Widebodyroga
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Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:56 am



This is a short TR I was looking forward to write ever since I booked this flight back a month ago.

I had previously tried the products of Olympic Airways, Olympic Air and Aegean between SKG and ATH so I was curious to see what this new airline is all about.

A few words about the carrier. Athens Airways (ZF) started operations about a year ago with a fleet of 4 ERJ145EU, serving a multitude of cities and islands within Greece (24 or so different destinations). As of recent, at least 2 of the aircraft have stopped operating and a leased ATR was recruited to help with the scheduled flights. Despite this, ZF was recently "awarded" (by the Greek Civil Aviation Athority) with 2 international routes, one from Athens to Beirut and one from Athens to Kuwait City. Of course, the Kuwait route was acquired by ZF because allegedly no other Greek airline showed interest for it. Given that one cannot fly comfortably ATH-KWI on an ERJ145, there are some rumors that ZF may be acquring some more aircraft, but there are also rumors that the airline is facing financial troubles and may be bought by Olympic Air.

I found myself in Athens for a day (got there from Thessaloniki on the overnight train as I needed to be there before any early flight could take me) for some personal business and given that I could not go through another train ordeal I decided to fly back. I initially checked A3 and OA but then remembered about the existence of ZF. When I saw that I could make the trip for 49 Euros (1E for the fare and 48E for the taxes) I knew I had a winner. The booking was done through ZF's website, which was fairly easy to use, and within minutes I had the electronic ticket in my e-mail inbox.

In order to get to the airport I decided to use the train (6E) which is a great, quick and reasonably priced option. In fact I arrived there with about 5 hours to spare so I wandered about in order to explore an airport that I had flown to/from before but never had the time to actually see what it had to offer.

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6518.jpg
On the train

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6529.jpg
The airport seen at the distance from inside the train

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6536.jpg
The 4 abandoned A340s of the now defunct Olympic Airways

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6538.jpg
http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6539.jpg
The airport train shuttle

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6540.jpg
The main building and CT as seen from the train station

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6541.jpg
The bridge connecting the train station with the airport terminal

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6542.jpg
Looking back at the train station and bridge from the terminal

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6543.jpg
The moon over the terminal building

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6545.jpg
Before security

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6547.jpg
Some of the many free internet kiosks. One could use them for 15 minutes. They were slow and with semi-functioning keyboards but their presence was definitely appreciated!

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6548.jpg
ZF's ticket sales counter, next to my much... beloved Iberia... irked 

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6549.jpg
FIDS with my flight

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/Picture1.jpg
Boarding card at hand






Monday 28 January 2009
Athens Airways flight ZF 422
Athens "Eleftherios Vanizelos" International Airport (ATH) to
Thessaloniki "Macedonia" International Airport (SKG)
ERJ145EU, SX-CMA, "Giannis Gaitis"

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6555.jpg
The sister aircraft of the one we were about to board

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6556.jpg
http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6557.jpg
Just before boarding our aircraft.

From what I gathered ZF uses a single check in counter (No48) and at the time of my arrival it was closed, as the flight to KVA ("Alexander the Great" international airport of Kavala, Greece) was about to take off. Shorty after the counter re-opened to check in passenges for a flight to AXD ("Dimokritos" international airport of Alexandroupolis). The line was relatively short so after most of the passengers checked in, I asked whether I could also check in even though my flight was not for another 3 hours (I knew that OA and A3 do allow such early check ins). I was told however that I had to wait until 1.5 hour before my flight to do so. After checking my e-mail in one of the countless free Internet counters and catching some minutes of much needed sleep I went on to check in and go through security, both of which were done in no time. I got seat 10A and the assigned gate was B20. The aircraft was parked at an (extremely) remote location which we reached on a bus. Next to our aircraft (named "Giannis Gaitis") was the only other ERJ145 left on ZF's fleet, named "Nikos Kessanlis". My seat was on the left side which meant that I was going to be sitting by myself. The seat pitch was reasonable for such an aircraft. The seat pockets were equipped with all the necessary, plus ZF's own magazine "Anemos" and a bottle of Zaros mineral water. Not all seats were taken, and I'm guessing we must have been 30-35 people in total. After a relatively long taxiing we took off heading south before turning west and flying over Piraeus. Shortly after take off we were served a small sandwich with cream cheese and ham and also drinks (I got a coke). It wasn't long before it was time to land. Our approach was from the south, which I found to be unusual as I'm used to northernly approaches to SKG even when coming from the south.

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6559.jpg
Seat Pitch

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6562.jpg
Flying over the port of Piraeus

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6564.jpg
The snack we were served. Drink service followed shortly after.

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/IMG_6566.jpg
In the bus at SKG. I find ZF's RJ145s to be very beautiful birds.

http://i954.photobucket.com/albums/ae25/rudysuperestrella/Magazine.jpg
ZF's Anemos Magazine. I had to take it with me to study it in more detail than I could in the 40-minute long flight.


It's hard to commend on such a short flight but I was excited to be trying such an unusual airline. Not even the extremely aweful experience with Iberia a few days earlier (which resulted in reaching my destination 4 days after my departure, without weather being responsible for that) was enough to spoil my excitement for trying ZF and an ERJ145. I hope the company survives or that they at least continue existing through some takeover.

I hope you enjoyed this TR. I also hope that once (and if) ZF starts their international services we'll get to see more of their TRs here.
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The777Man
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:24 am

Hi !

Nice report with a new small airline! Great pictures as well! Surprising that they have a snack on such a short flight.

The777Man
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staralliance38
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:43 pm

Great short TR. The plane looks great and the logo and livery is beautiful  Smile
Roar, lion, roar
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:35 pm

Hey, WideBodyroga,

good work, well done.

Flying Athens Airways is also high on my priority list for next year,
hopefully not to late for me.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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OA260
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:21 pm

Hi and great report , wanted to see a ZF one for ages. Didnt get the chance to fly them yet, hopefully sometime. They seem decent enough.

How much was the train from City to ATH? Never taken it .

Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
Flying over the port of Piraeus

Nice aerial view of Piraeus. I hope to be there in a few weeks.

Thanks again

OA260
 
reifel
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:26 pm

Shame on me, I must completely have missed that one. Never heard of that airline...

Thanks for the report.
 
debonair
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:15 pm



Quoting WideBodyroga (Thread starter):
at least 2 of the aircraft have stopped operating and a leased ATR was recruited to help with the scheduled flights

I am totally confused by now...

ERJ-145 are: SX-CMA/B/C/D; which ones have been returned?

During summer 2009 Athens Airways operated one BAe146 lsd. from ASTRA, one DASH 8-300 lsd. from Medavia Malta and one Fokker-50 lsd. from Denim Air.

I can't remember seing an ATR (except those 2 of Aegean op. by Swiftair and one Olympic Air op. by DOT Danu ora transportas).
 
Widebodyroga
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:25 pm

Thank you all for your nice words and feedback! I am glad you are enjoying this TR.

Quoting StarAlliance38 (Reply 2):
Great short TR. The plane looks great and the logo and livery is beautiful Smile

Couldn't agree more! I just love ZF's livery. I'd love to see it on a bigger aircraft too!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 4):
How much was the train from City to ATH? Never taken it .

From Monastiraki station it took about 30 mins or so. Pretty good I must say.

Quoting Debonair (Reply 6):
I am totally confused by now...

ERJ-145 are: SX-CMA/B/C/D; which ones have been returned?


As far as I am aware CMA is the only certainly operational right now. CMB is the one that is certainly gone and I am not sure which of the CMC or CMD has followed it (I think it's the former but I could be wrong. In fact if it's CMC then the other ZF aircraft I saw in ATH was not the "Kessanlis" one but the "Vasileiou" one. Maybe a greek A.net member could help us with this).

Quoting Debonair (Reply 6):

During summer 2009 Athens Airways operated one BAe146 lsd. from ASTRA, one DASH 8-300 lsd. from Medavia Malta and one Fokker-50 lsd. from Denim Air.

I can't remember seing an ATR (except those 2 of Aegean op. by Swiftair and one Olympic Air op. by DOT Danu ora transportas).

Apparently, they have been leasing some ATRs from Bulgaria, two of which were the LZ-ATR and LZ-ATS. This is according to sources from Greece. Also if you check ZF's schedule on their website, you can see that a certain portion of their flights are now operated by an ATR:

http://www.athensairways.com/cgi-bin...c/destination_programme_temp1.html

I hope that helps.
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ba319-131
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:13 pm

Nice report & pics on this little known carrier, indeed a 1st here.

Interesting they serve a snack on such a sort flight, not something I would expect on such a sort duration.

Regards

Mark
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TS-IOR
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:00 pm

It's the first time i see photos of ATH. Nice  

Did you pay for the snack ? To me it's good enough that Sandwich, bottle of water and the drink !
Next flight TUN-YUL Tunisair A330-243.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:37 am

Great report. Saw these ZF E145s last year a lot during my Greek holidays. Want to fly on those jets also... maybe I've to squeeze something in someday...
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Widebodyroga
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RE: Athens Aiways' (ZF) First TR On A.net (pics)

Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:14 pm

Quoting ts-ior (Reply 9):
Did you pay for the snack ? To me it's good enough that Sandwich, bottle of water and the drink !

Everything was included in the price, I had to pay for nothing extra. Given the duration of the flight and the price of the basic fare (1Euro) it is pretty impressing what ZF offered on that flight. I wanted to fly with them again on my trip to JTR but their website doesn't allow any bookings for more than a couple of months in advance, so I had to choose OA.
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