For a week long vacation, it was time to keep real all promises and visit my family and some cheerful friends in Paris. When the schedule showed that an air international event took place during this period, A.netter Rukundo (my brother) asked me why not attending this cool show. Starting browsing the AF website for the usual routing to the AF's hub in CDG, and after many nice TR reads from this website my mind changed direction. Some of you reminded me that the direct way is rarely the most spectacular and motivated by the need of a little change from the usual Avro RJ85 the situation became less simple. So obviously, that was not the cheapest, easiest or fastest way to reach the french capital. Furthermore, when in France, it was a good opportunity to meet up some old friends and my dear mum, living south in our hometown of Montpellier on the Mediterranean sea coast.
here is the routing for the outbound journey:
Part 1: Newcastle-Birmingham: Eastern Airways
Part 2: Birmingham-CDG: Flybe
Part 3: Salon Aéronautique du Bourget 2011 (part 1)
A way too long, a compulsory part 2 coming soon, will cover the rest of the Air show (part 2) and an extended Inbound leg.
Intro – Reaching Newcastle
Ok, let's go to England, a new airport, from Edinburgh using the National Express East coast departing at 9H30. For £1 extra you can get a bus ride anywhere around the town unfortunately no buses to the airport, it was pity though.
Departing from Warveley train station (not taken that day)
Marketing freebies with those delicious Yakults at Waverley Station, as tasty as an Actimel.
A typically beautiful scottish Castle, Ayton?
this photograph spent 15 min here trying to get the best angle or view
St Mary's Cathedral
Wallace and Gromit will ensure you have "cracking" summer there
the only public transport to airport?
Metro is convenient, fast and cheap, buying a ticket less, as machine only accepting coin, no desk for change or paying with notes, but most of the time.
sign of a runway nearby
Well, Time To Hit The Sky’s in Y class
1 – EASTERN AIRWAYS to Birmingham
1.1 – Introduction
To be honest with all of you i've never heard about this airline beforehand. The initial thought was to reach Orly airport, only 15min away from my dad's house, generating a compulsory stopover in UK. At the time of decision 3 options were available one with Cityjet via LCY, or Flybe with either BHX or Cardiff. Somehow, the Eastern Airways option arose, probably for avoiding 2 flights on the same carrier. More over an interresting discovery taught me that this regional airline also operates in France from its Dijon hub (famous for the French mustard and mayonnaise oui oui monsieur). The UK base is Humberside but T3 flies more frequently from Aberdeen – Scotland used as its operational hub.
1.2 – Preflight
NCL seems getting a lot of adverts inside the terminal. Its shape is attractive and modern.
Check-in at opening so ok, every T3 pax can enjoy a fast track line which was much appreciated there with an extensive queue for Jet2 and EK departing. If you fly any ticket from Aberdeen – Scotland, or Y full fare anywhere else complimentary lounge...unfortunately schedule not really convenient for me so not from ABZ
No need to introduce them...
Air France flags
Jet2 at the "domestic"
Check-in desk still closed
Uganda or Rwanda? Although not for now
After strolling around the airport's shops especially at Biza, I found myself a booth at the Eagle Bar Dinner and enjoyed quick snack. The atmosphere looks really trendy, and the prices are decent.
Little snack at the Eagle Bar Dinner
Airport provides lot of natural light great shops, huge windows bay enjoyable for spotting
Manx2 Bae Jetstream 31 G-CCPW
KLM Fokker 70 PH-KZD and Emirates Airbus A330 A6-AEK
British Airways A319 G-EUPE, Easyjet A320 to Alicante
2 Jets Jet2: B737 G-CELO and local special scheme B757 G-LSAE
66% of Eastern Airways aircraft fleet composition: G-MAJE and G-COKA
The departure gate was 31 but had to move down to another pre boarding area. This departure lounge was empty when i reached there 30 mins before the dep time, the lady said 4 pax would board the aircraft and i was invited to relax inside in a kind of private lounge with some reading available.
Advert at NCL
Dedicated departure lounge
a T3 bus
Despite worried by the 20 min late, we were bussed to the Jetstream and proceed to board - joining only 2 others passengers, so one apparently had never show up. So there was more than enough room for all of us on this 29 seater Bae. It was my first flight on the type.
1.3 – The flight
Eastern Airways T3. 4625
Newcastle – Birmingham
Distance: 179 miles
BAE jetstream 41
Photo © Andy Marks-UK Air Pix
Photo © Andrew Hutchings
small plane means cramped...
Angela, our early 40's yo purser welcomed us 3, 25mins after the ETD. I had a left single seat by the window though i thought i could have taken my pick of seats, eventually seat 9A was ok, but as flight not full request to change was made immediately. Even if i was the smallest, definitely the lightest inside, her smily negative answer saddened me when you consider such amount of empty seat, especially with 2 real 95 kg men both on the right side. too bad as the only one on the left side (1 seat side ). when i saw her bag and purse occupying 2 seats 10 B&C...
She organised the safety demo at row 7, no apologize nor explanation for the delay. We were soon airborne and heading towards Birmingham.
TAKE OFF VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piCTxizkj1c
and the wonderfully powerful acceleration on the Bae Jet41 had us in the air in no time from runway 25, at which point the winds started buffeting us around
15H10 door closure
taxiing to runway 25
An elegant Emirates tower
The Tyne river
No clue about this city
The inflight service consisted of sweets before take-off and landing She changed jacket for a red one then offers crisps or biscuits, and selection of drink. A hot towel before commencing descend. Also she caught me snapping in the second discrete attempt, so there won't be any video landing.
Huge safety card and inflight mag
Complimentary F&B, crips pack wearing a T3 Saab2000
Serving the cockpit crew
While disembarking a burning question arose to the charming Angela concerning the use of the camera (= electronic device?) while taking off and landing, with a satisfactory answer supported by an article from the inflight mag relating the UK air navigation order though.
she, despite, allowed a last cabin shoot and outside the aircraft.
Next airline to try
1.4 – Arrival
I had assumed i would just step out into a transfer area at a domestic gate but this wasn't the case. A problem at the arrival gate forced us to wait 10 min in a corridor inside the departure lounge blocked between 2 doors waiting for a Servisair agent holding a card/pass. It was such like a maze for a domestic flight they did not want us to mix with passengers departing to Frankfurt! Then, the original line luggage belt, added an other 15 mins waiting because the belt stoped and obviously without any luggage on it. The other traveller checked inside the tunnel to check if anything was visible and saw a dark colored one (many thanks to you for this sponteneous initiative), then walked to call the security guy after door (UK domestic flight???) to start again belt, 10min without any movement and guy check everywhere for a service phone available to call any operation. So waiting time 35 mins.
rare luggage belt
[Edited 2011-07-04 09:38:13]