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Posts: 875
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 6:25 am

South Asian Airlines Trip Reports...

Sat Feb 23, 2002 3:19 am

these seem to be the most interesting and most eventful.
have any other people got any freightening tales to tell from their experiences on these carriers, or any others?
emergency landings, engine failure, aborted takeoffs? e.t.c. or really poor service, rude FA's?
looking forward to hearing from you  Big thumbs up
i would say the airline which is the most adventurous in south asia is biman, especially from the trip report from sq_ek_freak! fab trip report btw!!!
Saint Augustine- 'The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only 1 page'
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 11:50 pm

RE: South Asian Airlines Trip Reports...

Sat Feb 23, 2002 12:34 pm

Ive posted a trip report on an Air India 747-400 JFK-LHR-Jfk back in October. Uneventful flight; good service.

I was also in India in December of 2000, when I flew on the following types:

Alliance Air (Indian Airlines low cost subsidiary) 737-200 ( 2 flights): Old plane, one class cabin, dated interiors. However, the cabin crew were young, attractive, friendly, pleasant, and wore beautiful blue silk sarees. The flight was Bombay-Udaipur and Jodhpur-Jaipur.

Jet Airways: Brand new 737NGs. Modern fleet, excellent food and service; young, friendly, perky cabin crew. Definitely the Singapore Airlines of South Asia. Delhi- bombay and Bombay-Goa.

Indian Airlines: A300B2 - new interiors, good leg room. Full meal service on a short (1.5 hour) flight from Bombay to Bangalore. Uneventful flight.

I suspect the old days of air travel in India when Indian Airlines reigned supreme with no competition and provided wretched service are a relic of the past. Indian airports tend to vary though. Bombay International - at least the terminal that services most North american carriers is awful and looks like a relic from Castro's Cuba - or worse. Delhi Domestic is chaotic and a security nightmare (8 checkpoints before you board); smaller airports like Udaipur and Jaipur tend to have their own charm, although the presence of heavily armed military and security personnel is a bit disarming. Goa was laid back to the point of being nerve wracking. Delhi International is modern and clean - the closest you will come to a first world airport in India, but dull.

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RE: South Asian Airlines Trip Reports...

Sat Feb 23, 2002 9:21 pm

Alliance Air (CD): 6 flights to date. 2xCOK-BLR, and the rest during my North East trip.
As Jaysit said, old 737-200's, but pretty ok maintained. Interiors are mostly quite dirty though.
Food service is A-1. The FA's are quite young i must say, A little too young! Most of them seem to be on a summer job during their school holidays! Methinks, they should be given school girl frocks instead of those 7-yard saris. They can barely hold on to their saris!

Alliance pilots must have been fighter pilots before, because they fly their planes quite like that! Pretty, ahem, interesting!

Indian Airlines (IC): Over 30 flights to date, mostly in the PNQ-BLR-BOM triangle, with the occasional trip to AMD,DEL, COK and CCU. All except once in Coach. All my flights with them, except one which was delayed by 6 hours, were on time.

I have heard plenty of horror stories about IC, but i have myself never had a nasty experience (touch-wood) as such barring some delayed flights. The A320s are the best maintained and offer the best ride. Nice and quiet.

Food service is excellent, and most of the FA's are quite decent, though you wont exactly find Ms.World's onboard. On the A300's especially, you can expect to find a few FA's who are well into their 50's, so expect some *motherly* treatment!

The A300B2's are quite old, but they seemed more comfortable than the A320's. I think they have more legroom (34"?) than the A320's(@32") in economy, and the seats feel different too. Perhaps IC should fit the A320s as well with similar seats?

Jaysit, have the 300's got new interiors? Havent flown in them for over 2 years now! Could you give some details about the new interiors? Hope they have got rid of that god-awful blue-ish upholstery!

Also took a flight to Agatti(Lakshadweep Islands) and back, from COK on a Dornier-228, the smallest aircraft in IC's fleet. Positively frightening, and not an experience to be repeated! But on these tourist routes, there is little choice (except an overnight boat ride!). IC also operates a couple of Dorniers to Hillstations like Simla, Kulu and Dehradun ex-DEL.

Jet Airways (9W) : My first flight as an adult was with 9W, on a brand new 737-400. Have taken around 5 flights with them till date, all on 737's. Definitely one of the better airlines in this part of the world, though i think they are slightly over-rated. Food service is ok, and the FA's are definitely better looking than the *aunties* on IC.

Their -400's seemed more tightly packed than on IC, though the newer 737-700's seem more spacious. The newer -700's are definitely far better than the older -400's. I am looking forward to taking a flight on their -800's soon.

9W is the only airline I have seen that has actually misplaced baggage (my colleagues thankfully, not mine!). Mebbe it was just bad luck, but 4 out of the 5 flights i have taken with them have been delayed by atleast 30 minutes.

Other Honurable mentions:
Gujarat Airways (1xAMD-PNQ) : B1900D turboprop. Interesting. They actually have an FA onboard!

Span Maharashtra (1x Pune-Indore-Pune): This airline was owned by the Maharashtra State Govt. It was operating a fleet of 5/6 King Air B200B's with just 7 seats on routes out of Pune. Their planes had a wierd Container attached to the belly of the aircraft to carry cargo/baggage. The flights were quite comfortable though! The best part was that Span had direct flights to destinations like Indore, AMD and HYD from Pune, eliminating the need to connect from Mumbai. Too bad they shut down!

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RE: South Asian Airlines Trip Reports...

Wed Feb 27, 2002 2:16 am

I have recently flown the following airlines in Bangladesh this December:

Biman Bangladesh Airlines :

Operated by Fokker-28's, the flight was right on time, reached both destinations prior to the scheduled time, and journeys were very smooth as well.
Check-in was the most relaxed and quickest I have ever seen (took me no longer than a minute!) and they had five counters for just twenty passengers!!
Apart from that, the in flight service was ok; the flight attendants were quite courteous, and tried their best to make the passengers comfortable, although it was only a 25 minute flight. Snack service was provided, which consisted of freshly baked plain cakes, salted biscuits and a choice of cokes, juices and mineral waters. Luggage arrived in the belt within 10 minutes of arrival.

GMG Airlines (Privately operated airlines):

Operated on Dash Bombardiers, the flights were right on time, service was impeccable and on-time. Although the aircrafts are smaller than the ones operated by Biman, it is still quite comfy as the interiors are completely furnished with leather, which gives the cabin a smart and spacious appearance.
Check in time was about 12-15 minutes, as the check-in officers seemed a bit confused about the seating arrangements, and also because there were only two counters for about 35-40 passengers.
Inflight service was wonderful. The air crew commenced their services right from boarding until the final call for landing. Nothing was a problem for the air hostesses, and they seemed happy to serve all through the flight. Once again, a snack service was served in this 40 minute flight, which included a variety of european chocolates (as many as you want), crisps and a selection of juices and waters. Luggage was available at the belt within 12-15 minutes of arrival at Dhaka.

Overall, both flight were very good, and I would reccomend people to fly them. GMG is more expensive than Biman, but service is better in GMG, however, Biman is quicker in reaching its destination (for DAC-CTG, Biman takes 30 min, but GMG takes approx. 40 minutes).

Compared to Indian Airlines (national services) and PIA (national), I have to admit the national carriers of Bangladesh are much better than its neighbours ones, as far as I can say from my personal experience from flying these airliners. Anyone else flown Biman or GMG? Share it with us!
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RE: South Asian Airlines Trip Reports...

Sat Mar 09, 2002 10:33 pm

It seems Sahara Airlines is the forgotten airline in Indian aviation. I flew on them in January last year from BLR to BOM on a brand new 738.

They play pop music over the PA system throughout the entire flight which is odd. I still remember they played Kylie Minogue and Jason Donavan's "Especially For You"  Smile

The FAs were extremely friendly, definitely as good as Jet. Food was also excellent.

I have only taken one Jet and one Sahara flight, and from that small sample, I would say that Sahara is every bit as good as Jet. Haven't flown IC or AI as yet.

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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:36 pm

RE: South Asian Airlines Trip Reports...

Mon Mar 11, 2002 8:26 am

Flown Biman Bangladesh from Dhaka to Bangkok - s-c-a-r-y on an old DC10 and 10 (TEN) hour delay.

Flown AI (its okay), PIA (okay) and Jet Airways (excellent - as good as any other Asian domestic product including Thai and Silk AIR (Singapore)). Flown Indian Airlines (Bangkok-Chennai) on an A300 - it sucked.

A bit further East - on top of flying TG, MH, SQ etc, I flew Lao Aviation grom Bangkok to Vientiane in Laos and we crash landed (737-200). Avoid this airline!

I wouldn't fly PIA today though - they get quite aggressive to Western pax (IMHO) and Karachi airport sucked (had to spend 15 minutes filling in a form in order to get a beer - this would be understandable in a Muslim country if it wasn't for the fact that the facilities manager in the 'bar' area (who made me fill in the form) was himself swigging back beer like there was no tomorrow!
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