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Spotting Trip Part 1: BRU-MXP On Snba  
User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4681 times:

Hi all,

This is the first part of a spotting trip made by me (Sabena 690) and Ivan (Apuneger).

In this trip, we took 7 flights on 4 airlines on 6 different aircraft types in 4 days.

The trip report will be posted in several phases. Instead of posting the whole report in one time, I think it’s better to post it in different ‘pieces’ as one report of 7 flights would be too long for most people I’m afraid…  Big grin

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the reports. As usual, all feedback/comments/criticism/… is welcome.

The reports will be shorter in comparision with my previous reports.

The trip started at Thursday July 15th. I woke up at 5.30am, to catch the train of 6.30am to the airport. This train arrives at 8am in the airport, so with a flight leaving at 10am, there was time enough to check-in without having to hurry.

To my surprise, I entered a really full departure terminal. I went to the middle of the departure terminal, where I was going to meet with Ivan.

After saying ‘good morning’, we joined a long queue for check-in. With some interesting aircraft departing, I wanted to find a quicker solution, so Ivan kept my place in the queue while I went to the “handluggage only check-in”-counter of SN. Only a few people were waiting over there so I entered the small queue while Ivan was coming over.

I said goodmorning to the friendly guy behind the counter, and after a funny remark from his side (“oh, you took the easiest way, flying to Madrid via Milan” Big grin), he checked me in. I gave him my seat preferences (the Avro has quite some rows with badly placed windows, + I wanted to sit in front of the AZ MD82 to MAD to avoid too much noise).

We were checked in quickly, and proceeded to the new A-Pier, used for Schengen-departures.

Our SN Brussels ARJ85 was already present at the gate. After writing down the reg of the plane that would carry us to MXP, I made a walk in the long A-Pier to spot as much planes as possible. Some interesting visitors were EC-JAB of Vueling (in the meantime already a boring frame as it is apparently always the same one that visits BRU  Big grin), SP-LDF of LOT (an ERJ170), and the usual American heavies to the States. Also taxiing to Abelag was a Bizjet F70, PH-KBX.

Time went fast, and 20 minutes later (9.50am), boarding was announced. A small note: only one person was available to scratch the boarding passes, and this guy was not in an SN uniform, but in clothes with the logo of a handling company. Anyway, he was not very 'attentive', took the boarding passes out our hands, and gave them back without saying anything. Oh well, as long as the cabin crew is friendly…

SN Brussels Airlines
Flight AZ7057 operated by SNBA
Avro RJ85 SA)">OO-DJO c/nE2279 (first flight 12/1995)
Departure time (planned/actual) 10am/10h17
Arrival time (scheduled/actual) 11h35/11h25

A small detail: I've now flown all 3 colourshemes of SNBA:

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bernd Karlik - VAP

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography

On board, I was greeted by a very kind flight attendant. She was distributing newspapers, and welcomed everybody on the flight. Since I had a seat in one of the last rows, I proceeded in the aisle, and was greeted by a very friendly flight attendant in the back who helped me to stow my handluggage (she cared a lot about all pax and did her best to help everybody as much as possible).
One cabin attendant kept herself also busy with an announcement that all luggage must be stowed safely, that mobile phones must be off etc etc. The same announcement was given 3 times, in 3 languages (Dutch-French-English).

At 10am, the captain introduced the whole cabin crew and provided the pax with an interesting announcement, ending with “Enjoy the excellent service”.

Captain Struys made his second announcement of the flight at 10h10 with flight information (the flighttime to MXP was going to be 1h15min), and he thanked the Privilege-members for their trust in the airline.

The loadfactor on this flight was almost 100% (both C and Y were about full, except a very few empty spaces here and there).

Some nice music was played, and at 10h17, the captain made an announcement to say that we would take off in 30 seconds.

And off we were after 30 seconds! We ‘rolled’ 32 seconds on the 25R, rotated, and entered very thick clouds (it took a lot of time before we finally saw some blue sky).

The service started at 10h30. This time, we were served a very nice and tasty apple pie, together with water, and 2 drink services (I opted for tea and orange juice). Excellent snack!


The rest of the flight was very enjoyable with breathtaking sights of the Alps.

At 11h05, the captain made an announcement with flight information (starting descend soon etc etc). He also wished us a very nice afternoon, and made his announcement in Dutch, French and English. A very correct cockpit- and cabin crew on this flight!

20 minutes later, we touched down at MXP, and we were immediately greeted by the nice mix of traffic MXP offers.

We parked on a remote stand (between 2 BA AR1's), and when I went off the plane, I thanked the flight attendant greeting the pax at the door for the excellent flight. She replied to me: "When you are happy, we are happy too! Thanks for flying SN and enjoy your afternoon'" - very nice touch!

Interesting aircraft were the Air Finland B752, Livingston A330 + A321, QR A300 (unfortunately, none of these aircraft could be read off), ZS-SLC SA A342, VP-BAG SU A310, SAT Sakhalin Airlines (Russian Federation)">HZ-APZ SV MD90, 5Y-QQQ East African, a VIP B727 with winglets (P4-DKI), E3-AA04 Eritrean B763, and lots of Alitalia stuff (although I didn’t see a lot of new aircraft except some ERJ’s and a few longhauls). Another interesting visitor was CS-TQA, an A320 of AirOne.

After some spotting, we proceeded to a pizzeria for a tasty slice of Italian pizza (it would be a shame to go to Italy without eating a pizza  Big grin). Afterwards, we proceeded to the gate area where we were quite close to the landing aircraft. To everybody going to MXP for spotting: my impression is that the seating areas near the boarding gates offer the best views!

Viewing at MXP is easy, but there is a big disadvantage: a lot of nice visitors park quite far on remote stands, and unless you see them taxiing for take off, they are impossible to read off. We had a connection of 3h, and this was unfortunately not enough to see the reg of some interesting visitors.

Time went fast, and soon we had to go to our gate for our second flight of the day.

This was part 1 of our spotting trip. Part 2 will be covering our MXP-MAD sector on the MD82 of Alitalia, and our flight from MAD to PMI on the B738 with winglets of Air Berlin.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2905 posts, RR: 21
Reply 1, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4625 times:

Hi Frederic,
I enjoyed reading the first part of your spotting trip of the year, thanks for sharing. Seems like SNBA offers a high-quality product, at least all a.net trip reports about SNBA seem to be very positive - unfortunately I haven't had the chance to fly them yet.
A pity that you didn't get your B737-600 on Air Europa (do they still have the -600s at all?!), looking forward to read your further reports!
Regards, Alex.

User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4570 times:

Hello Frederic,

great report - I liked reading it a lot! MXP seems to be a good airport for spotting with a lot of interesting traffic. Unfortunately, I haven't visited it yet. I'm also looking forward to the next parts of your report.


User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4571 times:
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Hi Frederic,enjoyed part 1,look forward to the rest.

Just to advise,if you leave the terminal and turn right,you can follow the road down to a small parking area,it has excellent views of the remote stands for all the RJ equipment,good views of landing a/c as they taxi off and it is perhaps the best place to try and get the charter/freight a/c that use the far side of the airport.Just one thing,don't use a camera,I had my collar felt by the police/army last month,binoc's are fine,just no cameras he advised.



User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5243 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4556 times:

Hi Frederic,
very interesting report.
I was at MXP early last year and like your report, lots of AC never seen before.
Awaiting part 2 of your journey.
Markus (FLIEGER67)

User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4706 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4527 times:

Hi Frederic!
Good to see that you are supporting your national airline - and quite unusually, SNBA seems to be a "full service carrier", which still offers excellent service even in "Peasant Class". Unfortunately, SNBA no longer flies close to any of my home airports, so I will probably not get the chance to try them out in the foreseeable future.  Sad At least your detailed decription and interesting narration manages to vividly describe the athmosphere on the Beglian national airline very well.  Smile

I am already looking forward to reading your next parts!  Big thumbs up

Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks ago) and read 4510 times:

Hi Frederic,

very nice report as always, I can't wait for part 2 and for the pictures of the meals.


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4498 times:

Hi all,

Thanks for the comments!

Just a small detail first that I forgot to mention: as usual, SN handed out Neuhaus chocolates before we started our approach! A nice way to end the flight.

@Alex: A pity that you didn't get your B737-600 on Air Europa (do they still have the -600s at all?!)

I even didn't fly UX at all, more about this later!  Big grin UX indeed doesn't fly the B736 anymore.

@Mark: thanks for the advice! Will check out that place next time I'm in MXP (hopefully for a longer visit).

@Jens: SN indeed takes care of its Peasant Class passengers!  Big thumbs up Hope you will be able to try them out one day, as I would love to read an SN review written by the hand of Tristar500  Big grin


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4706 posts, RR: 39
Reply 8, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4483 times:

Well, thanks for your kind words.  Smile You can look forward to a report covering last weekend's DTM-MUC-CDG-MUC-DTM on Craphansa somewhen this weekend and, if Max (Godbless) and I get our act together, the first EasyJet report from Dortmund, covering our flight to CDG in late July.

Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineAirblue From San Marino, joined May 2001, 1828 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4397 times:

Air Finland B752 is flying on wet leasing for Eurofly.
The AirOne A320 is on wet leasing for the summer from Air Luxor.

User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4398 times:

Hi Airblue,

About the Air Finland B752: is there one specific aircraft flying for Eurofly? In case there is, do you know the registration?


User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 9 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4320 times:

The pictures of the meal can be seen by clicking on the following two links:



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