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Flying XLA Gatwick - Larnaca (Pics)  
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3829 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5021 times:

Sometime in August... Can't remember the exact dates!

XLA5146
LGW-LCA
Boeing 767-200 G-BNYS

Woke up to find the weather playing games... It wasn't going to be the best weather for flying! Then off to Gatwick, where I was particularly impressed with the spacious and modern look of the South Terminal!

Once past security, it was straight off to the Metro Bar (think that's the name) for a breakfast baguette and a look over the apron...


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Since the SkyView closed, such views of the planes were made very difficult, so I'd definitely recommend the Metro Bar (?) for a quick drink and a peek!

You can clearly see that the weather was playing games that day!


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It was a very busy charter and low-cost morning.

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Perhaps one of the highlights was seeing an Azerbaijan Airlines 757 arriving from Baku!


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Isn't it a bit confusing having "Azerbaijan", "AHY" and "AZAL" titles on the same aircraft?

Anyway it was then off to the gate, with a 30 min delay. In front of us stood b767-200 G-BNYS... It was an interesting thought that we were to travel on a plane I'd seen a few years ago in storage at Manston (Kent Intl).


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We were called for boarding... somehow, no matter where on the aircraft I'm sitting, I'm in the last section of row numbers for boarding! Never mind... it was a window seat and nobody was taking that away from me!

We did pass many interesting aircraft, but as you can see (below) the rain didn't make for great photography conditions!

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However, once we took off I was presented with some wonderful overviews of LGW...

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^^^ Now there's some low clouds! By the time we'd passed the end of the runway we could see... CLOUDS.

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The IFE films weren't really to my taste and the audio channels were really really crackly... so out of the bag came the iPod...

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Somewhere over continental Europe, the weather smoothed out...

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... and along came the FOOD! I think we got our food included in the price of the flight, because we had booked before XLA did away with the whole free food thing...


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Even on the scale of airline meals it was TINY! Note the size of the tray compared to the tray table... and that's on a really narrow seat (more about that later...). The quality itself was actually very good, especially the dessert, which was a raspberry and white chocolate cakey thing

Our route took us over the Turkish coast

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Time for a quick note about the interior of the plane... It DID clearly show its age! (maybe that is in part to the 767s angular "StarTours" interior), but it was also clear that the seats were old, and random wires were hanging out of the armrests (presumably something to do with the IFE controls).

The seats themselves were quite comfortable, and the legroom was okay, but the width was rediculous! 2-4-2 in a 767 is really not a pleasant experience!

Before too long the seatbelt lights came on, and we made our approach over Larnaca's beaches...


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^^^On our taxi, we passed some sort of flying school, with some very dilapidated-looking planes!


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^^^ A rather sad sight, which showed the (then) Helios airways fleet just weeks before the dreadful accident near Athens


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^^^ Being close to the front of the plane gave the chance to see the marshaller at work!


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Here come the steps!

Larnaca airport has no airbridges, so all passengers are bussed to the relatively small terminal building. Whilst leaving the plane (in the wonderful Cypriot heat) I managed to get a few interesting shots of BNYS...


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Goodbye Excel, see you in two weeks time!

Stay tuned for part TWO, containing the flight home (XLA5147)...

... and to see photos of some spotting from larnaca, visit:

http://www.myaviation.net/search/sea...=&engine_version=&nr_pages=3&page=

Vasu.

[Edited 2005-09-16 19:38:19]

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAtco2b From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 1114 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4821 times:

Nice report!
Heard some good things about XLA  Smile

Flew on G-BNYS IBZ-LGW when she was with BY  Wink


Thanks for sharing



Hey, you want to go out for pizza and some sex? What, you don't like pizza?
User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4104 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4706 times:

Hey,

Cheers for sharing the report of your flight. I have just flown longhaul with XLA and found them to be good enough, though I understand what you are saying about narrow seats! Odd that you got exactly the same meal as I did out, cheap or what Wink!

You should head for the spectators area within the SOUTH departure lounge, my first place to go whenever I pass through,

Happy flying,

Sam Smile



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7073 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4419 times:

Nice report mate. Love the picturtes  Smile

User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3829 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4311 times:

Quoting A340600 (Reply 2):
Odd that you got exactly the same meal as I did

haha! I'm glad I'm not a frequent XLA flier...

Quoting A340600 (Reply 2):
You should head for the spectators area within the SOUTH departure lounge, my first place to go whenever I pass through

Where's that? Usually I go outside to the end of the runway before checking in... but as the pics show, all I could see was sky! (and it was tipping down with rain  Sad)


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8426 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4294 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report.

I flew Excel about 3-4 years ago from LGW to MAH and back, they were great back then, nice new clean planes, food inc in the ticket price, I was really impressed.

Oh how times have changed, now using ancient 752 & 762 aircraft in addition to the 738 fleet, such a shame they damaged the quality product.

Look forward to the return.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4104 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 4162 times:

Quoting Vasu (Reply 4):
Where's that?

The signs tell you, it's next to the sportsbar, up the stairs towards the exectuive lounges,

Sam Smile



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3829 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 4164 times:

Quoting A340600 (Reply 6):
The signs tell you, it's next to the sportsbar, up the stairs towards the exectuive lounges,

The SkyView? I thought that closed down a couple of years ago...


User currently offlineRossbaku From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 673 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

The AZAL plane that you photographed....I flew on this aircraft on July 22nd 2005 from LGW to GYD and on August 5th from GYD to LGW!

RossBaku  Silly

PS If you think that 4K-AZ43 is a gem; you'd love GYD!


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