Saturday, 14 August 2004
Stuttgart (STR) – Nice (NCE)
Flight number: BA (Germany)">DI 4607
Scheduled departure time: 10:30
Scheduled arrival time: 11:45
Type of aircraft: Boeing B 737-300
Photo © Sascha Foerster
Photo © Toni Marimon
This aircraft was built and delivered to DBA in 1997.
I arrived at Stuttgart Airport two hours before departure. Check-in was very quick and efficient, there was no wait at all. After some spotting from the observation deck, I passed security and made my way to gate 333 where I met Alex (Ndebele).
Our aircraft had just arrived from HAM and had found its parking position directly in front of the gate. The rotation of the aircraft is HAM-STR-NCE-STR-HAM, so DBA collects passengers from two airports for the flight to Nice. The passengers who had only booked the leg HAM-STR left the aircraft, a bit later boarding for NCE started. There were only five passengers from HAM left on the aircraft. Obviously, LH’s decision to offer HAM-NCE non-stop didn’t really have a positive influence on DBA’s load factor on this route… But now quite a lot new pax from STR boarded the plane; there were all in all about 90 people on boar for NCE which makes a load factor of 65%.
We were welcomed by three female flight attendants. Free newspapers and a selection of (also free) magazines were offered at the door. We found our seats in the back of the aircraft: Alex had 21A, I had 21B while 21C remained empty.
DBA’s flight attendants now wear new green uniforms in the actual corporate design. The in-flight magazine “on time” tells the passengers that these new uniforms have been designed by Yannik, a fashion brand of Hans Rudolf Wöhrl’s fashion company. For those of you who don’t know: Wöhrl, the owner of a fashion company with department stores mainly in Southern Germany, bought DBA one year ago from BA for 1 Euro.
We were off-block on time, taxied to the runway and took off into the cloudy sky of Stuttgart. Flight route was STR-Zurich-Milan-NCE. We had a female captain on this flight who introduced herself as Monika Köllning. By the way: there is a picture of her in the September-issue of Aero International (German aviation magazine) in a report about female flight crews, explaining that she is one of two female captains, plus 7 co-pilots, on DBA-aircraft.
Shortly after take-off, the cabin crew started with the service. Since a few weeks, free in-flight service has returned at DBA. On morning flights, every passenger has the choice between a hot “Laugenstange” (a kind of bread made of pretzel dough) or a yoghurt muffin, and a drink. Drink service contains soft drinks, tea or coffee as well as alcoholic drinks including beer and wine. They announced that service was limited to one drink and one food item per passenger, which I find all right on short-haul flights. While Alex had a “Laugenstange”, I tried the muffin.
After being clouded over Germany and Switzerland, the air became clear over Italy. We reached the Mediterranean Sea where we made a U-turn which offered all passengers on the left side (like us) a good view to Corsica. The approach was as usual in Eastern direction, so we had a great view to the coastline with Cannes, Antibes and all the other cities of the Côte d’Azur.
We touched down and taxied to our parking position at Terminal 1. On leaving the plane, every passenger got a DBA chocolate heart. This has been a typical gift for the customers when the airline still belonged to BA, and now they have returned again (but today in the new green DBA-design).
We spent the next hours with spotting from the cafeteria in the modern Terminal 2.
Photo © Guillaume Bringuier
Photo © TZ Aviation
The airport is directly at the seaside and offers some quite interesting movements, especially in summer: apart from tons of Air France and Easyjet aircraft, all main European carriers as well as low-cost carriers, there are also some “specials” like a Royal Air Maroc B 747-400, a Tunisair A 300-600 and lots of biz-jets of all sizes, (for example a Saudi Arabian B 767 of Kingdom Holding or an MD-83 of Jetalliance from Austria). I also saw my first Emb 170 (LOT).
Photo © Fabrice Sanchez - Brussels Aviation Photography
Photo © Bjorn Alegren
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