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Arctic "Dash" With Wideroe: 2 Days, 7 Stops (pics  
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16796 times:

DASH 8 OBSESSION

Surely not again? Many would assume (rightly) that by now, I should have been sick of Dash 8s after spending 8 hours on one earlier this year, hopping around Queensland in Australia:

see "888": 8hrs, 8 Segments On An Aussie Dash 8 (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports).

Unfortunately I had no ability to curb my obsession for small rugged commuter planes, and after returning to the UK, I longed to see if there were any such similar adventures to be had in Europe. So, a little mental run through in my mind of Dash 8-100/200 operators in Europe and a comment from FlyingFinn76 in passing quickly led me to the soothing pastel greens of Widerøe - who claim to be the largest regional airline in the Nordics.

Operating a large fleet of Dash 8s in some of the most challenging weather and terrain in Europe, all year round, I discovered via Widerøe’s easy to use website (www.wideroe.no) that many of their northern Norway flights operated by the smallest member of the Dash 8 family stopped multiple times - perfect for a.net trip reporters!

Widerøe has featured in some great recent trip reports here. See CaptainRed’s:

http://www.airliners.net/aviationfor...ms/trip_reports/read.main/189703/.

however these have mostly focussed on their Dash 8 - 400 services operating longer point to point services to larger city pairs. In contrast, the purpose of my trip was to experience the original Dash 8 model and fly to some of the most remote and northerly places in Europe. Naturally, getting in as many stops as possible was also high on the list of requirements too.

It would also give me a chance to compare the service and product aboard Widerøe, with Skytrans in Australia, given that both airlines are operating Dash 8 flights to remote communities as part of an essential air service - and making them accessible to travellers like me. Like in Australia, most of the flights to the northern most extremes of Norway are operated via a government subsidy. It would make for an interesting comparison.

Some might say I am obsessed with the Dash 8: I think I’ve gone Dash 8 crazy. As a disclaimer, just like the Skytrans one, this report contains absolutely nothing about: a) exclusive lounge access or glitzy terminals, b) lie flat seats and the buttons to operate them c) the brand of champagne served or d) whether I was given the choice of 3 or 4 main courses and how many meal services were offered.

Welcome to another multi-stop Dash 8 trip report.

PRE-FLIGHT PLANNING

The Arctic region has been getting some good airplay recently from A.net trip reporters. For example, CrimsonNL’s excellent report (Part I) covers Greenland, see:

Planes, Ice And The Midnight Sun; Greenland! Pt 1 (by CrimsonNL Jun 21 2011 in Trip Reports)

My Arctic experience was to be entirely Norwegian.

Now, where to go and what to do? The Widerøe website is very helpful and contains a good route map showing all the services it operates throughout Norway and beyond. My challenge was to try and fit in as many flights during the UK end of May bank holiday long weekend. After considerable searching and allowing for connections to and from London, the weekend travel-fest ended up looking like the following:

27 May 2011: London (LHR) - Oslo (OSL) (BA)

28 May 2011: Oslo (OSL) - Tromsø (TOS) - Kirkenes (KKN) - Vadsø (VDS) - Båtsfjord (BJF)

I would overnight in Båtsfjord, before making the following trip the following day:

29 May 2011: Båtsfjord (BJF) - Vadsø (VDS) - Mehamn (MEH) - Honnigsvag (HVG) - Hammerfest (HFT) - Tromsø (TOS) - Oslo (OSL)

Then on 30 May 2011, I would return home to London on BA.

Great circle mapper shows the route(s):



And the Norwegian domestic flights in more detail:



Why Båtsfjord? No particular reason, but I had never been to anywhere in this part of Europe before and moreover, it seemed to involve a good set of multi-stop flights, and during the times and dates that worked for me. All of these remote destinations are located above the Arctic Circle, so for me, this was the most northerly I am ever likely to go, unless I completely lose my mind and volunteer for some overland Arctic expedition.

Båtsfjord looks out on to the Barents Sea, and its main source of wealth comes from the fishing industry. It is a small town and has one hotel - the appropriately named Polar Hotel (where I booked my Saturday night stay by simply emailing the hotel manager via the hotel’s website). This was confirmed in less than 12 hours and no deposit was required - just pay when I turn up!

The majority of the Widerøe flights I had booked would be operated within Finnmark county – situated at the northernmost part of continental Europe, where Norway swings eastward. Finnmark has always been an area where east meets west, in culture as well as in nature and geography. For instance, it is said that Vardø, the easternmost municipality in the country, is actually located farther east than Saint Petersburg and Istanbul but looking at it on a map - I am not so sure.

My intra Norway flights, in total came to nearly €400, but for 10 sectors in total, that was a mere €40 per sector. However, once the hotels were thrown in, plus my BA flights to Oslo from London, you can see why my credit card company was also happy!

Widerøe's Flyveselskap AS, trading as Widerøe

It wasn’t until I saw this poster at Batsfjord Airport that I came to realise how long Widerøe has been in existence. That’s quite an impressive record for a small airline - for any airline that matter. Aer Lingus might be making a big deal of celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but this Nordic regional airline is older by a couple of years. I wonder whether there are other small regional airlines around the world who could better that?



Founded in 1934, the airline was established on the foundations of two small airlines.
The first was the company Lotsberg & Skappel that operated a Gipsy Moth. The other was Widerøe & Bjørneby, which was founded by Viggo Widerøe and Halvor Bjørneby, and operated a Simmonds Spartan. I had always wondered where the “Widerøe” name had come from. Curiosity now satisfied.

The airline evolved over time to build an extensive route network throughout Norway, as well as a small list of select international destinations, including Aberdeen and Newcastle in the UK, and has been a dedicated supporter of de Havilland Canada/Bombardier products throughout the years - operating the Twin Otter, Dash 7 as well as the Dash 8. These days, the airline operates all versions of the Dash 8 - the 100, 200*, 300 and 400.

* One of the very knowledgeable Widerøe cabin crew told me that the airline had recently acquired two second hand -200s although it’s unclear whether these have been delivered as yet.

GETTING TO NORWAY

The report does not include much detail on the Economy class flights to and from Oslo on BA, other than to remark that these were both operated by A319s, G-EUPC and G-EUPR and were pretty standard BA flights in every respect. Friendly crew, on time departures and some great views of both Oslo and London on the return trip.

To set the scene, however, here’s a pictorial summary of the outbound flight from LHR. Just kidding - not yet (or for a while for that matter)!



Departing 27R and T5 below on Friday evening 27 May 2011.



Late in the day, just before descent into OSL. Reminds me why I love flying so much.



Arrival at OSL via a remote stand

HEADING FURTHER NORTH

I rarely get a chance to sleep in these days, and today was no different. Why is it that all great flying adventures seem to start in the pre-dawn hour? After an early start on Saturday morning, I was out of my hotel, the Comfort Hotel Runway, which is on the outer perimeter of OSL, and jumped on the regular shuttle bus (which costs 70NK) to the airport. The shuttle bus is not mentioned on the hotel website, and it was only after chatting to the Receptionist that I found out it existed. It’s much cheaper than a taxi – don’t even bother if you’re staying at this hotel as the bus is frequent and reliable and takes less than 10 minutes to get to the terminal.

The hotel was clean and modern and the Reception staff were very friendly, although one of the young guys tried to get away with cracking a joke about my passport photo when I was checking in which I thought was quite cheeky! However, it was all in good humour, plus I am not that vain.

Arriving at OSL shortly after, I had no problem printing my boarding pass for the three flights of the day. I had completed OLCI the previous evening and noted that all of my flights on Widerøe offered free seating. Would this be a good or bad thing? Only time would tell.

Good morning OSL - ready to fly?



A line up of tails. I discovered that OSL really is Boeing territory. Apart from the odd A320, the vast majority of aircraft on the ground were various B737 models.



The SAS operated flight allowed me to select a seat, which I did – 6F. I chose a seat toward the front section of economy as I needed to be off the aircraft quickly in case there were any delays, as I only had 30 minutes to connect in Tromsø and I had no idea whether I would have to clear security again, or how the whole process worked.



Getting rid of my bag at the SAS baggage drop (no charge for checking in my bag), via a friendly check in agent, security to get airside was then hassle free. There was quite a bit of activity this morning, particularly as there was a Thomas Cook A330 charter flight operating this morning.



The terminal at OSL is divided into two sections – Domestic and International. Quite simple and effective really and impossible to get lost.

I headed left and down toward the domestic part of the terminal to see what was on the ground. The weather was not particularly sunny but at least it was dry. Immediately I was pleased to see my aircraft at the gate, having looked like it had been there overnight, which was scheduled to operate the 8am SK4406 to Tromsø (TOS).



Our gate. Departure expected to be on time as well. Phew.



Lovely gate area at OSL. Very smart.



This part of the terminal was very quiet, and there were a few other aircraft at their gates – many looking like they had night stopped. Not surprisingly, the combination was mostly SAS and Norwegian. Only having seen a few of the latter’s fleet – and that was in Tenerife in February, it was nice to see a few of these red nosed machines at their main base.



LN-NON, Mr Celsius is ready to go



I really liked the terminal at OSL. It has a nice feel to it – comfy chairs, nice big windows to look out from, a range of concessions and places to eat. Nothing huge or over the top, but a very nice terminal to spend some time in.



LN-KKO – hmmmm, I have a vague recollection this machine has been well utilised by a few Finnish based a.net reporters?



A fellow SK 738 at the gate next to mine



Some 30 minutes before departure, as I was finishing off my iced cappucino, the first boarding call was made. It looked neither a full nor empty flight. I joined the short line and with a beep of my boarding pass, I headed down the jet bridge toward LN-RCN. Stepping aboard after touching the side of the aircraft (a habit of mine for at least 20 years now) I was greeted by two flight attendants – one youngish looking guy and an older lady. Both were polite and welcomed me aboard.

Easily finding my seat I then settled in – my first time aboard a SAS 737-800, and considered my surroundings both inside and outside.

Finishing off the refueling



Inside cabin view



Reflecting at this point, I had really hoped to avoid SAS on this trip, as I had a terrible experience with them back in 2005 when they left my luggage behind in LCY. This was back in the day when they operated a Dash 8 – 400 to CPH and the customer service that weekend in CPH was so abysmal, I swore I would never fly with them again. Alas, getting up to Tromsø to connect with the onward Widerøe flights meant SAS was the logical option given Widerøe is part of the SAS family, although, I did try to see if I could make it entirely on Widerøe or at least try Norwegian on the OSL-TOS sector, but that would have meant two separate tickets, and I did not want to risk getting left behind in Tromsø (no offence Tromsø).

The cabin was well maintained and the seating comfortable. After a quick prayer to the airline gods to ensure there were no delays, a middle aged lady decided she was going to plonk herself down in 6E, which was fine with me. However, it then transpired that she was travelling with a party of two other passengers, and they were all meant to sit in 6A-C. Clearly 6E and 6B sound the same to some people and once she realised she was in the wrong seat, moved across to be with her friends. This meant an empty row for me. Phew. Well sort of. A guy then came along and sat in 6D in the aisle for about 5 minutes, before realising that 4A was free, and then he moved too, but not before leaving his ipad in the seat pocket in front of him.

Once this demonstration of “musical seats” had been completed, boarding was finished and the front door was closed.

I then managed to flag one of the flight attendants to tell him about the ipad and that it belonged to the gentleman who had moved to 4A. He did not seem especially pleased about being interrupted but he later came back and returned the item to its owner - who was extremely pleased (as anyone would be!)

I was therefore fortunate in not having anyone in the other two seats so a bit of extra space for the 1 hour 40 min trip up to Tromsø.

We pushed back about 5 minutes after the scheduled departure time which was then followed by a manual safety demonstration. We commenced our taxi to the runway passing a few interesting sights on the way. I always thought these colours were kind of crazy and out there – but nice to see the DAT ATR42, OY-CIU here.



Some of the locals



The longhaul contingent this Saturday morning – SAS’ recently added EWR service and a Thai 772 at the gate. I had forgotten that Thai flew here – they also fly to both CPH and ARN. Then again, SAS was instrumental in helping to establish Thai and there has been a very close connection of the routes between Scandinavia and Thailand ever since.



The terminal area at OSL just before commencing our departure roll



Goodbye Oslo until tomorrow night



A nice powerful take off, passing several all white F50s in the maintenance area



Some light condensation when climbing out, with one of the runways still visible in the distance



Breaking through the clouds during a sharp left turn



After climbing to our cruising height, a welcome from the cockpit with some weather information and arrival time into Tromsø. We weren’t expected to be late which was a relief. I then nearly passed out from surprise when this turned up on my tray table.



SAS serving food without requiring any form of payment?? Yes, it was not a mirage and I was not smoking anything, but it was actually food. The bread roll was fresh and crusty and yoghurt was tasty. What a contrast to 2005 when SAS served absolutely nothing free on its London City - Copenhagen flights.

Well worn safety card. Yep, it was definitely a 737-800. It felt almost retro. I’ve not travelled on a 737-800 without winglets for about 8 years now.



As we headed north, the landscape slowly started to change, with the last vestiges of winter lying on the ground at this point.... well that’s what I thought.



Wing view, some 50 minutes into the flight



Beautiful Norway!



More stunning scenery enroute as we head further north



This was the view just before commencing our descent into Tromsø. Who needs IFE when these are the views to be had outside? Others on the flight also seemed to be gazing out of the window, in awe at mother nature’s work.


More views as we started our descent. I could not stop clicking away. Trigger finger indeed!



It seemed like we were making a straight in approach into TOS. No turns, just sinking lower and lower, giving me this perspective



And this



The cabin had been secured and we were only less than 10 minutes away when this picture was taken. The nearby terrain seemed to get higher and higher as we got closer - which was a strange but interesting sensation for this passenger – who grew up in a very flat part of Australia sans hills and mountains.



Now on our long final approach



The city of Tromsø now appeared in front and on the right hand side. What a beautiful location for a settlement.



I could not get enough of the views on landing. Nobody alerted me just how spectacular the approach into Tromsø was going to be! If you’re flying in here, the views from the starboard side when approaching from the south, are brilliant. Although from what I could tell, the views from the port side were equally as scenic.



Only a few seconds before landing on runway 01 as the sun reflects off the starboard engine.



Welcome to Tromsø/Langnes Airport



The local time was just after 10am and the temperature for our arrival was a cool 6C (43F).



Passing one of the bridges linking Tromsø



Close up of the bridge as we taxied past on our way back to the terminal



First signs of Widerøe territory up here - maintenance hangar with a West Air Europe CRJ200(C) parked out in front. I never knew the CRJ was able to be operated as a freighter?



The small terminal building at Tromsø



Wider shot of the terminal facilities with a stunning background



TOS control tower, with a baby Dash 8, LN-WIM taking the limelight in the foreground



There are a handful of jetbridges at TOS and we pulled into one of them. I was quickly off the plane and into the terminal to see where I needed to head to next but not before one last look at the 737 which brought me here from Oslo. All up, it was actually quite a pleasant flight and SAS had gone some way to redeem themselves from the hideous depths of hatred that I harboured toward them over the past 6 years or so.



The Tromsø departures hall - I would get a better look at the terminal on the way back tomorrow night, so I did not waste any time and headed for my first Dash 8 flight for the weekend. My flight to Kirkenes was listed as operating, and on time.



END OF PART ONE. CONTINUES BELOW


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16967 times:

PART TWO

The gate area for this flight was a small holding area downstairs from the main departures level and there were only a handful of people – I counted no more than 12 who were waiting for WF692 to Kirkenes.

Two passengers, who looked like a mother and her daughter, were dressed in what appeared to be some kind of national costume which I later looked up and they were wearing “bunads” – elaborately and intricately embroidered long dresses. They looked amazing, and it certainly made me feel all the more like I was travelling somewhere that was just that little bit different to what I was used to, and quite unique.

A call was made in Norwegian for the flight to Kirkenes but it was obvious what was going on to anyone - Norwegian speaking or not. With a quick scan of my boarding pass, I was on my way out the door and out onto the ramp. Our aircraft was a bit of a walk away but being out on the ramp for as long as possible is something I aspire to. Plus it was dry and sunny.

In fact, the distance to the aircraft was longer than some of the horrible bus experiences I’ve had at Greek airports where the plane is literally parked directly in front of the departure gate, yet the authorities there insist on wasting everyone’s time (and patience) by packing you like a sardine onto a bus for a 5 second bus ride. Go figure.

On the walk out, I passed a fellow Dash 8 that was also getting ready to operate a service up north. Hello there - nice green colours, but my ride is further along.



OK, next stop, here’s my little Dash 8, LN-WIG with most of the complement of passengers heading for the boarding door.



As I got closer, I had time for another pic of LN-WIG. Absolutely no problems with taking pictures on the ramp here. Yay for Tromsø. According to sources, LN-WIG (msn382) was delivered in 1994 and has spent its whole life with Widerøe.



LN-WIG getting ready to operate the service to Kirkenes this morning



Up close and personal and ready to board. This aircraft is christened “Troms” after the county in which Tromsø is located. How appropriate.



I entered the cabin and was greeted with a “hello” from the sole flight attendant, who was a middle aged guy wearing a long sleeved white shirt, green tie and dark green trousers, and found an empty seat – 3A and stowed my camera bag. The lovely ladies in traditional dress sat behind me in Row 4 on the flight.

First impressions of the interior: it was clean and looked well maintained, despite its 17 year old vintage.



Panels scream out “made in 1994”!



It was interesting to see that in the front row on the starboard side, Widerøe have two rear facing seats. Binter also has a similar arrangement on their ATR72s. I expect other operators do too, but the Skytrans Dash 8 in Australia in March did not have this seating configuration. There appeared to be many more seats on this little Dash than aboard its Australian cousin at Skytrans. Widerøe’s short bodied Dash 8s have between 37-39 seats. Having said that, the leg room and overall comfort, in my view, was very good.

God Tur! - enjoy your flight!



I was almost the last to board and shortly after getting comfortable, the front door was closed and the safety demonstration began. It was made with a recorded message in Norwegian, with the appropriate manual human involvement from our flight attendant showing seatbelts, life jackets and exits. The Norwegian announcement was then followed by everything in a poshly recorded English accent. Very posh. During the demonstration the props were fired up and we commenced taxiing to the departure runway (runway 01). At this point I noticed the flight attendant had ear plugs, which he inserted into each ear as the aircraft was heading for the runway. Never seen that before on any of the prop flights I have taken in the past.



We were following the other Wideroe Dash 8 that was parked near us and which had also chosen this moment to depart Tromsø. Interestingly, I did not see any other Dash 8 types at TOS, other than the Baby Dash 8.

28 May 2011
Tromsø (TOS) – Kirkenes (KKN)
Widerøe: WF692
Dash 8 – 103, LN – WIG, “Troms”
Flight time: 1 hour
Seat: 3A

Heading to the runway, I watched the first Dash 8 lift off gently into the morning air and then it was our turn. Lining up and then braking suddenly, the props were then revved up for what seemed like quite a long time. I wonder if this aircraft had nightstopped as well and the pilot wanted to check the props. Shortly after, with the brakes released, we commenced what was a very short and typical Dash 8 take off run - passing the terminal building on my left.



The climb out of Tromsø and first 20 minutes of the flight was just like the arrival – spectacular. Mother nature was really outdoing herself this morning. Needless to say, I was glued to the window, or should I say, my camera was glued to the window, as we steadily gained height. The flight attendant, whose seat is at the front of the cabin facing backwards, clearly must have seen me snapping away, as there were no passengers in Rows 1 or 2. However, I was not confronted with any order to put my camera away. In fact, rather surprisingly, after the seatbelt sign had been turned off, the flight attendant actually moved over to one of the windows to look out at the view for about 5 minutes. He was also captivated by the scene down there – I was most impressed to see him enjoying the view as much as I was.

He then started his duties for the flight while I continued to watch the scenes outside my window. Having said that, there wasn’t much for him to do (as I found out).

Everything on Widerøe was BOB... and I mean everything!



Always nice to be reminded what aircraft type you’re on inside the cabin. They don’t seem to do this these days on newer aircraft types.



Still climbing out of Tromsø, the views continued to amaze. It’s simply stunning up here.



About half way through the flight, small individually branded Widerøe chocolates were handed out. That was it. No water or anything else to accompany this tiny snack, unless you wanted to purchase from the BOB menu. This was quite disappointing but then again, being associated with SAS, I don’t know why I was surprised.



From the back - liten og søt!



Our destination was Kirkenes, which means “church headland” is 2480km (1,540 miles) from Oslo and located in the far north eastern part of Norway. Geographically, Kirkenes is rather unique. Unlike the vast majority of Norway, Kirkenes is located east of Finland, so if you travel directly west from Kirkenes, you actually move forward in terms of the timezone, rather than backward. Travelling directly east from Kirkenes (and into Russia) changes the timezone forward by two hours instead of one. .... and I thought Australia had issues with its 5 summer timezones!

As we got closer to our destination, the weather in the Kirkenes area had deteriorated considerably compared to the weather in Tromsø. The landscape was quite stunning, yet bleak, with a covering of snow in places. In any case, it looked cold down there.



Getting closer after the gear had been dropped



Frozen waterways and lakes



A few moments from landing



One of the isolated roads in the area just a few seconds before touchdown



We landed smoothly on the wet runway with just a slight correction, and quickly turned around and partially backtracked toward the terminal building.



A short taxi over the terminal, passengers leaving here had a quick walk to the small yet modern terminal.

I had to pretty much scamper to the terminal as it was raining and quite blustery, but not before grabbing a moody picture of our Dash 8, parked up next to a fellow Widerøe aircraft already on the ground.



The other baby Dash 8. KKN is a mini hub for WF!



Heading for the warm and dry terminal at Kirkenes Lufthavn, Hoybuktmoen

28 May 2011
Kirkenes (KKN) – Vadsø (VDS) – Båtsfjord (BJF)
Widerøe: WF961
Dash 8 – 100
LN- ILS
Seat: 8A

Kirkenes’ terminal interior was compact but very clean and tidy. All of these airports in the region are operated by Avinor - the Norwegian Airports Authority. This terminal opened in 2006, and replaced an older structure that was built in 1963. Widerøe has been flying here since the original terminal opened.

Having looked at my location on the map again, I was intrigued to know how close to the Russian border we were. In fact this was as close to Russia as I have so far travelled. The terminal facilities reflect this – clear reminders of our neighbour.



There may be some international flights, although I was not able to find out any information on where these went to although I expect they would mostly be charters. The nearest large city in Russia from Kirkenes is Murmansk. I read that historically Murmansk was the only scheduled international connection at Kirkenes which was operated by Widerøe several times a week but this has long since been discontinued.
In the summer months (or perhaps it’s all year round?), SAS have a direct flight from OSL to KKN operated by a B737. Here is the flight returning to OSL. I am so glad I did not go with this “direct flight” option. Where would the fun have been in that? Norwegian also operate services to OSL from here.

LN-BRV, an ex Braathens 737-500 leaving a wet ramp at Kirkenes for Oslo



Not much happening later this afternoon in KKN from a flight perspective. The flight I arrived on was due to go on to another port, whilst I was due to pick up a new flight for my onward connection to Båtsfjord, which of course, was not direct, and made a quick stop at Vadsø.



My new Dash 8 – LN-ILS as seen from the transit lounge.



LN-ILS was acquired second hand by Widerøe. For a number of years it was used by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority as an ILS calibrator aircraft, hence the registration LN-ILS. It was then acquired by Widerøe in 2006 and has been flying with them ever since.

I was in transit for just under an hour and soon our boarding call was made. A handful of people made their way to the gate, and there seemed to be more people on this flight than my first one. Braving the elements – it was windy, rainy and also cold, I headed out and quickly into the relative warmth of the cabin and found an empty window seat in Row 8.



This time our flight attendant was a blonde haired young lady wearing knee high boots and Widerøe’s distinctive green coloured uniform. She had a minx-like grin and was extremely friendly and happy, welcoming everyone on board with a smile. Again the pre-departure routine kicked into action. Door closed, safety presentation in Norwegian, with an English follow up, and everyone strapped in for take off. Our departure today would be from runway 06 (which was the same runway we landed on) and it would be 10 minutes in the air before our next stopover in Vadsø, which was only 26 miles (40 km) from Kirkenes.



There was no other traffic in the area so we were good to go once we got to the end of the runway. No separate taxiway here and we just used the runway and turned around at the end to get to our departure position.

Gear going up!



Nearly up



Climbing out of KKN and making a left turn



Goodbye Kirkenes



Being in the air for only 10 mins meant that the flight attendant did not leave her seat. In the very short flight, we managed to fly across some amazing landscapes.

Levelling off after departure



There is still snow on the ground here as well



Passing over some water - very typical Arctic landscape



The views seemed to just get better and we were not flying very high at all - perfect for me



Gear down again, and well into the descent into Vadsø



Making a sharp right turn and heading toward the airport



Still turning but managing not to feel airsick at all. The approach was as smooth as could be. I can only imagine how bad it is up here when the weather is windy and rainy.



Passing over the township. The water looks crystal clear down there but I imagine it’s absolutely freezing. Brrr.



Lined up and dropping (fast) toward the runway



Welcome to Vadsø

VADSØ PITSTOP

After we landed in Vadsø, the flight attendant came and spoke to me and asked me where I was flying to today. I answered with “Batsfjord” hoping that I had pronounced the place well enough for her to understand what I was talking about. She smiled and said “great”, and that Båtsfjord was the next stop after Vadsø – very helpful just in case I had no idea why we had stopped in Vadsø (of course, I had planned it that way, but she did not know that).

A map of the region - for orientation purposes



The original settlement here was originally on a nearby island, but it was later moved to the mainland. In the mid 1800s, settlers came from Finland and the northern part of Sweden who were driven away by famine in those parts. Finnish rapidly become the language of the majority, and this continued for decades. Apparently, even today Finnish is still spoken in some households - perfect for our Finnish a.net reporters who might want to make a trip up this way! During the occupation of Norway in the Second World War by Germany, Vadsø suffered several air raids from the Soviet Union, which bombed the Nazi troops.

Enough history – it was time to go again. Several people left us here, and about 5 new people joined us for the 20 minute hop across to Båtsfjord. We were on the ground for no longer than 10 minutes.

Time to depart for Båtsfjord



Heading to the end of the runway, with no other traffic in sight, we were off again



The scenery continued to amaze on this short hop during our climb out, which was was quite steep



With no onboard service offered on this sector - the time in the air being very short, I spent it looking out at the window, and watched as it got increasingly more snowy as we got closer to Båtsfjord. Here’s one of the few roads in the area with lots of snow all around.



Gear down over the road leading into Båtsfjord, with a little less snow at this point



We approached Båtsfjord from the south west and landed on runway 03. A short taxi to the terminal and those leaving here were let off once the propellers had stopped and been secured by the ground crew. A friendly good bye from the flight attendant and me, along with 4 other passengers exited out through the front door. I have no idea where the aircraft was heading to next, as the FIDS at Kirkenes said the flight was terminating here. However it was clearly going somewhere else as there were a number of passengers who remained onboard. I should have asked the flight attendant, but was too excited, having finally arrived at my destination. Quite possibly, it was heading back down to TOS.

Shortly after saying goodbye



Airside - Båtsfjord’s modern, yet compact terminal building



One final glance, before entering arrivals and collecting my bag.



Baggage claim, Båtsfjord style. My bag was off in less than 5 minutes.



Not many baggage tags with these city codes



The local taxi company had a telephone number on one wall next to baggage reclaim that I had to call to order a taxi. I think there were only 2 taxi drivers in Båtsfjord! Within 10 minutes or so, the taxi arrived to take me to the hotel. Welcome to the top of the world!

END OF PART TWO. CONTINUES BELOW



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16945 times:

PART THREE

BATSFJORD, NORWAY
SAT 28 - SUN 29 MAY 2011

I was really fortunate to have dry weather for the entire duration of my stay in Båtsfjord. The temperature was actually a fraction warmer up here - at 7C (44F) although still quite a contrast from the UK, and even Oslo. Here’s the terminal building from landside while waiting for the taxi.



Sure enough, the taxi turned up a short time later and I was on my way to the hotel. The friendly driver was telling me that they had an unusually large snowfall a couple of weeks previously which he said was unseasonal even for this part of the world. The journey was less than 10 minutes along a fairly deserted main road, and I soon found myself deposited outside the Polar Hotel - the only hotel in town.

The hotel appeared to be entirely deserted and the reception area looked closed. Yikes. I suddenly had visions of having nowhere to stay but the manager appeared after I pressed the bell. He was expecting me, although I got the impression he may have thought I was somewhat insane - I did not fit the hotel’s usual clientele of hunters and fisherman and nature lovers and I was only here for one night. Still, I soon had my room which was slightly dated, but comfortable and clean.

As it was not expected to get dark until...wait, probably not for hours, if at all at this time of year, I decided to head out to explore for a bit. I am glad I bought my coat as it was definitely cool enough to be wearing it and a sweater. In my 2 hour wander, I hardly saw anyone: a few kids cycling around, a couple of people heading into the local supermarket and that’s about it. Where was everyone and what do the locals do on the weekend in summer up here?

A few images of Båtsfjord that Saturday afternoon -

Looking back toward the town, with the Barents Sea all around. The modern church is one of the largest buildings in the town, and is on the far right.



The Båtsfjord Town Hall



Numerous large fishing boats docked. A number of these were Russian



Walking into the (almost deserted) town centre



The town is surrounded by hills on most sides



More from Båtsfjord



Scenes from my walk down to the water. It was windy and cold - the perfect Arctic experience for me.



Sunlight glistening off the Barents Sea



More of the town from another angle



For the fish

.



HEADING SOUTH....WITH A FEW STOPS ENROUTE

A visual of the Widerøe routes I would be flying today, Sunday 29 May.



The first airport opened in Båtsfjord by the riverbed in the valley of Storelva, as part of the construction of a regional airport network in Northern Norway in 1978. However, quite strangely and allegedly due to safety regulations, a new airport had to be constructed, and it opened in October 1999. The new airport is located up on the hills of Varangervidda overlooking Båtsfjord from the south-west. The old Båtsfjord Airport was one of the last airports to be serviced with Widerøe Twin Otters in the mid 1990s.

My first flight wasnt until just after 1430 but I wanted to have a wander around the airport.

Hello BJF - landside



Modern control tower



The airport was deserted but for a handful of airport staff. Landside is tiny - there are no shops inside the terminal - just some toilet facilities and a single but cute check in desk. I just love these types of small sleepy airports. It’s a whole different world and feels so much more “real” compared to flying through mega hubs such as LHR. The airport terminals in Norway were certainly much nicer than the basic little huts at some of the stops I had made in Queensland.

There was also this poster on the wall



I think it says something like “It’s certainly nice/good in New York, but we thrive better in Båtsfjord”. Perhaps someone on a.net who is a native speaker can clarify/correct?

I had a walk around the airport (which took less than 5 minutes!) and settled down to read my book. About 45 minutes before the plane was due, another passenger turned up, and then another - both then checked in, so I decided to follow suit. A friendly ground agent checked my bag through to Oslo and I asked whether I could go through “security” so I could see the aircraft land. No problem at all. Security was very simple – a human scanner and a small baggage scanner. No queues here and I was then through the door and out into the airside waiting area - Gate 1 in front of me.



Surprisingly there were two gates airside - although I can’t imagine there ever being two aircraft on the ground at the same time - but perhaps it happens sometimes. Three more passengers then joined us - a mother and her daughter, plus a couple of people who looked like they were well known to the ground crew - I wondered whether they might even be Widerøe staff themselves.

About 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time, the little green Dash 8 appeared to my left and landed in front of the terminal, touching down with a light puff of smoke. It backtracked and then headed for its parking stand, right in front of us, being guided in by the ground staff.



Welcome to BJF!

Sunday, 29 May 2011
Båtsfjord - Vadsø
Widerøe: WF976
Dash 8 - 103
LN - WIL
Seat: 9A
Flight time: 20 mins

Four people disembarked here and a few minutes later, we were invited to board. I was first out onto the ramp, as I wanted to get a clear picture of LN-WIL.

Yummy Dash 8 (msn 398), delivered in March 1995 and has spent its entire life with Widerøe.



The single female flight attendant was chatting to several Asian passengers who were seated in the last row, and did not seem to know that the new passengers had boarded - she got a small fright as I said “hello” to her and moved into a window seat in the second last row. The aircraft was still surprisingly full from wherever it came from (I heard one passenger say they had come from Tromsø). This was the view from the (dirty) window. It proved quite a challenge to avoid the muck and mess on the outside of the window.



Props fired up and the now familiar safety demonstration carried out - we were soon on our way. Today’s departure would be via runway 21, which was the opposite direction from our landing into Båtsfjord the previous day.



The runway here is short, and the Dash 8s props were revved up for some time before the brakes were released - hurling everyone forward quite noticeably. What a great feeling!

Gear up



Gaining height fast



Banking to the left and still climbing



Some more stunning views, complete with blue sky - it’s not always grey up here



And still very snowy down there too. Do you prefer to travel by road or air?



The interior of LN-WIL. Seats are all blue cloth - basic but good leg room.



A short welcome from the cockpit with some flying information but it was only in Norwegian so I have no idea what was said. Again given the short flying time, the flight attendant did not leave her seat for this sector. Interesting to compare this with some of the shorter sectors on Skytrans - where we were offered at least a free drink.



There was a bit of cloud cover but the weather, at least in this part, was fine and sunny



Levelling out for a few minutes, the landscape remained quite barren



Just after commencing our descent into Vadsø for my second transit stop there in 2 days.



Gear down, and a sharp right turn over the water before lining up for the runway



“Diving” for the runway as only Dash 8s know how



Entering the airport property - with a little wobble to the side from the wind



But thankfully, a smooth touchdown



Welcome to Vadsø Lufthavn



Grabbing my camera bag, it was time to leave this short flight, where I was to connect to WF937 down to Tromsø, via Mehamn, Honningsvåg and Hammerfest.

Good bye LN-WIL



I stopped again for another pic a bit further along - again no problems with taking photos here at all.



Entering the transit area, I found a nice large room with wooden finishings and blue chairs. There was a food and drink vending machine but that was it. No shops or a place for a coffee and I guess most people’s transits here are relatively short. There was also a separate section which looked like it might double as an area for kids to play. Nice touch. Three of the passengers from my flight were also in transit so I initially guessed they were waiting for the same flight as me.

For those wanting to stay in touch online, Avinor provides wifi at all its airports up here – although be warned, it’s not free.



A nice model of Widerøe’s Dash 8 – 400 in the waiting area. But not for me today....



The view from the transit lounge looking out landside was quite pretty



Good-bye LN-WIL - it was short but sweet - off on another short hop only 10 minutes after dropping me off.



.....and heading out to the runway



While waiting, I spent most of the time reading my book and listening to some music. I looked up at one point and what looked like a Norwegian Air Ambulance flight arrived. It did not stay long.



Soonafter, I was surprised to hear the sound of a Dash 8 landing as it seemed too early for my flight. There were no departure boards in the transit lounge so I had no idea there were any other flights before mine. However, it was just an old friend, LN-ILS, the same aircraft I had flown on the day before.

A few passengers who were waiting with me got up and boarded this flight and it was soon on its way as well.

LN-ILS heading out of Vadsø



The time for my flight drew near and I was pleased to hear the sound of another Dash 8 arriving, which soon taxied to its stand.



A moody black and white image of the aircraft just before the props were shut down



Upon closer inspection, I realised that it was LN-ILS again. Given that Widerøe have a large number of Dash 8 -100s, it was frustrating to know I would be travelling on the same aircraft twice. Bugger - one of the big no-nos for aircraft enthusiasts. The aircraft must have done a short hop somewhere - perhaps Kirkenes and back.



Again, all open seating so when the call was made for boarding, I was first out onto the ramp. It was now very sunny and I made my way to an empty seat 5A. Some passengers were already onboard. Not only was the aircraft familiar, it was the same flight attendant that worked the TOS - KKN flight I took the day before. He instantly recognised me (probably because of all the pictures I was taking on that flight) and welcomed me back. A nice friendly start to the flight down to Tromsø this afternoon.

Sunday, 29 May 2011
Vadsø-Mehamn-Honningsvåg-Hammerfest-Tromsø
Widerøe: WF937
Dash 8 - 103
LN - ILS
Seat: 5A

This was the view from my seat as other passengers were boarding. We had a pretty good load - at least 80% I would estimate, for the first hop down to Mehamn.



Our departure was on time, mirrored each of the other pre-flight procedures I had experienced, and it was only a short taxi to the runway. The sun was still shining too.



Again, the props were revved up for some time before the brakes were released. Our acceleration was noticeable and it was a very short but powerful take off - gear up!



Still climbing - passing the distinctive Arctic landscape down below



Left turn and climbing



The sun shining directly at us - I really liked this image as it felt nice to have the warm light bouncing through the window after the relatively chill at ground level.



The flight across to Mehamn was due to take 40 minutes. Just before taking off, the flight attendant came to me and asked me where I was flying to today. When I answered “Tromsø”, he looked at me quite apologetically, and then said,

“I am sorry but we have a number of stops before we get to Tromsø today”.

To which I further responded “Excellent – that’s why I am on this flight!!”

He looked at me a little strangely at this point and then I asked him if he could tell me where we would be stopping – as the Widerøe online timetable simply said “makes 3 technical stops” without telling me where these were. Of course I could have worked it out by going back to the timetable, but I did not get time to do this before leaving for OSL. The flight attendant showed me each stop by pulling out the Widerøe inflight magazine called “Perspektiv” and pointed to each stop on the map.

I then explained to him that I loved flying the Dash 8 and had intentionally booked these flights to Northern Norway to experience a unique part of the world, and fly with Widerøe for the first time. He seemed genuinely pleased and rather than running to the cockpit to tell the flight crew that there was a “crazy” onboard, he started telling me about the weather and flying conditions today and what great scenery we were due to fly over. A very nice personal touch and one that was greatly appreciated.

The flight attendant was so right - the weather at this point of the flight was clear and crisp and great for pictures.



BOB service offered for this sector although no passengers appeared to buy anything. The menu contained a small range of standard snack items.

“Snick Snack” as Pam Ann says......



but I was glued to the window and not interested in eating or drinking.



Quite a lot of snow below us at this point



More snow as we edged closer to Mehamn



I loved the patterns of the landscape



Passing over Tanafjorden, and not long after, I could see what looked liked to be a small town to the left, and furthermore, a runway in the distance, so I assumed we were getting close to our next destination of Mehamn - a village of approximately 700 people in the Gamvik muncipality.

Gear down again



Mehamn in the distance



A slightly closer view with the runway clearly visible in the centre of the picture



However, instead of making a left turn to approach the airport, we turned away from it, and back out over the ocean. Another chance to look at the wonders down below – were we being given an added sightseeing trip on this sector? Unlikely...

We did a complete circle until and we passing the airport again, and this time, the captain made an announcement in Norwegian which was then followed by an English explanation. We were told that the wind direction had changed slightly and had become stronger near the airport, and as a safety precaution, we were too heavy to land in such conditions. The captain was burning off some fuel so we could land safely.



And around we go



After returning to the UK, I later read that in March,1982 Widerøe tragically had lost a Twin Otter at Mehamn (search “Widerøe Flight 933”) killing all 15 on board. More than twenty five years and four rounds of investigation later, this incident remains highly controversial in Norway. While all official investigations concluded that the crash resulted from structural failure of the aircraft's tail caused by severe turbulence, some claim that the aircraft was damaged by collision with an RAF Harrier jet flying outside its designated operations area during a NATO exercise. Yikes!

However, I had felt completely re-assured throughout and flying conditions, at least at this point, were smooth. The flight attendant, who was now seated, looked over at me and I confirmed with a nod that I understood what was happening – again a nice gesture. I am sure he would have come and personally explained what was happening if I had asked him.



We did another full circuit – which was great news for us sightseers – and as I had a nearly 90 minute connection in Tromsø, I was not too worried that I would end up missing my flight back to OSL.



Another left turn before lining up



After completing our circuits, we eventually headed down toward MEH and started losing height, passing some pretty amazing cliffs on the left hand side of the aircraft.



The approach was indeed quite bumpy although it wasn’t as bouncy as I thought it might be. I had the sickbag ready just in case (although I’ve never once been sick on an aircraft in over 25 years of flying).



Fishing boat heading out



On final approach - signs of human activity ahead



Getting closer to our destination.



Flying past some local houses



We then plopped down onto the runway – the final approach and touchdown was actually very smooth. We used next to no runway to slow down and stop and a short while later, the front door was popped open, letting in a nice blast of icy but fresh Arctic air into the cabin.

Welcome to Mehamn



The stop here, as at all intermediate airports through to TOS, was brief. Three passengers said goodbye here and four new ones joined us. Load factor was approximately 80%. Passengers continuing were asked to remain onboard.

Ground time was no longer than 10 minutes. Same safety demonstration, a feeling of déjà vu and now ready to go again.

Goodbye Mehamn - as we taxied over to the runway



Climbing fast after a short take off run



Chasing our shadow - the distinctive outline of a Dash 8 down below



Running parallel with the nearby road



Rocketing up and heading for our next destination, Honningsvåg (HVG), which was just under 20 minutes flying time away.



The snow theme continues on this sector



Late afternoon in Northern Norway at the end of May



Passing across Laksefjorden and pretty much heading in a straight direction toward Honningsvåg.



The scenery on this leg was also stunning



Looks like a ferry or cruise boat down there



More gorgeous views - Arctic flying at its best



Gear down and dropping lower toward the airport



Getting quite close to the terrain, and this time, the approach was very bumpy, the lower we got.



At this point I was wondering where the runway was! It got bouncier still. Is that terrain meant to be so close?



We suddenly dropped onto the runway and came to a stop very quickly. I could certainly feel the pull on my seatbelt as we slowed down.

Welcome to Honningsvåg - the terminal building and facilities in the foreground. It was good to be on terra firma.



A few passengers disembarked here, and three new passengers joined. The load factor remained relatively consistent throughout. The flight attendant invited me to take some pictures on the ramp, while the aircraft was being serviced. This was a very nice offer which I did not refuse.



LN-ILS resting at the half way point to Tromsø



The runway is behind us. Notice the little removable step in the foreground. Widerøe figures that passengers might need help stepping up into the airstairs. How nice - thanks Widerøe. There was one brought out at each stop along the way.



Terminal building up close. Note the nose “chock” for the little Dash! No other traffic on the ground apart from us here.



At nearly 71°N, in Nordkapp municipality, Honningsvåg claims to be the northernmost city in Norway, which is disputed by its neighbour (and our next stop), Hammerfest. The winter temperatures here are softened by the ice free ocean and not nearly as cold as is typical for this latitude. I was told that the winters in Honningsvåg are actually warmer than Oslo's. Summers are, not surprisingly, cool and short. Today was certainly anything but warm, but at least it was sunny.

Time to go again after just over 10 minutes on the ground - taxiing for take off



The flight attendant explained to me that just after take off, we would fly over Nordkapp (North Cape), with its 307m high steep cliff, is reputed to be the the northernmost point of Europe, located at 71° north, and just over 2102.3 km (1,250 miles) from the North Pole. The North Cape is the point where the Norwegian Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, meets the Barents Sea which is part of the Arctic Ocean. Quite a meeting place indeed! I was also conveniently on the right side of the aircraft for the best views. The captain also made an announcement to explain our routing today, and highlighted the views of North Cape, which was a nice touch.

This time I had a companion sitting in 5B and her husband was sitting in 5C. Needless to say she spent the whole flight trying to stare out of the window when the amazing scenes came into view. I don’t think she was overly happy about me hogging the window but there were other window seats available when she boarded and she still chose to sit in 5B - so tough luck to her.

Goodbye Honningsvåg



Some more beautiful views just after take off



Making a gradual left turn



Heading toward North Cape



Out over the Barents Sea again and North Cape came into view on my left, with the visitor centre clearly visible down below on the plateau.



Wow... holding my breath as we passed the North Cape. It was named by an English explorer Richard Chancellor in 1553 when he passed the cape in the search for a Northeast passage. From then on, it was occasionally visited by daring explorers who climbed the steep cliff face to the plateau; famous visitors include King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway in 1873 and Thailand’s King Chulalongkorn in 1907. A road was opened to the North Cape in 1956. Today, the North Cape is a major tourist attraction in this part of Norway, so it was great to be able to see it so clearly from the air.



The North Cape is now behind us as we make a further left turn around the terrain



The next sector to Hammerfest, was due to take just over 20 minutes again. All of the sectors today had been very short - just enough time to get some more great views.



The water is so blue and pure down there



A few minutes later, we were flying over this vista before starting our descent



Gear down, and heading straight in for Hammerfest



Getting closer to Hammerfest



Passing some residential housing on final approach - which was a pretty smooth journey.



Hai Hammerfest!



Pulling onto our stand



Hammerfest – “On Top of the World”

Hammerfest claims to be the northernmost city in the world, although as mentioned, the title is disputed by Honningsvåg: nothing like a bit of intra-county rivalry up here! The validity of the claim depends upon one's definition of a city; although Hammerfest is further south than Honningsvåg it has a population over 5,000, which is required by Norwegian law to achieve town status. However, Barrow in Alaska population c. 4,000, is apparently further north than both the Norwegian towns, but does not lay claim to the title of northernmost town.

All aside, for an individual who grew up in the Southern Hemisphere, all of the towns around here are about as far north as possible from my perspective so you guys in Hamerfest and Honningsvåg can fight it out amongst yourselves!

Hammerfest was occupied by Germany during the Second World War, was bombed by the Russians, and was then pretty much burnt to the ground by the Germans when they started retreating from the area in 1944. Only one building in the town was left standing.

Another interesting tidbit is that in 1891, Hammerfest became the first urban settlement in Northern Europe to get electrical street lights. It is said that the invention was brought to Hammerfest by two of the town's merchants who had seen it demonstrated at a fair in Paris.

Finally I had a chuckle when I later read that during summer massive reindeer herds migrate from their winter pastures in the inner parts of Finnmark to the coast. Among the islands inhabited by reindeer during the summer months is Kvaløya, the island on which Hammerfest town is located. For years many of the 2,500 to 3,000 reindeer in the area have been walking into the town itself, wandering in the streets and among the houses. Although very popular amongst tourists, this has been less favourably received by the town's population, with people complaining of traffic disturbances as well as the poop and urine left by the animals! Hazards of living in the Arctic I guess?

For a.netters, it is perhaps also worth noting that Hammerfest has Finnmark's third largest airport, which opened 30 July 1974. Before the opening of the airport, the only air link to Hammerfest was by seaplane, the first route established in 1936. No guesses who was instrumental in starting services to Hammerfest.

A very short stop here and it wasn’t long before the door was closed and we were getting ready for our final leg to Tromsø. A couple of passengers boarded here as we said goodbye to four others. My seatmate decided she was going to move into 6A now that it was vacant. Fine with me.

Lining up on the runway. Today we would depart from runway 23.



Goodbye Hammerfest - short but sweet too.



I spent this 40 minute sector just as I had for the last couple of hours - glued to the window



Norway is so beautiful - especially from the air



Climbing for our final sector today over the Norwegian Sea. BOB service commenced shortly after. A couple of passengers decided to purchase beers, which was the first time I’d seen anyone buy anything all day on any of the flights I had been on. Well it was certainly drinks hour by this stage so you can’t blame them.



It was after 630pm when this picture was taken



The journey continued smoothly as we made our way further south. It remained clear and light outside for the whole journey - gotta love the long days up here at this time of year

.

.

.

Up closer


Sadly the multi-stop journey was coming to an end. But that did not mean the views became any less spectacular as we got closer to Tromsø.



Slow shutter speed shot



The time seemed to pass all too quickly. No time to even read my book (and why would I want to in any case) with views like this, just before commencing our descent



Tromsø - straight ahead



Familiar scenery from yesterday as the cabin was secured for our arrival



A straight in approach to TOS



We approached Tromsø from the north - with the city just being visible ahead. A ferry down below



A few minutes before touchdown



Nearly there now



Touchdown, and for me, welcome (back) to Tromsø



After turning off the runway, we backtracked to the ramp area on the other side of the terminal building - opposite to where I had left from the day before. We passed a Sun Express 737-800 which was at its gate and about to depart for warmer climes. Pulling onto our remote stand, the props were shut down for the final time. LN-ILS had covered some amazing territory in the past couple of hours. After letting all the other passengers disembark, I spoke again to the flight attendant, and thanked him for a great flight. I think he was genuinely pleased that someone really enjoyed the flights to this very unique part of the world.

I managed to get a quick cabin shot before leaving the aircraft. “God tur” - enjoy your flight. Well I certainly did.



“ILS” already being readied for her next leg, soon after I left the aircraft - and while wandering (slowly) to the terminal. A new crew were preparing to take over.



Yes, thank you, now back in Tromsø!



Entering the terminal, I followed the signs upstairs to departures, and was able to get one last shot of LN-ILS which was heading off on another regional flight. I loved this shot, as it illustrates the amazingly beautiful landscape of Northern Norway and summed up a great weekend I had with Widerøe.



Having just one hour before my connecting flight, I had plenty of time to have a wander and wait for the incoming SAS aircraft that would take me back to OSL. I have not included much information on the return flight back down to OSL other than the following points:

The schedule described this flight as being operated by a B737-800 with winglets, but not only were there no winglets, the aircraft that arrived was an albino! Delivered to SAS in 2000, the aircraft has spent time on lease with a number of carriers, including Air Europa. Now back with SAS, it currently operates in this hybrid scheme.



LN-RPO arrives at the gate



It’s Scandinanvian, but it’s nearly all white!



Boarding from the rear - my favourite option



Scandinavian tri-flags were there at least



One in, one out



Goodbye Tromsø - taxi to the departure runway with our winglet-less 737-800



The aircraft was just about full although I was pleased that the middle seat was empty. No hanging around at the end of the runway and before long, we were thundering down the runway, and lifted smoothly into the late evening sky. Passing Tromsø again, it had been a great and successful weekend “up north”. Dashing across the Arctic with Widerøe was an experience I won’t forget in a hurry.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While the aircraft type was the same, flying with Widerøe was such a contrast to Skytrans in Australia. Firstly, the landscapes could not have been more different - snow and arctic landscapes, contrasted with desert like but flooded channel country of Queensland. Also, the onboard service on Skytrans was far more extensive and generous - nothing was free on Widerøe other than a complementary chocolate.

Having said that, the level of service on both airlines was of a high standard, although it came with a much more personal touch on Skytrans. I did however greatly appreciate the Widerøe flight attendant giving me some helpful and interesting information about the flights, and generally making me feel welcome.

One thing was the same - in both cases, these airlines provide lifeline connections for regional communities they serve who would otherwise take hours, and even days to travel to large urban centres. Flying in both regions is a necessity and not a luxury.

From a passenger’s perspective, the Dash 8 seemed to have performed flawlessly - regardless of the climate. Now I just need to find another Dash 8 multi-stop flight opportunity......

Thanks for reading if you have got this far. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.

A selection of my other recent trip reports:

The Atlantic And Me: Sata To Madeira (pics) (by Palmjet May 22 2011 in Trip Reports)

Ballina Boomerang: Coastal Flying With REX (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 10 2011 in Trip Reports)

Snow-2-Sun: BA J To Tampa And Beyond (pics) (by Palmjet Dec 22 2010 in Trip Reports)

Keep Climbing & Don't Stop - 48hr DL Marathon (by Palmjet Dec 15 2010 in Trip Reports)

Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)

The Return: KL E190 TLS-AMS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 28 2010 in Trip Reports)

Iceland Yes, Volcano No, FI451 LHR-KEF (pics) (by Palmjet Oct 9 2010 in Trip Reports)



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineodo From Finland, joined Jan 2005, 35 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16721 times:

Nice TR!   Going that up north during the summer is always nice. And Norway doesn't exactly have bad scenery, either...

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
All of these remote destinations are located above the Arctic Circle, so for me, this was the most northerly I am ever likely to go, unless I completely lose my mind and volunteer for some overland Arctic expedition.

You can always take a flight to Longyearbyen in Svalbard, still wayyy up(~78N) from continental Norway but easily accessible.  

//odo



Failure is always an option.
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1295 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 16657 times:

Wow, that was amazing!

Thank you very much for this great report, those photos you took are just beautiful, northern Norway looks absolutely stunning, makes me want to go there myself (i would stay a bit longer up there).

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 1):
In fact, the distance to the aircraft was longer than some of the horrible bus experiences I’ve had at Greek airports where the plane is literally parked directly in front of the departure gate, yet the authorities there insist on wasting everyone’s time (and patience) by packing you like a sardine onto a bus for a 5 second bus ride. Go figure.

So true....

Thx again,
LY



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 655 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 16616 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

A great trip report in beautiful Norway to add to your adventure with Skytrans in Australia. I fell in love with Norway on my first trip there in 2008 and have friends who live in Oslo and enjoyed my 2nd visit last year. Your trip report detailed the stunning geography and landscape that makes that country so beautiful.
Your Skytrans trip report was of keen interest to me as I just returned two weeks ago from my first trip to Australia and New Zealand. I flew a bit more conventional on my trip to Aus and NZ, but I'd jump on a Dash 8 flight any time. I too love that tough little airplane......no ear plugs for me!
Your next multi-flight Dash 8 trip? Come to the US and fly USAirways Express carrier Piedmont Airlines. They operate a 50+ fleet of Dash 8's as their only aircraft type in the US Express network along the East Coast of the USA. A good little airline company with great employees who'd be delighted to meet such a Dash 8 fan.
Thanks again for a great report. I felt like I was seated next to you enjoying the adventure as well.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1916 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 16570 times:
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Incredible report, Palmjet!

So interesting to read, and to get through everything including all your amazing pictures took about 20 minutes! You covered a part of the world many of us don't get to see, so it was truly fascinating.

Wideroe seems to be really good little airline. What routes are the Dash 8-400's used on? I also agree with the Dash 8 - love this aircraft.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently offlineThule From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 16564 times:

Fantastic TR! I'll have to look through it a few more times to fully absorb it. I'm flying EWR-OSL-TOS-LYR in a few weeks    so it's great to familiarize myself with some Norwegian scenery and flights. Now I have a better idea of what weather to expect, too!

I look forward to doing a Dash-8 multi-leg trip like yours on WF someday!


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 16412 times:

Hi Palmjet,

fantastic report with countless excellent pictures, what a nice surprise to find this review here! It must have taken a long time to create it.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
DASH 8 OBSESSION

Dead-on!  

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
As a disclaimer, just like the Skytrans one, this report contains absolutely nothing about: a) exclusive lounge access or glitzy terminals, b) lie flat seats and the buttons to operate them c) the brand of champagne served or d) whether I was given the choice of 3 or 4 main courses and how many meal services were offered.

You don't need all that for a great report!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
The report does not include much detail on the Economy class flights to and from Oslo on BA, other than to remark that these were both operated by A319s, G-EUPC and G-EUPR and were pretty standard BA flights in every respect. Friendly crew, on time departures and some great views of both Oslo and London on the return trip.

Good idea, I'll also leave out standard short-haul flights in the next few reports.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Good morning OSL - ready to fly?

I remember hanging around there in beautiful weather for spotting two years ago.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Lovely gate area at OSL. Very smart.

The wooden design is great.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):

SAS serving food without requiring any form of payment?? Yes, it was not a mirage and I was not smoking anything, but it was actually food. The bread roll was fresh and crusty and yoghurt was tasty. What a contrast to 2005 when SAS served absolutely nothing free on its London City - Copenhagen flights.

I'll never understand SK. You don't even get a water free of charge on international flights, but a relatively big breakfast on domestic services. I'd like to know the logic behind that.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I never knew the CRJ was able to be operated as a freighter?

Only four (converted) planes in service, two with West Air and two with Estafeta (Mexico).

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Delivered to SAS in 2000, the aircraft has spent time on lease with a number of carriers, including Air Europa. Now back with SAS, it currently operates in this hybrid scheme.

Interesting, I flew BCN-MAD on that bird when it was in service with Air Europa as EC-IXO. Here it is on the ramp in July 2008:




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently onlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1686 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 16370 times:

Absolutely stunning photography of all your flights and landscapes !!!

Fell in love with Norway ever since my 1st visit to OSL; have never been 'up North', though, and should do so next year Summer, when light conditions are far better than in Winter...

WF used to have a 'tourist pass' during the Summer months, providing a big discount, but not sure if it's still there...it would make an interesting itinerary out of TOS (or TRD ? for that matter, which connects well with my homebase AMS)...

The DH1 would also make it a 1st one for me, even more 'urging' me to make the trip: thanks for sharing and reminding me of this gorgeous part of Northern Europe !!!

Regards,

Pieter...



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 16324 times:

Hi all - thanks for your comments

odo

Quote:
You can always take a flight to Longyearbyen in Svalbard, still wayyy up(~78N) from continental Norway but easily accessible.

Thanks for the tip - I had read a trip report about Longyearbyen and it did look very interesting - but flying there was pretty much direct on SAS. I can't remember whether WF even fly there in their own right. I dont believe so but would need to check.

EL-AL

Thanks mate- glad you enjoyed. I think this trip was just a taster for me - and I will definitely go back for longer next time,

Thomas

Quote:
Your Skytrans trip report was of keen interest to me as I just returned two weeks ago from my first trip to Australia and New Zealand. I flew a bit more conventional on my trip to Aus and NZ, but I'd jump on a Dash 8 flight any time. I too love that tough little airplane......no ear plugs for me!
Your next multi-flight Dash 8 trip? Come to the US and fly USAirways Express carrier Piedmont Airlines. They operate a 50+ fleet of Dash 8's as their only aircraft type in the US Express network along the East Coast of the USA. A good little airline company with great employees who'd be delighted to meet such a Dash 8 fan.

Hi there. Thanks for your comments. Hope you enjoyed your first trip to Australia?? Are you planning on doing any trip reports? Yeah, no ear plugs for me either! I want to hear the sounds of those props for sure!

Are there any multistop Dash 8 flights left in the US? If you have any suggestions, please send me a message. I thought pretty much all of the US Airways Express Dash 8 flights were non stops. Having said that, I am always up for another Dash 8 flight !

Hi Matthew

Quote:
What routes are the Dash 8-400's used on? I also agree with the Dash 8 - love this aircraft.

Thanks for your comments. Glad you made it all the way to the end of the report! The -400s tend to be used on the busier point to point services, including to CPH, as well as to the UK. You'll also see from Captain Red's report, the -400 is used on some of the busier intra Norway flights as well.



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 16307 times:

Thule

Hi there.

Quote:
I'm flying EWR-OSL-TOS-LYR in a few weeks so it's great to familiarize myself with some Norwegian scenery and flights. Now I have a better idea of what weather to expect, too!

I look forward to doing a Dash-8 multi-leg trip like yours on WF someday!

Hope you have a great trip. Needless to say you wont have any worries about connecting in TOS, as the terminal is very compact and well signed. Presume you are flying SAS all the way? Have fun! Hope you can post a report on your return. If you get a chance to fly with Wideroe, I would highly recommend it.

PH, good morning

thanks for your comments. Yes! This report was another labour of love. I really enjoyed writing it. Glad you enjoyed it and managed to get to the end. Thanks for the pic of the Air Europa 737 too. Did it have the same SAS blue cloth seats when you flew?

I totally agree with you about SK's approach to catering - wildly inconsistent depending on route and time of day. Even of this trip, on the return back down to OSL from TOS, the only free offering was tea or coffee, and this was a flight operating at 9pm in the evening? Go figure. I will never understand it either.

Thanks for the CRJ information - very helpful!

Hi Pieter

Quote:
WF used to have a 'tourist pass' during the Summer months, providing a big discount, but not sure if it's still there...it would make an interesting itinerary out of TOS (or TRD ? for that matter, which connects well with my homebase AMS)...

The DH1 would also make it a 1st one for me, even more 'urging' me to make the trip: thanks for sharing and reminding me of this gorgeous part of Northern Europe !!

WF do still have tourist passes in the summer. In fact, they were advertising this in their inflight magazine. Seems like a good way to spend some time flying around Norway. The Dash 8 - 100 is not that common any more in Europe - hope you get the chance to fly with Wideroe in Norway.



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 16291 times:

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 11):
Did it have the same SAS blue cloth seats when you flew?

No, slate blue leather seats:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dario Crusafon - Iberian Spotters




PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16088 times:

A nice little trip you had into the Arctic. Looks really beautful up there - I'd love to go an have a look around (maybe hire a car for a few days), take some flights, but the costs up there are a bit prohibitive for the most part.

Wideroe looks nice a nice little airline, although the lack of service is a bit dissapointing. I think I would have OD'd on The Dash if I'd done as many sectors as you had!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlinemckvakk From Norway, joined Mar 2010, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 16088 times:

Great trip report. Cool to see someone travelling in those part of Norway too..

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):

SAS serving food without requiring any form of payment?? Yes, it was not a mirage and I was not smoking anything, but it was actually food. The bread roll was fresh and crusty and yoghurt was tasty. What a contrast to 2005 when SAS served absolutely nothing free on its London City - Copenhagen flights.

SAS serves free breakfast on all it's domestic flights before 8 (or maybe 9). After that the most you will probably get is a free coffee, or maybe not even that.. I think they called it a reintroduction of service on board when they launched it a few years ago.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I think it says something like “It’s certainly nice/good in New York, but we thrive better in Båtsfjord”. Perhaps someone on a.net who is a native speaker can clarify/correct?

You got it almost right. "We're sure it's nice at JFK Airport, but we like it/thrive best at Båtsfjord" (not sure if it is "like it best" or "thrive best"

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
For those wanting to stay in touch online, Avinor provides wifi at all its airports up here – although be warned, it’s not free.

Actually, Avinor just launched free Wi-fi in all airports run by them. You need to go to a service counter or a shop to get a code that's valid for one hour. And then you have to get a new code after that..

[Edited 2011-06-23 03:00:41]

User currently offlineStevAAn From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 16018 times:

Great Trip report! I really enjoyed reading it, thank you for sharing! Not a part of Europe you read much about, but with that kind of scenery it must be Europe's best kept secrets  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Stepping aboard after touching the side of the aircraft (a habit of mine for at least 20 years now)

Always thought I was the only one with that habit!   



747
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 15965 times:

Hello Palmjet,

what a great report with some stunning pictures. I was often looking into trying these Wideroe milk-run flights as well, but so far I couldn't get myself into really doing it. Sometimes they have really good fares, but then the fares to get to TOS for example and also the overall price level in Norway always make me hesitate. But after reading your report, mmhhh  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Widerøe has featured in some great recent trip reports here. See CaptainRed’s:

Thanks for dropping the link to my report. Although my flight from TRF to BGO (while also memorable) seemed quite simple compared to your adventure further north.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Late in the day, just before descent into OSL. Reminds me why I love flying so much.

Awesome picture. Yes, certainly one of those moments that shows us why we love our hobby so much.

Thanks again for sharing your experience and for the interesting insight into this very nice part of the world.
CaptainRed


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 15906 times:

Hi palmjet!

Great tripreport. Really enjoyed reading it. I must try WF rather sooner than later, it's not so far for me so i really should take the time to try them out some time.

I was gonna translate that poster for you but mckvakk did it before me!

I agree with you about SK's service concept on shorthaul, i really don't know the logic behind.

Martin


User currently offlinetobbry From Sweden, joined May 2008, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15854 times:

Hi

Vety nice report! So you really likes Dash? 

Wideroe has a ticket where you can fly across Norway for 2 weeks(unlimited). http://www.wideroe.no/explorenorway

I flew on them for the first time last week between Trondheim and Copenhagen. I had a "god tur"

Tobias


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 15835 times:

PH - thanks for that. SAS have re-installed their "own" seats back into the aircraft in that case.

Hi gabrielchew

Quote:
Looks really beautful up there - I'd love to go an have a look around (maybe hire a car for a few days), take some flights, but the costs up there are a bit prohibitive for the most part.

Wideroe looks nice a nice little airline, although the lack of service is a bit dissapointing. I think I would have OD'd on The Dash if I'd done as many sectors as you had!

Thanks for your comments and yes it's really unspoilt and gorgeous. Norway is indeed expensive, but I think there would be ways to ensure that you kept within a budget. I was also surprised that there was no complimentary snack or beverage. It would have been nice if complimentary water had been offered, as it is on Binter and Islas for example, on their short ATR72 flights. Skytrans, in direct contrast, provided snacks and drinks on every sector of the equivalent length.

I am still not over my Dash 8 obsession! Now looking for the next adventure!!

mckvakk

Thank you for your comments. I am really glad to receive some feedback from a Norwegian a.net member. What a beautiful country you have!

Quote:
SAS serves free breakfast on all it's domestic flights before 8 (or maybe 9). After that the most you will probably get is a free coffee, or maybe not even that.. I think they called it a reintroduction of service on board when they launched it a few years ago.

This still makes no sense. Why just breakfast? It seems very inconsistent (and perhaps costly) to have one free meal service before a certain time of the day!

Quote:
You got it almost right. "We're sure it's nice at JFK Airport, but we like it/thrive best at Båtsfjord" (not sure if it is "like it best" or "thrive best"

Thanks for this !

Quote:
Actually, Avinor just launched free Wi-fi in all airports run by them. You need to go to a service counter or a shop to get a code that's valid for one hour. And then you have to get a new code after that..

That's also interesting to know. When did they start this? Must have just missed it!

StevAAn - Hi there

Quote:
Always thought I was the only one with that habit!

It's strange, I know a few people who do the same thing. I've never missed doing this!

CaptainRed

Quote:
what a great report with some stunning pictures. I was often looking into trying these Wideroe milk-run flights as well, but so far I couldn't get myself into really doing it. Sometimes they have really good fares, but then the fares to get to TOS for example and also the overall price level in Norway always make me hesitate. But after reading your report, mmhhh

I say go for it! Although the overall ticket price might seem high, when you break it down into segments, it's actually not too bad. The landscape and scenery is simply stunning.

Quote:
Thanks for dropping the link to my report. Although my flight from TRF to BGO (while also memorable) seemed quite simple compared to your adventure further north.

Pleasure - your report was excellent. I now feel like I want to do a WF Q400 flight too.

Quote:
Awesome picture. Yes, certainly one of those moments that shows us why we love our hobby so much.

Thank you. I love flying and there are moments like that which you just need to capture on the camera!

Deltamartin

Quote:
Great tripreport. Really enjoyed reading it. I must try WF rather sooner than later, it's not so far for me so i really should take the time to try them out some time.
Quote:
I was gonna translate that poster for you but mckvakk did it before me!

Thank you for your comments! Yes, I imagine there is plenty of opportunity for you to fly with WF. Thanks also for offering to translate for me.

Tobbry - thanks for your comments and for the link to the Wideroe summer pass. They were advertising this quite heavily. I would really have liked more time to explore the whole area, and perhaps do a couple of extra flights down to Bodo from Tromso.



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15730 times:

Hi PJ,

Wow, great that you got your Norwegian milk run report up. The whole report is stunning, breathtaking scenery all around! And I've spent my fair share of time on the skies over Norway!

Great stuff.

BTW Markus posted a report on doing some of the same flights as you two years ago, albeit he was a bit more hardcore by doing a 7-stopper between TOS and KKN  .

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
a comment from FlyingFinn76 in passing quickly led me to the soothing pastel greens of Widerøe - who claim to be the largest regional airline in the Nordics.

Thanks for the mention - I'm always happy to help with crazy ideas - I do have quite a few of those up my sleeve, you know?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
In contrast, the purpose of my trip was to experience the original Dash 8 model and fly to some of the most remote and northerly places in Europe. Naturally, getting in as many stops as possible was also high on the list of requirements too.

Now for that there of course is no better option than hopping around Finnmark with WF, that's for sure!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A line up of tails. I discovered that OSL really is Boeing territory.

Yep, that's what I've always said. More so, it is mainly 737 territory - quite appropriate that the 6000th 737 (with DY) is based there!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
LN-KKO – hmmmm, I have a vague recollection this machine has been well utilised by a few Finnish based a.net reporters?

If you mean me, you are off by a few alphabets - LN-KKJ is the one I always seem to end up in on HEL-ARN!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I always thought these colours were kind of crazy and out there – but nice to see the DAT ATR42, OY-CIU here.

I once flew with their -72, I commented to the flight attendant "What a nice colorful plane you got!" but she didn't seem to appreciate it.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Then again, SAS was instrumental in helping to establish Thai and there has been a very close connection of the routes between Scandinavia and Thailand ever since.

And don't forget the fact that any self respecting Scandinavian goes to Thailand for holidays, a customer segment that AY tries hard to tap (they offer some very nice fares to BKK ex-Scandinavia).

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A nice powerful take off, passing several all white F50s in the maintenance area

Those ex-SAS Norway ones were there on the exact same spot last weekend as well.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
SAS serving food without requiring any form of payment?? Yes, it was not a mirage and I was not smoking anything, but it was actually food. The bread roll was fresh and crusty and yoghurt was tasty. What a contrast to 2005 when SAS served absolutely nothing free on its London City - Copenhagen flights.

Welcome to SAS - the airline group with the most confusing service concept in the world. Some oddities:

- Norwegian and Swedish domestic flights get a free (and usually a rather nice) breakfast on morning fiights.
- Danish domestic flights get a free cup of water, which can be picked up from the departure lounge BEFORE the flight.
- Norwegian domestic flights get free coffee or tea, any time of day.
- Short international flights ex-CPH (tty sure that's one of the famous Hurtigruten boats!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Out over the Barents Sea again and North Cape came into view on my left, with the visitor centre clearly visible down below on the plateau.

Oh yes, I have fond memories of visiting the place - an amazing one at that! Although the weather on that day was quite horrible, with extremely thick peasoup fog all around.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Now I just need to find another Dash 8 multi-stop flight opportunity......

Hey, want another tip? Take two weeks off next summer, buy the WF unlimited flight pass and log all of their domestic routes in Norway! The flights will be cheap but you will of course spend a lot of money on basic living - this is Norway after all!

Maybe one summer I will pull the plug and do it myself!

Also some other nice challenges would be to try to find the world's longest Dash 8 non stop flight. BE does (or did last summer at least) IOM-PMI, that just might be it (I'm sure somebody will find a longer one!).

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I think it says something like “It’s certainly nice/good in New York, but we thrive better in Båtsfjord”. Perhaps someone on a.net who is a native speaker can clarify/correct?
Quoting mckvakk (Reply 14):
You got it almost right. "We're sure it's nice at JFK Airport, but we like it/thrive best at Båtsfjord" (not sure if it is "like it best" or "thrive best"

I would translate it as "like it best" or "feel home best" - doesn't the word actually mean "feeling comfortable"?


User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3502 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 15716 times:

Absolutely fantastic report--thanks for putting it together for us! Norway is the only Scandinavian country that I haven't been to and I think I'll probably have to remedy that next time I'm in Europe. Great pictures, beautiful scenery, fun routes, really cool airports. Nicely done!


Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineairkas1 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 3969 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 15626 times:

You have NO idea how insanely jealous I am now.. I read your Australian Dash adventure with the utmost interest and now this report.. Major kudos to you and the way you organized this again.

I actually looked into booking a same trip through Norway (with Wideroe!) because I like the Dash so much aswell. I investigated flights to a very deep level, but in the end deemed it a bit over budget. I reserved about 10 days for it, and incl. hotels it turned to be pretty costly. I should try your approach though, spending only a limited amount of nights there.

Anyways, thanks for getting me out of my uber-bored mood!


User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 15558 times:

Good evening FlyingFinn

Thanks for your detailed comments! Yes, I finally managed to get to do these flights. It was such a great weekend.

Quote:
BTW Markus posted a report on doing some of the same flights as you two years ago, albeit he was a bit more hardcore by doing a 7-stopper between TOS and KKN

Ah yes, I've seen his excellent report(s), but the weather was **much** better for most of my flights  
Really co-incidental that he was also on LN-ILS for some of his flights, and again, he flew on the same SAS 737-800 that I flew from OSL - TOS. Now that's a freaky a.net co-incidence!

Quote:
If you mean me, you are off by a few alphabets - LN-KKJ is the one I always seem to end up in on HEL-ARN!

I was thinking I'd see this aircraft in many of your reports, but alas, it was merely a sister aircraft to KKJ.

Quote:
I once flew with their -72, I commented to the flight attendant "What a nice colorful plane you got!" but she didn't seem to appreciate it.

Some people just dont seem to have a sense of humour! Was it early in the morning??

Quote:
Welcome to SAS - the airline group with the most confusing service concept in the world. Some oddities:

- Norwegian and Swedish domestic flights get a free (and usually a rather nice) breakfast on morning fiights.
- Danish domestic flights get a free cup of water, which can be picked up from the departure lounge BEFORE the flight.
- Norwegian domestic flights get free coffee or tea, any time of day.
- Short international flights ex-CPH (tty sure that's one of the famous Hurtigruten boats!

Set out like this, it's truly bizarre. I guess you kind of never know what to expect which could be a good thing...having said that, I can't see why they can't standardise. A bit like their fleet as well I guess...

Quote:
Hey, want another tip? Take two weeks off next summer, buy the WF unlimited flight pass and log all of their domestic routes in Norway! The flights will be cheap but you will of course spend a lot of money on basic living - this is Norway after all!

Count me in !!! Thanks also for the other tip - I might do some research to see who is flying Dash 8s the furtherest. IOM-PMI is quite a way for the Dash 8! I am actually going to by flying out of IOM this weekend back down to LCY on Aer Arran.

Thanks again - look forward to more reports from you. I am still working my way through your recent jaunt to Spain in detail.

Gunsontheroof

Quote:
Absolutely fantastic report--thanks for putting it together for us!

It was great fun. I had a fantastic weekend. Glad you enjoyed it.

airkas1

Quote:
You have NO idea how insanely jealous I am now.. I read your Australian Dash adventure with the utmost interest and now this report.. Major kudos to you and the way you organized this again.

Thank you very much. Glad you enjoyed the report - I hope it inspires others to visit this wonderful part of Europe. Hopefully more Dash 8 flights coming up in the future. Stay tuned. Cheers



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 777 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 15465 times:

Hi PJ !
This is a really captivating report about a region rarely covered. Really stunning views accompanied by pleasant encounters with local people (airline staff in particular)

Reminds me of my trip to Norway last september when i went up to Bodo (BOO) to catch the scheduled helicopter service to Vaeroy (VRY) and back ...
I had the same great experience with the local people !

Still, I´ve never made it further up than TOS and your report encourages me even more now !
(well - if accomodation etc. were not so expensive up there)
Maybe in 2012 ... (Wideroe´s "Summerpass" is tempting - 1 week unlimited travel )



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
25 PI4EVER : Not sure any Piedmont/USExpress Dash segments are multi-stop any longer, but look at their website for specifics to their route map. Hopefully you cou
26 Post contains images airkas1 : Just wanted to comment on that 2 week-pass thing Wideroe offers -- Count me in!
27 Post contains images abrelosojos : You know I LOVE rare reports, and this is one of them. Thank you very much for going through this report/and taking these flights. I loved living vica
28 FlyingFinn76 : See my reply a few ones up the chain. Those are (all?) the variations I know, plus of course BOB on routes that do not fall into those categories I m
29 Post contains images dalce : What can I say! This report is really massive, it makes me wanting to jump on the first available flight to Norway. If only my boss would accept anoth
30 Palmjet : MHG The summer pass looks great. Yes, definitely an option. There are so many airports in Norway on Wideroe's system - you'd get plenty of variety and
31 abrelosojos : = FF76 - thanks for the summary. Ya, I seem to have missed it when reading some of the replies. Way too "all over the place" for me. I like consisten
32 Post contains images akhmad : Wow Palmjet, Visiting Norway outside the summertime would not instantly across my mind. But thanks to this report of yours, I feel inspired. Thank you
33 FLIEGER67 : Hi, PJ, fab photos and also a well written story. Now believe it or not, I´ve done something like this in the opposite direction, it seems three year
34 Sultanils : Hi P/J What an amazing collection of pics and a nice story as well. You've again put a great deal of effort & work in this story, I appreciate it!
35 Post contains images Palmjet : Hi Alex Ah I see. Well I (and most other a.net reporters on here) can't wait to see more of your reports in due course. Hope work is going well. Glad
36 LXM83 : Hi Palmjet Fantastic report, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Excellent pictures, too! A friend of mine is set to fly 17 legs in one day on WF in July. I will
37 MSS658 : Nice report, thanks for sharing us this rather exclusive TR!!.
38 makeree : Hi PalmJet, Thanks for the interesting TR !! The pics were really good from up north and it made me thinking why flying always to south when there are
39 Palmjet : LXM83 Thanks for your comments Whoa! That's impressive. That sounds like an incredibly long day. Is he intending to post a report? I would love to rea
40 AlwaysOnAPlane : Hey Pj. Well, you pulled another storming report out of the bag. What an interesting itinerary and what amazing scenery you got to fly over. A real ey
41 Palmjet : Hi Lee Nice to hear from you - thank you for your comments. Yes, I have to admit, the Dash 8 sound has become very distinctive! It was a nice touch an
42 Post contains images makeree : Hi, Thanks ! DY has some good offers to ARN and OSL from HEL, hopefully they will have offers to up north too. KKN would be interesting to see because
43 lukeyboy95 : Barren.... beautiful... and as for the TR ... brilliant. Well done! That landscape is wonderfully stark, and Wideroe seem to fit nicely into the whole
44 Palmjet : Hi Lukeyboy95 Thanks for your comments. Yes, I did find that in places, it reminded very much of parts of Scotland, particularly the Outer Hebrides, w
45 Post contains images TUGMASTER : Hi there Palmjet, 1st things 1st.... what a great report.... fantastic photography, and great narration... It brought back loads of memories... I had
46 Palmjet : Hi Tugmaster Fantastic! Thanks very much for your comments. You certainly managed a great itinerary. All I can say is wow - you were so lucky and boy
47 Post contains images KaiGywer : I really wanna do one of those next summer. I spent a few hours last night, figuring out I can hit all but 3 of WF's domestic airport in about 9 days
48 mainMAN : Fantastic TR, thanks Palmjet. I missed this report when you first posted, but thankfully KaiGwyers's comment has pushed it back up to the top. Interes
49 Post contains images infodesk : Hi Palmjet, Don't know how I managed to miss this first time round. One word: wow! Simply stunning photographs and scenery, breathtaking. I particular
50 TN486 : From a person who will most likely not see that part of the world, I appreciate the time you have taken to compile this trip report, at least I shall
51 Palmjet : KaiGywer Hi there - thanks for your comments on the report. I was surprised to see it appearing again after several months! I really hope you're going
52 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi Palmjet. First of all, what an amazing report! A great adventure to a remote part of the world, which frankly happened to be just nextdoor. It's qu
53 Dash8Driver16 : Hey Palmjet; Awesome trip report. I have been wanting to get out to Norway and go travel around and as a Dash enthusiast that looks like the thing to
54 egilsml : Hello Great trip report, and thanks for sharing. Having grown up in Honningsvåg(HVG) i think we dont appreciate the scenery around here. The poster s
55 palmjet : Hi Jonas Well, you have been busy looking at the backlog of trip reports - thanks for your comments on this one. It was probably the highlight of my f
56 Post contains images RussianGirl : Hi Palmjet! Fantastic report!Pics are also amazing. Yes it's really interesting to see. Once I seated on such seats. It was on Tu-134 Vsego horoshego,
57 Mortyman : SAS and Thai was once very close partners: Early Beginnings THAI has its origins in 1960 as a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS
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