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Of Buckets & 3-Holed Workhorses:5L 732, 722 To LPB  
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 13008 times:



Welcome to my 3rd tripreport!

This report covers my journey from São Paulo-Guarulhos (GRU) to La Paz-El Alto (LPB) via Santa Cruz-Viru Viru (VVI) on AeroSur’s classic Boeing 737-200 and 727-200.


http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=gru-vvi-lpb&MS=bm&MR=240&MX=720x360&PM=*



In my last tripreport,

The Withering Ultra-Longhauler: TAM A345/MXP-GRU (by volvair Oct 22 2011 in Trip Reports)

I have elaborated a bit on the itinerary of which the flights covered in this tripreport form a part. To recap, I am off to Bolivia and I have composed a nice assortment of three airlines to get me down there from Munich. While the experience of the first course, Antipasto all’Air Dolomiti, was impaired by improper behavior of some of the present fellow men,

A Failed Escape From The Drunkards: EN/Y/MUC-MXP (by volvair Oct 13 2011 in Trip Reports)

I savored the second course, an impressive, but rare Brazilian specialty, all night long. The third course and a quick dessert would be going to be the finishing touch. When I placed the order I thought that the main ingredients for the finale (of the 733/734-nature) were nothing special. However, the kitchen surprised me with an exotic medley of vintage flavors which almost no one dishes up anymore.




If my memory serves me right (what it probably does not), in the recent years there have been two reports about AeroSur here on A.net:

DUB-CBB In J Via EWR, MIA, LPB, VVI (by LatinAviation Oct 31 2008 in Trip Reports)

Latin American Trip Report (Peru & Bolivia JUL 09) (by aloges Jul 11 2010 in Trip Reports)




São Paulo-Guarulhos Airport

After I killed about eight hours at the airport in several lounges I went to the Terminal 2 departure area in order to check in for my flight with AeroSur. Neither online check-in nor advanced seat selection were possible. The check-in desks were manned by two ladies.


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Check-in area


There was only a small queue and after five minutes I was served by one of the agents. I asked for window seats in the rear of both planes. She also informed me that I still needed to pay the departure tax of 63 Reais (25€/36$). When you are on a connecting flight, you only have to pay the tax when you leave the sterile area. Having some time on my hands I started to argue with her that I don’t see why I should be paying the tax, as I had to leave the sterile area in order to reclaim my luggage and that it is not my fault that JJ and 5L do not interline. So that got too complicated too quickly for the check-in lady and she asked if I could repeat this in Castellano. Well, so I did and she said I could try and argue with the airport staff. She suggested I show them my e-ticket printout and my luggage tag with the destination “GRU”. So I went off, my boarding pass in hand, to a grumpy airport staff lady checking whether you have paid the departure tax (which is indicated by a sticker on your boarding pass). I started making my case but I was quickly interrupted by the agent “You need stamp! Stamp you need!” Well, it was worth a shot. Now, back to the AeroSur counter to inquire if I could pay with credit card. Of course not. So down to the arrival floor, retrieve some Reais, back up to the AeroSur desks to pay the tax. From time to time the queue at the check-in desks grew and grew, but the check-in agent always invited me to come up to the front. Nice gesture. Interesting sidenote: The bag they used as a wallet to collect the cash from the passengers was the TAM amenity kit packaging.


Terminal 2 FIDS. Flight shows up as on time. Also notice the other flight to Bolivia, BoA to Cochabamba.


Being a little frustrated now (although I never really thought I would get around of paying the tax), I decided to head airside immediately to balance the budget with some lounge booze. Quickly past the departure tax checkpoint and through security in no time (no need to put my laptop out of my carry on, no special interests in my liquids) and up the escalators to the Smiles VIP lounge. This is a Varig lounge, but also used by Lufthansa’s business passengers for example, if I am not mistaken. No windows, just pre-packed sandwiches and some heated appetizers, so nothing to write home about. Luckily for me, they had some hard liquor (Smirnoff, Tanqueray,…) available, unlike as in the landside lounge. So I settled down with a Vodka Tonic and made myself comfortable. When I took a closer look at my boarding passes, I got a little excited:


Not because of what was written on that one. But seriously, 1430 boarding time for a 1600 departure!?! Notice also the departure tax sticker and the handwritten “G3”, meaning I was in the third boarding group.


Now, this made me excited: CHG EQUIP


CHG EQUIP… in AeroSur's case this can (almost) only mean a good thing. Originally scheduled for the hop from VVI to LPB was a 737-300. Their other aircraft flying to LPB are a 737-200, 737-400 and 727-200. Great, seeing as they operate only one of each the chances were not too bad to catch a rare classic. A quick search on AeroSur’s website produced a big grin on my face:


727


This was big for me. Having started flying a little more frequently only a couple of years ago (the odd holiday charter flight with my parents aside), there was absolutely no way for me to get on a 727 so far. It was clear for me that while I am in Bolivia that I will try my best to get on AeroSur’s last remaining example. But it being handed to me on a silver platter just like that… Awesome! Little did I know this would only be the first of two surprises waiting for me.


This calls for a toast! Note the Varig branded glass.


After some quick Skype calls to Germany I made my way to the gate about one hour before departure. One hour you say? Well, I wanted to see why AeroSur needs about 75 minutes to board a 737. Needless to say, when I reached the gate the desk was unmanned. Hence, ye shall spot!


Hard working men, a concrete mixer, a Passaredo ERJ-145, Webjets and further bound jets in the back


Varig 737-800


Not the shiniest plane around


AZ 772 bound for FCO


And a first glimpse of my plane


BAM! Surprise number two!


Yes! It’s CP-2561, “Bufeo”, AeroSur’s last 737-200 in operation. I actually planned on catching the type while in Bolivia. I was leaning towards a weekend sidetrip on SkyAirline’s 732 on their La Paz-Arica route, but the high prices (compared to a Bus journey) and the obligation to buy a return ticket have so far put me off of doing so.

Boarding then started about thirty minutes before scheduled time of departure. The several boarding groups were called up and the whole boarding process was, surprisingly, very orderly. No “ILBST” whatsoever!



04 October 2011
AeroSur
Flight 5L 301

1600-1745 (arrival 15 minutes late)
Boeing 737-200
CP-2561 “Bufeo”


Pictures of CP-2561 from the database:


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Photo © Rodrigo Bertoli Rocha
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Photo © AirSpeed



Now, it’s time for a little history lesson (Info taken from airfleets.net). The bird was first delivered in November 1978 to the government of the United Arab Emirates and flew or it as A6-HHK and A6-AAA until 1995.


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Photo © Gerard Helmer
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Photo © JetPix



Then, the bird was registered in the US as N1PC and started flying for Frontier. Between 1996 and 1998 there was a brief AirTran intermezzo. In 2003 the aircraft was stored at Mojave.


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Photo © Matt Cawley
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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.


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Photo © Colin T. Ebert
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Photo © Tim Samples



In 2006, it was reactivated and spent a couple of years at Aloha Airlines, flying as N835AL until they ceased operations in August 2008. Then it was back to Mojave until April 2009, when the frame was taken up by AeroSur.


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Photo © Gary Chambers
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Photo © Thomas Posch - VAP



Excited, I made my way down the jetway.


Catching a glimpse of the JT8D


Shiny power plant


At the aircraft door I was greeted by one of the flight attendants: ”buenas tardes”. I then made my way down the aisle. The load in Economy was light, at a little over 50%.


Business class


Economy cabin


My row of seats


Oh my, hello there!


Seat pocket contents: Safety card, the third edition of AeroSur’s magazine “Aire” (with an incredible smart design, imho) and “air sickness”


Safety card closeup


The necessary legroom shot. Definitely bearable.


View towards the front. A flight attendant is catering to the needs of a business class passenger.


My row stayed empty at first, but before pushback a nice American gentleman moved to the aisle seat. Before pushback, the captain came onboard and announced a flight time of 2 hours and thirty minutes. We left the gate on time. Before our departure we had to queue up a bit for our departure. On our way to the runway I could observe the interesting mix of airlines and aircraft present at GRU.


El Al, Delta, BA and Air Canada. Sorry for the blurriness of the pictures, the window was smeary.


Speedbird following us


United, LH, AA, AeroMexico and Swiss among some TAM birds


Entering the runway.


You can watch the takeoff video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CWZ8GyN_rA

Some screenshots from the video:


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'


'


Going strong!





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Braking through the clouds


About half an hour after takeoff, inflight service started. I opted for a red wine which turned out to be Kohlberg, which is an omnipresent wine in Bolivia. The bottle comes in at around 5€/7$. And, unsurprisingsly, too tasty it wasn’t. After drink service I was handed what is certainly the most peculiar sandwich I ever got on a plane.


It starts out with the wrapping. Simple paper, no plastic for the bread. And what lovely wrapped little chocolate dessert!


And then the sandwich itself!


Although the bread was too soft and too dry for my taste, the meat, sauce and veggies made for a great eat.


Overhead panel. Notice the three differently colored call buttons.



In-flight entertainment on this flight consisted only of the Airline’s magazine, which was an interesting read.


The magazine contained a full overview of all the aircrafts flying for AeroSur. Interestingly, it lists two 727s, but I only know of one active one.


At the time of my flight, every AeroSur aircraft featured a special livery. Mid-October, AeroSur has put a third 737-300 into service which does not feature a special livery (yet?).


The magazine contained a special feature about the aircraft I was flying on.


Quote:
An ancient legend tells that “bufeos” (fresh water pink dolphins of the Amazonas basin) can transform into men at night and seduce women and take them forever. The fear n (sic!) riverside communities due to this myth, as well of the climatic changes and men’s actions who kill them for their eyes and genitals as talismans and to attract fish, have all brought them to the brink of extinction, specially the Inia Boliviensis species.
AeroSur tries to help rescue the river dolphins that still survive in Bolivia by calling attention to their existence and the need to save this beautiful mammal.

The “Bufeo”, Boeing 737-200, flies the Bolivian skies, covering national routes to integrate the country.

In today’s world, no one would probably come up with a story of pink women-seducing dolphins anymore.


Domestic route map


Welcome message


Cruising over Brazil


After some time, a second drink service followed. My neighbor and I opted for another glass of wine. The flight attendant disappeared into the rear galley and returned with two half full cups informing us that this was the last bit of wine they had on board.

Later, I explored the cabin a bit.


Rear galley. Note the paper sign at the trolley: ”Don’t remove from airplane CP-2561”


The Y-Cabin from the back


The lavatory


Nice improvised 5$ smoke detection system in the lavatory. Funny thing: they should change the battery of the smoke detector soon; it was already beeping every 15 seconds.


Signs pointing to the first owner of the aircraft.


The Bolivian Rio Grande


Lining up for finals





'




You can watch the landing and hear the roaring sound of the engines here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erIee4MM0AU

Some screenshots from the Video:











Castrated 727s


More 727s and a 732, resting in peace


Now, you have to be my ride!


You gotta love ‘em threeholers


We parked next to AeroSur’s 737-300 “Potro”


Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Viru Viru International Airport

In the end, we arrived at the gate about 15 minutes late. But no problem, as I had a lot connection time. When we entered the terminal there was an AeroSur staff member who took care of the connecting passengers. In addition to my La Paz flight, there was also a flight to Cochabamba leaving. As we were the only international arrival at that time, immigration was painless. After immigration I said goodbye to my American seatmate who just had to fork out 135 $ for his visa. I, as citizen of an EU member, can enter Bolivia for 90 days for free. Retaliation visa fees are funny. Anyway, as soon as you pass immigration you enter the landside area at Viru Viru International. Having some time to spare I went outside to enjoy the more than 30 degrees centigrade it still had here, retrieved some Bolivianos, purchased a Bolivian SIM card and went to an internet café to catch up on some e-mails. There was not much going on at that time at the airport. About one hour before my departure I passed security (I was probably the only one doing so in 15 minutes) and went to the boarding area of my flight.


FIDS @ VVI


In the gate area there was only a cafe and a newsstand. Also, there were free water fountains. Great for me to rehydrate before reaching 4000m high La Paz and counter possible symptomps of altitude sickness. About half an hour before scheduled time of departure boarding was “called”. The boarding call consisted of an airline staff member simply yelling “La Paz”. This time, although having a larger aircraft, there were no boarding groups or a special boarding call for business class passengers. However, a very orderly queue formed and soon I was released to the tarmac in order to walk over to my plane.

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 13090 times:



04 October 2011
AeroSur
Flight 5L 301

2045-2145 (on time)
Boeing 727-200
CP-2498


Pictures from the database:


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Photo © Baires Aviation Photography
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Photo © Jorge L Rivas


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Photo © Steven Marquez-AirTeamImages
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Photo © Giovanni Francisco Rodriguez Bravo



Of course, a short history excursion is necessary here as well:

The bird was delivered in 1981 to American Airlines, where it flew as N706AA


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Photo © Javier Rodriguez - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



After that it flew for Laker Airways Bahamas under the same registration


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Photo © Daniel Wojdylo
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Photo © Mark Kopczak



After Laker ceased operations the bird was taken up by now defunct Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB) where it flew as CP-2463 from 2005-2007. After their bankruptcy AeroSur expanded to fill the void left by the end of LAB and took up the aircraft.


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Photo © Tsuyoshi Hayasaki - AroundWorldImages
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Photo © Jova




Taking photos on the tarmac was not a problem at all, on the contrary: there were even ground staff members taking pictures for passengers. Great for me. I was snapping away.


There she is!


Notice the ground staff member. He is about to take a picture of the passenger walking towards the stairs.


Antonov An-12 (?) and an AeroSur 737-300, ”Yacaré"











I had to use those stairs of course!


The rearmost exit row


A row of seats


Overhead panel


BoA 733 next to us. Lucky that we didn't get a jetway!


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Safety card closeup


A nice atmosphere in the cabin. Load was about 70%


'


And the obligatory legroom shot. No complaints here for the 45 minute hop ahead.


There was a very relaxed atmosphere in the cabin. The crew were joking with the groundstaff and it seemed they had a good time. One could see they had fun with what they were doing. It was a huge difference between the crew here and the rather cold crew on the GRU-VVI flight.

We pushed back on time and headed for the runway. The takeoff was quieter than I expected.

The seatbelt sign remained on for the entire duration of the flight. The F/As conducted a quick snack and drinks service. They served a tiny ham and cheese sandwich.


Domestic inflight snack


I chatted a little with my seat neighbor on the aisle seat (the middle one remained empty), a very nice woman. I learned some interesting facts about La Paz and its surroundings and she gave me some info on cab prices and stuff.

Before we knew it, we descended into El Alto International Airport.

The airport is most commonly known to be one of the highest airports in the world, at 4060 m/13300 ft. It is situated in the middle of the city of El Alto, the sister city of La Paz on the high plateau Altiplano. La Paz, then, lies in a valley. The rim of the plateau essentially marks the city limit. The lower you get, the more affluent the population.

Landing in La Paz (what I have only done by night, until today) is a remarkable experience. You fly over the dim outskirts of El Alto until you see the brightly colored pit that is La Paz in the distance. However, my camera (or my photography skills) could not cope with this.


'


'


Due to the altitude it took very long until we slowed down. We parked again on the tarmac and could walk over to arrivals. In contrast to the 30 degrees centigrade we had in La Paz we were now down to about 4 degrees. Still, I walked slowly to arrivals as my body was not used to this height.




I reclaimed my luggage, grabbed a cab and got driven to my flat in La Paz. Going down from the plain into the valley that houses La Paz for the first time is an unforgettable sight. I hope to add some destination pics in a future report.


Concluding remarks

Wow, flying AeroSur has been a great experience. I highly recommend flying this airline on hops like that. While the inflight experience might not be the best in the world (the service, disregarding the rather odd sandwich, was far from special) it’s the peculiar little things that make the flights something to write home about. I don’t know however if this also applies to their long hauls to IAD or MAD on their 744 and 762 where the in-flight experience counts and were possible flaws can’t be covered by the fun of flying a rare aircraft. There were several aspects that made flying with AeroSur fun: The great, informative inflight magazine, the friendly check-in staff and the attentive staff member helping with connections at VVI. I had the feeling that AeroSur tries to go an extra mile within its capabilities to give their passengers the feel that flying is special. This is mostly true for their special livery on every plane. Aside from that, what makes AeroSur interesting for us aviation enthusiasts, is it’s interesting fleet. I don’t know how many airlines still exist which operate both a 737-200 and 727-200 in scheduled commercial passenger service. Plenty they are not. In addition to a photography-friendly policy aboard the plane and on the ground it is a great way to fly and maybe also say goodbye to those types.

I total, my itinerary MUC-MXP-GRU-VVI-LPB was a total success. In addition to flying the 722 and 732 I also tried out TAM on their currently stored A340-500. Neither did I encounter significant delays nor greater inconveniences throughout the trip. I hope you enjoyed following me on this little journey.

Thank you for reading!

Feedback is greatly appreciated.


User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 12975 times:

Great report. Reminds me of similar flights on Aerocontinente in 2003.


I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently onlineTigerguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 901 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 12869 times:

Good job once again! It's always good when one is able to get a ride on one of the old birds, and if the actual experience can't happen, then reports like these are the next best thing!

In accordance with the way these trips have odd ways of connecting people, I am obligated to relay a couple of tidbits:

1. It's no small secret that the 727 is a rare and excellent find; it's obviously the crunchiest of carrots dangling in front of my face at this moment.

2. The most interesting thing was this:

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Then, the bird was registered in the US as N1PC and started flying for Frontier.

The first picture caught my eye; I'd recognize that elk anywhere! He would later be named Montana. He currently graces an A318 and an A320 for Frontier, both of which I've had the pleasure of flying on. It's nice to know that (in spirit, anyway) there's a third Montana still plying the skies! And people think history is boring...

Keep the good work coming, okay?   



On the occasion of United overtaking Frontier as my most-flown airline, I say...let's get friendly.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 12759 times:

Hi volvair,

excellent third part of your series! You were really lucky to get both the 732 and the 722 in these days! And Aerosur doesn't even belong to those many obscure operators out there.

I had the pleasure to fly on a 732 exactly one week ago in Indonesia...more than seven years after the last flight on that type. And the plane was in immaculate condition.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Their other aircraft flying to LPB are a 737-200, 737-400 and 727-200. Great, seeing as they operate only one of each the chances were not too bad to catch a rare classic.

They have four 737-300s in service.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Having started flying a little more frequently only a couple of years ago (the odd holiday charter flight with my parents aside), there was absolutely no way for me to get on a 727 so far.

I flew on IB's 722 shortly before the type was retired. My travel partner and I even managed to get jumpseats for landing at BCN! Amazing experience!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Not the shiniest plane around

As usual...but you also find really dirty KLM now. Just noticed that last week before boarding a KL 77W.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
The bird was first delivered in November 1978 to the government of the United Arab Emirates and flew or it as A6-HHK and A6-AAA until 1995.

A6-HHK was never taken up.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Simple paper, no plastic for the bread.

Yes, why not? There's enough plastic everywhere.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Although the bread was too soft and too dry for my taste, the meat, sauce and veggies made for a great eat.

That looks interesting!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Interestingly, it lists two 727s, but I only know of one active one.

My source, ATDB, shows "MRO/conversion at CBB" for CP-2515. And the status of CP-2424 is "damaged at VVI". So who knows which plane they are referring to.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Mid-October, AeroSur has put a third 737-300 into service which does not feature a special livery (yet?).

That's already the fourth frame it seems.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
After immigration I said goodbye to my American seatmate who just had to fork out 135 $ for his visa. I, as citizen of an EU member, can enter Bolivia for 90 days for free.

Wow, that's a rip off! What do they do to Bolivians in the US?

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
After Laker ceased operations the bird was taken up by now defunct Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB) where it flew as CP-2463 from 2005-2007.

It was also shortly leased out to Ecuatoriana.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Taking photos on the tarmac was not a problem at all, on the contrary: there were even ground staff members taking pictures for passengers.

Very good!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I total, my itinerary MUC-MXP-GRU-VVI-LPB was a total success. In addition to flying the 722 and 732 I also tried out TAM on their currently stored A340-500. Neither did I encounter significant delays nor greater inconveniences throughout the trip.

That was an amazing trip! Hopefully we don't have to wait too long for your next adventure.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 12703 times:

Hi volvair!

congrats scoring both very interesting aircraft types on Aerosur. I envy you with the 727, I think a lot of others do here. Would love to get on this bird also, although it seems a mission impossible for me with no plans to travel to South America. The 732 is nice also, but a bit less special with still numerous examples flying around. Isn't the landing great on the 732 when the engine reverser gets in action during braking?  
Lovely pics btw, they give a good overview. Catering on your flights seems to be ok too!

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1845 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12624 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi Volvair   Thanks for sharing. What a lucky break to get on these two classics. I'm very jealous, especially seeing that you got to use the tailstairs  

Regards,

Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1658 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12527 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Buenos dias volvair,

What an awesome experience & report: catching 2 classics on 1 day is really something. I must as well agree on the AeroSur liveries: they look very inviting. I guess it would’ve even been greater experiencing the VVI-LPB flight in daylight but you can’t have it all… I as well have logged these 2 classics some years ago: 727 on Aviacsa (now defunct) from Cancun to Mexico DF and 732 on Aerocontinente (defunct as well) from Cuzco to Lima. If I had known, I had taken some photos   For the rest I hope you have settled in nicely and don’t have too much problems with altitude sickness.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
The check-in desks were manned by two ladies.

   Pun intended?

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I started making my case but I was quickly interrupted by the agent “You need stamp! Stamp you need!”

When it comes to things like that, their English is nearly perfect lol!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
But seriously, 1430 boarding time for a 1600 departure!?! Notice also the departure tax sticker and the handwritten “G3”, meaning I was in the third boarding group.

That feels like you are about to board a fully loaded A380, iso a 732. They obviously wanted to to be at the gate in time.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Oh my, hello there!

Awesome engine ain’t it?

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
There she is!

Looking gorgeous in the evening light.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I had to use those stairs of course!

Great! And even the stairs are lit.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
A nice atmosphere in the cabin

Looks like the ‘mood lighting’ is on!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I hope you enjoyed following me on this little journey

I certainly did, thanks again.

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 12315 times:

Hi volvair!

Great tripreport!

Really nice equipment on your two flights with Aerosur, I am very jealous!
I hope I ever get to fly atleast one of the two aircrafts featured in your report!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):

You can watch the landing and hear the roaring sound of the engines here:

Got to love those thrust reversers.

Martin


User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 12302 times:

Great to see some comments here!

Hi OB1783P

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 2):
Great report.

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!



Hi Tigerguy, thanks for drooping by

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 3):
and if the actual experience can't happen, then reports like these are the next best thing!

Well I don't want you to give up now as....

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 3):

1. It's no small secret that the 727 is a rare and excellent find; it's obviously the crunchiest of carrots dangling in front of my face at this moment.

...the carrot is not going to stay fresh and crunchy forever  
Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 3):

Keep the good work coming, okay?

I'll try!



Hallo PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
excellent third part of your series!

thanks!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
I had the pleasure to fly on a 732 exactly one week ago in Indonesia

Merpati? Batavia? Or some other airline I forget right now? But great! And looking forward to your trip report of course.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):

They have four 737-300s in service.

Yes, I meant in addition to the originally scheduled 737-300s.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
My travel partner and I even managed to get jumpseats for landing at BCN!

Wow, envy! But clearly those were better times back then for aviation enthuiasts.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
A6-HHK was never taken up.

Thanks for all the clarifications. Clearly I have to change my source  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):

That's already the fourth frame it seems.

  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):

Wow, that's a rip off! What do they do to Bolivians in the US?

A minimum fee of 140 $, if I'm not mistaken.



Hi Eric,

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
congrats scoring both very interesting aircraft types on Aerosur

thank you  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Isn't the landing great on the 732 when the engine reverser gets in action during braking?

That was definitely the best part of the flight!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 5):
Catering on your flights seems to be ok too!

Yes, their concept seems comparable to full service European carriers.



Hi Martijn, thanks for dropping by,

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 6):
Thanks for sharing.

You're very welcome.



Hoi Nils,

Quoting sultanils (Reply 7):
but you can’t have it all

I'm trying to get on some domestic flights here, so maybe another chance for a great LPB approach by day.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 7):
For the rest I hope you have settled in nicely and don’t have too much problems with altitude sickness.

Thank you. No problems at all, I even participated in a 10km race up here last weekend  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 7):

I certainly did, thanks again.

You're welcome!



Hi deltamartin,

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 8):
Great tripreport!

Thanks!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 8):

I hope I ever get to fly atleast one of the two aircrafts featured in your report!

Well, at least for the 732 there are still a lot of opportunities around, and not only in developing countries.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12033 times:

Hi Volvair!

Thanks for a very interesting trip report! Finally got the pictures to work by using Chrome browser rather than Internet Exploerer.

Very rare to see a trip report on the 732 and even rarer on the 727! You were very lucky !

It seems that AeroSur is a airline that really prides themselves for their very unique fleet.

I had my last 727 flight on a United 727 in 1885.......and last 732 flight on 19Jan01 on Aloha.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12016 times:

Hi Lars,

great it worked now!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
You were very lucky !

Oh yes indeed I was!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 10):
I had my last 727 flight on a United 727 in 1885

Wow, you beat the Wright Brothers to it   But seriously, if you fancy a farewell ride, Bolivia seems to be one of the best places to catch a 727, with the Air Force Airline TAM (Transporte Aéreo Militar) also operating a 727 since October.


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2399 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 11941 times:

Always GREAT to read such fantastic TR about exotic aircrafts...

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Business class
Quoting volvair (Reply 1):
A row of seats

Very funny to see the interior of the B732 AND B722- both interiors are partly taken over from defunct MEXICANA (must be pretty cheap to buy 2nd hand)!!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ricardo Morales - flyAPM
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fabrizio Fresia



[Edited 2011-11-09 10:36:18]

User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1166 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11885 times:

Did you feel sick in LaPaz because of the altitude?

Wow $135 for a Visa. I don't know how much the USA charges; I am guessing a lot too.

I would be too scared to fly on a 34 year old plane after what happened to ALOHA with metal fatigue.


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11837 times:

Hi volvair,

wow, what a great report and of course congratulation on logging two such rare plane types, very nice. Good to read something about Aerosur as well, I have seen their B747 "Super Torisimo" in MAD recently and wondered how they are. These liveries are really great, good idea to have a special livery on each bird. Interesting story here about the bufeo  
Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
It starts out with the wrapping. Simple paper, no plastic for the bread. And what lovely wrapped little chocolate dessert!

Sandwich looks indeed nice, interesting filling. And good that they don't use plastic here, no need if the sandwich is fresh.

Quoting volvair (Reply 1):
There she is!

Beautiful as well. Wonder if there is also a story about that livery, but well, looks a bit abstract though, so probably not. I have only one flight on the 727 in my log, back in the 90s between ORD and STL on United, also a memorable flight because I experienced my first (and so far only) go around on this flight.

Quoting volvair (Reply 1):
I had to use those stairs of course!

For sure the best way to board such a classic.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Going down from the plain into the valley that houses La Paz for the first time is an unforgettable sight. I hope to add some destination pics in a future report.

Yes, please do so. I don't know why, but La Paz is one of the places in the world I always dreamed about visiting, but never managed to do so. It has such an exotic sound to it, with the location high in the mountains, and nearby lake Titicaca. Did you have problems with the altitude there?

Thank you again for this report and looking forward to read more about your adventures  
CaptainRed


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5136 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11808 times:

Hi, O.,

let me say, you´re a really lucky guy to catch these plane types these days, really, really lucky.

Superb pictures to cover a part of the world where I´ve never been till now.
Aerosur is definitely something out of the ordinay, saw a 747 the last time at MAD, also with a stunning livery.

Well done, looking for more southern american adventures.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 742 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 11776 times:

Original report on A/Cs which will disappear very soon probably. the 737 C/S is awesome. the (beef?) sandwich looks really good.


Many thanks for the insight of Bolivia classic collection



Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 11758 times:

Great to see more replies!


Hi debonair,

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
both interiors are partly taken over from defunct MEXICANA

That's pretty cool! Thanks for the info.



Hi lychemsa, thanks for commenting,

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 13):
I would be too scared to fly on a 34 year old plane after what happened to ALOHA with metal fatigue.

Well, that's why there's seatbelts  



Hola CapitanoRojo  
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 14):
wow, what a great report and of course congratulation on logging two such rare plane types, very nice.

Thank you!

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 14):
, but La Paz is one of the places in the world I always dreamed about visiting

Do so! It really is a city of its own kind and the culture and the surroundings are stunning.



Hallo Markus, thanks for dropping by,

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
really lucky
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
really, really lucky

I do consider myself lucky. But I would have done anything to log those types while in Bolivia, getting them "for free", so to say, is great. Saves me some weekends and money.



Hi eastafspot,

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 16):
Many thanks for the insight of Bolivia classic collection

You're very welcome.


And regarding the altitude,

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 13):
Did you feel sick in LaPaz because of the altitude?
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 14):
Did you have problems with the altitude there?

Disregarding the first night when I woke up a couple of times, gasping for breath (which is perfectly normal), no problems at all. I knew, however, that I would not face serious problems as I was doing sports at 3500m before. Also, my doctor cleared me for it. Apparently, having sufficient iron in the blood is important to rebuild red blood cells. Also, doing some cardio exercises beforehand and being well hydrated helps of course.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6500 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 11629 times:

Quoting volvair (Reply 11):
Wow, you beat the Wright Brothers to it

Ooops !

LOL! I;m not quite that oldL)

That should have been 1995.

Thanks again fro the nice report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5075 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11466 times:

Fantastic report. Amazing where plane start, and where they end up. Thanks for taking the adventure and taking us along.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11344 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 18):

Ooops !

 



Hi A., thanks for commenting!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Fantastic report.

Thanks!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Amazing where plane start, and where they end up.

Well, this is a huge part of the fun of flying on older planes, especially when there are still signs of former operators.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Thanks for taking the adventure and taking us along.

You're very welcome!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3203 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 11321 times:

Very interesting report, thanks! Great that you managed two fairly rare aircraft. I did the 727 once in 2004 with Syrian flying Aleppo to Damascus (for around USD 20 in Business class!). The 732 I did quite a fer times with Ryanair from LTN-DUB back in the day of their logojets:
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Ryana...d=4d2efd27b1d395861fa85d268398e119

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
CP-2561 “Bufeo”

Looks very colourful!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
And then the sandwich itself!

It looks like it has tenticles. Good that it tasted ok though

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
The boarding call consisted of an airline staff member simply yelling “La Paz”.

That reminds me of Almaty airport, with the staff yelling the boarding flights!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 22, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 11242 times:

Hi Volvair,

Now what an excellent and amazing trip report! You certianly had your (or your company's?) moneys worth of experiences here. Not only did you log one but two very hard to get and rare classic birds on that same trip plus one very exotic carrier as well. Just loved the whole report, thank you very much for posting it (and after that teaser in FB you bet I've been waiting for it!  ).

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Terminal 2 FIDS. Flight shows up as on time. Also notice the other flight to Bolivia, BoA to Cochabamba.

Hmm, why are there domestic flights shown here as well? One stop services to international destinations?

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I decided to head airside immediately to balance the budget with some lounge booze.

Hey, that's my style! Well done.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Now, this made me excited: CHG EQUIP

Interesting that they print this on the boarding pass. Also very interesting to see that apparently you had a smoking seat - did people actually smoke onboard or was it forbidden like everywhere else?

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
And a first glimpse of my plane

Wow, nice livery!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):

Yes! It’s CP-2561, “Bufeo”, AeroSur’s last 737-200 in operation

Congratulations! Never flown on one (well, not on a 727 either) - would love to catch such a ride!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
My row of seats

Those seats definitely aren't the original ones in this bird!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I opted for a red wine which turned out to be Kohlberg, which is an omnipresent wine in Bolivia. The bottle comes in at around 5€/7$. And, unsurprisingsly, too tasty it wasn’t

Are soft drinks free? Interesting name on that wine - sounds Deutsch to me.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
And then the sandwich itself!

Looking good!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Some screenshots from the Video:

I just love those bucket style reverses - so cool and the sounds must be amazing!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Viru Viru International Airport

I've always loved the name of this airport (and before I knew it always wondered about the VVI code!). Viru is BTW "Estonia" in Estonian  .

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
chabamba leaving. As we were the only international arrival at that time, immigration was painless. After immigration I said goodbye to my American seatmate who just had to fork out 135 $ for his visa.

Ouch! That is steep - just like the 100 dollars for a Brazilian or Turkish visa...

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
FIDS @ VVI

Interesting to see all the three flights so close together.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
Taking photos on the tarmac was not a problem at all, on the contrary: there were even ground staff members taking pictures for passengers. Great for me. I was snapping away.

Hey, that's so nice. Just like in Colombia - nobody cared.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I had to use those stairs of course!

But of course - just boarded an SAS MD-82 a few days ago that way, that is just so nice.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
A row of seats

Now these look like good old classic seats!

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
The lower you get, the more affluent the population.

Heh, on many places it is exactly the opposite - you have nice villas up there on the hillsides.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
In contrast to the 30 degrees centigrade we had in La Paz we were now down to about 4 degrees. Still, I walked slowly to arrivals as my body was not used to this height.

Sounds like the contrast between Medellin and Bogota I experienced on my recent trip to Colombia. The altitude can certainly do some weird things to temperatures and to you as well - I experienced this first hand at Bogota which is "only" 2600 meters above sea level.

Quoting volvair (Thread starter):
I total, my itinerary MUC-MXP-GRU-VVI-LPB was a total success. In addition to flying the 722 and 732 I also tried out TAM on their currently stored A340-500. Neither did I encounter significant delays nor greater inconveniences throughout the trip. I hope you enjoyed following me on this little journey.

I most certainly did! Hope to see more stuff from you, maybe some nice domestic flights in Bolivia or the return trip (although it doesn't sound like you are going back anytime soon, are you?). All in all your outbound journey was definitely one worth reading about and a huge success in rare aircraft types - a 345, 732 and a 727 - WOW!


User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 11191 times:

Great to see some more replies!


Hi Gabriel, thanks for commenting!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 21):
I did the 727 once in 2004 with Syrian flying Aleppo to Damascus (for around USD 20 in Business class!).

Wow, what a great fare!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 21):
The 732 I did quite a fer times with Ryanair from LTN-DUB back in the day of their logojets:

It's sad to see how quickly those planes seem to have gone.



Hi FF, thanks for stopping by,

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
Now what an excellent and amazing trip report

Thanks a lot!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
You certianly had your (or your company's?) moneys worth of experiences here.

All on my own dime, albeit supported by the German taxpayer   Totally worth it, highly recommendable and not at all expensive in comparison to the standard MUC-LPB fares.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
thank you very much for posting it

You're very welcome.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
Hmm, why are there domestic flights shown here as well

I think it's abused as a general departure board.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
Also very interesting to see that apparently you had a smoking seat

Notice the "NO" on the boarding pass in the line below. But I was also a little puzzled by the boarding pass layout.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
did people actually smoke onboard or was it forbidden like everywhere else?

Of course it was a 100% non-smoking flight.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
would love to catch such a ride!

There's still time and a lot of carriers in South America boasting large fleets and therefore good chances not to fall victim to a last-minute aircraft swap. Maybe your visit to Colombia has whet your appetite for a return to S/A. And, you know, those left populist regimes make for ultra-low domestic airfares  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
Are soft drinks free?

Actually I quoted the retail price of the wine here in Bolivia. All drinks on AeroSur are free.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
Interesting name on that wine - sounds Deutsch to me.

Yes, there is and there has been quite a large German presence here in Bolivia.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
maybe some nice domestic flights in Bolivia

The plans are there.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
or the return trip

I will definitely post it. Although it won't be as spectacular as the outbound. But at least one new airline for me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 22):
although it doesn't sound like you are going back anytime soon, are you?

Before Christmas already.


User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (2 years 8 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 11088 times:

Thanks for sharing!!! Excelent TR! I love the 732, I flew them with CM when they used to have it and most recently on Peruvian Airlines.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Bolivia and don´t forget to visit neighboring Peru  

Adam



Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
25 Avianca : great report! also I am quite often in Bolivia never made it so far to use 5L, normally travelling on BOA... looks like that I have to go in the next
26 volvair : Good to see some more comments! Hi Checo77, You are welcome. Thank you. Unfortuanetaly I probably won't make it to Peru for longer than one or two day
27 Post contains images MSS658 : Hi volvair Nice continuation of your trip repoprt! 727+732! What else can a man being want . Maybe a reason to go to South America once ! What caught
28 Post contains images volvair : Hi M., thanks for commenting! Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Well I could name a couple of things. But it is not too far from the top of the list
29 Post contains images ba319-131 : Great report! Getting to fly both of these classic birds on one trip make a highlight to the whole itinerary IMO, superb! I saw the 727 when @ GRU ear
30 volvair : Hi Mark, thanks for commenting! Thank you! Definitely. This day will be hard to top in the future! I have access with Diners Club so I don't expect to
31 canoecarrier : Great trip report! I haven't had the opportunity to use those stairs in probably 15 years. Last time was when a TWA 727 diverted and I had to get the
32 flightsimboy : Great report, not only into your flights and the aircraft used, but also as Abrelosojos has indicated "Amazing where plane start, and where they end u
33 signol : Hi Volvair, excellent on so many levels! And much luck on the equipment change. Once, many years ago, before I started making note of things like airc
34 volvair : Great to see some more comments here! Hi canoecarrier, thank you for your feedback, Thanks! Yes, I was very glad they did not use a jetway in VVI+LPB
35 Post contains images stipica : Breathe ... Breathe ... Breathe ... ok this is too much for me ... you got a.net lottery 345 732 727 TAM AeroSur plus S.America ... I am not jealous .
36 TR763 : Wow, I was really looking forward to this part of your report! I have a friend whose mother lives in S. C. de la Sierra and he always invites me to go
37 Post contains images volvair : Hi stipica, calm down please Oh yes, I was quite lucky indeed! TR763, thanks for your feedback! Oh yes, try to tick that one off and go to Bolivia! Ye
38 JL418 : Hi Volvair, Great voyage! I must admit I was a bit lazy in reading your TR but I wish I read it before now that I'm at the end of it. I loved, as for
39 Post contains images volvair : Hi Fabrizio, thank you for your comments here as well. Good to hear that. Glad to bring you along on this journey. You don't need to tell me! Don't sa
40 ghost77 : Great report!!! Funny to see after all this time and since 5L took delivery (2003) all those 727s with Mexicana's nice and best seats they had. What a
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