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Blue1 In Sweden: HEL-ARN-KLR/OSK-ARN-RIX-HEL  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 10112 times:

Introduction

During its early days as a SAS subsidiary company Air Botnia, which very quickly got renamed to Blue1 (Why? I liked the old name way better!) operated with a fleet of 5 Saab 2000 turboprops, 5 Avro 85s and 2 larger Avro 100s. In my opinion this was quite an optimal fleet for the operation back then - the Saabs were excellent for the thinner routes like the feeders to ARN from regional Finnish airports and the Avros suitable for the busier routes.

However back then fuel was still (relatively) cheap, everybody was buying regional jets left and right and any plane with propellers was deemed to be very obsolete by the great unwashed traveling masses - and at some point KF announced that they are getting rid of their Saabs (and adding a bunch of ex-SAS MD-90s as well). They even ran a large advertising campaign in Finland with the message “Always comfortably with jets in Finland!” to make everything out of their all-jet fleet (as a side note Finncomm placed their large order for the ATR 500 series at the same time when demand for them was at an all time low and bargains were easy to strike - I bet they kept laughing all the way to the bank when the fuel prices shot up during the subsequent years!).

Anyway pretty soon somebody woke up and smelled the coffee (or rather the scent of burning money) - soon all kinds of weird “Operated by” arrangements were seen on the regional KF feeder routes to ARN which simply are too thin to make operating with an Avro profitable. During the last couple of years at least Skyways, Golden Air and DAT have operated various routes for KF, all with turboprops, but never to the main hub at HEL yet..

This year all this finally changed as they announced that Golden Air of Sweden will base a number of ATR72-500 turboprops at HEL, operating various domestic flights for KF (in addition to the soon-to-be-reopened ARN-OUL route). What was more bizarre was that these KF/DC hybrid flights would also be used on some Swedish domestic routes, at least on ARN-KLR, carrying both SK and KF flight numbers. That sounded so weird that I just had to book one of those flights to see what it was all about - and as a bonus Kalmar would be a new airport to my log and with decent fares available I really had no excuse not to do it!

So I started by booking the morning SK/KF/DC flight ARN-KLR for a very reasonable 52 EUR.

In the beginning of September Norwegian doubled their frequencies on the HEL-ARN route to four flights each weekday, with an overnighting plane at HEL offering an early morning departure. The schedule suited my plans just fine, and the fare at 30 EUR was very cheap as well - booked less than four weeks in advance!

Now for the return journey I could have easily flown back to STO (ARN or BMA) straight from KLR - there were many flights available for reasonable prices, but inspired by my last Swedish jaunt: Finally The FRJ: HEL-BMA-VXO/RNB-ARN-HEL (by FlyingFinn76 Aug 27 2010 in Trip Reports) I decided to think outside the box a little. In the end I found a Skyways mid-afternoon flight to ARN from nearby OSK available for a “Klick” price of around 42 EUR. A quick look at the bus schedules confirmed that I had enough time to get from Kalmar to Oskarshamn with the bus and the flight was booked. Another new airport for the log, always good!

Initially I thought this flight would be operated by their standard Fokker 50s, but then I found out that this route is actually operated by Direktflyg (HS) for JZ with a Jetstream 32 - unexpectedly a new airline for me, double yay!

Finally to get back home Norwegian’s afternoon flight was available for 40 EUR, but that sounded a bit boring. Good old airBaltic offered a routing via RIX for 89 EUR and since I’ve been cheating on my favorite carrier for too long now, I decided to book it - the schedule showed the new Dash on ARN-RIX, but as always with BT you never know!

Here’s the full routing:

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=HEL-ARN-KLR,+OSK-ARN-RIX-HEL&MS=bm&MR=60&MX=720x360&PM=*

Wednesday 8.9.2010

A 6.55 departure time doesn’t sound too bad - at least compared to some of the early flights I’ve taken. However it does sound a bit bad after you fathom in the fact that Norwegian still doesn’t offer any OLCI or even a self-service check-in (at HEL). So I find myself getting up around five this morning, doing the usual morning chores half-asleep and still managing to catch the 5.40 bus to the airport. I step off at T1 exactly an hour ahead of the departure time only to find just one person in queue for the lone open Norwegian counter - that’s weird! I ask the agent (who used to work for SAS here before, I remember him from those good old times!) what’s going on and he says he is wondering too where all the people are. Still it should be a light load, so no worries. I end up with the much appreciated window seat - the last time I checked in at T-1 with DY on this very same route I got a friggin’ middle seat!

Off to the toilet and once I come back the crowds have mysteriously at least tripled - there’s quite a queue for the DY desk I just conducted business with, plus lots of BT, LH and SK/KF passengers:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_0.jpg

I decide to hotfoot it to security as the queue seems to be growing by the second - a good idea as just a few minutes after I join it actually reaches the stairs and starts growing downwards. In about ten minutes I’m through, ready to face the long trek to T2, as our departure gate today is 26, right in the middle of T2. Not that there’s something unusual in that, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Norwegian plane at the real T1 end of HEL - no matter if their spiritual home is there. This of course causes lots of confusion especially with arriving pax, since it is not very well signposted that one should walk the half a kilometer to the T1 baggage hall instead of the much more convenient T2 one. I’ve seen so many DY (and some other airline as well) pax at T1 angrily begging for re-entrance to the baggage hall after going through the formalities at T2 without their luggage... Something to improve here perhaps, Finavia?

Anyway once over at T2 I have just enough time to buy a water bottle and exchange some Sterling for next weekend before boarding is called.

Here’s today’s ride, LN-KKJ, a 737-300 model previously flying for Varig. A new one for me.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

Boarding is called pretty much right after I get to the gate, 20 minutes before departure.

HEL - ARN
DY3866
B737-300 LN-KKJ
Seat 9A
6.51 - 6.41

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

The legroom is a bit better than on the NGs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

The crew is a bit weird - I witness one girl struggling to lift her rollaboard to the overhead bin while a (male) crewmember patiently stands in front of her waiting to get past, no offer to help her with the seemingly heavy luggage nor anything.

I’m a sucker for engine logos - a shame BT doesn’t have them any more:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_4.jpg

Boarding is quite fast and the load is low, around 40%. Flight time is announced as 45 minutes.

Push back is four minutes early. I’d call this efficient - we vacated that jetway barely a minute ago:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

Short taxi to 22R where we take off right at our scheduled departure time after a KF bumblebee:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Helsinki_Departure_8.jpg

After take off I decide to take a nap and come back when we are already descending towards Stockholm. Hey, didn’t I photograph this very same ferry two weeks ago:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_0.jpg

Stockholm, as it is prone to, seems to be engulfed in fog:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_1.jpg

Makes for some funny pictures:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_3.jpg

I certainly hope the ILS is properly set up today as the visibility is still very low:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_6.jpg

We land on runway 01L after the promised 45 minutes of flight time, ten minutes before we departed HEL. The fog makes for some pretty views:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_8.jpg

Exotic visitors:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_9.jpg

I think that’ll be my next ride:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_10.jpg

T2 is empty apart from two company birds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Arrival_1_11.jpg

Deboarding is rather swift.

Arlanda Airport, Take 1

Instead of the (domestic) commuter T3 that would be more appropriate for a turboprop the Kalmar flight is actually departing from the main domestic T4. Well, I think the SK Dashes did this too. On the way I see the plane parked at its gate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_1.jpg

Indeed it is the one I saw earlier, SE-MDB, my first ride on this one.

T4 is deserted:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_2.jpg

With plenty of time in my hands I have a large (more like huge) coffee at the cafe there before heading to the gate. Bad idea - I should’ve done that before when it was empty - the terminal has suddenly gotten packed with lots of people and the security queues are stretching down the stairs (hmm, is this a pattern today?). Well, nothing I can do to help it so I queue instead. Actually it isn’t too bad, the main problem is that the upstairs floor in front of the security checkpoints doesn’t have much room for queuing so even a modest one will spill over to the stairs.

Looks like our flight is one of the few ones NOT posting a delay - must be the fog:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_4.jpg

Lots of people waiting at our gate - looks like a good load.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_3.jpg

Quite soon boarding is called, they announce the flight as “Blue1 flight operated by Golden Air”. The gate agent also announces that this type or aircraft is boarded from the rear. Indeed very useful information as the guy in front of me turns left and heads for the front door right after emerging from the steps to the tarmac only to stop on his laurels after a few steps, looking confused. How about paying some attention to announcements?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_7.jpg

ARN - KLR
KF113 Operated by Golden Air
ATR 72-500 SE-MBD
Seat 15F
8.33 - 9.38

The OLCI seatmap was wrong - I picked a seat on the last row, but in reality it turns out that there are actually 18 rows onboard (just like with FC) so I’m stuck a bit further upstream. I instantly take a disliking on the seats - despite being only two years old they have a certain tattiness to them - maybe a good cleaning would do them good.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_9.jpg

Legroom is what it is - definitely not very good. I like the modern slimline seats on FC much more than these skimpy ones.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_10.jpg

The staffing on this flight is interesting - there are three FAs onboard, all female, Swedish and middle-aged. Oh and very friendly too, but that follows naturally from being a Swede... One of them is wearing a Blue1 uniform, one has a SAS one (!) and one something that I assume is a Golden Air one - at least the red scarf matches their (old) company colors.

The inflight mag is from Blue1:



Whereas the safety card from the AOC holder:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_12.jpg

Rather good load today, only a few empty seats here and there. Ten minutes before our scheduled departure time it is announced that we are still waiting for some connecting pax but it shouldn’t take long - must be the foggy weather. Finally a bunch of people appear, making the flight even more packed. The flight time is announced as 55 minutes. Oh, and all the announcements mention the flight as “Blue1 operated by Golden Air”.

Ships library? What’s that?! Books on wheels for airline crew?

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_13.jpg

In the end we push back (the traditional way with a tug, not under our own engine power like always happens with FC) eight minutes late. There’s quite a queue of planes to runway 08, I count five or six planes - all 737s by the way - in front of us so it takes around 15 minutes to get airborne.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_14.jpg

The sun is slowly burning away the fog, but there’s still plenty of it left. Makes for an eerie feeling:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_15.jpg

Soon to be no more:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_16.jpg

OV 737:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_17.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_18.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_1_19.jpg

The service on this flight is another surprise. I expected coffee and tea. We get that (and juice as an added bonus), but additionally a ham and cheese sandwich on rye bread is offered as well - I didn’t really expect this much:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Enroute_to_Kalmar_1.jpg

The sandwich is decent, not very fresh so must be a couple of days old, but nevertheless hits the spot nicely.

Heading southwards, the weather gets noticeably better than at the Stockholm area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Enroute_to_Kalmar_2.jpg

After some 40 minutes of flight “10 minutes to landing” is announced, together with the seat belt sign being switched on. A wind turbine farm under construction:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_1.jpg

Approach gives some beautiful views over this part of Sweden:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_5.jpg

Landing on runway 16 is 13 minutes late, not so good for me as I originally had exactly an hour to get downtown and to catch my onward bus. What’s that bright green thing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_6.jpg

Oh, it’s a company Saab to BMA:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_7.jpg

What a cute and very Swedish terminal building:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_8.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_Approach_9.jpg

Kalmar

This doesn’t look or feel like an airport at all - more like some country house:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_3.jpg

My original plan called for a bus ride to the city - luckily quite a short distance - but due to the delay it turns out I missed a number of buses and the next one is a too risky so I decide to take a taxi. Too bad it isn’t that straightforward as all the taxis in front of the terminal turn out to be prebooked. A couple of young Swedish business travelers are just about to call one for them so I ask the guy to request an additional one for me.

Draken:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_2.jpg

Fast forward ten minutes and still no taxi for me (nor for them), I’m getting a bit antsy - by that time I have less than 25 minutes till the bus. Then a taxi pulls in, it is not the one they ordered for me but available nevertheless so I decide to take it and tell the driver I’m in a bit of a hurry. He asks “How fast do you want me to drive?” - “It’s up to you, but I won’t pay your fines!” - “Ok, then it’s only 10 kilometers over the limit!”.

The driver turns out to be a very funny guy, he used to be a local politician for Sweden’s “Sverigedemokraterna” populist nationalistic party and has some very interesting opinions about certain matters, including the upcoming elections.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_4.jpg

Anyway in ten minutes or so we are at the Kalmar Central Station, also doubling as the main bus station. I have only ten minutes before my bus so I don’t venture too far from the station, just shoot a few photos:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_5.jpg

The castle:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Kalmar_7.jpg

Kalmar looks like a very nice town (and according to the taxi driver it is the sunniest city in Sweden), I think I should come back here for a proper visit at some point. So many places to visit, so little time...

I hop on my bus, running perfectly on schedule for the 1h15min ride up the coast to Oskarshamn. On the way we pass some very pretty rural scenery.

Oskarshamn

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_1.jpg

The bus pulls in to Oskarshamn bus station a good five minutes before schedule, leaving me with a bit of time to walk around the small town and to grab a hot dog for lunch.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_2.jpg

The elections indeed are coming and all the parties are doing the hard work on the streets and market places:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_8.jpg

There’s no public transportation to the airport - well with three business-oriented flights a day on tiny commuter planes I doubt there’s much demand either. I can’t see a taxi station anywhere so I go to a hotel and have them call a taxi for me. 15 minutes and 25 EUR later we reach the small airport.

Oskarshamn Airport

First impression after stepping off the taxi: “What an incredibly cute little airport”. See for yourself:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_1.jpg

Our ride, I assume:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_2.jpg

A lady sitting (and smoking) on a bench in front of the terminal asks me something in Swedish - I can’t quite make out what she said so I ask her to repeat herself in English - “Are you here for the flight to Stockholm?” - “Yes, it’s not like you can fly anywhere else from here!”. She turns out to be a Norwegian on a business trip here and on her way back home in Oslo. I ask if they are already open for check in inside and after she acknowledges this I step inside.

Wow, it really is very compact:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_5.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_3.jpg

I think this airport is, together with ENF, the smallest airport I’ve ever flown to or from. The passenger facilities at ENF were even smaller (there’s not even a gate lounge, you walk through the metal detector straight to the apron and to the plane!), but the actual airport building was larger so I think it is a tie.

A very friendly (hey, this is Sweden after all!) lady checks me in and hands me my boarding pass already ripped into two pieces. I ask how the load is - “Not so many people on this flight, usually the morning and evening flights are more full.” - “I guess that explains the cheap price then!”

Skyways is offering free coffee and snacks to its passengers, and apparently a breakfast in the mornings as well:



Well, with no service on the flight I guess it is only decent to do so! Actually I once flew URE-TLL with Avies of Estonia and they had a genuine FA on their Jetstream. The service on that short hop was also much much better than on most national carriers nowadays, but that’s a whole different story of course.

Back in present day I go back outside to shoot some more photos - while walking out the flight crew enter the terminal, I loudly say “Hej!” to both of them - this Swedishness is very infectious, let me tell you!

No, this is not, I repeat is NOT, the Virgin Clubhouse:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_7.jpg

Later on I go back inside, chat with the Norwegian lady a bit more and nibble on the free cookies. A few pax show up - actually all the others are middle aged businessmen types. In the end I count six passengers for this flight - according to her - she does this route every now and then - sometimes there’s only one pax onboard...

Twenty minutes before departure the members of the airport fire brigade (really!) doubling as security agents tripling as ramp agents quadrupling as general purpose handymen appear and open the tiny security check point. Once through we are ushered to a holding pen type of room with more free offerings (I grab a pocketful of candy), including ear plugs:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_10.jpg

Once everybody is inside the door is closed and the female general purpose agent puts on a Direktflyg Jetstream safety video on the TV set in the corner of the room. The serious expression on everybody and the sheer devotion with which people are watching it almost forces me to laugh but I bite my lip.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_8.jpg

Have all these plane types really been operated in Sweden:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Airport_9.jpg

After the video the lady opens the door to the ramp and off we go, walking to the parked plane.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_3.jpg

The young FO is assisting people onboard, since I am the last to board I chat a bit with him. He calls the Jetstream “a damn fast little plane”, quoting the airspeed as “up to 350”, not sure which units he means, knots I guess. Apparently today our speed will only be “around 200” due to some strong headwinds which makes the flight time approximately an hour.

OSK - ARN
JZ844
Jetstream 32 SE-LHB
Seat 4A
13.20 - 14.05

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_4.jpg

I very much want to sit on the right hand side to catch a view of the nearby Oskarshamn nuclear power plant on the shore of the Baltic Sea, but apparently so do all the five other pax. Or maybe they just want to have two seats for themselves as the seating is 1-2. The first row still has a two-seater vacant (plus you have the open cockpit in front of you, something which I very much enjoyed when sitting there on an Highland Airways J31 some years back) so I head there. Unfortunately the FO wants me to sit on the other side for balance reasons so I have to settle for the exit row 4. You couldn’t really tell this is an exit row from the leg room:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_5.jpg

My back bag doesn’t fit under the seat so I just put it on the seat in front of me.

What’s that - is there IFE as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_6.jpg

Nope, it never gets turned on. I guess they can provide the safety video this way if needed.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_7.jpg

We start moving a good five minutes before the schedule, backtracking to the runway 19 end, turn around and take off towards the south. There’s quite a bit of sidewind so the take off is rather shaky.

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16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 10112 times:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_10.jpg

A left turn follows, here’s the best shot I could get of the nuclear power plant:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_11.jpg

Bye OSK, I doubt we will see again:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Oskarshamn_Departure_12.jpg

It is a bit noisy during take off, not so much during cruise. All the other pax are wearing ear plugs, but I prefer my Ipod  . The lonesome drone of the engines make you quite sleepy - most of the other pax seem to give in and doze off. There’s no inflight magazine, instead the seat pocket holds some sort of Swedish business traveller mag:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Enroute_to_Arlanda_1.jpg

The engine:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Enroute_to_Arlanda_2.jpg

The city of Nyköping, with NYO (or “Stockholm Skavsta”) visible as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Enroute_to_Arlanda_3.jpg

The estimate for a flight time of an hour seems to be a bit excessive as we start our descent upon reaching the city of Stockholm just half an hour after take off. We fly right over the city centre:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_1.jpg

Bromma:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_2.jpg

The Gamla Stan (on an island) in the middle of this shot, with the huge Royal Palace next to it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_4.jpg

Värtahamnen with a couple of Tallink Silja ferries. A certain office building where I spent seemingly months of my life a few years back during a particular tricky work project is in this picture as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_5.jpg

The weather and visibility has definitely improved from the morning:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_6.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_7.jpg

I try to watch the approach through the cockpit window but can’t really see that much. The front row would’ve been so much better for this.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_8.jpg

There seems to be quite a lot of crosswind as the plane is yawing left and right even after we touch down on runway 01R after a flight time of 40 minutes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_9.jpg

The Jumbo Hostel:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_10.jpg

We follow an Air Berlin 737 that just landed before us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_11.jpg

Instead of parking in front of the commuter terminal we park in front of the cargo area and have to be bussed in.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_12.jpg

Cabin shot - one guy insisted I go off before him but after I told him “Unless you want your face posted on the Internet you should go first - I’m doing a cabin photo.” he obliged  .

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_13.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Approach_2_14.jpg

Arlanda Airport, Take 2

From the commuter terminal I head towards Skycity and T5. This plane and carrier combination is quite high on my personal TOFLY list:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_1.jpg

I have a slight feeling of deja-vu while walking the same corridor between T3 and T4 that I walked seven hours earlier. Once at Skycity I get a some dirt cheap burgers and a soda from McD’s and munch on those while watching planes. My ride from the morning, now getting ready for another KLR rotation:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_2.jpg

Thai heavy heading back to BKK - it was here already in the morning when I arrived from HEL:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_4.jpg

Jettime to AHO:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_5.jpg

After getting sufficiently greased up I head to T5, pass through the deserted security point (I very much prefer the one close to Skycity, the main one on the other end is horrible as it always has tons of people plus dumps you in the middle of the bloody duty free store, which I hate!) and head to the Menzies lounge.

I recently signed up again for a Diners Club card, which comes with access to a selection of lounges, luckily including ones at both ARN and CPH - it is free for the first year so I have nothing to loose but a lot of free beer to gain so why not? I used to have one for many years until I canceled it a few years ago - so this lounge used to be a regular haunt of mine.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Lounge_1.jpg

It is a halfway decent lounge, main users are all Skyteam airlines plus a number of smaller, more obscure airlines. Not much food, just some bread and cookies, but the Spendrups beer they have on tap is very good and they offer free wifi so it’s fine by me.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Lounge_2.jpg

I like this seating area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Lounge_3.jpg

It has a view towards the apron between the two old T5 piers and the 08/26 runway, which is in use for landings right now, giving me some nice photo opportunities:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_6.jpg

Well well, what do we have here - it’s the Thai 744 limping back an hour after I photographed her departure - does anybody know what happened:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_7.jpg

I see no emergency vehicles so maybe it was a medical or another coup in Thailand...

JAT:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_8.jpg

Funny, just a few minutes ago I was looking for possibilities to fly a BA 767 on this vary same route to ARN:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_9.jpg

Norwegian the Red-nosed Plane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_10.jpg

What’s that down there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_11.jpg

Viking from LGW, continuing to Erbil, Iraq. I took this flight back in February:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_12.jpg

Oh, I didn’t know DY had winglets on some of their classics as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_13.jpg

Another thing very high on my TOFLY list:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_14.jpg

I like this colorful DAT livery - flew on it once:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_15.jpg

Even DAT has a red nose sometimes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_16.jpg

My previous ride arriving from yet another flight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Spotting_17.jpg

I keep watching the departures from the RIX airport web site - knowing fully well that these ARN-RIX flights, especially on the Dashes (the previous day OLCI seatmap was indeed showing a Dash!) have a terrible on-time record (and caused an unwanted overnight at Riga for me a while ago: Dashing Across The Baltic Sea: ARN-RIX (by FlyingFinn76 May 28 2010 in Trip Reports) ).

Sure enough the flight ends up being late, the flight status only changes to “closed” at the website some 45 minutes late. I mentally kiss my 25-minute connection at RIX goodbye and grudgingly accept the fact that I will be flying the infamous “Midnight Fokker” up to HEL one more time. At least it gives me plenty of lounge time at RIX, but I’d honestly rather spend that time deep asleep in my own bed!

At some point our departure time posts an delay of an hour - well, what’s a man to do but drink more beer?

The inbound is expected to land at 18.10, around that time I spot a familiar shape:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_1.jpg

Unfortunately I don’t spot it landing on the runway but instead making a low level overpass of the terminal - this is most peculiar and gets me a bit worried. Of course it could just be a missed approach or a holding pattern of some sort, but knowing the landing gear problems that caused SAS to give up on the type it could be something more serious as well - i.e. a flypast of the control tower to visually inspect the landing gear.

Luckily ten minutes later the plane lands on 26, safe and sound:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_3.jpg

YL-BAF - whoa, I didn’t know BT had the second Dash in operation - but indeed they do. New one for me, yippee:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_4.jpg

I give it fifteen minutes or so before heading to the gate. My timing is perfect as I have just enough time to snap a quick shot:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_5.jpg

And right after boarding is called. Down the stairs in the jetway to the tarmac and onboard the new plane.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_6.jpg

Baltic neighbour:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_7.jpg

ARN - RIX
BT108
Dash-8 Q400 YL-BAF
Seat 3D
19.01 - 21.05

I ask the male steward greeting pax (as a side note I think he is the one who was featured on the Air Baltic calendar) “What happened?” - “What do you mean!? Nothing happened!” (a bit too snappy if you ask me) - “Oh, I mean where were you?” - “Flying between Riga and here!” - this conversation seems to be going nowhere so I resign and sit on my seat 3D in the first row of economy instead.

Economy seems to be pretty much full, with one girl in the one and half (row 1 has only AB) rows of business class. There’s some confusion with passenger numbers as the gate agent offers first 63 and then 65 (what, is this a bidding competition?), but the crew counters that there are exactly 64 passengers onboard and no infants. After a bit of shuffling they finally agree that 64 is fine and the doors are closed.

Push back is eventually 1h41 mins late. A very powerful take off from runway 08 follows a few minutes later.

KF and Swiss, or “hospital plane” like my daughter put it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_8.jpg

Some other planes seem to be making low passes as well so maybe I was worried for nothing earlier:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_10.jpg

Runway 01R/19L:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_11.jpg

These Dashes are great for engine shots:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Arlanda_Departure_2_12.jpg

Feeling sleepy I decide to give in, despite the rather uncomfortable seat (the legroom is fine, but with a normal-sized man as a seat mate the width is not the greatest) I sleep through the whole flight. It has become dark while I was in darkness myself:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_1.jpg

Landing is on runway 18 after an hour of flight time. Parking position on the northern apron and a bus ride to terminal, as per usual procedure. Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_2.jpg

Riga Airport

I dash off from the bus towards the transit desk, anticipating a rush of pax behind me as many people are connecting. There are two desks side by side here, one for airBaltic ticketing and another for North Hub Services who do the ground handling for most airlines here, including of course their main owner BT. Well, unfortunately I make the wrong choice and ask the NHS girl to give me a new boarding pass, fully anticipating that BT has already rebooked me to the later flight. Well, the rude girl is a bit confused and exchanges a number of words in rapid-fire Latvian with her colleague at the BT ticket desk (the only words I make out are “Helsinki”, “Tallinn”, “Palanga” and “Tarto”) and in the end the message is that she won’t have none of my business before I talk with her colleague. Geez, what on earth is wrong here - why does it have to be so complicated?!

Of course while having this conversation all the other pax have made it here so now there are at least 25 people queuing for the ticket desk. I decide to shove it and head for the lounge instead, five meters away. Inside the customer service experience immediately improves on the earlier one:

- Hello, sir, how are you today?
- (Me looking very gloomy and tired) You don’t want to know.
- Oh, what’s wrong?
- This is wrong. (I give her my OLCI boarding pass for the long gone HEL flight)
- Oh dear. I’m very sorry for that. Sir, please have a seat while I check your booking.
- Thank you, paldies!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_5.jpg

The place is deserted at this hour (a bit later a couple of Estonians do arrive, though). I drop my stuff on a sofa and head to the loo. Once finished with what you usually do in loos the lovely lounge girl smilingly hands back my self-printed boarding pass and says “Actually you have already been rebooked on the later flight, so you can just wait here until the queues are gone and then go and pick up your boarding pass!” - “Thank you, very much appreciated.”

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_6.jpg

I grab some nibbles and some water from the water bar, later followed by a couple of cold beers and make full use of the free wifi provided by the lounge.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_3.jpg

A bit later the girl actually comes to me and says that if I give her my passport she can go and do the check in for me. I’m a bit surprised by this unprompted act of kindness and proactive thinking - not very common among employees here - so thank her again and hand her my ID card. Two minutes later she is back with a boarding pass.

- Here you go, sir. It is a window seat, hope that is ok with you?
- Oh yes, it’s fine. I will be sleeping anyway!
- (giggles)
- Paldies!

I’ve always regarded the ground handling experience at RIX quite sub par, many employees appear to be rather rude with not many smiles around and rather basic English skills by many of them (I know fully well that it is a cultural thing and part of the legacy from the Soviet times - a service culture here simply hasn’t had time to develop, but still). However this girl at the lounge is an absolute angel, very friendly, smiling and with perfect English as well - I wish BT and NHS had more employees like her, especially here at RIX. Anyway a very good idea to put the best of the bunch working in the lounge with their best customers!

Surprisingly the gate assigned for the HEL flight is B2, one with a jetway. A bit later a 737 pulls in to that jetway, so it looks like the “Midnight Fokker” has become a “Midnight Boeing”, at least today. Which is of course nice as it will speed up the flight a lot. The ride is YL-BBL, an ex-Ezy -300 model with winglets, my 3rd flight with her.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_4.jpg

Around 25 minutes before departure the status changes “Go to gate” and I decide to head there, all of 25 meters away from the lounge. Not many people are around, so looks like a very light load. Boarding commences maybe five minutes later, I am the first one to board after a lady in wheelchair is helped onboard.

RIX - HEL
BT329
B737-300 YL-BBL
Seat 5A
23.52 - 0.41

I recognize both cabin crew members standing in the front galley - yeah, I’ve covered some miles with BT  . I chat a bit with the lady in the wheelchair who is seated at 4A, she turns out to be a rather interesting person on her way back from TXL this time. She is traveling with a large Ikea plush snake - apparently she takes this along all her trips as a companion - I’ve heard of (grown up) people traveling with teddy bears but this is something completely different!

Load indeed is light and boarding is completed in no time at all. There are around 25 pax in the plane today, with nobody in the three rows of business class. A Fokker would’ve been more than suitable, but maybe they were short of them or maybe the return flight in the morning has much more pax.

Flight time is announced as 40 minutes and push back is three minutes ahead of schedule. A couple of minutes later we take off into the night from 36. A few minutes later I again drift off to dreamland and pretty much stay there until our very hard touchdown on HEL runway 15 after some 45 minutes of flight.

Sorry for the very bad shot, but the thing in the middle is the first KF Boeing 717 which operated its first commercial service just four days previously:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Kalmar_Oskarshamn_09_2010/Finals_8.jpg

A bit later we dock to the same gate 26 where this trip started for me, 18 hours earlier. Of course this gate is still deep in T2. This time they actually make an announcement about the luggage arriving at T1, although I doubt people are paying any attention.

I’m the first one off the plane, down to T2 arrivals (yes, I’m a naughty boy but I have no checked luggage), check the bus schedule in the arrivals hall and after learning that the next one is 20 minutes away hop on a taxi instead and arrive home around 1 in the morning (as opposed to ten in the evening as originally envisioned) and kiss the bed for some sweet but short sleep!

Conclusions

A nice daytrip, that’s for sure with some highlights and rock bottoms as well.

Norwegian - not much to say really. A cheap fare and it got me exactly what I wanted - a decent ride between HEL and ARN.

The Golden Air/Blue1/SAS hybrid flight remains a mystery, I think SAS is experimenting to see if such arrangements could be used as a union-busting tool. SAS being one of the most heavily unionized airlines in the business has traditionally had (and still has, even though the unions have agreed to quite large reductions in terms) very high unit costs and rather restricted hands at trying to reduce them. Still, a perfectly enjoyable flight with far better service than is usual on domestic Swedish runs (apart from Malmö Aviation, that is).

Direktflyg sure provided a special flight - I really like these small nice airlines and routes. The Jetstream is an interesting plane, actually quite comfortable considering its small size and capacity. And bonus points for the cutest airport there is, OSK!

As for BT, what can I say? Glad to see another Dash joining the fleet, most of the various wetleases they operated over the summer are now gone (I still saw a Blue Line F100 at RIX, though - wonder what happens with the carrier bankrupt and all) so they desperately need their own planes to replace those. Reliability remains a problem, there have been far too many delays and cancellations with the Dashes. And finally the customer service (apart from the lounge girl, she’s a true diamond!) at RIX definitely needs some improvements! This is not the only time I’ve had similar experiences there.


The next trip is just a couple of days away - a quick weekend jaunt to the Channel Islands plus an a.net member pub meet on the way home: HEL-TXL-DUS-JER-GCI-SOU/LHR-HEL. Stay tuned!

Happy contrails!


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6577 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9966 times:

Hi FlyingFinn!

Very nice report with very nice pictures!

Legroom on DY looks very minimal......Nice with a sandwich on the DC/SK/KF flight and a bit odd with flight attendants in three different uniforms.

Kalmar is a nice little city and the airport building looks like a barn! They used to have an airforce base in KLR (that's why they have the Draken there) but I'm sure it's closed now. Think nearby RNB may still have a presence by the Swedish Air Force.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Have all these plane types really been operated in Sweden:

Fairly certain that all those plane types have all operated to OSK, therefore no F.28, CV 440 etc.

Great views from SkyCity ! It's a nice place to do some planespotting at ARN before security at ARN but I prefer the restarurent on the upper level in the middle of T5.

Nice that you got to ride in the newer Dash 8!

When will you fly the new KF 717? Expecting a trip report on that soon!!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinevio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1435 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 9721 times:

Fantastic report FlyingFinn, but that's nothing new coming from you! I enjoy every single one you've made so far. The JetStream is a nice little airplane. I have a few friends who fly it and enjoy it quite a bit. I have flown a B1900C once ona training flight and I really liked it. I heard this one is even more fun to fly  

The livery on Skyways looks great! Kiitos for the great reports!



Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlineparton87 From Sweden, joined Sep 2008, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 9610 times:

Hello Flying Finn!

Thank you for a great report! Nice to see mor JZ reports here 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, I didn’t know DY had winglets on some of their classics as well:

Not me either untill last week. I had a flight with one of these and I was realy suprised 


I like this colorful DAT livery - flew on it once:
I also saw this A/C last week, I wonder on wich routes they operate on?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The next trip is just a couple of days away - a quick weekend jaunt to the Channel Islands plus an a.net member pub meet on the way home: HEL-TXL-DUS-JER-GCI-SOU/LHR-HEL. Stay tuned!

That sounds exciting:D

Greetings Robert


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9495 times:

Another busy weekend!?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The staffing on this flight is interesting - there are three FAs onboard, all female, Swedish and middle-aged. Oh and very friendly too, but that follows naturally from being a Swede... One of them is wearing a Blue1 uniform, one has a SAS one (!) and one something that I assume is a Golden Air one - at least the red scarf matches their (old) company colors.

I suppose with the awkward wetleasing arrangments, you can expect situations like this.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The service on this flight is another surprise. I expected coffee and tea. We get that (and juice as an added bonus), but additionally a ham and cheese sandwich on rye bread is offered as well - I didn’t really expect this much:

Always nice to get a bit extra.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
OSK - ARN
JZ844
Jetstream 32 SE-LHB

Very jealous! I'd love a flight on a Jetstream. I had a chance a few years ago in New Zealand (Origin Pacific), but went with NZ instead on their Beechcraft 1900 (was that the plane you pictured in ARN that was on your TOFLY list?)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Värtahamnen with a couple of Tallink Silja ferries. A certain office building where I spent seemingly months of my life a few years back during a particular tricky work project is in this picture as well:

Ah, I took the ferry on the left at the end of August to Tallinn.

The lounge in RIX looks very plain - is it a nice lounge?



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2477 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 9434 times:

Hi P.,

Nice to see you back in action. Again you managed to build a successful itinerary no one would come up with. New registrations, picturesque cities, charming airports and great shots of your spotting session. Well done!

I especially like your flight experience from OSK-ARN. The free drinks and snacks on the airport remind me at Bangkok Air flights.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I witness one girl struggling to lift her rollaboard to the overhead bin while a (male) crewmember patiently stands in front of her waiting to get past, no offer to help her with the seemingly heavy luggage nor anything.

Apparently not part of his job.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Makes for some funny pictures:

Breathtaking!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The service on this flight is another surprise. I expected coffee and tea. We get that (and juice as an added bonus), but additionally a ham and cheese sandwich on rye bread is offered as well - I didn’t really expect this much

I have got the feeling that the operators of regional routes offer more decent on-board service than the carrier what they are flying on behalf of. Compare with Air Nostrum and Iberia for example.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“What an incredibly cute little airport”. See for yourself:

 Wow!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

A bit later the girl actually comes to me and says that if I give her my passport she can go and do the check in for me. I’m a bit surprised by this unprompted act of kindness and proactive thinking - not very common among employees here - so thank her again and hand her my ID card. Two minutes later she is back with a boarding pass.

- Here you go, sir. It is a window seat, hope that is ok with you?
- Oh yes, it’s fine. I will be sleeping anyway!
- (giggles)
- Paldies!:


Impressive! What a genuine and lovely service of her. She surely deserved a recognition.

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next installment.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1459 posts, RR: 33
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9318 times:

Hi FF,

I was beginning to wonder where you next report was when, hey presto, it appeared online. It seems your homework paid off as you had an interesting day visiting two gems of an airport in Sweden and getting the rather special flight on Skyways. If only travelling was always that simple & pleasant. I love the idea of playing the safety video in the gate area, how unique.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The crew is a bit weird - I witness one girl struggling to lift her rollaboard to the overhead bin while a (male) crewmember patiently stands in front of her waiting to get past, no offer to help her with the seemingly heavy luggage nor anything.

No doubt some silly insurance issues in case he pulls a muscle.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
How about paying some attention to announcements?

What? People do that? I thought it was only anetters who actually listened to them.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
She is traveling with a large Ikea plush snake - apparently she takes this along all her trips as a companion - I’ve heard of (grown up) people traveling with teddy bears but this is something completely different!

Whatever floats your boat. I find it quite endearing to see adults travelling with a big cuddly toy tucked under their arm.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
KF Boeing 717

Another one on your "to do" list?!

Nice that you eventually got such a friendly member of staff at RIX to help you - one of the perks of lounge access?

Great shot of Stockholm from above btw.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9272 times:

Hi all - good to see all the comments. Very much appreciated, thank you!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
They used to have an airforce base in KLR (that's why they have the Draken there) but I'm sure it's closed now. Think nearby RNB may still have a presence by the Swedish Air Force.

Yep, Rönneby still has quite a large base. On my recent trip there I saw a large line up of the infamous JAS Gripens.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
Fairly certain that all those plane types have all operated to OSK, therefore no F.28, CV 440 etc.

Ok, that's what I thought. Thanks for the confirmation. Looks like Sweden has a far more interesting aviation history than Finland, we never had too many different plane types plying our domestic routes...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 2):
When will you fly the new KF 717? Expecting a trip report on that soon!!
Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
Another one on your "to do" list?!

I'm booked on one in November. I do have a bunch of KF flights before that, so maybe I will get lucky with an equipment change sooner. Not holding my breath, though.

Quoting parton87 (Reply 4):
Nice to see mor JZ reports here

More like HS - but then again it is owned by JZ so no big deal. I'm planning some more Swedish runs (the NextJet ATP and Beech are calling my name), so probably more Skyways in the future as well.

Quoting parton87 (Reply 4):
I like this colorful DAT livery - flew on it once:
I also saw this A/C last week, I wonder on wich routes they operate on?

That's some sort of wetlease - their own network is extremely limited and doesn't come near ARN. I flew one on a KF flight TKU-ARN, but nowadays those are supposedly operated by DC Saabs. Could also be subbing for Cimber ATRs, I guess.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Another busy weekend!?

It was a Wednesday actually, but yes, I do have a busy weekend ahead of me  .

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Very jealous! I'd love a flight on a Jetstream. I had a chance a few years ago in New Zealand (Origin Pacific), but went with NZ instead on their Beechcraft 1900 (was that the plane you pictured in ARN that was on your TOFLY list?)

Yes, that's the one. I've never flown on one. I've logged three Jetstreams so far, but all on the 3x series, I guess I need to find some flights with the 4xs...

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
The lounge in RIX looks very plain - is it a nice lounge?

It is a very good lounge. Now that you mention it, yes, the decor is not that great - very plain actually. But the offerings are great with plenty of booze and other drinks as well plus the water bar with mineral waters from all over the world, including Georgian Borjomi (wasn't it you who was a fan?) and quite decent food and snack offerings as well. I have more pictures in my older reports, search for them if you are interested.

The best part is the location, two minutes away from most of the gates at RIX. But then again the airport is so small that pretty much everything is three minutes away from anything.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Again you managed to build a successful itinerary no one would come up with.

Come on - just a basic knowledge of geography and airline routes, Google Maps and other websites and it's a piece of cake. But thanks anyway!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
I especially like your flight experience from OSK-ARN. The free drinks and snacks on the airport remind me at Bangkok Air flights.

Well, with no service onboard it is a nice compensation. A bit like my BLK-IOM flight on the Let-410 back in June with the free lounge access at BLK.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
I love the idea of playing the safety video in the gate area, how unique.

I think I've read a report or two here about some other regional flights where a similar thing was done. Can't quite remember which airline or even country it was, though. But I guess it cuts down on the work the flight crew has to do.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
No doubt some silly insurance issues in case he pulls a muscle.

This reminds me of Polly Toynbee's excellent book "Life in Low-pay Britain"...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 7):
How about paying some attention to announcements?
What? People do that? I thought it was only anetters who actually listened to them.

Heh, some time ago I was on an airBaltic flight from Finland to Riga and after the captain made a lengthy announcement (in English) I was wondering about his dialect - sounded Danish or Norwegian to me. So I asked my seat mate, an academic-looking and very smart (based on our earlier conversation) female on her thirties that what does she make out of the accent. She looked at me very confused and answered "No idea, I didn't pay any attention.". For a while I was flabbergasted - don't you really want to know what the flight deck crew has to say - you know they could be saying "we will crash to the sea in five minutes and all die a horrible death!" and you're not paying any attention! I just couldn't (and still can't) understand this kind of ignorance...


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5171 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 9116 times:

Hey, P.,

great stuff again, such a nice variety of airlines and aircraft types, the Jetstream is against several tries missing here also.
You know, I like these kind of scandinavian adventures, interesting times there ahead, something to do for me also more
often next year, if nothing goes wrong.

That nice girl at the lounge is for sure something special, not the usual thing, beside the
staff sometimes at ZRH´s infodesk!.

Have a good weekend,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineeicvd From Ireland, joined Mar 2008, 2166 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 9090 times:

Hi FlyingFinn
As always, a very enjoyable read. Nice to see reports covering these lesser known airports.
Looking forward to your next report, looks like another nice long read.


User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 8847 times:

Hi FF,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Ships library? What’s that?! Books on wheels for airline crew?

Very interesting, indeed.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This doesn’t look or feel like an airport at all - more like some country house:

Wow, that surely looks to be the cutest airport i've ever seen.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The Gamla Stan (on an island) in the middle of this shot, with the huge Royal Palace next to it:

Beautiful!

Thanks for sharing this excellent TR!



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 8843 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

very interesting report with some nice aircraft. These small airports in Scandinavia look really nice.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The legroom is a bit better than on the NGs:

Good to know what to avoid then - I found the legroom on LN-KKJ quite bad last year.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8805 times:

Hi FlyingFinn,

Great report and pictures of another trip to Sweden which seems to be rich of nice and small regional airports, most of which I have never heard of.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Initially I thought this flight would be operated by their standard Fokker 50s, but then I found out that this route is actually operated by Direktflyg (HS) for JZ with a Jetstream 32 - unexpectedly a new airline for me, double yay!

Great chance to fly this rather rare type of aircraft.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The staffing on this flight is interesting - there are three FAs onboard, all female, Swedish and middle-aged. Oh and very friendly too, but that follows naturally from being a Swede... One of them is wearing a Blue1 uniform, one has a SAS one (!) and one something that I assume is a Golden Air one - at least the red scarf matches their (old) company colors.

A very interesting constellation - I wonder if this was planned or just a coincidence.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The service on this flight is another surprise. I expected coffee and tea. We get that (and juice as an added bonus), but additionally a ham and cheese sandwich on rye bread is offered as well - I didn’t really expect this much

Great service for such a short domestic flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
First impression after stepping off the taxi: “What an incredibly cute little airport”.

Very nice - I also like these very small regional airports with only two or three flights per day.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
Reliability remains a problem, there have been far too many delays and cancellations with the Dashes.

I really wonder what is the problem with the Dash 8-400. AB had similar problems with reliability when they introduced this type of aircraft. Are these birds that special to maintain?

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 8504 times:

Hi, good to see more comments.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
You know, I like these kind of scandinavian adventures, interesting times there ahead, something to do for me also more
often next year, if nothing goes wrong.

Okay, let me know in advance and I might be able to join in on your jollies!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
These small airports in Scandinavia look really nice.

Yeah, small airports in general are usually very nice everywhere - relaxed and easygoing. And usually with far friendlier staff too, probably as a direct result from the reduced stress factor that the masses at the larger airports have to deal with. Plus it being Sweden everything is very pretty as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Good to know what to avoid then - I found the legroom on LN-KKJ quite bad last year.

It's not good, but I think the NGs have a full inch less, making it a very tight fit. I wonder how somebody can fly all the way to DXB on one...

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 13):
Sweden which seems to be rich of nice and small regional airports, most of which I have never heard of.

Both Sweden and Norway, and to a lesser extent Finland have quite an extensive network of regional airports. In these countries with large distances, sparse population and limited motorway or high speed rail networks, usually just on trunk routes between the large cities, flying is often the only way if you really are in a hurry.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 13):
A very interesting constellation - I wonder if this was planned or just a coincidence.

The route had been in operation for a week or so, so I guess they were still training cabin crew for the procedures. Still I wonder about the uniforms, though.


User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 262 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8338 times:

Hi FlyingFinn76,

As always, very nice report and great photos. You are catching some rare airports and rare aircraft lately!

Thanks for sharing.

BZNPilot


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1223 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8319 times:

very nice report and i loved your pics. the jetstream is such a cute little aircraft. looks like you had a nice trip overall. thanks for posting this. P/jet


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