So after flying on the A380 for the first time, I had a great start to the summer of 2009. Then around July, it was time for a short trip to India.
I haven’t flown Air India (or Indian Airlines) in a while now. The last time I recollect flying them is January 1st 2004. Air India introduced their “Express” product around 2005, and most of the flights to the Middle East were now primarily flown by Air India Express. Their direct connection from Dubai (DXB) to Pune (PNQ) was a real feather in their hat (in my opinion) as previously, the only way to get home is to take a flight to Mumbai and then either take another flight to Pune or catch a shuttle from the airport to Pune. This made my trip pretty exciting as I was trying out a new airline. So here’s the Itinerary:
DXB-PNQ – Air India Express
PNQ-BLR Jet Airways Connect (No pics during this leg…sorry)
BLR-DXB – Emirates
1st leg – DXB- PNQ
10 July 2009
Air India Express IX 212
VT-AXG Boeing 737-800
This is the first time I would be traveling through DXB’s Terminal 2 (T2), even though I have lived here for almost ten years. T2 at DXB primarily is used by budget airlines. The last time I flew in a budget airline, I flew out of Sharjah (Air Arabia- link to that report is at the end of this report)
My first impression of the T2 was “Is this really DXB, I mean such a normal sized building in DXB…..nice!”. The rest of the airport was pretty much like Sharjah airport before they renovated it. There were just around 20-35 check-in counters, followed by the immigration and security check. After that we enter a lobby, where to the left are duty free shops and to the right were the gates. Well not exactly gates, T2 does not have aerobridges, so passengers were taken to the aircraft by bus.
DXB's terminal 2, the terminal less travelled
Taken from the waiting lobby....overlooking the T1 and T3...
The Air India Express seen far left is my ride
An EK Sky Cargo 777F taxi's by
This picture is taken just outside my aircraft...an Airblue A321
I got shouted at for this photo, but it was worth it Takeoff and Cruise
We took off toward the Arabian Gulf, and then turned back towards India. Pretty soon after takeoff, the sun had set and the rest was a night flight.
View from my seat...Got a good view of the general aviation aircraft
Taken just after take-off, heading towards the gulf
starting the giant U-turn
there...now we are heading towards india
i am pretty sure the building with the Blue neon light is "Al Safeer mall" in the DXB-SHJ highway
As for cabin service, it was prompt- but the flight attendants refused to put on a smile, which I feel is a bad sign as F/A is a people-oriented job, and if they refuse to smile then they are clearly in the wrong field.
After almost an hour into the flight, I was surprised that there was a meal service. Being a budget airline, I was expecting to get a menu with overpriced sandwiches and under-filled cups of coffee, but no, it was a proper meal service. We were served a cheese sandwich, a muffin and a juice box. Thumbs up to Air-India Express for showing consideration to travelling passengers . Another good thing about this flight was the inclusion of IFE (in-flight entertainment), though PTV’s weren’t present at the back of each and every seat, there was a common PTV that was present after every 4-5 rows. They showed a Hindi movie and people had to purchase the headphones separately. Lucky for me, I had my iPod touch loaded with some movies, so the entertainment part was covered for me .
Well I must admit, I was scared during the approach. The weather was pretty bad, it was raining and I presume the pilots were facing heavy winds, and I distinctly remember the left gear touching down first. Anyway all that aside…any landing you can walk away from, is a good landing right .
Back in 2009, Pune didn’t have aerobridges, so passengers used to enter or deplane using the portable staircases. I got off the aircraft and lucky enough, the aircraft was parked right in front of the terminal. So it was a quick walk in the drizzling rain. Once I entered the terminal, there was a huge line…passengers were apparently being checked for swine flu. There was not much of checking per say, they took the temperature of the passenger and asked them if they visited any country affected by the outbreak within the last month. Lucky for me I flew from Canada, a little over a month ago, so I said no, and I proceeded to baggage carousel (I hope the spelling is right? :P ). Being a small aircraft and a small flight, I got my bag fairly quickly and exited the airport to meet my cousins who had come to receive me.
In conclusion, I must say that AIX service connecting DXB-PNQ really is a feather in their hat… however I do wish they would make it a rule for flight attendants to smile from time to time....
2nd Leg- PNQ-BLR
Jet airways Konnect
Ok first off, Let me apologize for not taking any pictures during this leg. The Indian authorities are not very “Aviation-nutter” or “spotter” friendly, so I just kept my camera inside to avoid being mouthed down by some rude security fellow.
The last time I flew Jet airways was back in 2002, between BLR-BOM. Back then I was just 11 years old, and I had no idea of A.net where aviation nutters (like me) come to share their passion :P . Anyway all that aside, I got an aisle seat right in the first row. (Seat no. 1C), so hands down the best part was being able to catch a glimpse of the flight deck before pushback and after landing by just leaning to the right. I was however surprised by the fact that Jet airways had put old seats in a new aircraft…I could tell they were old, because they were pretty creaky and I could see the layer of paint, they probably must have put on to make the seat look new (oldest trick In the book ) . Being a short hop (just around 1.5hours of flying) and a budget airline, there were snacks and drinks served- but for a small fee of course. The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful. After landing at BLR, I collected my bag from the carousel and headed out to catch the Volvo bus taking me to the old airport.
3rd (and final ) leg
Now I am pretty sure you guys (and gals ) are wondering if I am going to repeat this leg yet again. I know I have written two detailed reports on this leg, so I won’t repeat myself over here (the links to those reports are at the end of this report). So I will just let the pictures do the talking .
View from my seat
Does that lead to the cargo hold, i mean for the ground staff to enter?? or old school baggage loading??
A Spicejet Taxi-ing by
Kingfisher's new A330 (at least it was in 2009 )
the winglets of the two A330's
A 9W ATR pushes back...
View of the ramp
These aircraft's were waiting for us to pushback
View of the right stabilizer
A Jet-Lite taxi-es to the runway
View of the terminal at BLR
Waiting for clearance to enter the runway
Entering the runway (no kidding )
Take-off and climbing
A few windows ahead of me
Over the coast of Oman
I'm pretty sure I took a picture of this exact same town last year....on my way to BLR
View of the cabin
Pure desert heat.....
You know you are in DXB when you start seeing these....
maybe I am imagining things here...but i think that SHJ there
Another shot of mine I am personally proud of...overlooking the Emirates road... the blood lineof the UAE (sorta)
Seconds before touchdown
Taxi-ing to the terminal
In conclusion I must say that this was an interesting trip. As an aviation nut, I managed to try two new airlines (AIX and jet airways Konnect) I hope you enjoy this report as much as I enjoyed this trip… As usual comments (constructive or destructive) are always welcomed.
So what’s next?? Well the trip back to Canada on the Emirates A380, but this time, I fly upstairs in the business class, and I managed to visit the cockpit too, followed by my 2010 trip to the Middle East and India.
The links to my old reports
1. Air Arabia SHJ-BOM (June 16, 2007) (pics) (by adityashankar Dec 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
2. Emirates Trips To BLR And Back- Part 1 (by adityashankar Jan 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
3. Emirates Trips To BLR Part 2/2 (very Long) (by adityashankar Feb 4 2011 in Trip Reports)
4. DXB-YYZ On EK's Boeing 777 (January 27 2009) (by adityashankar Mar 26 2011 in Trip Reports)
5. YYZ-DXB June 2009 EK A380 (by adityashankar Jul 2 2011 in Trip Reports)
As always, till my next report… happy landings!!!