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Riding The Skywork Q400 BRN-BCN, Spain With FR  
User currently offlinePhilInBRN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2009, 291 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 10232 times:

Hello there,

In early February I had the pleasure to try out the airline that has finally brought some life to my home town airport in BRN. I figured I should do the first trip report of Skywork Airline to show you folks this little pearl that's connecting the Swiss capital with various European cities.

I had planned this trip in November. I soon pinned down the flight from Bern to Barcelona and added five domestic flights in Spain on Ryanair and a return flight to Switzerland on easyJet from Madrid to Geneva. Finally my itinerary looked like this

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/map.gif

So on Tuesday February 8th I took the train to Bern and from there I connected to the airport bus. The bus ride to the airport of Belp (--> http://www.alpar.ch/) is about 20 minutes.

At this point I would like to tell you a bit about Berne Belp Airport. The airport served just over 100'000 passengers in 2010. It's main carriers are Cirrus with three daily flights to Munich (on LH code share), Air France with two daily flights to Paris and the home carrier Skywork which this winter serves Hamburg, Berlin, Rotterdam and Barcelona. In winter the airport also sees winter charter services by FlyBE from SOU, MAN and LGW.
The upcoming years promise to be flourishing for BRN as Skywork will add 4 aircraft and several new destinations (MXP, AMS, MAD, PMI, BUD, VIE, FCO, BEG just announced today) and Helvetic will base a Fokker 100 in BRN this summer to serve charter routes around the Mediterranean.

Here's a picture I took two days prior to my trip, you can see the terminal building with the marvelous Swiss alps (The Finsteraarhorn) in the back ground. The plane pictured is a Azerbaijan A319 flying for the President of Azerbaijan.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/IMG_6837.jpg

Enough talk... I had checked in online also reserving me a seat in the front of the plane. So I got off the airport bus and had some time left to take a photo of the small (but efficient) terminal. In the back ground you can see an old hangar built in 1928 (there is a foundation collecting money to preserve and eventually move the structure). The tower is the old atc tower now serving as a bar/restaurant.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6902.jpg

Part of the big advantage of using BRN instead of ZRH or GVA is the quick check in and security time needed. For this particular flight I stepped off the airport bus and was waiting in the gate area five minutes later. From there I could see my aircraft HB-JGA being prepared for the flight to BCN. In the back ground you can see the newer atc tower. In the gate area there were free news papers available which I found very nice and had not noticed on my previous flights from BRN.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6906.jpg



Tuesday February 8, 2011
Flight: Skywork SX 4021
From: Bern Belp BRN
To: Barcelona El Prat BCN
STD: 1330LT
ATD: 1335LT
STA: 1500
ATA: 1515

Boarding was called at 1320 and along with only 11 other passengers I walked the short distance to the aircraft. I was looking forward to this flight over the alps on this marvelous winter day.

View of the terminal building which has a capacity of about 400'000 passenger per year and was opened in 2003.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6907.jpg

We were greeted by the two FAs (both of whom were not native Swiss) and the captain. I asked if I could change seats to the rear of the plane and it was perfectly fine. So soon the props began to roar and the aircraft turned on to runway 14 which is 5800ft long.

In the line up position just waiting for clearance

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6910.jpg

Just seconds after taking off direction south east

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6911.jpg

Following the take off was a 270 degree turn left and then we basically flew straight towards Marseille over the Mediterranean sea and into BCN. I tried to reconstruct the flight path using Google Earth

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/trackbrn-bcn.jpg

Overview of the Bernese country side shortly after take off

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6912.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6914.jpg

I occupied the last row on the left side but unfortunately the window was a bit dirty.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6918.jpg

Great overview of BRN airport

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6922.jpg

While the flight attendants were announcing that they would soon make the catering round I layed back and enjoyed the marvelous view of the Swiss alps

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6923.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6929.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6930.jpg

Then a little lunch was served consisting of two baguette slices, dried tomato, olive and chorizo sausage. Non-alcoholic beverages were free of charge, I paid 2 Euros for the beer which is a reasonable price. Overall I really liked the presentation of the food and I think the amount is just fine for this 90 minute flight. FYI Skywork serves different appetizers depending on the destination. On flights to BRN passengers will get served Swiss specialties.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6934.jpg

Some more mountain watching

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6938.jpg

Another unique feature of Skywork is that they provide some on board entertainment by carrying several iPads on board of their Q400. These devises contain some news apps as well as many games and destination guides. I hope they keep this feature and even expand it by uploading some movies or music programs.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6941.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6943.jpg

Getting closer to the Mediterranean the snow was getting thinner on the mountains underneath us

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6945.jpg

Midway through the flight one of the flight attendants (a German native) came up to me and said she was wondering why I took this many photos of the trip. I explained that I was doing trip reports for several aviation forums. She then explained how the employees were thrilled by the expansion going on in their company. She seemed very enthusiastic about flying and taking care of the passengers which you could clearly see by the dedicated service. I also asked her about the low load factor and she explained that while they previously had served BCN with just two weekly flights the addition of two frequencies has caused loads to decrease. She also added that in March, April loads will usually pick up to BCN (last year they had many flights sold out).

I then took some shots of what was in the pocket of the seat in front of me.

Sick bag and Q400 safety card

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6949.jpg

In flight meal, Swiss entertainment magazine, and a short but nicely done company magazine

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6950.jpg

After overflying MRS we were quickly approaching BCN so I decided to take a seat on the right side of the plane since we were landing in BCN from the north.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6951.jpg

The city of Barcelona

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6956.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6958.jpg

The port of Barcelona

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6960.jpg

Shortly before landing on runway 25R in Barcelona El Prat

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6961.jpg

After a very smooth landing we taxied for about 5 minutes to some far away stands where I spotted a DHL 757 and we actually parked right next to a Pronair MD87. I said goodbye to the crew and reassured them to be on another Skywork flight soon. They also let me take a cabin picture and the other F/A was nice enough to put on a bright smile for me.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6966.jpg

Me along with the other dozen passengers were then bussed to terminal 2. As I had only cabin luggage with me I headed straight to the exit and from there to the next security check point as I was getting on a Ryanair flight to Seville 2 hours later.

View of terminal 1 from the bus

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6967.jpg

Information screens in BCN

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6968.jpg

In the departure hall at terminal 1 I spotted a big billboard and some smaller billboards advertising the Skywork flights to BRN

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_0064.jpg

As mentioned I then proceeded to the security point and on to the gate area used by Ryanair. I spent some time reading a book and enjoing the usual luggage drama at FR gates. There was a lady on a flight to Charleroi who was fighting loudly with the gate agent over paying the luggage tax since her belongings were to big to fit. Always a bit amusing since people still think they can argue with FR over these kind of things... better read the terms of carriage next time.

Tuesday February 8, 2011
Flight; FR6398
From: Barcelona BCN
To: Seville SVQ
Departure time: 1810LT
Arrival time: 1950LT
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8AS EI-EFN

Almost empty terminal 1

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6970.jpg

Ryanair just started flights to BCN last year but it seems they have already grown to a decent size

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6971.jpg

Jet bridge and atc tower of BCN airport

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6973.jpg

Heres a view of the waiting area while standing in the queue for the flight to Seville

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_0065.jpg

The incoming aircraft was delayed by about 40 minutes and it was getting dark quickly. I just managed to get one shot before total darkness.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6974.jpg

The flight was a regular FR flight with no incidents, the load was 100%. Nothing to complain for considering the fare of about 16 Euros. From Seville airport I took a bus to Prado de San Sebastian and from there another bus to my hostel where I spent the night. The next day I spent about 8 hours just walking through Seville, enjoing the warm weather and the splendid archictecture of Seville. Here are some pics

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6976.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6996.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_6999.jpg

Bull fighting arena. I would highly recommend the tour and the bull fighting museum (if you understand some Spanish, but I think English is also available).

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7002.jpg

Plaza de Espana

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7014.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7023.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7029.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7034.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7041.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7046.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7054.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7056.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7062.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7069.jpg

Plaza de Espana again during sun set just shortly before I took the bus to Seville airport for my next FR flight to PMI

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7075.jpg

I arrived a bit early at Seville airport so I wandered around in the terminal and took a shot of the planes on the ramp

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7079.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7081.jpg

Overall I was really impressed by what the city of Seville offered. The airport didn't impress me much. I can't say it was a bad experience but certainly the food was way overpriced and options were very limited. The boarding of the FR flight however was smooth but mainly due to the fact that there were only about 50 passengers.

Wednesday February 9, 2011
Flight; FR5272
From: Seville SVQ
To: Palma de Mallorca PMI
Departure time: 2015LT
Arrival time: 2150LT
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8AS EI-EMI

Yet another flight in the dark. Unfortunately this was the only possibility enabling me to spend a lot of time in the cities visited. The flight landed in PMI on time and I took a local bus to Can Pastilla where I stayed at the Roc Leo hotel for about 20 Euro for a single room.

The next day I got up early to explore the old town of Palma. My flight to MAD would be in the afternoon so I wanted to make the most of my time on Mallorca.

I was welcomed on Mallorca by this beautiful sun rise

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7082.jpg

I made my way to the cathedral of Palma

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7103.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7109.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7110.jpg

I spent the morning wandering around the old town of Palma just enjoying the weather and the lifestyle of the Islas Baleares...

At about 2PM I took local bus number 1 to the airport. The terminal building is very big as it's got to handle many passengers in summer months. During this time of the year it's a bit oversized I would say

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7120.jpg

My plane to MAD, EI-EFY

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7125.jpg

Thursday February 10, 2011
Flight; FR2056
From: Palma de Mallorca PMI
To: Madrid Barajas MAD
Departure time: 1640LT
Arrival time: 1800LT
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8AS EI-EFY

I grabbed yet another window seat on the right side in order to enjoy the view over the city of Palma and the rest of Mallorca after take off

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7128.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7131.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7137.jpg

Some overview of the Spanish country side

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7148.jpg

In Madrid I stayed in a hostel cold Hostal Las Fuentes near the Opera. Following are some impressions of Madrid

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7156.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7170.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7180.jpg

The Royal palace

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7190.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7202.jpg

At Plaza Mayor

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7210.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7212.jpg

Overlooking Madrid roof tops

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7228.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7246.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7247.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7253.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7255.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7260.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7263.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7266.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7268.jpg

The afternoon of February 11 I had booked a flight to Santander on Ryanair again. I was early in Madrid Terminal 1 but luckily I spotted some interesting traffic while being there

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7271.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7273.jpg

Flight; FR5307
From: Madrid Barajas MAD
To: Santander SDR
Departure time: 1740LT
Arrival time: 1850LT
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8AS EI-DWT

Due to a late arrival of the aircraft this flight was delayed by about thirty minutes. Other than that another good FR service. As this was a Friday night flight, the flight was completely full and boarding therefore took longer. Luckily I was in the front of the boarding queue and could grab a window seat in the front of the plane. The fare for this flight was about 30 Euro.

The city of Madrid

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7278.jpg

Overflying MAD terminal 4

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7281.jpg

I had not known that Spain is full of mountainesque areas

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7282.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7283.jpg

Wind generators

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7287.jpg

Beautiful sight during sun set

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7292.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7293.jpg

This was my first time flying to Santander but I was thrilled as the approach is usually a bit bumpy due to the heavy cross winds. I was not disappointed, the pilot was challenged by some strong gusts. For anyone interested, here is a video of this nice approach (not done by myself): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfIV9r-4xA4&feature=related

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7301.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7302.jpg

Here's a picture of my plane while walking toward the terminal of SDR

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7303.jpg

I had booked myself a room at a local hostel, Hospedaje Magallanes. It was centrally located and allowed me to get to every point in the city just by walking. I had not read anything about Santander before this visit so the next morning I got up and just kept walking toward the land's end of the Peninsula. It was not a bad idea at all since I reached the Palacio de Magdalena where the Spanish King used to have his vacation residence back in the days. Here are some pictures of my 24 hour stay in Santander:

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7307.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7316.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7326.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7347.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7357.jpg

Palacio de Magdalena

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7359.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7361.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7368.jpg

Late in the afternoon I took the bus to get to SDR. Here is a picture of the departure hall and the info screen.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_0078.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_0082.jpg

I then cleared security and entered the almost empty departure hall. I was very impressed by the efficiency and cleanliness of this regional airport

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7393.jpg

I then proceeded to the top floor where I got a nice view of the runway. I took some shots of the few movements that were going on at the time.

Ryanair to Brussels Charleroi

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7387.jpg

Iberia CRJ200 to Madrid

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7398.jpg

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w8/foreign_phil/spain%202011/IMG_7403.jpg

Saturday February 12, 2011
Flight; FR5308
From: Santander SDR
To: Madrid Barajas MAD
Departure time: 1900LT
Arrival time: 2005LT
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8AS EI-??

As it was already dark I decided to leave my camera in the suit case and instead went for a little nap on the short flight back to Madrid. The flight was operated by the same crew as on the previous day.

I spent the night at a hotel in Barajas as I was planning on doing some plane spotting the next day. In the morning I spent about 4 hours on the famous mound. Pictures are not editted yet but I got some good shots of Aeromexico 777, Qatar 77W, EI 330, Santa Barbara 767 etc.

I then took the metro to Barajas terminal 1 and boarded my easyJet Switzerland flight to Geneva aboard HB-JZS. I took a aisle seat and therefore did not take any pictures. I think I was satisfied enough with what I'd previously experienced. The flight was completely full and the EZS crew did a very good job servicing this flight.

Sunday February 19, 2011
Flight; EZS1418
From: Madrid Barajas MAD
To: Geneva Cointrin GVA
Departure time: 1450LT
Arrival time: 1655LT
Aircraft: Boeing Airbus 319 HB-JZS

We arrived in GVA with a slight delay which caused me to miss my train to Biel/Bienne so I had to get home through Bern main station on a inter city train. I got home satisfied but tired as well from the many impressions I had enjoyed over this five day round trip.

Looking back at the trip I'm still amazed by the start up company Skywork. Their service is very good for a European flight, the personnel is very caring and attentive. I hope they will succeed with their plans to expand the network dramatically over the next years. I can only recommend this airline for anyone who would like to try them and the nice airport of Bern.
As for the Ryanair flights I can say that FR was very reliable as in my previous experiences. You get what you pay for and I got exactly what I expected.

I hope you enjoyed this long trip report and I would be glad get some feedback be it positive or negative.

Cheers, Phil

[Edited 2011-02-28 14:48:27]

[Edited 2011-02-28 14:49:47]

[Edited 2011-02-28 14:50:29]

[Edited 2011-02-28 14:53:26]

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1384 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 10138 times:

Hi Phil,

excellent report, thanks for sharing. Seville and Palma are beautiful cities, and Santander sounds interesting too, didn't knew they had Pinguins there.

Skywork is a very interesting airline, although I don't like their name. Doesn't sound attractive to me. but the food looks great for a intra european flight!

Your report was a very interesting read!


User currently offlinerogerbcn From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1209 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 9757 times:

Hola Phil!

Great TR about this new airline.

Skywork started last year flights between BCN and BRN and seems they are doing quite well as they keep their schedule throughout the year. I have been thinking about flying them to BRN but haven't had the opportunity yet, so your TR came in really handy. Good to see they have such a nice service with a very decent on board meal and the IPad feature. Flying in such a beautiful day was an added bonus to the trip.

The rest of the TR is as well really nice seeing so many flights around Spain with Ryanair.

The approach to Santander is always a great pleasure for aviation enthusiasts, it really battles with the approach to San Sebastián, where the runaway is built over the sea.

Glad you had such great time in Spain visiting so many cities.

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlinetrentside From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2011, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 9426 times:

Hi Phil,

I really enjoyed your report. I must confess to having never heard of Skywork before, but they seem to be an excellent little airline, and I hope I can fly with them at some point in the future. Glad you had an enjoyable trip.

All the best,
Trentside


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 8993 times:

Hi, Phil,

that´s indeed really good to read something about Skywork.

On my schedule also ex Bern for May together with nice A.net companion.

You write about four new aircraft, nothing noticed yet, all ´400´s or anything else?.
I´am wondering about the new destinations but no more planes.

Good pictures and story, Santander takes my attention, never been there myself.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 720 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 8987 times:

Hi Phil,

thanks for this nice trip report. Actually I have never heard of Skyworks before but I am quite impressed by the service you experienced. Seems to be a great small carrier. Nice idea with the iPads as inflight entertainment. And a beer for just 2,- onboard is definitely a good price.

Also nice to read about Santander. I have done the HHN-SDR flight with FR a couple of times and I agree, interesting approach there. The city itself is very nice, but the area around is definitely worth to spend some more time. Very spectacular mountains and coast lines, nice small villages, especially to the west towards Asturias.

Quoting PhilInBRN (Thread starter):
As for the Ryanair flights I can say that FR was very reliable as in my previous experiences. You get what you pay for and I got exactly what I expected.

I agree with you on FR, as long as you don't expect anything they are perfectly ok.

Greetings CaptainRed


User currently offlinePhilInBRN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2009, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days ago) and read 8951 times:

Thank you for the comments,

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 2):
The approach to Santander is always a great pleasure for aviation enthusiasts, it really battles with the approach to San Sebastián, where the runaway is built over the sea.

I have heard of the San Sebastian approach. However I realize it is not as easy to get to as Santander since they're is only Iberia service to a limited number of Spanish cities.

Quoting rogerbcn (Reply 2):
Glad you had such great time in Spain visiting so many cities.

It was only my second stay on main land Spain and it's certainly made me hungry for more. My goal is to make another trip this summer/fall to Valencia, Bilbao and Asturias. Any other recommendations on which cities I should visit?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
On my schedule also ex Bern for May together with nice A.net companion.

May I ask which route you are flying ex BRN?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
You write about four new aircraft, nothing noticed yet, all ´400´s or anything else?.
I´am wondering about the new destinations but no more planes.

The plan is to acquire another Dornier in early March from Cirrus (the aircraft is actually already being prepared for entry into service). They will also add another Q400 (from Lynx/Frontier) in May and a third D328 in September. In early 2012 they want to add a third Q400 to the fleet. Their network will be expanded to SXF, HAM, LCY, AMS, MAD, BCN, BEG, FCO, MXP, VIE, BUD, PMI.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 5):
Nice idea with the iPads as inflight entertainment. And a beer for just 2,- onboard is definitely a good price.

If you're interested about the in flight meals here is the Menu: http://www.flyskywork.com/files/20101201_menu.pdf

Phil


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2473 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8828 times:

Hi, nice TR and nice airline- well done!

Quoting PhilInBRN (Thread starter):
train to Bern and from there I connected to the airport bus. The bus ride to the airport of Belp (--> http://www.alpar.ch/) is about 20 minutes.



Just one word: horrible! The pure nightmare- and one more reason I will not fly to Bern soon.
I visited Bern with Skywork airlines back in December 2010. After arrival I asked where I will find this airport bus and I was told, that I have had missed the bus by ONE minute (and I had only handluggage!). But I could wait another 1,5 hours for the next bus or take a taxi. This is the capital of Switzerland?! Even in the middle of nowhere, like FR's LUBECK airport, the bus is waiting for arriving passengers. Skywork, Bern Airport and AirportBus Bern are in most urgently need for a better communication.

Quoting PhilInBRN (Thread starter):
Then a little lunch was served consisting of two baguette slices, dried tomato, olive and chorizo sausage. Non-alcoholic beverages were free of charge, I paid 2 Euros for the beer which is a reasonable price. ... If you're interested about the in flight meals here is the Menu: http://www.flyskywork.com/files/2010...u.pdf



Nope, not true. Have a closer look. Non-alcoholic beverages have to be bought on board.


User currently offlinePhilInBRN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2009, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 8813 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 7):
Just one word: horrible! The pure nightmare- and one more reason I will not fly to Bern soon.
I visited Bern with Skywork airlines back in December 2010. After arrival I asked where I will find this airport bus and I was told, that I have had missed the bus by ONE minute (and I had only handluggage!). But I could wait another 1,5 hours for the next bus or take a taxi. This is the capital of Switzerland?! Even in the middle of nowhere, like FR's LUBECK airport, the bus is waiting for arriving passengers. Skywork, Bern Airport and AirportBus Bern are in most urgently need for a better communication.

While I agree that the connection to and from Bern is far from ideal it is an improvement to earlier connection opportunities. You can barely compare Bern to a place five times its size like Lubeck. As traffic increases there will be more bus services to the city. You can barely demand a half hour service when there are no flights arriving at the time. By the way the airport bus is not the only way to get to the city from the airport, there would've been the opportunity to use the hourly bus to the village of Belp which takes 10 minutes and from there take the train to Bern main station which takes another 15 minutes.

I realize you must have had some bad luck as the Bus company of Bern reassures that they'll wait for arriving passengers. Here's what they write on their home page:

Nützliche Informationen

Wir garantieren die Fluganschlüsse. Die Abfahrt ab Bern Bahnhof (PostAuto-Station Perron 6) erfolgt pünktlich. Am Flughafen Bern-Belp warten wir verspätete Flüge ab, wodurch sich die Abfahrt des Busses verzögern kann


Did you end up waiting or how did you get to the city then?

Quoting debonair (Reply 7):
Nope, not true. Have a closer look. Non-alcoholic beverages have to be bought on board.

My bad, did not recognize that. While it's not really nice to charge for non-alcoholic beverages I think prices for other BOB products are pretty fair compared to other airlines.


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2473 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 8797 times:

Quoting PhilInBRN (Reply 8):
I realize you must have had some bad luck as the Bus company of Bern reassures that they'll wait for arriving passengers. ... Did you end up waiting or how did you get to the city then?



Seems to be a bad day for me... No, as I had a tight schedule I had to take a taxi.

Quoting PhilInBRN (Reply 8):
While it's not really nice to charge for non-alcoholic beverages I think prices for other BOB products are pretty fair compared to other airlines.



And the quality is right, too!


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8539 times:

Hi Phil,

That's a very interesting report about Skywork, I think the first one here. I know some guys and gals are flying it later the year, so there will be more to come.

Skywork looks very good, a good meal for such a shortish flight. They indeed are expanding quite rapidly, I think I will need to give them a try later on this year.

Some great pictures of Spain as well and looks like you made quite a decent tour with Ryanair - they certainly operate quite an extensive domestic network in Spain nowadays - no wonder IB has pretty much withdrawn from domestic routes apart from their feeder services to MAD!

Thanks for posting, liked this report very much!


User currently offlineBOACCunard From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 864 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8236 times:

Lovely report and photos. Skywork looks like a great little airline and I hope it succeeds.

Is there a reason the seats at the front of the cabin are a different color? And are the iPads free? If so do they carry enough for everyone, or is it a first-come, first-served basis?



Getting There is Half the Fun!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 7987 times:

Hi Phil,

great report with fantastic pictures. Very nice to get an impression of Skywork which seems to offer a high-quality product. I also like the airline's colors.

Quoting PhilInBRN (Thread starter):
Here's a picture I took two days prior to my trip, you can see the terminal building with the marvelous Swiss alps (The Finsteraarhorn) in the back ground. The plane pictured is a Azerbaijan A319 flying for the President of Azerbaijan.

Very nice picture!

Quoting PhilInBRN (Thread starter):
Another unique feature of Skywork is that they provide some on board entertainment by carrying several iPads on board of their Q400. These devises contain some news apps as well as many games and destination guides. I hope they keep this feature and even expand it by uploading some movies or music programs.

That's what I call an innovative concept.


I hope to see more reports from you in the future.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinePhilInBRN From Switzerland, joined Jun 2009, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7798 times:

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 11):
Is there a reason the seats at the front of the cabin are a different color? And are the iPads free? If so do they carry enough for everyone, or is it a first-come, first-served basis?

I'm not sure why they have two different colours for the seats. I noticed that this applies also to the Dornier 328 cabin. As Skywork sometimes offers business class service on charter routes the grey seats could be as separation of the two cabins.

They carry ten iPads on the Q400. After take off it was announced that everyone who wanted to use an iPad should ring the service bell and the flight attendant would bring you an iPad with headphones as well.


User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1466 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7459 times:

Hello Phil,

Must have missed this one. It was great to read about Skywork, got the same route planned for later in the year, as a couple of others have already mentioned! The inflight meal looks to make a nice change from just a sandwich and I look forward to trying out the ipads.

Enjoyed you photos from all over Spain as well, love the one with the sack of oranges!

I'm really excited about using Bern airport for the first time and just hope the weather is as kind as it was to you.......

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
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