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To The Man And Back: LPL-IOM-LPL On Flyjem BAe ATP  
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 13574 times:

As part of our spotting trip to MAN, we thought that it would be nice to fly on the ATP as well, so we had booked a daytrip from Liverpool to the Isle of Man on flyjem.com, part of Emerald Airways. We, that's Christoph (Contact Air) and I.

We got up early to catch the train to Liverpool and from there the bus to the airport, where we arrived at 8:30.

LPL-IOM
02 June 2005
JEM304
STD: 10:15 ATD: 10:45/10:50
STA: 10:50 ATA: 11:20/11:25
BAe ATP
Number of passengers: 64 plus two infants
G-JEMA
First flight: 18Sep 1990

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Photo © Fergul Mc Clean



This aircraft was flown by United Express/Air Wisconsin from 1990 till 2000. Then it was stored for more than three years, before it was taken up by Emerald. Here are some photos of the aircraft in its earlier life:

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Photo © Europix
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Photo © Daniel Raistrick



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Photo © Gary C. Orlando



We entered the rather new-looking terminal of Liverpool John Lennon airport...


...and proceeded to the check-in counter for the flight to IOM:




At the counter (as well as everywhere else) it only said "Emerald Airways", never "flyjem", so I guess flyjem.com is really only their internet address - not like other lowcost who make their internet address to their name. Of course we had only carry-on, so check-in was quick, we got manual boarding passes with sequence numbers 006 and 007 and no assigned seats - it's free seating on Emerald. I asked the SevisairGlobeGround agent how many passengers there were booked on this flight, but she refused to tell me, for security reasons. Well, later I found out myself that all 64 seats of the ATP were taken, not a single seat remained empty. Quite impressive for a late-morning flight.

So we spent some time at the cafeteria from where you can see most of the airport. But traffic wasn't much, two Easyjet B737-300s, one Ryanair B737-800, an Air Wales ATR42 and a VLM F50, plus one parked Flyjem ATP and a parked Atlantic Airlines Lockheed Electra(!).

The screens showed the inbound aircraft from IOM delayed by 30 minutes, so me knew our flight wouldn't leave on time. Still we went through security soon, they took photos of every passenger at the security control and stickered barcodes onto the boarding passes, I still don't know what these photos are good for. The boarding gate became crowded soon, no information about a delay, but as soon as we saw G-JEMA landing from IOM, the gate agent already made her boarding announcement. Between ramp and tarmac, there is a corridor and a stairway, so in a Ryanairesque way we were sent into this corridor where we had to wait another 15 minutes for boarding. "Stand on the left please" we were told, because boarding staff had to use this corridor as well... Finally the door at the end of this dark corridor was opened and we could board our aircraft to the Isle of Man:





It's free seating, so Christoph and I decided to take the window seats in the last row, 17A and 17D. The cabin filled up, soon everybody had found a seat, so boarding was quite quick although every seat of this aircraft was taken. Although one could see the age of the cabin, it was still in excellent condition. The captain made a welcome announcement and apologized for the little delay. He also introduced himself and his first officer by their last names, and the two flight attendants by their first names.

The cabin crew, during boarding dressed in green jackets, did their safety demonstration. Soon we were pushed back and started our short way towards runway 27...



...and took off:









Only a few seconds after take-off, the cabin crew already started their drink sale. I didn't order anything on this flight and won't go into detail here, because I ordered something on the return flight, so that's where I'll write about it.

Unfortunately, the weather was not so good, clouds above and below us, so I couldn't take any good photos, anyway here are some:





After 30 minutes of flying above, below and through the clouds, we approached IOM's runway 26, which means we were approaching over water:







As we were taxiing to our stand, we passed some nice aircraft, for example the two Do328s which were delivered to Euromanx only the day before:







Sitting in the last row, we were the last to de-board the aircraft, so I got the chance for a cabin shot:



The captain was so kind to let me even take a photo of the cockpit:


We entered the small arrival hall and then left the terminal soon to see what else there was parked at IOM, e.g. an Emerald HS748:



Here's a photo of the terminal building:


It was raining, so we decided to take a meal inside at the restaurant. Here we also met our crew again, just like G-JEMA, they were also waiting to fly back to LPL three hours later.

Though there is not much difference between the UK and the Isle of Man, there are some small details: They have own GBP coins and notes (which are not being accepted in the UK as far as I know, so you have to be careful not to get too much change...), and the internet addresses end with .co.im instead of .co.uk ...

IOM-LPL
02 June 2005
JEM307
STD: 13:45 ATD: 13:45/13:50
STA: 14:20 ATA: 14:18/14:20
BAe ATP
Number of passengers: about 50 (including three unaccompanied minors)
G-JEMA

We went to the check-in and got our boarding passes with Emerald logo:


Then we went through security and waited for boarding to start. This time we were bussed to the aircraft, yes I know it doesn't make much of a difference if you stand in the bus or if you stand in a corridor and wait, still it's a different atmosphere. About 50 passengers were on this flight, and of course it was the same crew as on out LPL-IOM flight three hours earlier. We took seats 5D and 6D this time, in order to get the feeling of sitting next to the engine. Still it wasn't as loud as expected, and it's nice for taking photos of the spinning propellers.

We taxied towards runway 26 on which we made a 180° turn:


We took off, on this photo the gear is just coming up:



Cabin crew started their inflight sale of drinks, and I have to say that prices were very reasonable, much cheaper than on Ryanair or other low-cost airlines. I had a "Slimline Tonic" for 50p and took a photo of the pricelist:

Not sure if you can read it as I had to downsize the photos a bit, so basically all softdrinks were 50p, beer for 2.00GBP and all spirits for 3.00GBP.

Routing was exactly the same, also the weather wasn't the best, flying in 9.000ft there were clouds all around us. At least on approach to Liverpool the view improved a bit:





















On this photo you can see the airport:








We taxied to our parking position, de-boarded and were bussed to the arrival hall. The end of a great trip on a great aircraft and a great airline. Though the ATP certainly isn't state-of-the-art when it comes to passenger comfort for longer flights, it's a great aircraft for short flights like this one. The cabin in the rear is really quiet, and even next to the engine it's not as loud as expected. The crew was very friendly, the flights were cheap when booked well in advance, we paid 19GBP one-way including all taxes - but even if you book a few days before, you still won't have to pay outrageous fares. So take your chance and fly the ATP as long as it's still possible, and flyjem is certainly a good choice, I enjoyed this airline very much.

Thanks for reading this report, I hope you enjoyed it, feel free to reply. Thanks in advance, Alex.

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 13556 times:

Really good report and some great pictures, not often we see anything about the Isle of Man. I've only once been to the IOM - I remember getting interrogated by a police officer on arrival at Ronaldsway about why I was coming to the Island, sort of put me off going there again! I assume you had no such trouble on your trip.

User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2595 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 13539 times:

Excellent - nice to see a rare report on the BAe ATP, and Emerald Airways.

It was also interesting to see Air Atlantique's G-DRFC parked at IOM, minus it's 'bmi regional' titles after returning from it's lease for the short-lived BD LBA-LCY flights.

Well done on a nice report (& great pics too).

Ian.


User currently offlineSunCEO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 359 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 13490 times:

Excellent report! I travelled on a BRAL ATP to the Isle of Man a few years back so it brought back a few memories!!!

BRgds,
SunCEO


User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2035 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 13395 times:

Great report on a not-too-often covered route. Looks like you had pretty typical British weather for both segments. Nice pictures and commentary, though - keep up the good work!

User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 13304 times:

Lovely report, thanks for sharing,

Sam Smile



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1547 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 13260 times:

Interest report.

Reminds me of when I flew to Kangaroo Island for the day because the flights were so cheap.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 13227 times:

Great report and pics - not sure if IOM coins are legal tender on the mainland, I keep using them with no problem!


No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineTrident2e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 13215 times:

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 7):
not sure if IOM coins are legal tender on the mainland,

They're only legal tender on the IOM, but there shouldn't really be any problems using them because UK banks will always change them, just as they will with Jersey, Guernsey, Scotland and Northern Ireland currency.


User currently offlineCapital146 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2003, 2125 posts, RR: 43
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13178 times:

An excellent report and loved all the pics.

I've never been on the ATP and with very few left in passenger service this looks like a really good chance to sample it before it's too late.

Given the excellent fares offered by Emerald to the Isle of Man, a few of us may have to pay Skidmarks a surprise visit!



Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 13076 times:

Hi Alex,

thanks for writing down our experiences of this trip! I aslo enjoyed the two flights and the short stay on the Isle of Man very much. My last visit to IOM was back in 2000 and since that time, a lot has changed at the airport: In 2000, I still came in on Manx Airlines, which has completely disappeared by now (or better said was integrated in BA Citiexpress). Traffic on the Isle was dominated by Manx Airlines, BA and FlyBE. Those were the days... Today there is Euromanx, Eastern Airways and Emerald to LPL.

Quoting Trident2e (Reply 1):
I've only once been to the IOM - I remember getting interrogated by a police officer on arrival at Ronaldsway about why I was coming to the Island, sort of put me off going there again! I assume you had no such trouble on your trip.

No, we didn't have such trouble. Is there really something like an immigration control at IOM? I know that the Isle of Man is somehow independen, but I thought they were still linked very closely to the UK.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 13041 times:

Hi Alex!
Thank you for a highly enjoyable trip report about a little-known airline and aircraft type! Such a pity that Emerald only operates the ATP on pax services so far, and that the "Budgie" is only operated on freight flights nowadays.

Anyway, how would you rate the passenger comfort of the "Advanced Turboprop"? I seem to remember that I read a few years ago about the reasons why the ATP wasn't successful, one of them being lots of noise and vibration in the cabin.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineGodBless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 12944 times:

Great report! Just too bad I'm not so much an UK-fan as there really still are quite a few chances to fly special a/c besides the well-known FR 737's or U2 A319's... Well maybe I should just plan another trip "over there" once again.

Max


User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 12900 times:

@Alex (or others)
You seem to have quite a good knowledge about some of the more exotic airlines and routes in the UK. What would be some other interesting day-trips? Although my focus this year lies on intra-Spanish flying (coming up are BCN-BIO-BCN with IB A321 and JK 717 as well as AGP-BIO-AGP with Air Nostrum in "Regional Business Class"), your trip report got me interested in trying out some of the possiblities in the UK.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12863 times:

Thanks for your replies so far!

Quoting Trident2e (Reply 1):
I've only once been to the IOM - I remember getting interrogated by a police officer on arrival at Ronaldsway about why I was coming to the Island, sort of put me off going there again!

As already mentioned by Christoph, we didn't have any "immigration" control at all, it was just like arriving on a domestic flight - and in a way, UK to the Isle of Man is sort of a domestic flight. Interesting to read that they interrogated you like as if you were entering the US...

Quoting UK_Dispatcher (Reply 2):
It was also interesting to see Air Atlantique's G-DRFC parked at IOM, minus it's 'bmi regional' titles after returning from it's lease for the short-lived BD LBA-LCY flights.

I was also very surprised to see G-DRFC at IOM, and I only found out that it's no longer flying for bmi when I came home and checked my pics - while taking the photo, I didn't even realize the bmi titles were missing.

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 11):
Such a pity that Emerald only operates the ATP on pax services so far, and that the "Budgie" is only operated on freight flights nowadays.

Yes it's a bit too late for flying the HS748 - until a few years ago, I think Emerald operated HS748s in passenger configuration, but I don't think these were ever used on scheduled flights, just for charters.
Regarding exotic airline / aircraft combinations in the UK, hmmm... Aurigny's Islanders and Shorts 360 flights are certainly interesting - and I haven't been to the Channel Islands yet, a place I'd definitely like to visit. Eastern Airways operate a mix of J31s and J41s on their whole UK network, there is a variety of routes, but I think they're mostly rather expensive. And there is of course still the Isles of Scilly Skybus, with Islanders and Twin Otters flying to St. Mary's, they're even flying from Exeter, but I guess your stay in Exeter will probably be too short for an advanture like this. Anyway, just for info: http://www.skybus.co.uk/  Wink

Once again thanks to everybody for your replies! Regards, Alex.


User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12855 times:

From BLK you can fly a Shorts 360 to IOM with FlyKeen - sometimes an EMB-110, or a Piper Navajo also to IOM with British North Western Airlines!


No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 12816 times:

@Alex, Martin
Thank you very much for some interesting ideas. It seems like there are quite a few (at least from my point of view) interesting aircraft types available on UK routes one will be hard pressed to find on the mainland.



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12780 times:

Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 13):
What would be some other interesting day-trips?

Besides the already mentioned airlines, the UK also offers a nice variety of "semi-low-cost airlines". For example, there is FlyBE with their large number of Dash 8-400, a type that is very rare on the Continent. They have a huge network all over the UK.
There are also smaller airlines like Air Wales, serving regional routes (not only in Wales) with their ATR-fleet. VLM also has some intra-UK routes with Fokker 50. Day-trips should be possible on all these airlines.

BA and BMI have also changed their fare concept - there are some quite interesting domestic offers which are also available for day-trips.


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5167 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12747 times:

Hi Alex,
interesting report. Well done and nice pictures.
Hmm, I think its time to buy a Digi-Cam.
Thanx for posting
and best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
PS:Dont forget AirSouthwest and the possible heli flights in Cornwall.



Next: Capital travel on schedule!.
User currently offlineTriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4695 posts, RR: 42
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 12710 times:

@Christoph
Thank you for that information.  Smile I have already booked a flyBE flight for this summer (CDG-EXT-CDG), although this service will be operated by a BAe-146. Well, still it is a new airline for me. Anyway, Now I have finally some ideas of how to use the various day return options, AB and other LCC's are offering from Northrhine-Westphalia to STN, LGW or LTN. I have been to London a few times, and spending outrageous ammounts of cash for ground transportation between the London airports and the city just doesn't cut it for me, because frankly London is not my "cup of tea" (pardon the pun).



Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
User currently offlineSincil From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12671 times:

Great report!
After this, and Bmi's report, and since I live close to LPL I decided that I would book a flight on the ATP for August. So I went to the website and saw:

Euromanx & Emerald Airways Joint Press Release


So from that it looks like Euromanx will probably lease one ATP from Emerald. I'm going to wait a little and see what happens until I book.


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 12633 times:

Quoting Sincil (Reply 20):
So from that it looks like Euromanx will probably lease one ATP from Emerald.

Very interesting news, thanks for posting this information!

Let's hope that this cooperation of Emerald Airways and EuroManx on this route won't lead to significantly higher fares. Something that makes me a bit unsure about that is the fact that EuroManx will be the leading company in this deal (booking will be through EuroManx in the future according to this press release) while Emerald only provides the aircraft and staff. Up to now, the fares of EuroManx are much higher than those of Emerald whose fares were LCC-like until today. But let's wait and see what will happen...

Anyway, I wish you a nice trip to the Isle of Man, Sincil!

Christoph


User currently offlineSincil From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 12665 times:

Let's hope that this cooperation of Emerald Airways and EuroManx on this route won't lead to significantly higher fares. Something that makes me a bit unsure about that is the fact that EuroManx will be the leading company in this deal (booking will be through EuroManx in the future according to this press release) while Emerald only provides the aircraft and staff. Up to now, the fares of EuroManx are much higher than those of Emerald whose fares were LCC-like until today.

Yes, I had a look at Euromanx's web site and I punched in a few dates in August and October. The fare, no matter what date I tried was GBP119 return. Erm... no thanks.

But let's wait and see what will happen...

Yes, hopefully the prices will soon drop to Emeralds (and my kind of) pricing.


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