PlaneHunter
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Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:16 pm

Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC on Air Dolomiti's BAe 146-300


Intro
Air Dolomiti and its BAe 146-300 are covered in the third and final part of my latest trip report series. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here:
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90



Malpensa Spotting - Police Check Included
Directly after arriving from Helsinki I went to the main terminal hall and printed my boarding pass for the Air Dolomiti flight at a check-in machine. Then I started searching for a good spot - and indeed, there is a large glass front where you can see most of the movements. Many people were hanging around there, so I decided to stay. Even though Alitalia has significantly downscaled its operations at MXP, it was quite busy in the late morning. There was a large variety of interesting planes, e.g. Air Italy 762, Blue Panorama 763, Cargoitalia D10F, Cargolux 744F, Libyan CR9, Mistral Air 733, NCA 744F, TAM 763 and Thai A346. Iran Air A310 just ahead:



After about one hour, an EL AL 762 arrived and was parked just next to the Iran Air A310:



When I realized the LY 762 would taxi to the gate close to the window I assumed it would be only a matter of time until someone calls the police: I had been using binoculars - which should be enough. And indeed, two Italian police officers showed up - but they first checked a man some meters away. The man appeared to be an Italian and didn't use binoculars or anything else, but who knows. A few minutes later he got his ID back and the officers immediately had a new target - yes, of course, the guy from Germany with his binoculars.  Yeah sure

One of the officers asked me what I had been doing here and wanted to see an ID. At least he remained friendly and was able to speak English. I explained that watching planes is my hobby and I tried to show him an aviation magazine as a reference - but he didn't want to see it. Then he took my ID and walked away with it, apparently for a check on the computer. Meanwhile the other policeman - with a slightly grim expression - kept watching me. Now the question was: Should I continue to use my binoculars in that situation? I decided to do so - because there was nothing to hide. And the officers hadn't asked me to stop. Business as usual. Some minutes later the other policeman arrived back at the scene, handed over my ID...said thanks and walked away, together with his watchdog. Well done, guys - common sense was the winner today.  Wink



Saturday, 16 August 2008
Milan (MXP) - Munich (MUC)
Air Dolomiti, LH3905
17:00-18:15 (16:58-17:59)
Flying time: 00:50 (hrs)

BAe 146-300
I-ADJF Aida (MSN 3193), built in 07/1991 and first delivered to Dan-Air in 07/1992 as G-BUHC
Seat 16F



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Photo © Florian Negele
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Photo © Fabrizio Berni



Former appearances as G-BUHC (Dan-Air London, Air UK, Flightline) and EI-CTO (Aer Lingus):


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Photo © Pedro Aragão
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Photo © Adam Rowden




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Photo © Janne Laukkonen
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Photo © Gary Watt




Boarding
After some more hours of spotting it was time to proceed to the gate. Boarding was started on time and we had the pleasure to enter a bus which would bring us to the plane. We stopped next to I-ADJF, named "Aida", a 1991 model:



Unlike most other passengers, I preferred to use the rear door. The plane's exterior wasn't completely spotless, but quite clean.




Cabin Comfort
A smiling female FA welcomed me on board and I took my seat in row 16. The plane was equipped with dark green leather seats - unfortunately, arranged in a 3-3 configuration.




However, my disappointment was gone when I noticed the generous seat pitch.



Actually, the seat pitch was superb - more than I had seen before in Economy Class on a short haul flight. Not to forget, the seat itself was comfortable, too. And without any other passenger in my row, even the 3-3 configuration didn't matter.



The cabin view (picture taken later during the flight) reveals a load factor of about 60 percent:



Lots of unused space in the cabin:




Captain's Speech and Refreshing Towel
While standing next to the cockpit door and (facing the main cabin), the captain welcomed the passengers on board and mentioned some details about the flight. The next surprise followed only a minute later: the friendly FAs distributed refreshing towels - not a common practice on European short haul flights.



We left the parking position early and entered the runway...



...for a powerful takeoff...



...and a steep climbout:



The Alps mostly covered by clouds:




Snack Service
Only a few minutes after takeoff, the two FAs had already started to prepare the snack service. Once we had reached the cruising altitude, they distributed snack boxes and offered cold and hot drinks. Air Dolomiti introduced the "Settimocielo by Air Dolomiti" (= Seventh Heaven) in 1996, a registered trademark which gives its name to the onboard hospitality and a range of exclusive products. I was curious to see whether the food and drink service as part of that concept would still be as good as often reported.

Here's the snack box, together with a cup of coffee:



The box contained a biscuit filled with lemon jelly, crackers with olive flavor, gelatine candies and a cup of water. While the candy was just ok, the biscuit and the crackers tasted quite good. And the coffee was excellent - probably the best airline coffee I have ever got (Alitalia's wasn't bad, either, btw).




Innsbruck & the Walchensee
Just when I had finished the snack we already passed the city of Innsbruck:



Of course I had a closer look at the airport:



Three minutes later we passed the Walchensee or Lake Walchen, one of the deepest and largest alpine lakes in Germany:




Approach
The FAs were still busy with collecting the last items of trash when we started the approach. There's a small village right in the middle of numerous acres:



This is only a small part of the facilities which logistics companies have built close to the airport:



Only seconds from touchdown on runway 26L:



We taxied to a remote parking position far from Terminal 2 where a bus was already waiting. Last shot of I-ADJF today:





Conclusion
Flying Air Dolomiti was a true pleasure. Ground staff and flight attendants were friendly and customer-orientated. The cabin was clean and in good shape, overall seating comfort was good, pitch in particular was simply excellent. The food service was apparently downgraded, but it's still decent, considering many carriers don't serve anything to eat any more on such short hops. And let's not forget the coffee which deserves an extra praise.
Lufthansa can be glad about having such fine regional partner - let's hope the airline will keep its identity along with its high quality product in the future.



Best Regards,
PlaneHunter
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ronerone
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:03 pm

Hey PlaneHunter,

Pix have been moved  Sad
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:04 pm

All pictures were removed or deleted  Sad
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:16 pm

Hi everybody,

thanks for telling me. Interestingly I could see the pics all the time when working on the report. Anyway, the problem should be fixed now.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:23 pm

Servus, PH,

good to read your interesting story with the pix now.
I´ve send you a mail notice about the lost pix some minutes ago.

I´ve experienced Dolomitis service also earlier this year and was impressed, too,
not bad for an intra european flight, also my impression.

Thanx for posting and hope to read more around your travels soon,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
ronerone
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:37 pm

Hi again PH,

Excellent pics as always! Your TR's are very unique, as they include some interesting airlines / aircraft! Keep them coming!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After about one hour, an EL AL 762 arrived and was parked just next to the Iran Air A310:

Just how ironic is that?

I love it when i see these two airlines parked right next to each other. Admittedly though, these are two of a few i am so very curious to fly on! Especially IR!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When I realized the LY 762 would taxi to the gate close to the window I assumed it would be only a matter of time until someone calls the police: I had been using binoculars - which should be enough. And indeed, two Italian police officers showed up - but they first checked a man some meters away. The man appeared to be an Italian and didn't use binoculars or anything else, but who knows. A few minutes later he got his ID back and the officers immediately had a new target - yes, of course, the guy from Germany with his binoculars.

Wow! .. So it is one of LY's security requirements to have officials 'scan' the surrounding areas where the aircraft is located, looking out for any suspicious activity etc?

That is quite extensive!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Now the question was: Should I continue to use my binoculars in that situation? I decided to do so - because there was nothing to hide.

So true! however, i would have lost all confidence by then, and kept to myself!


Thanks for sharing this! Good job!

Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
DALCE
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:11 pm

Hi PH,

Good to read a different story about the same stretch, same airline, same a/c type as I did earlier this year. Back in April I did the same flight although on I-ADJJ Big grin
It seems that EN is still producing a very good product on such a short flight!
You seatpitch seems to be better as the one I had!
Thanks for sharing your experience again, looking forward to more reports from your hand.

Cheers,
Joost ( D-ALCE )
flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,788,319,320,321,333,AB6.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:07 pm

Hi PH,

Great report, really enjoyed, thanks for posting  Smile

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the officers immediately had a new target - yes, of course, the guy from Germany with his binoculars.

One of the officers asked me what I had been doing here and wanted to see an ID. At least he remained friendly and was able to speak English. I explained that watching planes is my hobby and I tried to show him an aviation magazine as a reference - but he didn't want to see it. Then he took my ID and walked away with it, apparently for a check on the computer. Meanwhile the other policeman - with a slightly grim expression - kept watching me. Now the question was: Should I continue to use my binoculars in that situation? I decided to do so - because there was nothing to hide

- Now that's funny, but I guess I'm used to you getting checked out by the cops!  Smile Seriously though, I'd have kept spotting whilst my ID was checked, just shows you are serious about the hobby and have nothing to hide.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Lots of unused space in the cabin

- Amazing, what a waste! - They could reduce the legroom a little and get an extra row in.

Regards

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:24 am

Now that the pictures are back,i really enjoyed reading you report.Thanks

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
- Amazing, what a waste! - They could reduce the legroom a little and get an extra row in.

Don't start giving airlines bad ideas,please.
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
B747forever
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:59 am

Great TR.

The pics are really nice.

Glad that everything went okay on that little control you had while spotting.

Air Dolomiti seems to be a really nice carrier. I read somewhere that Air Dolmiti will become LH, i.e the Air Dolomiti brand dropped. I dont know if it is true.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
hoons90
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:50 pm

Great trip report and pictures!

Sorry to hear about the hassle at MXP. I'm glad that you showed them that there's nothing wrong with the hobby of planespotting.

Reading your TR makes me want to fly on a 146, maybe Mesaba still flies them?

The scenery from one of your pictures look amazing, BTW.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
Contact Air
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:10 pm

Hi PH,

very nice report about your trip on Air Dolomiti who still seem to offer a very good product even on a short flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The plane was equipped with dark green leather seats - unfortunately, arranged in a 3-3 configuration.

I guess Swiss is one of the few remaining airlines that still offer a 2-3 configuration.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And the coffee was excellent - probably the best airline coffee I have ever got (Alitalia's wasn't bad, either, btw).

I have never been on Air Dolomiti, but I have to agree that the coffee on AZ was very good as well. After all, Italy is famous for its coffee. But I doubt that I will get AZ-coffee in the near future as they have just stopped to serve my home airport STR...

Regards
Christoph
 
The777Man
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:26 pm

Hi PH !

Great report as always! Nice to hear that you didn't have any problem spotting at MXP; unlike me: I was asked to stop which of course I did for a short while but then continued later and being more discreet. This was a couple of years though when I flew AirEurope 777 MXP-FCO-MLE.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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OA260
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:53 pm

Hey great TR and nice read. I really thought that you were going to be hassled by the Police but like you said sense prevailed. I loved the photo of the Iran Air Airbus. One of the nicest liveries IMHO. Also a good airline to fly with.

The 146's are starting to warm on me. I dont like 3-3 though like you said.

Oh BTW I love the way you show the history. I would never have known it was Dan Air then EI !!

Thanks for a great report.

OA260
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146

Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:47 am

Helo everybody, thanks for all your nice replies!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
I´ve send you a mail notice about the lost pix some minutes ago.

Thanks again for that, Markus.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Thanx for posting and hope to read more around your travels soon,

Some reports should follow from mid-November...

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 5):
Excellent pics as always! Your TR's are very unique, as they include some interesting airlines / aircraft! Keep them coming!

Thanks, there will be some more reports soon if everything works as planned.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 5):
Just how ironic is that?

I love it when i see these two airlines parked right next to each other. Admittedly though, these are two of a few i am so very curious to fly on! Especially IR!

Yes, I found it also interesting to see them parked side by side. That shouldn't be limited to airports!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 5):
Wow! .. So it is one of LY's security requirements to have officials 'scan' the surrounding areas where the aircraft is located, looking out for any suspicious activity etc?

They do really care about security, I can remember several occasions where LY security staff or police checked/interviewed me prior to or after an LY arrival.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 5):
So true! however, i would have lost all confidence by then, and kept to myself!

In the US, I probably wouldn't have continued spotting with an officer next to me...

Quoting DALCE (Reply 6):
You seatpitch seems to be better as the one I had!

Interesting to hear - from what I have read, all EN 146s should have the same number of seats. Probably there's an exception.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
Seriously though, I'd have kept spotting whilst my ID was checked, just shows you are serious about the hobby and have nothing to hide.

Yes, absolutely.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 7):
- Amazing, what a waste! - They could reduce the legroom a little and get an extra row in.

Good to see not every airline is run like FR (or similar ones)...  Wink

Quoting B747forever (Reply 9):
Air Dolomiti seems to be a really nice carrier. I read somewhere that Air Dolmiti will become LH, i.e the Air Dolomiti brand dropped. I dont know if it is true.

Let's hope it won't happen. Haven't heard anything official yet, just opinions.

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 10):
Reading your TR makes me want to fly on a 146, maybe Mesaba still flies them?

Unfortunately, Mesaba's Avros were retired. Most of them were transferred to Cityjet.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 11):
I guess Swiss is one of the few remaining airlines that still offer a 2-3 configuration.

That's really bad to hear.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 11):
After all, Italy is famous for its coffee.

Absolutely, yes. I guess bad coffee could really scare Italian passengers away...  Wink

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Nice to hear that you didn't have any problem spotting at MXP; unlike me: I was asked to stop which of course I did for a short while but then continued later and being more discreet.

Yes, I had your story in mind. I'm glad they didn't send me off.

Quoting Oa260 (Reply 13):
Hey great TR and nice read. I really thought that you were going to be hassled by the Police but like you said sense prevailed.

Actually I had expected they would ask me to stop spotting. I'm glad I was wrong.

Quoting Oa260 (Reply 13):
Oh BTW I love the way you show the history. I would never have known it was Dan Air then EI !!

It's always interesting to track the history of a plane, sometimes there are nice surprises.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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