This is the first part of a spotting trip made by me (Sabena 690) and Ivan (Apuneger).
In this trip, we took 7 flights on 4 airlines on 6 different aircraft types in 4 days.
The trip report will be posted in several phases. Instead of posting the whole report in one time, I think it’s better to post it in different ‘pieces’ as one report of 7 flights would be too long for most people I’m afraid…
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the reports. As usual, all feedback/comments/criticism/… is welcome.
The reports will be shorter in comparision with my previous reports.
The trip started at Thursday July 15th. I woke up at 5.30am, to catch the train of 6.30am to the airport. This train arrives at 8am in the airport, so with a flight leaving at 10am, there was time enough to check-in without having to hurry.
To my surprise, I entered a really full departure terminal. I went to the middle of the departure terminal, where I was going to meet with Ivan.
After saying ‘good morning’, we joined a long queue for check-in. With some interesting aircraft departing, I wanted to find a quicker solution, so Ivan kept my place in the queue while I went to the “handluggage only check-in”-counter of SN. Only a few people were waiting over there so I entered the small queue while Ivan was coming over.
I said goodmorning to the friendly guy behind the counter, and after a funny remark from his side (“oh, you took the easiest way, flying to Madrid via Milan” ), he checked me in. I gave him my seat preferences (the Avro has quite some rows with badly placed windows, + I wanted to sit in front of the AZ MD82 to MAD to avoid too much noise).
We were checked in quickly, and proceeded to the new A-Pier, used for Schengen-departures.
Our SN Brussels ARJ85 was already present at the gate. After writing down the reg of the plane that would carry us to MXP, I made a walk in the long A-Pier to spot as much planes as possible. Some interesting visitors were EC-JAB of Vueling (in the meantime already a boring frame as it is apparently always the same one that visits BRU ), SP-LDF of LOT (an ERJ170), and the usual American heavies to the States. Also taxiing to Abelag was a Bizjet F70, PH-KBX.
Time went fast, and 20 minutes later (9.50am), boarding was announced. A small note: only one person was available to scratch the boarding passes, and this guy was not in an SN uniform, but in clothes with the logo of a handling company. Anyway, he was not very 'attentive', took the boarding passes out our hands, and gave them back without saying anything. Oh well, as long as the cabin crew is friendly…
SN Brussels Airlines
Flight AZ7057 operated by SNBA
Avro RJ85 SA)">OO-DJO c/nE2279 (first flight 12/1995)
Departure time (planned/actual) 10am/10h17
Arrival time (scheduled/actual) 11h35/11h25
A small detail: I've now flown all 3 colourshemes of SNBA:
Photo © Bernd Karlik - VAP
Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
Photo © Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
On board, I was greeted by a very kind flight attendant. She was distributing newspapers, and welcomed everybody on the flight. Since I had a seat in one of the last rows, I proceeded in the aisle, and was greeted by a very friendly flight attendant in the back who helped me to stow my handluggage (she cared a lot about all pax and did her best to help everybody as much as possible).
One cabin attendant kept herself also busy with an announcement that all luggage must be stowed safely, that mobile phones must be off etc etc. The same announcement was given 3 times, in 3 languages (Dutch-French-English).
At 10am, the captain introduced the whole cabin crew and provided the pax with an interesting announcement, ending with “Enjoy the excellent service”.
Captain Struys made his second announcement of the flight at 10h10 with flight information (the flighttime to MXP was going to be 1h15min), and he thanked the Privilege-members for their trust in the airline.
The loadfactor on this flight was almost 100% (both C and Y were about full, except a very few empty spaces here and there).
Some nice music was played, and at 10h17, the captain made an announcement to say that we would take off in 30 seconds.
And off we were after 30 seconds! We ‘rolled’ 32 seconds on the 25R, rotated, and entered very thick clouds (it took a lot of time before we finally saw some blue sky).
The service started at 10h30. This time, we were served a very nice and tasty apple pie, together with water, and 2 drink services (I opted for tea and orange juice). Excellent snack!
(PICTURE OF THE AIRLINEMEAL WILL BE ADDED SOON)
The rest of the flight was very enjoyable with breathtaking sights of the Alps.
At 11h05, the captain made an announcement with flight information (starting descend soon etc etc). He also wished us a very nice afternoon, and made his announcement in Dutch, French and English. A very correct cockpit- and cabin crew on this flight!
20 minutes later, we touched down at MXP, and we were immediately greeted by the nice mix of traffic MXP offers.
We parked on a remote stand (between 2 BA AR1's), and when I went off the plane, I thanked the flight attendant greeting the pax at the door for the excellent flight. She replied to me: "When you are happy, we are happy too! Thanks for flying SN and enjoy your afternoon'" - very nice touch!
Interesting aircraft were the Air Finland B752, Livingston A330 + A321, QR A300 (unfortunately, none of these aircraft could be read off), ZS-SLC SA A342, VP-BAG SU A310, SAT Sakhalin Airlines (Russian Federation)">HZ-APZ SV MD90, 5Y-QQQ East African, a VIP B727 with winglets (P4-DKI), E3-AA04 Eritrean B763, and lots of Alitalia stuff (although I didn’t see a lot of new aircraft except some ERJ’s and a few longhauls). Another interesting visitor was CS-TQA, an A320 of AirOne.
After some spotting, we proceeded to a pizzeria for a tasty slice of Italian pizza (it would be a shame to go to Italy without eating a pizza ). Afterwards, we proceeded to the gate area where we were quite close to the landing aircraft. To everybody going to MXP for spotting: my impression is that the seating areas near the boarding gates offer the best views!
Viewing at MXP is easy, but there is a big disadvantage: a lot of nice visitors park quite far on remote stands, and unless you see them taxiing for take off, they are impossible to read off. We had a connection of 3h, and this was unfortunately not enough to see the reg of some interesting visitors.
Time went fast, and soon we had to go to our gate for our second flight of the day.
This was part 1 of our spotting trip. Part 2 will be covering our MXP-MAD sector on the MD82 of Alitalia, and our flight from MAD to PMI on the B738 with winglets of Air Berlin.