Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5803 times:
Just a brief report with all the main bits, as I am rather tired!!
Tuesday June 11th
London/Stansted to Stockholm/Skavsta
Scheduled flight time: 1hr 50mins.
Skavsta is 100 km south of Stockholm; 1 hour 20 minutes by coach.
Ticket price total: 26 pounds
Arrived at airport at 0615; never seen so many orthodox jews in one place in my life!!! Literally hundreds of these guys, with the cabaret-like hats and curly hair were milling around the check-in area at Stansted. It turns out they were all heading to Montreal on a chartered "Euro Atlantic" flight, code "MMX".
As we'd missed the first wave of early-morning flights, the airport wasn't as crowded as it might have been, but it was still very busy. A quick glance at the screens revealed FR 53 to NYO check-in desks 63-65, Zone K (at far-end of terminal).
The queue for the Stockholm flight was already 10 deep, and I waited 10 minutes to get to the desk; the longest Ryanair check-in time in my life, usually it's just a matter of walking right up to the desk (no queues), and checking-in in 10 seconds!!
There were a few businessmen (7-8), but most people seemed to be young Swedes who probably flew over to London or Cambridge for the weekend. Then there were people like me, with nothing better to do than fly to Stockholm for a day or two.....
Well, we boarded the bus at 0658; the departure time, 0705, came and went--and we were still on the bus waiting for late pax. A few minutes later we started moving along the ramp towards our 737-800; got some nice views in the sunny weather of the usual Stansted traffic (the flight to Montreal was a Portuguese registered Tristar, with "Euro Atlantic" titles).
Other a/c were the usual assortment of buzz, go & Ryanair, plus two KLM uk ATR-42s.
When we arrived outside our a/c only the front door was open, rear door was shut. Unusual for Ryanair, who like to get pax on and off a/c rapidly to save time.
Well, I was about the 20th pax aboard, so I got a window just behind the trailing edge.
As I walked up the front steps, I caught a glimpse of our Captain, half-way through eating his breakfast banana....no problem.
There were 4 cabin crew aboard, 1 guy and 3 girls; all seemed to be quite happy to look after us. Cabin was nice & clean, as seems to be usual with Ryanair.
We pushed back at 0728, 23 minutes late, probably due to late pax. Flight was 90% full--not bad.
As we began to roll forward to begin a short taxi to CAT I/II/III R/W 23, flaps were lowered. The weather was just beautiful......clouds, sunny morning scene.
We held short of the r/w threshold for a "go for it" 737 on late finals, then proceeded to line up and wait.
After 2 mins, throttles were opened, and the CFMs just gave a rrrrrrrroooooAAAAARRRRRRRRR sound--we were off on the roll--possibly my favourite part.
TO roll was brief, we slid into the sunny sky after about 20 seconds, and climb rate was good, although nothing spectacular. There followed 3 staggered left turns as we began our heading to the East, then North East.
For those interested in the routing, it was LONDON-AMSTERDAM-HAMBURG-BILLUND-COPENHAGEN-STOCKHOLM. Does this make sense? I haven't consulted a map....
The Captain was very jolly, and spoke to us at top of climb, giving us some nice details, welcome aboard Ryanair etc. He was Australian. Cruise altitude was 37,000 ft today. Cloud types under us were Cumulonimbus (so a bit bumpy whilst we were still climbing) and Altostratus, for most of the flight.
We had a nice tailwind of 30-50 knots pushing us along, helping to reduce the small delay.
There was no spectacular turbulence to report.
Food and drinks were selling quite well--many people bought a coffee, and a few also bought some bacon & cheese baguettes. The lady next to me had bought her own coffee in a thermos flask....very clever!
Well, as with all flights, this one was ending quickly!
After 1 hour 22mins, throttles were idled, and we began our descent into Skavsta; the Swedish countryside is quite interesting; forests, lakes, islands and green fields--quite nice. Captain came on to report some nice weather conditions--broken cloud at 5,000 ft, scattered at 3,000ft with temperature of 19C--not bad!!
He ended with "Thanks for coming along folks, and we hope you enjoyed the short ride." (Of course!!)
The landing wasn't too bad, like falling on a cushion--no bounces.
Skavsta airport is tiny--what a joke! The other airlines serving NYO are Golden Air (operating to Helsinki for Finnair), and some Swedish charter airline. I saw a small hangar with 2 bizjets inside, a Swedish AF Hercules, and some Cessna 172s.
Our 737 kind of made the airport building look very small........well, we were off by the rear stairs this time.
We arrived on-time too--not bad at all!
Stockholm is a great city, and the Swedish people are really cool and friendly. Wednesday, after the match with Argentina, the Swedes came out to celebrate on the streets--waving flags from cars, making big noises, everyone hugging each other....it was crazy, but fun!! You must visit.
The Ryanair flight was great, if you're short on money, I really recommend them; but if money isn't a problem, I would advise you to fly with BA or SAS, because Skavsta is a bit too far really from Stockholm.....1 hour and 30 minutes is a bit too long after a flight--but it was 5 pounds each way, so not too bad.
I am too tired to talk about the return flight, but it was the same really; on-time and service generally was good. We climbed into a beautiful Swedish 10pm sunset over the lakes and forests.....you really must experience the scenery, especially on a summer night......just reminds you how nice flying can be!
Ok, hope you enjoyed the ride, and happy flying; I know this isn't a very long or detailed report, but I am very tired. If you need to know anything, of course I'll tell you. I need bed and sleep!!
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2905 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5753 times:
Not as detailed as usual, but still a nice trip report! So I guess your return flight was yesterday, 12June?
Strange, I didn't know that Ryanair serves Skavsta. In fact I didn't even know that Skavsta has an airport. To be honest, I never heard of a town Skavsta before...
How much did you pay for the flight? (No Ryanair trip report without this question )
You say that the flight Stansted-Skavsta was 90% full, how about the return flight back home?
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5731 times:
I quoted the ticket price up there, 26 pounds!
Yes, came back 12 June, we stayed with some Swedish friends. The flight back was nearly 100% full, as I was near the front, and had to walk down the aisle to the rear toilets-as far as I could see, there were no seats free.
Yeah, sorry about the lack of details, I guess there comes a time when you fly so regularly that writing a trip report for every flight gets tiring. Better to give just a taste, a flavour of flying, so that others are encouraged to fly!
Yeah, you know what Ryanair are like--half the destination towns they fly in to I've never even heard of either.
Dl1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 386 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5678 times:
Great trip report. Skavsta Airport is right next to the
town of Nykoping. About 10 miles east is a smaller town-
Oxelosund. Thats where I am right now. Since Delta dropped ARN-JFK, there is a very good chance that I will fly
Ryanair back to London, bus over to LGW and pick up Delta
to get home. I might stop by Duxford on the way!
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5610 times:
Sorry, I've only just read this.
I was in Stansted today, to see a friend of mine who works for FR ops.
I found out some interesting info though; the airports Ryanair serve do actually receive government money in some cases (Charleroi and Rimini especially, apparently ) ;and in those cases this money is used to attract Ryanair to that airport; so taxpayer's money is used to incentivize an airline to choose that airport over another. Any airline can receive the benefits, but only FR seems to be able make a deal out of it, because their costs are so low that they can spend time creating a demand for that route, if there isn't already one there; airports do this because they want money, not because they want to "look good" (I already knew this.....)
As I thought, Ryanair will usually get this money because the airports know Ryanair have a choice with respect to which airport it will eventually fly to--so each airport tries to match or better the amount of money or incentives of the other, in order to get the Ryanair deal.
This is not compensation because demand is currently outstripping supply on 90% of Ryanair's routes, and all of Ryanair's routes are currently recording profits. This is why the airline is projected to increase by 35% a year, and why main airlines are starting to become nervous.
When I asked whether it was fair for citizens to effectively pay Ryanair to fly there, he denied that this was the case, and said that in the end, FR would fly there anyway (to at least one airport in a particular region), simply because of the enormous demand. Citizens already pay a number of other businesses incentives, such as tax breaks and cheap land-rental in order to stimulate the economy of a region, for the benefit of all people.
Ryanair knows this, so this is one of the reasons why they like operating into regional airports.
I didn't get any figures, but the airport authorities in charge of Rimini reportedly offered Ryanair 1.27 billion lire in incentives/no charges. When the airport authorities there refused to continue with that deal, Ryanair moved to Ancona, who I presume were willing to offer a comparable deal.
This sounded strange, but the guy said FR is simply a very smart mover with respect to reducing avoidable costs. Ryanair seems to be taking advantage of such deals to the max, so I asked whether Ryanair could operate all it's routes profitably without any of these deals in the first place; he said "we make sure of it."
He compared it to purchasing a second-hand car, whose price is negotiable. First, you make sure you can afford the advertised, full price of the vehicle; but then, to save as much money as possible, you deploy your very best bargaining skills to knock down the price as much as possible, bearing in mind that both buyer and seller know that the consumer can simply go elsewhere if the price isn't right.
FR are simply using unconventional business practises not normally used by the conventional airlines; it does it, simply because no one is stopping them; probably because in the end, everyone benefits.
Quite revealing. I don't see anything wrong with what they are doing, especially since it makes sense, and also because our money also goes towards supporting/attracting other foreign businesses to this country in order to create jobs and offer choice.
So that's the deal I guess.
The funny thing is that I will probably be working for BA next year, and thus doing my hardest to try and reduce the influence of Ryanair in Europe. We will fail. But there's always Easyjet.
I'll find out about Italy if poss, although BGY seems like an obvious choice for an Italian base, given you need to be reasonably close to a large population to open such a theatre of activity.
p.s. some extra info. FR staff cannot fly very cheaply when not working; all staff must pay a flat fee of 25 pounds return for any FR flight; however, they do get concessions on normal airlines apparently!!