nd flight on D-CIRB
2nd Dornier 328 flight



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Photo © Eelco Vonk
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Photo © Georg Noack



Once in the concourse A gate area I went to a check-in machine, selected seat 11A again and printed my boarding pass. Then I walked to the front end of the building, took a seat next to the glass front and enjoyed spotting. Less than an hour prior to departure I went to my gate which was still deserted. The situation didn't significantly change until the agents started the boarding process. So in the end only five (!) passengers - including me - entered the one and only bus bound for the aircraft.

Of course D-CIRB was waiting again - the aircraft had been based at HOQ for a while back then.





Again a very friendly flight attendant welcomed me on board. Parked next to us was Luxair ERJ-145 LX-LGZ:



We left the parking position 12 minutes early and taxied to runway 07L which took more than 15 minutes. Meanwhile the captain had told us about a runway closure due to strong winds and subsequent delays earlier in the day. The take-off was not as powerful as in the morning, but a bit shaky - the wind was still blowing quite strongly.

The service wasn't different on this evening flight. After the flight attendant had finished the drink service I asked her about the average loads between HOQ and FRA. She replied that the flights were quite popular on Mondays and Fridays, but demand was usually lower on other days. "We have already operated a flight with only one passenger", she added.

After a flying time of only 34 minutes we touched down at HOQ again and arrived at the parking position 15 minutes ahead of schedule. During disembarking I took one more cabin shot:


The friendly flight attendant also offered to take a picture of me standing in the aisle which I gladly accepted. Only five minutes later I started my car and drove home in less than 40 minutes. I really wish there were more flights available from Hof-Plauen Airport.



Conclusion
Flying Cirrus Airlines was a pleasure. Friendly and charming flight attendants offered a great personal service. Free drinks and even small snacks were available free of charge - what else can you ask for on such short hops? The cabin was in good shape and the comfort level on the Dornier 328 was much higher than expected. I really want to fly on that nice little plane again - and of course I also need to try the 328JET.

When asked about Niki one can immediately refer to friendly and motivated flight attendants as well as free drinks and gourmet sandwiches. It was good to see that these characteristics haven't changed since 2006 when I tried Niki for the first time. However, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the seating comfort. Legroom may not be sufficient on longer flights.

The flight on Adria Airways was enjoyable, too. A good level of service was provided throughout the flight and also on the ground prior to departure. What impressed me most was the big and tasty ciabatta. Even though I'm not a fan of the CRJ100/200, I had no reason to complain about the seating comfort.

Other than expected, the Niki flight turned out to be the highlight of the day. It was very exciting to know that a living "aviation legend" was in command of the flight. I'm also very glad that Niki Lauda granted me access to the flight deck and allowed me to take pictures.  thumbsup 
Of course the trip would have been a success even without that special occurrence considering that I flew on airlines No. 92 and No. 93, got a new type and collected 76 new registrations.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other more or less recent reports:
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2010-07-27 11:49:42]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinevio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1446 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29605 times:

Very cool report. I did not know that Nikki Lauda was actually still flying! Thanks for sharing.


Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlineSloAir From Slovenia, joined Jul 2010, 339 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29598 times:

Nice to see a report on Adria, well done. The CRJ200 are not that bad, it's just the low and misaligned windows that bother me sometimes. And the fact that you had Niki Lauda as the captain of your flight is just amazaing  thank you for the nice report.


Visit Ljubljana
User currently offlinejayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1029 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 29587 times:

An Admirable, awesome Trip Report.


Amazing to see Niki Lauda still young and smart  .
Also, does he fly often or just a special occasion.?

The meals look yummy, was it a part of the service?

Cheers mate, had a good time reading this!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We have already operated a flight with only one passenger

LOL!

Cheers!



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29487 times:

Quoting vio (Reply 1):
Very cool report. I did not know that Nikki Lauda was actually still flying!

Hi Vio, thanks for your reply. Yes, Niki Lauda is still an active pilot. He's 61 now, so he may keep flying some more years.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 2):
Nice to see a report on Adria, well done.
Quoting SloAir (Reply 2):
And the fact that you had Niki Lauda as the captain of your flight is just amazaing thank you for the nice report.

Thanks for your feedback, SloAir.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 2):
The CRJ200 are not that bad, it's just the low and misaligned windows that bother me sometimes.

Yes, the windows can be a problem, but I still prefer the CRJ over the ERJ-135/145.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 3):
An Admirable, awesome Trip Report.
Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 3):
Cheers mate, had a good time reading this!

Many thanks, jayeshrulz, nice to hear you liked it.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 3):
Amazing to see Niki Lauda still young and smart .
Also, does he fly often or just a special occasion.?

As far as I know he still flies regularly.

Quoting jayeshrulz (Reply 3):
The meals look yummy, was it a part of the service?

All the food shown in the pictures was served free of charge.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29477 times:

Hey, PH,

another very well done story from you´re hand.
Now that´s what I call a nice selection of plane types and carriers around a daytrip.
HOQ is also interesting, something missing in my log.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
1st Dornier 328 flight

Congrats, always nice to catch something new and especially that rare like the Do328.
Having done it also only twice, both on Blue Islands/Scot Airways.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and of course I also need to try the 328JET.

Me, too, tell me more when you find an acceptable way to fly that machine.

Looking for more, you know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27342 posts, RR: 60
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29399 times:

Hey great report and was really nice to see Niki Lauda is still flying his A/C. Fair play to him for allowing you access and signing a postcard, something very nice to always keep .

I also flew the Adria VIE-FRA route a few years back in J class, I dont like the CRJ but again couldnt fault the service, the J class meal was quite substantial from what I remember for a short flight.


Great pics and nice read

OA260


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29399 times:

Hi PH,

That's what I call a successful daytrip! Nice variety of planes and carriers and some surprises along the way. Very interesting to read, especially considering that my recent trip on the C9 D328 is still fresh in my memory. Looks like your flights with Cirrus were of the same high quality than mine - I really want to fly them some more, maybe with the E-jet they operate for LH.

A very lucky encounter and flight with Mr. Lauda, congratulations about that! Cool that you had a chance to exchange a few words with hims as well. I only flew Niki once, on the short hop ZRH-VIE, but even during that flight it impressed me very much - yes, those sandwiches very very tasty indeed. Although I'm not sure if I really like the crew uniforms, seemed a bit silly to me. I should try getting myself on one of their E195s, that would be interesting.

And finally Adria - I've been looking at that VIE-FRA segment every now and them but haven't ever found a decent enough fare for it. May I ask how much did you pay for your ticket?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Engines howled, brakes were released and the Dornier rocketed down the runway, lifting off quickly into the gray skies - what an impressive take-off!

Tell me about it! It is great!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After arriving at the Terminal 1 B concourse I walked over to concourse A, using the tunnel under the apron: Looks quite dull, doesn't it?

They should add some psychedelic effects like at the tunnel at ORD.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I really want to fly on that nice little plane again - and of course I also need to try the 328JET.

I think I beat you to it - just booked a flight on the FRJ a couple of hours ago!


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 29386 times:

Hi PH,

What an amazing report! How lucky you were to be able to meet Niki Lauda in person. It must have been wonderful to meet such a passionate man. Many thanks for sharing it with us!   

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Flying from Hof/Plauen Airport was very convenient once again - after a 40 minutes drive I was able to park my car free of charge only 50 meters away from the small terminal building:

That is what I call the charm of a small airport.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
... the flight attendant kindly said: "I hope you take pictures because you find it nice." I shortly told her about my hobby and confirmed that I was impressed by the plane.

That is more I like it from a flight attendant. I would recommend her for teaching hospitality lessons to a flight attendant of one particular airline.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"The captain on this flight is...Niki Lauda."

I would have got myself really excited on getting the knowledge!  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Niki offers free sandwiches and free non-alcoholic drinks on all flights - and not just common stuff, but sandwiches freshly prepared by famous caterer DEMEL

Truly impressive! I wonder what the secret is behind Niki's business model. Beside AB, why can no other LCC follow this example?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The flight attendant behind me suddenly asked if I also wanted a postcard. Of course I confirmed and - surprisingly - she handed the postcard over to Niki Lauda who quickly signed it for me:

  

Thanks again for sharing. I really enjoyed it.

Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-07-27 12:19:03]


Friends forever
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29305 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
another very well done story from you´re hand.
Now that´s what I call a nice selection of plane types and carriers around a daytrip.

Hi Markus, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
HOQ is also interesting, something missing in my log.

It's a nice little airport - but you shouldn't go there for spotting.  
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 5):
Me, too, tell me more when you find an acceptable way to fly that machine.

It seems our friend FlyingFinn can tell us more about that...

Quoting oa260 (Reply 6):
Great pics and nice read
Quoting oa260 (Reply 6):
Hey great report and was really nice to see Niki Lauda is still flying his A/C. Fair play to him for allowing you access and signing a postcard, something very nice to always keep .

Many thanks, Phil! Yes, the postcard will always remind me of that special flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
That's what I call a successful daytrip! Nice variety of planes and carriers and some surprises along the way. Very interesting to read, especially considering that my recent trip on the C9 D328 is still fresh in my memory.

Thanks a lot for your feedback, FlyingFinn!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
Looks like your flights with Cirrus were of the same high quality than mine - I really want to fly them some more, maybe with the E-jet they operate for LH.

Sounds interesting.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
A very lucky encounter and flight with Mr. Lauda, congratulations about that! Cool that you had a chance to exchange a few words with hims as well.

Yes, I was really lucky on that day. Would be interesting to know how often Niki Lauda is on duty per month.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
Although I'm not sure if I really like the crew uniforms, seemed a bit silly to me.

I have to agree, the Lauda Air uniforms looked better.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
I should try getting myself on one of their E195s, that would be interesting.

No doubts about that!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):

And finally Adria - I've been looking at that VIE-FRA segment every now and them but haven't ever found a decent enough fare for it. May I ask how much did you pay for your ticket?

I combined the Adria and the Niki flight on Opodo for a total of 136 Euro. Booking them separately would have been a bit more expensive. While the Niki flight was available for 40 Euro, the Adria Airways flight cost between 100 and 110 Euro on various websites.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
They should add some psychedelic effects like at the tunnel at ORD.

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 7):
I think I beat you to it - just booked a flight on the FRJ a couple of hours ago!

It was just a matter of time, of course! Congratulations! Will you fly on a European carrier?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
What an amazing report! How lucky you were to be able to meet Niki Lauda in person.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Thanks again for sharing. I really enjoyed it.

Many thanks, Suryo! I'm glad you liked the report.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
It must have been wonderful to meet such a passionate man. Many thanks for sharing it with us!

Yes, would have been great to talk to him about aviation for a while, but you can't get everything.  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):

That is more I like it from a flight attendant. I would recommend her for teaching hospitality lessons to a flight attendant of one particular airline.

Which one do you mean?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 8):
Truly impressive! I wonder what the secret is behind Niki's business model. Beside AB, why can no other LCC follow this example?

Well, providing such a high level of service is not cheap. In Lauda's case catering has always been important - and that policy seems to work.


PH

[Edited 2010-07-27 12:42:18]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29285 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
Which one do you mean?

Vueling. I was not impressed that much on my outward journey to BCN earlier in March.



Friends forever
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29262 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Vueling. I was not impressed that much on my outward journey to BCN earlier in March.

Ok, thanks for reminding me. I haven't been impressed by Vueling either.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineStarAlliance38 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1445 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 29007 times:

Thanks for the TR! I think it's awesome that Niki Lauda still flies as a captain for his airline! The sandwiches look amazing too! Pretty good for a low-fare, or for that matter, any airline!


Roar, lion, roar
User currently offlineMD11Bob From Germany, joined Mar 2010, 115 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 28941 times:

Hello PH, great report! Looks like a perfect daytrip! Great you got to fly with Mr. Lauda, I would love to catch him as captain on one of my flights aswell. Good that you had the time to meet him despite the bus deboarding.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I guess some of the people waiting there weren't amused about my late arrival, but I couldn't care less.  

Sometimes it is better to just think on yourself (as long as one is not overdoing it). At the end, the mean looks of the passengers will be gone, but that photo and the signed card will stay  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Another positive surprise followed after engine start-up: Both the noise level and the vibration level were quite low compared to other turboprop aircraft

Didn´t Dornier had a slogan about the loudest noise inside the cabin beeing the snoring of the other passengers?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So in the end only five (!) passengers - including me - entered the one and only bus bound for the aircraft.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"We have already operated a flight with only one passenger", she added.

That is nice for the passengers, but horrible for any operator. But you wrote it is a subsidized route, wasn´t it?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Other than expected, the Niki flight turned out to be the highlight of the day. It was very exciting to know that a living "aviation legend" was in command of the flight. I'm also very glad that Niki Lauda granted me access to the flight deck and allowed me to take pictures.   

Yeah, aviation legend and I am sure there was something else  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Niki offers free sandwiches and free non-alcoholic drinks on all flights - and not just common stuff, but sandwiches freshly prepared by famous caterer DEMEL. The triangle design once introduced on Lauda Air has become legendary:

That indeed lokks tasty, good they are still offering it free of charge.

Robert


User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 959 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 28826 times:

Hey PH

Thank you for a great report, and what an absolute bonus to have met the legendary Niki Lauda on a day trip! All the carriers you traveled on looked pretty good in their offerings, including the catering. It's nice to see Niki pay so much attention to food on a short-haul, following the tradition of Lauda, which had some of the most amazing food I've ever tasted when they I flew them years back between KUL and VIE. The thin loads on the flights surprised me though - I would have expected busier on a weekday.

But what a nice day you had! Thanks again sharing it.

cheers,
airpearl


User currently onlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6675 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 28622 times:

Hi PlaneHunter!

Excellent report with excellent pictures! Glad everything worked out with no delays.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Niki offers free sandwiches and free non-alcoholic drinks on all flights

Sandwhiches look great! Amazing that a low-cost carrier like Niki can offer free meals and SAS don't even give free drinks any more on flights within Europe......

The legroom on Nike looks very cramped......legroom on Adria is very good for a CRJ although I don't really like that aircraft.

Looks like the German government made the right decision to switch to Cirrus; service seems very good and the smaller aircraft is probably mus more economical.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Of course the trip would have been a success even without that special occurrence considering that I flew on airlines No. 92 and No. 93, got a new type and collected 76 new registrations.

That's a great day trip! Lots of new registrations! Most of them in VIE ?

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
following the tradition of Lauda, which had some of the most amazing food I've ever tasted when they I flew them years back between KUL and VIE

Yes, Lauda Air had fantastic meals service; flew them KUL-SYD in early 1998.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 28569 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
I combined the Adria and the Niki flight on Opodo for a total of 136 Euro. Booking them separately would have been a bit more expensive. While the Niki flight was available for 40 Euro, the Adria Airways flight cost between 100 and 110 Euro on various websites.

Ok, thanks. The lowest one way fare I've seen on this route has been around 160-170 EUR which is a bit too much. Looks like I'll need to keep on looking harder, around a hundred sounds about right for me (what an expensive ciabatta!).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
It seems our friend FlyingFinn can tell us more about that...
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 9):
It was just a matter of time, of course! Congratulations! Will you fly on a European carrier?

Good old Sun Air of Denmark. Since my failed attempt at HEL-BLL last December I haven't been able to find any decent fares on that route, but in August they will launch twice daily HEL-BMA (together with AY offering two daily frequencies as well, all cross codeshared by BA and AY). One way fares for that route are available for around 110 EUR if booking on the BA flight number - not cheap, but still good value for money for something as exotic as the FRJ and a niche carrier as well.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 27866 times:

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 12):
Thanks for the TR! I think it's awesome that Niki Lauda still flies as a captain for his airline! The sandwiches look amazing too! Pretty good for a low-fare, or for that matter, any airline!

Hi Mark, thanks for your feedback.

Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 13):
Hello PH, great report! Looks like a perfect daytrip!

Many thanks, Robert!

Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 13):
Sometimes it is better to just think on yourself (as long as one is not overdoing it). At the end, the mean looks of the passengers will be gone, but that photo and the signed card will stay

  

Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 13):
Didn´t Dornier had a slogan about the loudest noise inside the cabin beeing the snoring of the other passengers?

I have never seen that, but it would be justified.

Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 13):
But you wrote it is a subsidized route, wasn´t it?

Yes, but subsidies only partially defray the costs.

Quoting MD11Bob (Reply 13):
Yeah, aviation legend and I am sure there was something else

No doubts about that!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
Thank you for a great report, and what an absolute bonus to have met the legendary Niki Lauda on a day trip!

Hi Airpearl, thanks a lot for your comments.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
It's nice to see Niki pay so much attention to food on a short-haul, following the tradition of Lauda, which had some of the most amazing food I've ever tasted when they I flew them years back between KUL and VIE.

Unfortunately I never had the chance to try Lauda Air when it was still operating independently.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Excellent report with excellent pictures! Glad everything worked out with no delays.

Many thanks, Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
Sandwhiches look great! Amazing that a low-cost carrier like Niki can offer free meals and SAS don't even give free drinks any more on flights within Europe......

Yes, it's odd, isn't it?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):

Looks like the German government made the right decision to switch to Cirrus; service seems very good and the smaller aircraft is probably mus more economical.

There was a call for bids and Cirrus Airlines made the most reasonable offer. Btw, apart from the state of Bavaria, some local communities also pay subsidies to support the service.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 15):
That's a great day trip! Lots of new registrations! Most of them in VIE ?

I logged 44 new registrations at FRA (15 in the morning, 29 in the evening) and 32 at VIE.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Ok, thanks. The lowest one way fare I've seen on this route has been around 160-170 EUR which is a bit too much. Looks like I'll need to keep on looking harder, around a hundred sounds about right for me (what an expensive ciabatta!).

160-170 Euro would be too much, I can only agree.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Good old Sun Air of Denmark. Since my failed attempt at HEL-BLL last December I haven't been able to find any decent fares on that route, but in August they will launch twice daily HEL-BMA (together with AY offering two daily frequencies as well, all cross codeshared by BA and AY). One way fares for that route are available for around 110 EUR if booking on the BA flight number - not cheap, but still good value for money for something as exotic as the FRJ and a niche carrier as well.

That sounds very interesting, I should have a look at Sun Air, too.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineHywel From Malaysia, joined Apr 2008, 814 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 3 days ago) and read 27774 times:

Why does Adria fly between VIE and FRA? Does the flight continue onto their home at LJU?

VIE-FRA-LJU ??


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 27761 times:

Quoting Hywel (Reply 18):
Why does Adria fly between VIE and FRA? Does the flight continue onto their home at LJU?

I don't know how exactly the planes operate, but as far as I know one-stop connections on the same planes aren't sold. Here's an old thread about that issue:
http://qa.airliners.net/aviation-for...general_aviation/read.main/599979/


PH

[Edited 2010-07-29 03:20:11]


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 27617 times:

Quoting Hywel (Reply 18):
Why does Adria fly between VIE and FRA? Does the flight continue onto their home at LJU?
VIE-FRA-LJU ??

It is actually LJU-VIE-FRA-VIE-LJU unless they've changed the flight pattern in the last couple of years.


User currently offlineshamrock321 From Ireland, joined May 2008, 1612 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 27570 times:

Nice report and great pictures! A flight with one person sound cool haha, I was once on an A320 with only 13 others.

User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 27478 times:

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 21):
Nice report and great pictures!

Thanks, Andrew!

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 21):
A flight with one person sound cool haha, I was once on an A320 with only 13 others.

I hope the crew provided a very personal service!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1675 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 27454 times:

PH,

Great to read another great TR from you. As always, they are an adventure and a learning experience too. While i know Niki and Adria, i must admit that i have never hear of Cirrus before!

It was such a nice surprise to have Niki himself manning your flight too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the small terminal building:

What a nice terminal!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While passing the two check-in counters a friendly female agent asked me if I already had a boarding pass. I confirmed and she said: "Then you must be Mr. PlaneHunter." She handed a regular boarding pass over to me and explained that a scanner for self-printed boarding passes wasn't available. So it seems no other passenger had checked in online for this flight...

That definitely adds a personal touch to the experience!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
... the flight attendant kindly said: "I hope you take pictures because you find it nice." I shortly told her about my hobby and confirmed that I was impressed by the plane.

I wish all cabin crew were like this. A nice and polite way to 'find out' is always better.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
These cheese and tomato sandwiches look tasty, don’t they? I can tell they ARE tasty! No doubts, they can be called gourmet sandwiches. I also found it quite nice that the flight attendants always offered an additional drink - either hot or cold, depending on the first choice. All those who don't like sandwiches can order DEMEL gourmet meals available at prices between 8 and 12 Euro. However, for all flights lasting less than 90 minutes, these need to be pre-ordered on Niki's website.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The quite big and fresh ciabatta tasted very good - well done, Adria Airways!

The meals on all your flights looked great!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then I thanked Niki Lauda for granting me access to the flight deck, said goodbye and walked to the bus.

Once again, amazing that you managed to meet him! For people like us, he is the equivalent of a Hollywood celebrity!


Thanks for sharing this with us. Looking forward to more.

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26898 times:

Hi PH,

Great trip report and fantastic pictures! You found a very interesting airline combination once again.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
D-CIRB, built in August 1994, was pulled out of the hangar shortly after my arrival. 30 minutes later boarding was started and I was surprised that the passenger load was less than 50 percent on a weekday morning flight.

Not very impressive indeed - and on your return flight it was even worse. No wonder this route needs subsidies to exist.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The Dornier 328 is one of the best looking small aircraft in my opinion

  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"The captain on this flight is...Niki Lauda."

Great - you were really lucky! Must have been a nice experience for an aviation enthusiast.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
These cheese and tomato sandwiches look tasty, don’t they? I can tell they ARE tasty! No doubts, they can be called gourmet sandwiches.

Looks very good indeed - much better than what many other airlines serve.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
While we were waiting on the ground the male flight attendant offered water and orange juice - nice service!

Nice - shortens the waiting time a bit.

Regards
Christoph


25 lukeyboy95 : Well done PH .... yet again on providing a visually stimulating and avationally intriguing TR. Certainly two of my favourite narrow-bodies where featu
26 Post contains links airbuseric : Hi PH, that's a fantastic report with truly beautiful pictures. You lucky bastard with Niki Lauda upfront. I understand your excitement on that flight
27 CARST : Just because of Niki Lauda the best report ever!!! ^^
28 CrimsonNL : Hi PH, nice report! I liked reading about Adria, they send the CRJs but also the 319 to AMS, but I didn't know anything about them. Great job scoring
29 PlaneHunter : Hi Roni, thanks a lot for your feedback! I have to agree! Some more reports to follow soon... Thanks for your nice reply, Christoph! Yes, I really ho
30 reifel : Excellent report, thanks for sharing! It's been a while I haven't flown on NIKI, but I did several runs between FRA and VIE, CDG and NUE (on behalf of
31 NZ107 : Hi PH, Another great TR, thanks for sharing! It must have been great to be flown by Niki Lauda, just like on one of my earlier flights this year I was
32 ixemctdca : Excellent TR. Great to see Niki still at it!
33 abrelosojos : PH, This is awesome! You totally lucked out ... and NL is quite the man. I have met him a few times professionally and have high regard for his passio
34 PlaneHunter : Many thanks! I have heard about certain issues, but you never know if it's true. Sounds very good. Interesting to hear that his name was on the envel
35 Post contains images LH4532 : Hello PlaneHunter , I just remembered that you have this amazing Trip Report . Reading your Trip Reports always makes my day . I could not imagine a l
36 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi LH4532, many thanks for your reply! This is really appreciated! It makes life a lot easier for us! Yes, Niki Lauda has always put emphasis on good
37 gabrielchew : Hi Udo, nice report - It was only when I got down to the bottom that I realised that it was over a year old! Still, I missed it the first time around,
38 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Thanks, Gabriel! Feedback is always appreciated, even with a delay! Yes, I have to agree. But they have a better livery now. Obviously not - would be
39 Post contains images The777Man : I've closed the door and pulled the jet bridge to UA flights going to maintenance at a different airport and those pilots sometimes also do not fly i
40 PlaneHunter : I read an article about Frontier delivery flights some years ago. The pilots didn't wear uniforms either. Actually Air Berlin now owns 100 percent of
41 safetyDemo : Thank you for this wonderful trip report! How many seats does Adria have on the CRJ and it is it common for this size aircraft to have more than one f
42 PlaneHunter : Hi safetyDemo, many thanks for your feedback! Adria's CRJs have either 48 or 50 seats, including Business Class. Yes, it's common to have two FAs on
43 Post contains images LH4532 : C9 will be the next airline I will be trying this year . One more reason to fly to HOQ . Regards , Daniel ( LH4532 )
44 PlaneHunter : Hi Daniel, Cirrus Air seems to be in trouble. I've just heard that all commercial flights have been stopped - hopefully it won't go bankrupt. PH
45 LH4532 : Guten Abend PlaneHunter , thanks for writing me . I read about the situation of C9 yesterday . I also texted you about it . Let's hope all goes well .
46 PlaneHunter : Servus Daniel, you're welcome. It doesn't look good at all. But let's hope for the best. PH
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