Now this year it was time to say goodbye to the Saab 2000. I asked if there would be any celebrations for the Saab 2000, but I was told no. Just ten days before the end, I got an eMail saying that there would be a farewell event at BSL, with Saab 2000 flights, a Saab 2000 at "static display" with crews and mechanics explaning everything, and in the evening a party. Of course I booked myself on one of the four flights, LX7522 / 29 October BSL-BSL, and Christoph / ContactAir had booked as well - but we got a phone call that this flight wouldn't take place, probably due to lack of demand. So we were re-booked to LX7511, departing at 14:30.
Sorry for not including any pics for the moment, I had lent out my digital camera over the weekend so I only made old-schoolish paper pics. Before I start scanning those in, I guess I wait until other pics of the event will be online on the staff's webseite http://www.saab2000.com then if I have different pics I'll scan those in for you.
STR-BSL by car, took us four hours due to traffic jam - I remember the time when Crossair operated both STR-BSL and STR-GVA with Saab 2000, those were the days... Anyway we arrived at 13:00, check-in on the swiss part of EuroAirport, paid at the check-in (90 Francs or 60 Euros), got our boarding passes and were invited to visit the lounge. So we did, according to their website it's Europe's biggest business lounge, and inside the lounge we were asked to go upstairs where the Saab 2000 crews had arranged food and drinks, not the standard meals but stuff like home-made cakes, muffins etc which created a familiar atmosphere, a very nice touch. So with food and drinks we enjoyed this comfortable lounge with a nice view outside, then we met fellow a.netter airsicknessbag who would also be on the first of the farewell flights.
At 14:00 we made our way to the gate. There were 32 passengers on this flight. A special welcome announcement by the staff who also organized those flights, then we walked the 20 meters to our aircraft, which was HB-IYF.
Another welcome announcement by the crew, safety briefing and then the engines were started. Once again I was impressed how quiet the Saab 2000 is! During start-up, take-off and flight it never was really loud, very comfoartable and quiet plane it is, sad to see her leave the fleet!
We taxied along the terminal, then turned left and passed Jet Aviation (some nice stuff parked there!) and the Swiss hangars where the celebration would take place later in the afternoon. Then we took off into western direction. During the whole flight, one of the pilots announced all sight we could see outside and informed us about the routing, which was BSL, to the west, then a 180° to the right passing over the city of Mulhouse, then the river Rhine, Germany with the blackforest, Feldberg ("Field Mountain"), and then another long 180° back to BSL.
The weather was nice, not to say perfect, so it was a really nice flight. The flight attendant passed through the cabin, to distribute Swiss chocolates but mostly to chat with us passengers. We landed back at BSL. In front of the aircraft the whole crew said goodbye, again we were allowed to walk around the aircraft and take pics, talk to the crews, walking around the aircraft in T-Shirts chatting in the warm late-October sun, nice. The we walked to the arrival, left BSL on the swiss part of the terminal and walked to the hangar where some more celebration would take place.
Inside the hangar, there was ex F-GOZI of Crossair Europe (in full Swiss colours) parked, with all doors opened, including open engine covers, APU, nose, and of course open doors so everybody was allowed to have a look inside, the pilots and mechanics explained the aircraft, you could sit on the wing and let them take a picture, this all in the warm afternoon sun - hangar doors were open and the hangar is facing to the south. A nice afternoon, with lots of famous people walking around, e.g. Moritz Suter walking through the hangar and chatting to the staff just like everybody else did, he still has a high reputation among the staff.
Then by 18:00 it started to become sad. The last Saab 2000 farewell flight made a low fly-by in front of the hangar, then landed and taxied to the hangar, water salute, parking face-to-face with a Darwin Saab 2000 which was also flown here just for the celebrations of this day. Passengers and crew disembarked and were welcomed by the croud. I'm sure especially this part of the day was covered with pics quite well by other photographers and of course by the Concordino team, looking forward to see their pics. Then there were speaches held by the Swiss COO, the Darwin CEO, a representative of BSL and one of Saab. Then we were invited to the final part of the celebrations, a party downstairs in the Swiss headquarters with wining and dining, with all Concordino staff and everybody else who wanted to say goodbye to the staff and thank them for their outstanding work they have done throughout the years. I always enjoyed flying on Swiss' regional fleet, and the Saab 2000 was always something special for me, good luck to all of the staff!
With a long way home in front of us, we left soon and drove home back to STR. I wish to say thank you to the staff for organizing this farewell event which I really enjoyed. It was a bit sad of course but still it was a nice way of saying a last goodbye.
Hope you enjoyed my little report, and I also hope for pics of this great event to be online soon (maybe some a.net photographers were around, too? I don't know), otherwise I'll be starting to scan my pics. So long, thanks for reading and looking forward to reading your feedback.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5111 times:
This must have been one very sad, emotional event - thank you for covering it here. I would have loved to join you guys on this flight, but if it is already hard to get to BSL from STR, it takes even more time from where I am living - and unfortunately I don't have staff travel perks liek certain other people. so a daytrip DUS-BSL-DUS was out of the question. If U2 would have moved their lazy rear ends in time and introduced a flight between their bases in DTM and BSL, I would certainly have come along.
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
Patroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 14 Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4903 times:
Thanks for the nice report. My wife and I flew on LX7533 at 1630, onboard HB-IYF as well (Seats 8D/F). A pity that I didn't know that you're in BSL as well, we stayed at the party until 2200h before returning back to Trier (330km, 3 hours), so we could have met. Probably walked past each other a couple of times
Thanks for the link to my flightforum.ch report above, saves me the time to post the pics here . The text is German only but I guess the photos speak for themselves...
Well, it was really a nice event, very well organised considering the rather short lead time available. The two Saab 2000s face to face and the water cannon salute for HB-IZJ were really unforgettable sights. Therefore let me join you thanking those who organised this wonderful event!
The Swiss Saab 2000 is gone, but it left in style...
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2897 posts, RR: 24 Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4512 times:
Thanks to everybody for your replies so far! It was indeed quite an event, at least the Saab left in style.
@Patroni: Wow, you've been there too? I didn't know - neither did I know that the flightforum report was written by you. Great pics I have to say, very well done! And I agree that the event was organized very professional, especially if you keep in mind that it was mostly organized by the crews.
The Crossair/Swiss Saab 2000 has a special place in my heart not only because I always enjoyed flying on it, but also because those were the aircraft we used to handle every day when I started as a ramp agent in 1999, incredible how things have changed... I will miss the Crossair/Swiss Saab 2000, that's for sure.