Cricket From India, joined Aug 2005, 2960 posts, RR: 7 Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5563 times:
I had to get back to Delhi for a while on some work and for a friends wedding, while I thought about experimenting with Kingfisher, I eventually decided against it because I wanted to pad up my miles since office was paying for the tickets anyway. Because I wanted to finish a full day's work at Bombay before I left on the 10th (of Jan) I decided to catch the 2000 flight, which turned out to be 9W-361.
I got to Bombay's redone Terminal 1-B departures area, which despite looking swankier is awfully confusing because it took me twenty minutes to find the book stall, now hidden somewhere far away. The check-in procedure was easy, I had a suitcase to check-in and the large number of counters made things easy, but like terminal 1-A is Indian Airlines+some others, this terminal might as well be called Jet Airways+some others. I got a window seat on the wing - 20F.
The flight was delayed some 20 minutes as the incoming flight from Delhi hadn't come in. the lack of jetbridges at Bombay is a matter of shame, but luckily this plane wasn't parked halfway across the airport, as 9W does have some of the better parking bays in that airport. When I got out to the plane I realised I was rather lucky, since I was on one of 9W's two 737-95R's. Jet Airways, along with Alaska and Korean Air (sub-leased to OK Air of China) is one of the only operators of Boeing's longest 737. And it is long for a 737. The aircraft was VT-JGC.
The rest of the domestic apron, on the private airlines side was rather sparse. A Blue Go Air A320 was the only thing that caught my eye, other than that it was the standard line of 737's from Jet and Sahara plus a couple of Air Deccan and Jet ATR72's. While taxi-ing out to the hold point on runway 27 we crossed the international apron (but not before we saw the sad 737-400 VT-SID still lying in the mud next to the hull of the derelict NEPC 737-200), and there were some nice planes over there - starting out with one of Jet's A340-300's, I also saw an El Al 767-200, an Ethiopian 757, two AI 744's, a AI 743 and lots of AI's "tubby's" (A313), I caught of the 772's as well. I noticed that a CX 773 was pulling into the international terminal as well.
Then powering up the CFM7B-26's the plane pulled up into the skies - below me I could make out the lights of Juhu beach and the fancy apartments of Versova as we turned north. Dinner was served onboard and they had bhindi curry of all the things. Sigh!
The landing in Delhi was again rather uneventful, sitting almost over the wheels meant that the thud on making contact with runway 10-28 was felt, but it wasn't as dramatic as some landings in India tend to be (hard and fast). As we pulled off the active runway and onto runway 9-27 to make the long taxi back to the domestic apron at DEL. I saw the twice-weekly MU A343 take off. Upon getting off the plane, it was freezing, I had forgotten how cold it can get in Delhi. The Delhi domestic apron was full of IC A320's, a couple of Sahara 737's, a Deccan A320, a Kingfisher A320 as well as a Paramount E-170, which was definately a highlight, even in the smber sodium light, its bright blue livery shone out. The luggage took half an hour to arrive, but it was a decent flight on the whole.
I had to stay on in Delhi longer than expected, so I eventually returned on 29/01. I held an open ticket, so ticketing was no problem, but I couldn't get seats on the flight I wanted 9W-334, instead got seats on the (slightly) later 9W-362. Delhi's Terminal 1B is a mess. Check-in took forever, on the side I saw passengers of 9W's Delhi-Bhopal-Indore complaining because their flight was five hours late (an ATR had gone tech). The terminal is a nightmare.
I have some pics I took with my phone of the flight and DEL over on my Flickr photoset at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebigk/
Watching our team capitulate to the pace of Shoaib Akhtar on the one TV that was not playing Star News in the Security Hold made things even more depressing. Anyway, this time, the flight was delayed because of some connecting passengers, so instead of our scheduled 1725 departure, we were told that the plane would only leave at 1740. Boarding eventually began at 1710 and getting to the plane (and there were very few planes on the tarmac, most of the evening rush traffic having already left) what do I see, it was VT-JGC again.
I had a Foxtrot seat again, this time on row 27, 9W numbers the 737-900 upto row 32, but unlike the fuller flight from Bombay, this plane had a few empty seats, thankfully the one next to mine was one of them. We sat in the plane till 1800 hours when we eventually took off on runway 28, after two company 737-700's landed ahead of us. I noticed that all the seat-back pockets were filled with the latest issue of India Today where Naresh Goyal (owner of 9W) had been featured on the cover.
This time there was no dinner, but some nice Chicken tikkas for snacks, and other than some turbulence over Gujarat, it was as uneventful as the flight into Delhi. Landing however was another issue, there must have been a crosswind because the aircraft was shuffling and shaking as it swooped down over the slums of Kurla coming in to land. The landing was definately hard.
I could barely see much out the window, but I did notice a Qantas A333 taxi-ing to the international apron, it looks like we won't be seeing the 743 from QF in BOM no more.
It took some time to pull off the runway as a Kingfisher A320 was pulling out of terminal 1A. We pulled up to our stand next to a company 737-400 VT-JAR. Since the priavte airlines arrival hall is being redone, we were bussed to Terminal 1A and I noticed that an IC A300 (along with many A320's) was attached to one of the jet-bridges. They still fly those on domestic?
Cricket From India, joined Aug 2005, 2960 posts, RR: 7 Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4907 times:
Quoting LH459 (Reply 4): Very nice report, and the link to your phone pics was a nice touch as well.
Quoting Himmat01 (Reply 5): There is one flight on MAA-BOM-MAA sector operated by A300.
Why don't they stop it already, I remember a few years ago, I had flown DEL-HYD on the evening IC flight and it was the A300, and my god it was a mess, the carpet was peeling off, the seats didn't work too well and when we landed somne of the overhead bins opened up dropping luggage onto the aisles (thankfully not on anyones head).
Do they still use the plane on the MAA-SIN service?
TKMCE From India, joined May 2002, 841 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4874 times:
Quoting Himmat01 (Reply 5): Quoting Cricket (Thread starter):
an IC A300 (along with many A320's) was attached to one of the jet-bridges. They still fly those on domestic?
There is one flight on MAA-BOM-MAA sector operated by A300.
Corect. The same operates the early morning 0055 Dep to SIN from MAA and back. (IC has a second afternoon flight operated by an A320 to SIN).
The aircraft operates MAA SIN SIN and then operates the evening 1730 Dep to BOM and the late night departure back to MAA. Earlier the aurcraft also used to fly MAA CMB MAA after its return from SIN, but nowwith Jet and Sahara operating on the route, the CMB route is by an A320.
The only other A300 of IC operates on the BOM GOI CCJ SHJ route (3 days) and on the other 4 BOM CCJ COK SHJ route departing BOM around 1600hrs.
FlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 3 Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4842 times:
Nice trip report!
Quoting Cricket (Thread starter): I could barely see much out the window, but I did notice a Qantas A333 taxi-ing to the international apron, it looks like we won't be seeing the 743 from QF in BOM no more.
So has QF stopped using the 743 on the SYD-BOM route? How are QF's 743s now being utalised?
Karan69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2843 posts, RR: 19 Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4409 times:
Quoting Comorin (Reply 10): BTW, I heard (thru 9W cabin crew) that flights to London are going at 20% capacity, so it's the airline to fly if you want to catch a few zzz's in the middle row!
Its more on the 65% side, My aunt just flew them on the 8th of Feb, altough the check in lady told her that there were about 70 seats left---so it would be comfortable---but my aunt told me before take off her cabin was already full [She was seated on row 72--so at the back of the aircraft].
I asked her about the service--she did say that they are the best in Economy she has flown and a welcome change after the LCC [Easyjet/Ryanair].