adityashankar
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:42 pm

Emirates Trips To BLR And Back- Part 1

Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:45 pm

Hi all!!!
Welcome to my second trip report, the link to the first one is here:

Air Arabia SHJ-BOM (June 16, 2007) (pics) (by adityashankar Dec 28 2010 in Trip Reports)

Background
As mentioned in my first report, I have flown the DXB-BLR route countless number of times; either to visit my grandparents, or search for a college or to be there for a family occasion or just a holiday. I have been taking pictures in all these flights, so instead of boring you guys with around 10 reports on the same route and the same airline, I broke it down to two trip reports each with its own unique feature.

Introduction
Living beside the HAL airport (back when it was Bangalore International Airport) meant, we didn’t need to worry about being late for a flight as it was only a 7 minute walk. It also meant getting up in the morning to an aircraft taking off as your alarm, yes; it was heaven, until when the airport moved to its current location- Devanahalli. It was a big blow to me personally, as all my childhood memories revolved around the airport, the reason I fell in love with aviation was because of living next to the airport. But anyway, the move was inevitable; the authorities had been clueing the construction and the move for quite a while. So in this report I will be talking about the first time I flew into the new airport, and my review of it. Plus, in the end I will also show you a glimpse of the HAL airport after the move.

June 2008
Emirates Airbus A330
DXB-BLR
Reg: A6-EKT

Summer of 2008, I had just finished my O level exams in May and I thought it would be a good idea to spend some time with family in India and also take this as a chance to research some good engineering colleges in BLR (this is before I planned to study in Canada). My favorite civilian aircraft is the Boeing 777, and to my disappointment EK flies the 777 for the night flight to BLR (at least, this was the case in 2008) so, this afternoon I would be flying in an Airbus A330, but that didn’t stop me from being excited for this flight. I got a last minute upgrade to business class, and I was on top of the world. Since all the formalities were done early, I had time to do some spotting. The windows in Terminal 1 were tinted and gave my pictures a bluish tinge.


Terminal 3 still under construction

The control tower as seen from Terminal 1

An Emirates A330 taxi-ing

An EK 777 taking it to the skies

Pushback Tactor

Qatar airways with a special livery Approaching the gate

Boarding

At this point, Terminal 3 at DXB was getting its final touches done, so due to the lack of gates, the aircraft was parked in the remote bay. So access to the aircraft was by bus, this was a little annoying as the desert summer heat was torturous. Anyway, I was greeted by a flight attendant who directed me to my seat. The seat was spacious and this was one of the few flights I could comfortably accommodate my long legs. I was sitting just before the engine, so I got a good view from the window. This was perfect for an aviation nutter with a camera!!!


Boarding the aircraft

The economy class passengers boarding

Spacious seat (the infamous knee-shot)

the skycargo terminal

View from the second window

A close-up of the taxi-ing aircraft

Take-off
Since we were in the remote bay, the taxi to the runway was a long one, but I won’t complain as I was treated to the views of terminal 1 and the nearly-finished Terminal 3 and sitting next to the engines, I was also treated to the sound of the engine during takeoff. After takeoff, we also flew over the World Islands and over some properties in Jebal Ali.


The pushback tractor rushing back to the terminal

The safety video

Terminal 1

A good view of T1 and T3 and the control tower in the middle

An EK B777 at F12

All lined up on the runway and ready for takeoff

Take-off with a view of the police headquarters, the highway connecting SHJ and DXB

Top of the world (islands)  
The coastline of the U.A.E

Onboard Services

Well… Business Class… what more should I say, I was pampered like a king. Major differences I noticed from the Economy class were that the PTV was larger, but this was an old aircraft so there was no ICE (the new in flight entertainment system). The head phones were the noise cancelling ones. This saved me from cranking the volume really high to overcome the engine noise. There was a three course meal, well presented. I didn’t take pictures of the meal (sorry) as I was enjoying being pampered. This is like a bad habit; I repeat the same mistake when I fly Business Class on the A380 to Toronto (I will post the report up soon).


The drink and snack

Landing
The moment we reached the Indian coast, being the monsoon season, we were greeted by turbulence. (this also meant amazing views of the clouds off my window). Anyway as we were descending, all I could see was villages and fields. My first impression was “this airport is so remote”. The touchdown was smooth, and my eyes were peeled to get a glimpse of the new airport and its surroundings. I was shocked to see the size of the terminal. BLR was considered as one of the busiest airports in India, so I was expecting a huge terminal. It certainly is bigger than the old one but smaller than I expected. Anyway, once I entered the terminal, I was impressed with the modern glass building. It was like entering an airport in a foreign country, however they managed to get that peculiar smell they always have at Indian airports    . I cleared the immigration fairly quickly and as usual my bags were one of the last ones in the baggage claim belt.
Once I exited the airport, I was asked if I was going to take the bus or the taxi. I opted for the bus and I was directed to follow a couple of passengers to the bus stop. The bus stop had around 3 Volvo buses (all different routes), and the drivers were outside asking passengers where they were heading and directing them to the right bus. If the bus wasn’t there, they would ask the passengers to wait for Route no. ‘X’. Since I had to go near the Old airport I was asked to take route 4. The ticket was Rs.180, and the bus had a rack to place our baggage. The buses were well maintained and fully air conditioned. This concludes my trip to BLR with EK.


The clouds from my window

Descent

First views of the fields

Reversers!!!

A new (in 2008) Kingfisher A330

another view of the new A330

Bangalore and the old airport today

The HAL airport is currently being used by HAL to test their aircraft (BLR is the helicopter division), it is also used by the Indian Air Force and as an executive airport. The terminals are barricaded and the entrance is guarded by security. Well I photographed the pictures below with a mobile phone, so I got away with it. Enjoy!!


The Terminal

The entrance- the guard had just got up

The domestic terminal- as u can see the entrance is barricaded

intresting signange on a tree

Air India baggage services- well not anymore

The check-in countries..its a mess... looks like they left in a hurry  
The Arrivals

inside the arrival hall- I took through a broken glass

Flights on the last day

Portable stairwell (sorry, I don't know the technical name)

A kingfisher Staff bus

Taken at the other end of the airport, an executive aircraft

The runway!!

The return flight

July 2008
Emirates A330
BLR-DXB

Well after a month, it was time to go back. This was a return leg of the afternoon flight, and the sun had gone down before we boarded the aircraft. So, I didn’t get to take many good pictures, so I put best ones here. I flew economy class and the flight was uneventful, partly because I was very sleepy and I slept most of the flight. I will let the pictures do the talking.


The aircrafts at BLR airport

The control tower at BLR

the departure lounge

The PTV (No ICE this time either)  
Forward camera- pushback tractor ready!!

Pushback- Notice the Jetway

Taxing to the runway

Dinner

...and a trip to the washroom

Taken during descent...can't tell if its the airport or the creek

taken after landing, taxing past T3 at DXB

An EK 777 on hold

T1 and T3  

So that was Part 1 of my DXB-BLR trip, Part 2 will be up soon, till then,
Happy Landings!!!
Spreading the Joy of Flight
 
ojas
Posts: 1116
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

RE: Emirates Trips To BLR And Back- Part 1

Sun Jan 02, 2011 6:54 pm

Nice TR, thanks for sharing.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
Nimish
Posts: 2890
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:46 pm

RE: Emirates Trips To BLR And Back- Part 1

Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:53 pm

Nice report - I can definitely relate to the sense of loss when HAL closed down - I stay close by as well and it was weird not to hear the aircraft landing/ take off sounds every few minutes. Even more weird to stand out late at night and not see the different heavies landing every night  .

EK's 332s are quite terrible and the lack of ICE makes them reasonably painful. Hopefully they refurbish/ upgrade the interiors on what is otherwise a splendid aircraft  
Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
 
adityashankar
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:42 pm

RE: Emirates Trips To BLR And Back- Part 1

Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:53 pm

@Ojas : thank you, glad u enjoyed it
@ Nimish: thank you,
yea I do agree, an addition of the ICE system would make flying EK's A330 even more enjoyable 
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