Welcome to my second trip report, the link to the first one is here:
Air Arabia SHJ-BOM (June 16, 2007) (pics) (by adityashankar Dec 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
As mentioned in my first report, I have flown the DXB-BLR route countless number of times; either to visit my grandparents, or search for a college or to be there for a family occasion or just a holiday. I have been taking pictures in all these flights, so instead of boring you guys with around 10 reports on the same route and the same airline, I broke it down to two trip reports each with its own unique feature.
Living beside the HAL airport (back when it was Bangalore International Airport) meant, we didn’t need to worry about being late for a flight as it was only a 7 minute walk. It also meant getting up in the morning to an aircraft taking off as your alarm, yes; it was heaven, until when the airport moved to its current location- Devanahalli. It was a big blow to me personally, as all my childhood memories revolved around the airport, the reason I fell in love with aviation was because of living next to the airport. But anyway, the move was inevitable; the authorities had been clueing the construction and the move for quite a while. So in this report I will be talking about the first time I flew into the new airport, and my review of it. Plus, in the end I will also show you a glimpse of the HAL airport after the move.
Emirates Airbus A330
Summer of 2008, I had just finished my O level exams in May and I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with family in India and also take this as a chance to research some good engineering colleges in BLR (this is before I planned to study in Canada). My favorite civilian aircraft is the Boeing 777, and to my disappointment EK flies the 777 for the night flight to BLR (at least, this was the case in 2008) so, this afternoon I would be flying in an Airbus A330, but that didn’t stop me from being excited for this flight. I got a last minute upgrade to business class, and I was on top of the world. Since all the formalities were done early, I had time to do some spotting. The windows in Terminal 1 were tinted and gave my pictures a bluish tinge.
Terminal 3 still under construction
The control tower as seen from Terminal 1
An Emirates A330 taxi-ing
An EK 777 taking it to the skies
Qatar airways with a special livery Approaching the gate
At this point, Terminal 3 at DXB was getting its final touches done, so due to the lack of gates, the aircraft was parked in the remote bay. So access to the aircraft was by bus, this was a little annoying as the desert summer heat was torturous. Anyway, I was greeted by a flight attendant who directed me to my seat. The seat was spacious and this was one of the few flights I could comfortably accommodate my long legs. I was sitting just before the engine, so I got a good view from the window. This was perfect for an aviation nutter with a camera!!!
Boarding the aircraft
The economy class passengers boarding
Spacious seat (the infamous knee-shot)
the skycargo terminal
View from the second window
A close-up of the taxi-ing aircraft
Since we were in the remote bay, the taxi to the runway was a long one, but I won’t complain as I was treated to the views of terminal 1 and the nearly-finished Terminal 3 and sitting next to the engines, I was also treated to the sound of the engine during takeoff. After takeoff, we also flew over the World Islands and over some properties in Jebal Ali.
The pushback tractor rushing back to the terminal
The safety video
A good view of T1 and T3 and the control tower in the middle
An EK B777 at F12
All lined up on the runway and ready for takeoff
Take-off with a view of the police headquarters, the highway connecting SHJ and DXB
Top of the world (islands)
The coastline of the U.A.E
Well… Business Class… what more should I say, I was pampered like a king. Major differences I noticed from the Economy class were that the PTV was larger, but this was an old aircraft so there was no ICE (the new in flight entertainment system). The head phones were the noise cancelling ones. This saved me from cranking the volume really high to overcome the engine noise. There was a three course meal, well presented. I didn’t take pictures of the meal (sorry) as I was enjoying being pampered. This is like a bad habit; I repeat the same mistake when I fly Business Class on the A380 to Toronto (I will post the report up soon).
The drink and snack
The moment we reached the Indian coast, being the monsoon season, we were greeted by turbulence. (this also meant amazing views of the clouds off my window). Anyway as we were descending, all I could see was villages and fields. My first impression was “this airport is so remote”. The touchdown was smooth, and my eyes were peeled to get a glimpse of the new airport and its surroundings. I was shocked to see the size of the terminal. BLR was considered as one of the busiest airports in India, so I was expecting a huge terminal. It certainly is bigger than the old one but smaller than I expected. Anyway, once I entered the terminal, I was impressed with the modern glass building. It was like entering an airport in a foreign country, however they managed to get that peculiar smell they always have at Indian airports . I cleared the immigration fairly quickly and as usual my bags were one of the last ones in the baggage claim belt.
Once I exited the airport, I was asked if I was going to take the bus or the taxi. I opted for the bus and I was directed to follow a couple of passengers to the bus stop. The bus stop had around 3 Volvo buses (all different routes), and the drivers were outside asking passengers where they were heading and directing them to the right bus. If the bus wasn’t there, they would ask the passengers to wait for Route no. ‘X’. Since I had to go near the Old airport I was asked to take route 4. The ticket was Rs.180, and the bus had a rack to place our baggage. The buses were well maintained and fully air conditioned. This concludes my trip to BLR with EK.
The clouds from my window
First views of the fields
A new (in 2008) Kingfisher A330
another view of the new A330
Bangalore and the old airport today
The HAL airport is currently being used by HAL to test their aircraft (BLR is the helicopter division), it is also used by the Indian Air Force and as an executive airport. The terminals are barricaded and the entrance is guarded by security. Well I photographed the pictures below with a mobile phone, so I got away with it. Enjoy!!
The entrance- the guard had just got up
The domestic terminal- as u can see the entrance is barricaded
intresting signange on a tree
Air India baggage services- well not anymore
The check-in countries..its a mess... looks like they left in a hurry
inside the arrival hall- I took through a broken glass
Flights on the last day
Portable stairwell (sorry, I don't know the technical name)
A kingfisher Staff bus
Taken at the other end of the airport, an executive aircraft
The return flight
Well after a month, it was time to go back. This was a return leg of the afternoon flight, and the sun had gone down before we boarded the aircraft. So, I didn’t get to take many good pictures, so I put best ones here. I flew economy class and the flight was uneventful, partly because I was very sleepy and I slept most of the flight. I will let the pictures do the talking.
The aircrafts at BLR airport
The control tower at BLR
the departure lounge
The PTV (No ICE this time either)
Forward camera- pushback tractor ready!!
Pushback- Notice the Jetway
Taxing to the runway
...and a trip to the washroom
Taken during descent...can't tell if its the airport or the creek
taken after landing, taxing past T3 at DXB
An EK 777 on hold
T1 and T3
So that was Part 1 of my DXB-BLR trip, Part 2 will be up soon, till then,