N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1688
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:33 pm

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/map.jpg



Saudi Arabian Airlines
Dubai to Khartoum via Medinah and Jeddah



Trip Background


I have developed a modest interest and curiosity to go to Sudan from my fellow work colleague which is from there. A few plane spotters recently shared information with me about the prospect of spotting there. A quick look at Google map made me realize the airport is surrounded by buildings in the middle of the town; a great location with a single runway! I have heard they are building a new airport (unsure when to finish?) so a trip must happen now!

There are many stories on lengthy visa delay or almost impossible to have a Visit Visa. (no such thing called Tourist Visa) Luckily my Sudanese Colleague’s father in law was the Sudanese Ambassador to UAE, so a Visit Visa can be arranged through the Embassy on the same day! Once with the Visa on hand and overcame the major hurdle, it is time to book flights. I hate travelling on conventional routing especially the LCC like FlyDubai, AirArabia and such. I suppose their new B737 and A320 let my enthusiasm down. I was able to found a good combination of flights on Saudi Arabian Airlines and they are offering one of the lowest airfare with full service too! (Emirates fare was the highest, no surprise from Dubai)

A quick call to Saudi Airlines office to confirm I do not need Visa on transitting, even the plane stop by at Medina, which makes it bit more interesting!

I left Abu Dhabi in the evening that day for Dubai. It took me about 2hr45mins in total on the Emirates Express E1 Bus and Dubai Metro to reach Dubai airport from Abu Dhabi. The Metro station is right adjacent to Dubai Terminal 1 which makes it an excellent transportation to and from the airport; the total cost was 30 Dirham instead of 240 Dhs on taxi.

The Non-Emirates departure board, much more colourful  http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/6.jpg



Dubai via Medinah to Jeddah
SV 587 A330-300 HZ-AQD


Saudia check-in was at Area F, which is the old Emirates USA flight check in area before they moved out to T3. It was a breeze and very orderly. The Dnata lady took sometime to understand my routing, as I expected anyway. She told me she had never seen people going to have a vacation in Sudan like I do….. After a few joke and chit chat, she warms up and offers me a “nice” seat and wishes me a good trip to Sudan. Both flight boarding pass were able to get issued in Dubai.


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/7.jpg

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Area F is also used by Gulf Air; it is a much quicker way through to the concourse via the dedicated Security and Immigration. Within 2 minutes, I am on my way to the concourse and lounge. It is the eve of UAE 40th National Day Anniversary, there were signs and decoration everywhere inside the terminal.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/8.jpg

Thanks to my credit card, I can use the Dubai Airport Business Class lounge (or Merhaba Lounge) every time I fly. This lounge offers a decent amount of food (6 hot dishes) and snacks plus a standard fare of drinks. I always load up there before my flight  the lounge is also used by a few airlines such as Qatar, Kuwait, Korean, China Southern, Royal Jordanian etc

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/9.jpg

At 8pm, boarding call was made and I made my way through the massive duty free area to Gate 119. There was a 20% duty free sale so I took advantage and bought 2 new Hugo Boss tie.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/11.jpg

At the gate, to my surprise, I saw Malaysian Airlines entire crew deadheading to Medinah. I exchanged some conversation with the captain and he told me they’re going there to pick up the company B747-400 Hajj charter and flying it back to Malaysia.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/12.jpg

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/13.jpg

A very light load is revealed soon after boarding. With 67 passenger in total out of almost 300 seats. I took my chance to snap a few cabin photos. No one questioned anything.

Onboard – Guest (Economy) Claas seating

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To give Saudi Arabian Airlines credit, most of their flights are operated strictly on time; at least the GCC flights are very punctual. A very fast rotation off Rwy30R passing the lights of Deira, Mina, and Sheikh Zayed Road high-rises. The plane performs no turns as we head straight Westward towards Medinah. Flying time is 2 hr 30mins.
No in-flight entertainment was offered on Saudia newish A330. Instead newspapers were offered. “Most Saudi customer don’t watch TV or listen to music” I remembered the word from a fellow First Class Saudi passenger on my last trip with them

Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia! (by N178UA Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

I guess he summed up the reason why there are no IFE installed. A lot of Saudi flights are operated as labour flights and they don’t offer any luxury onboard.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/16.jpg

A quick dinner is served. The food looks better on the picture but the pasta was barely edible. The sweet and salad were fine.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/17.jpg

I went explore around the cabin after the meal and was invited to sit in First Class (or Business class) as the guest of the purser Mr Sultan. He told me no problem with photo whatsoever as long as no crew photos is in the picture. I also took photo of the praying area which are located at the back of the plane.

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Business Class onboard A330-300


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An event free flight cruising at FL400. We eventually descended around 2230 local time and landed safely on Rwy08 of Medinah. There are a few terrain/mountain near Medinah. I wonder it may provide a good spotting location there? 4 more heavies (2 Saudia B747s, 1 Saudia B777 and 1 HiFly A310) followed our landing making Medinah airport ramp very busy.

We refueled and about 30 passengers off the plane. No passenger joined on this Int’l flight. But there were a large group of Saudi crew joined, deadheading from MED to their base Jeddah.
The next flight was a very short one; only 30 mins ride Southbound for Jeddah. I felt asleep and didn’t wake up till final approach. Jeddah was glowing at night, with the whole city under bright lights everywhere, it is quite a sight. Land size of the Jeddah Airport was massive. They have three runways 34L, 34C, and 34R. We landed on 34C.

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The de-plane pictures.

As some of you may know, Jeddah do not have any aerobridge and there are two main terminals, the North and South Terminal. Saudia use North Terminal (same as NAS Air) but most foreign airline use South Terminal. After a lengthy taxi, we parked at the hardstand and all passengers deplane via stairs and bus ride to terminal.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/20.jpg

Instead of heading over to immigration, I proceed to the little Transit desk for Saudi Arabian Airlines. Again, the officer was surprised I am going to Khartoum and hand me a meal voucher, he was very nice and efficient in working. I head upstairs through a small walkway and there I am back to the airside for departure! Very simple process unlike Dubai which can take up an hour at peak hours with the crowd of Emirates….

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/25.jpg

My meal voucher and next leg boarding pass


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/21.jpg

I proceed to Saudi Arabian Airlines Al Fursan Lounge; thanks to my Priority Pass card I can use it.

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Pictures of the lounge:

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The lounge was not too crowded and I found a good “bed” for the night. Not to mention the food offering was quite decent! Love the Chinese Fish they made there!

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/26.jpg


I slept for about 2-3 hours and a SV agent woke me up yelling “Khartoum….Khartoum boarding”. Yes, this is the first flight to depart that morning at 05:30am

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/29.jpg

I head out of the lounge with my eyes barely open, I saw a huge crowd moving toward Gate11 and with a sight like that really woke me up! It was a large Sudanese crowd with many dressed in their country’s dress. It was like a wave approaching the boarding gate.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/30.jpg

We went downstairs to wait for buses to take us boarding.

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At 5am, we arrived at our plane. A Saudia Jumbo Jet, B747-368 HZ-AIN awaiting us on the tarmac. I have now fully waked up knowing a great ride await!
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1688
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:35 pm


Jeddah to Khartoum
SV 451 B747-368 HZ-AIN



http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/34.jpg

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/35.jpg

I have met a young man name Omer, later we befriended each other and he became my tour guide in Khartoum and the life support there. The boarding took forever, making me believe the myth of saying “Sudanese are very slow”…. (No offense) However, I don’t mind a bit standing up on the stairs and amazed how large and wide the Jumbo Jet is. It was a great feeling to fly the B747 classic again! I steal some snap here and there without anyone seeing and yelling at me.


Boarding of the Jumbo Jet via stairs

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Amazingly the boarding finished at 05:30 which is the STD and we pushed back immediately with no time wasted. It was an On-Time departure, just like a miracle! Some passengers weren’t even sat down while we started taxi to the active. There was not even one single seat around! We have about 360 passengers onboard.
We took off at 05:35am on Rwy34L and with a left bank over Red Sea. We head towards Africa continent!

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/46.jpg

The cabin view from my seat.
After 30mins, for the first time I can see the sun beams over the clear dark sky, then slowly and slowly rising level with horizon, and above it. It was the most beautiful moment of the day if you can watch it. I enjoy it so much and can’t stop taking photos of it…..Watching the beautiful sunrise already making this trip so worth it!

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/44.jpg

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/45.jpg

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/40.jpg

Some Sudanese creativity there!



Breakfast was served with choices of Ful Medames or Omelet. However the Omelet was cold and I think they forgot to heat up the breakfast. With a short flying time of 1hr 30mins, may be there isn’t enough time to wait for the food to be heat up and then serve it. The crews were working very fast and served rounds of coffee/tea before landing.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/41.jpg

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http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/43.jpg

My seatmate, the old man on the left is 75 years old, on his way back from Hajj. It was his first time.
I took my chance to take a few more cabin photos before the seat belt sign came up.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/47.jpg

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With the Nile emerged from the window, we have started our descend for Khartoum.

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The sights below the 747 wing are amazing, Khartoum has a large urban sprawl and you can see villages and farms before the city appears and the airport is in the middle of the town!

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http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/51.jpg

With more and more buildings passing under the wing, we finally touched down at local time 07:15am (no time difference from JED to KRT) and taxi off the runway to the remote stand at 7:20am. There was a Yak42 and a IL76 took off after our landing, making the morning very exciting already.
http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/52.jpg
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I grab the First Class photo (36 seats located in Zone A and B) before leaving the plane.
http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/54.jpg

Again, we deplaned by stairs and bus into the terminal which is only 20 seconds away. Surprisingly the immigration was fast and efficient in Khartoum with no questions asked. The baggage took a long time to deliver. This brings an end to the Saudi Arabian flights to Khartoum.

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Baggage Collection scene

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Int’l Arrival


With the help of Omer, I was able to plane spot around. Sudan have some amazing and rare domestic planes that you don’t see them elsewhere. Many Russian props such as An-12, An-24, An-26, An-30, An-32 and jets like An-74, Tu-134, Yak-42 operating domestically. Also an IL-62, with Fourty Eight Aviation title is parked and withdrew from service. Plus a few B707 and DC8 around, it is truly plane spotter heaven. I was very hungry and having a strong desire to photo them all. It is one of the most exciting trip I did for a while, I felt like I was stealing away the great planes from Khartoum, one after another. For that moment, I couldn’t careless of getting caught by the security. In the end I achieved exactly what I wanted, with my will. I was very satisfied after the 2 days trip. I was told by many how “lucky” I was given the situation was not comfortable. The regime was very imposing indeed. Luckily I left the country 2 nights later with all the aviation photo treasures and memories from Sudan. I eventually returned to Abu Dhabi via Doha onboard Qatar Airways A321 and A320.

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/Sudan/62.jpg

You can see more Plane Spotting photos from Khartoum at

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/New/Khartoum/index.html

This trip gave me an immense level of satisfaction, I was on a mission and through my strong will, I achieved exactly what I wanted. A lifetime story to tell for the next generations I suppose.

Some photos of the Sudanese People and street scenes

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Thanks for reading, I hope you have enjoyed my trip.

Sam Chui
Facebook Page: SamChuiPhotos.com
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
SpdBrdConcorde
Posts: 146
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:04 pm

Amazing and it has to be one of your best so far....Going back to the basics is an wonderful adventure these days..Thank you for sharing Sam.

Vivek Kaul
 
JL418
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:38 pm

Hi Sam!

What a beautiful TR! Everything was interesting, from the flights on Saudia (not a name appearing everyday on A.net, isn't it?) to the locations. I remember Sudan and Djibuti from a family friend's pictures, taken when he was a missionaire (religious but in fact simply a doctor) and it appeared to be a very pictoresque land, as you said. Your planespotting pictures are just a seemingly endless list of eye-candies, well done!

Fabrizio
 
roseflyer
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:48 pm

Great trip report. SV seems to have some strange flight times. All that flying awkwardly during the night must create havoc on your body clock.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
LFutia
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:04 pm

Wow! Beautiful TR Sam! Nice job! Thanks for sharing!

Leo/ORD
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
 
ronerone
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:26 pm

Excellent TR my friend.

Glad you made this trip, and the outcome was great! The Saudia jumbo is great as always, but the A330 is kinda boring! Too bad the meals weren't up to speed, and now it makes sense why SV is IFE-less. At least it is for a reason   I wonder if the T7's are the same?

It is true, i haven't heard of anyone going to Khartoum for a visit before, and you did it without hesitation. That is the spirit for sure. Keep it up!

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
joe777
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:52 pm

Excellent report Sam as usual! Very interesting route you've taken...
I was actually thinking of heading off to Sudan for some plane spotting as I have heard they have some interesting planes around.

Looking forward for your next TRs!


Cheers,
JOE777   
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:47 pm

Sam.... really!

This was a fantastic Trip Report. I thoroughly enjoyed reading.... but I think it might be because I had a glorious love affair with Sudan last year - and SV fascinates me too... as well as Saudi Arabia itself.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Saudi Arabian Airlines
Dubai to Khartoum via Medinah and Jeddah

Just the routing sounds delightful. knew I would instantly enjoy this report...

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
A quick look at Google map made me realize the airport is surrounded by buildings in the middle of the town; a great location with a single runway!

Oh gosh... you stir memories. Possibly the most tantalising thing about Sudan airport is the night-time arrivals. It really comes alive in the cool of the night... and the planes normally did a wonderful loop high over the city before finally coming down to land. My highlight was a BMI A321 (?) . . . But it is a great location with all the rooftops nearby. I was petrified to take my camera out nearby....!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
he told me they’re going there to pick up the company B747-400 Hajj charter and flying it back to Malaysia.

Bloody cool! It sounded very blasé...

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I took my chance to snap a few cabin photos.

The cabin looks striking, bright and elegant.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
We eventually descended around 2230 local time and landed safely on Rwy08 of Medinah.

Pretty impressive place to stop-over...

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
It was a large Sudanese crowd with many dressed in their country’s dress.

Striking, and extraordinarily beautiful dress!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
It was a great feeling to fly the B747 classic again!

The SV 747 looks stunning, with the Arabic and 'God Bless You'

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
With the Nile emerged from the window, we have started our descend for Khartoum.

Just stunning... out of nothing appears quite something. The lifeblood of that area...

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Surprisingly the immigration was fast and efficient in Khartoum with no questions asked.

Impressive. perhaps things are becoming a little more relaxed in the republic? I do hope so, but it is still nice to be an exclusive visitor.

The Sudanese are the most graceful, generous and respectful people I ever met. Their country a pleasure. Well done for getting there in a very classy manner.

Thanks Sam

p.s. you did excellently with the photos. I took one picture of a lazy dog on a train platform in Khartoum and immediately got arrested!
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
reifel
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:29 pm

Hi Sam,

very interesting trip and an airline which I'm fascinated for quite a time now and I'd love to try out. Nice to read that transit in Saudi-Arabia is basically like everywhere else. The meal voucher is nice.

I enjoyed your spotter pictures. Thanks so much for sharing!
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:52 pm

Hi Sam, very interesting report!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I was able to found a good combination of flights on Saudi Arabian Airlines and they are offering one of the lowest airfare with full service too!

Nearly full service - just missing the booze

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Onboard – Guest (Economy) Claas seating

Looks comfortable and clean. Shame about the lack of OTV though. Good that they went for 2x4x2 not the more "labour-like" 3x3x3.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I proceed to Saudi Arabian Airlines Al Fursan Lounge; thanks to my Priority Pass card I can use it.

Looks like there was lots of food on offer

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Jeddah to Khartoum
SV 451 B747-368 HZ-AIN

Great to get a 747 on such a route

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Breakfast was served with choices of Ful Medames or Omelet. However the Omelet was cold and I think they forgot to heat up the breakfast. With a short flying time of 1hr 30mins, may be there isn’t enough time to wait for the food to be heat up and then serve it. The crews were working very fast and served rounds of coffee/tea before landing.

Shame it wasn't heated - looks nice enough though for s short hop

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I eventually returned to Abu Dhabi via Doha onboard Qatar Airways A321 and A320.

A slightly more 'regular' routing/airlines home then!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
lychemsa
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:48 pm

Fantastic.

My grandfather lived in the Sudan so it's a place I want to visit one day. Thanks.
 
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TupolevTu154
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:58 am

Sam,

The one thing that I really liked about this report were the photos of the friends you made out there! So heartwarming to read that you made friends with someone completely random and they were nice enough to take you in and show you around!

A prime example of how it should be, from one of the more unexpected places!
 
airpearl
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:28 am

.
What a fantastic journey Sam. Thanks for this report! I have been away from this forum for ages now but it was fortuitous stumbling onto this superb travel essay - but then yours always are anyway - when I decide to have look in. I just had to comment. So many special and unusual events here: a classic 747, a transit in JED, the huge prayer zone on the Airbus, the surreal difference between an empty new A333 and packed ageing 743, not to mention wonderful Khartoum, where the two Niles meet. Another reason why this report is of such interest to me is I'm headed on SV tomorrow (transiting for 9 hours in JED without the luxury of a premium lounge to wait in - I'm a little apprehensive about that one!) so your report was published at the right time! Thanks again Sam. Have a great Christmas!

cheers
airpearl
 
SIN7
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:41 am

Hey Sam,
What an awesome TR and pics of Khartoum. Very rare indeed.
Amazingly you made friends along the way. Must find the courage like you.
Yep going up by stairs is a real treat that many of us here would look forward too. With the 747 classic, even better.

Thanks for sharing.
 
The777Man
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:21 am

Hi Sam!

Thanks for another very interesting report with very nice pictures!

Very interesting choice to go to Sudan and interesting routing as well. Would love to visit some day and it seems to be safe. Would love to transit JED one day as well.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 6):
I wonder if the T7's are the same?

Yes, the 772s have it (or had ?) I flew FCO-CDG on 29Jan99 on HZ-AKJ and it had PTVs then. It's a while ago but I would guess they have PTVs on the 772s since they fly on long haul routes. The 330s are usually flown on medium to short haul routes.

SV should have their first 77W very soon.

Looking forward to your next report!

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
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:50 am

very interesting report!! You have got so much detail about your trip in the middle east! Luckily you!
The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1688
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:18 am

Thank you all. I am well delighted my short trip to Sudan on SV have generated so much interest!

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 13):
Another reason why this report is of such interest to me is I'm headed on SV tomorrow (transiting for 9 hours in JED without the luxury of a premium lounge to wait in - I'm a little apprehensive about that one!) so your report was published at the right time!

For anyone interested in Transitting Jeddah or Riyadh. You can find more information on my last 2 Trip Report there:

The Long Way From Dubai To Mumbai Via Jeddah EK/AI (by N178UA Apr 4 2011 in Trip Reports)

Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia! (by N178UA Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 4):
All that flying awkwardly during the night must create havoc on your body clock.

In a way, I appreciate many flights operate in Red-Eye hours so I save my time, and can skip a night of hotel stay and maximize my weekend visit of the country.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
p.s. you did excellently with the photos. I took one picture of a lazy dog on a train platform in Khartoum and immediately got arrested!

I would love to hear more on your story!


Cheers
Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Burj
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:44 am

Wow awesome trip report!

I love how easily you make friends!

The SV info is also greatly appreciated as they are joining SkyTeam! They are definitely an odd fit...compare SV to AF in terms of culture!

However SV will give those of us with SkyPesos a way to visit a lot of Gulf and South Asian destinations that are out of reach currently!
 
kaitak
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:32 am

Wonderful trip report, Sam; don't know how you get some of those photos; you must have great luck ....if that were me, I'd probably be leaving Saudi with one of my limbs missing!

I'm surprised that the SV A330s don't have any PTVs in Economy; they're very new aircraft.

Best regards - and hope 2012 brings some more great trip reports from you (and many more photos from LAX as well!)
 
debonair
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:30 am

Great TR! I wished you would have flown something more "exotic", like the KK B757's or MD90 (still in use?)...

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
No in-flight entertainment was offered on Saudia newish A330. Instead newspapers were offered.



Hi, a closer look to your cabin pictures reveal centre monitors and arm-rests headphones plug-inns - didn't they worked?! Also no PTV in Biz-Class, or just covered under the arm rest?!
 
gardermoen
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:42 am

Hi, what a fabulous report to an exotic and unusual place. I have heard horror stories of SV cabin crew, seems like you had a fairy good experience? Were the crew mainly foreign expats, male or female?

I am intrigued of this unusual flight on the DXB departure board. PVT 101 to Colombo at 2030? Do you know what that was?

Interesting to see "God Bless You" emblazoned on the aircraft. Not one of the more common things one sees on aircraft!
I'm sure you had memories to indeed last a lifetime. Really liked the landing shots of Khartoum.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi Sam,

a truly great report on SV. I like this airline. Did one flight on them myself and was treated with great attentive service.
Well, your choice to take KRT as destination is indeed not a 'standard' for many, I guess. You showed us a great adventure and all the positive sides of travelling into these 'difficult' countries. People are interested in you and are open to friendship. They show you around and help you where they can. Just fantastic.
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
chepos
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:20 pm

Thx for sharing, very interesting read not many SV TR's around here. Was that a MAS crew deadheading to Medinah or another Malaysian carrier? I ask the question because the crew are not using their famous kebaya but rather something bland, boring and not very colorful- and a veil? If it is a MAS crew I'm assuming it might be a special uniform for flights to The Kingdom similar to what Garuda does. Hope you enjoyed your time in The Sudan, great pics.

Regards,

Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
akhmad
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:06 pm

Hi Sam,

You are truly blessed with lots of opportunities to travel to exotic places and meeting people like Mr Sultan and Omer who surround you with hospitality and friendliness.  


Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
At the gate, to my surprise, I saw Malaysian Airlines entire crew deadheading to Medinah

I assume the female crew members would change their outfit into the kebaya ones once they were on duty.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Again, the officer was surprised I am going to Khartoum and hand me a meal voucher, he was very nice and efficient in working.

A meal voucher! SV does it the appropriate way for the Guest Class passengers.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
I steal some snap here and there without anyone seeing and yelling at me.

I am still amazed that Saudi Arabian airport officials are more relieved than the Qatari ones for instance.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
Watching the beautiful sunrise already making this trip so worth it!

Gorgeous!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
Some photos of the Sudanese People and street scenes

These precious photos make me melt right away.


Thanks for sharing. I wish you a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year 2012.

Suryo
Friends forever
 
767747
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:45 pm

Good report, Sam!

Looks like you had two good flights with SV. You have a great way of capturing all aspects of your trip to make the reader feel they were a long for the journey as well!

Thank you for sharing, sir! Happy New Year to you as well.

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
reifel
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:49 pm

Quoting airpearl (Reply 13):
.
What a fantastic journey Sam. Thanks for this report! I have been away from this forum for ages now but it was fortuitous stumbling onto this superb travel essay - but then yours always are anyway - when I decide to have look in. I just had to comment. So many special and unusual events here: a classic 747, a transit in JED, the huge prayer zone on the Airbus, the surreal difference between an empty new A333 and packed ageing 743, not to mention wonderful Khartoum, where the two Niles meet. Another reason why this report is of such interest to me is I'm headed on SV tomorrow (transiting for 9 hours in JED without the luxury of a premium lounge to wait in - I'm a little apprehensive about that one!) so your report was published at the right time! Thanks again Sam. Have a great Christmas!

You could maybe get into one of the lounge paying an entrance fee. Could be worth it for 9 hours. Otherwise you can expect a food voucher obviously   You may also ask for a hotel on airline expense if the transfer is due to the bad flight schedule. No clue if SV provides this, but you can still ask. Not sure if you can leave the transit area due to visa issues however.
 
airpearl
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:41 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 17):
For anyone interested in Transitting Jeddah or Riyadh. You can find more information on my last 2 Trip Report there:

The Long Way From Dubai To Mumbai Via Jeddah EK/AI (by N178UA Apr 4 2011 in Trip Reports)

Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia! (by N178UA Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

Thanks Sam. They were very useful reminders.

Quoting reifel (Reply 26):
You could maybe get into one of the lounge paying an entrance fee. Could be worth it for 9 hours. Otherwise you can expect a food voucher obviously   You may also ask for a hotel on airline expense if the transfer is due to the bad flight schedule. No clue if SV provides this, but you can still ask. Not sure if you can leave the transit area due to visa issues however.

I'm not sure there's a pay-per-entry lounge in JED and suspect there isn't one - but I'd certainly have enough time to find out   Hotels are definitely out of the question - getting out requires a visa and I don't have one. However it turns out though, I am certain this transit will be far from "routine".
 
N178UA
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:51 pm

Hi AirPearl

Are you transitting from North to South Terminal in JED (or v.v) Or within the same terminal ?

You should not have issue with the transfer at all. However, do try to print out a copy of Visa Transit Rules of traniting in KSA. You can find such rules on many airline website such as

http://www.emirates.com/english/plan...ion/visa_passport_information.aspx

It will be very easy to transit within the same terminal. For N to S or S to N terminals, it will be involve the Police take you across the tarmac! I believe it will be an amazing journey on its own  

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
N178UA
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:58 pm

Quoting debonair (Reply 20):
Hi, a closer look to your cabin pictures reveal centre monitors and arm-rests headphones plug-inns - didn't they worked?! Also no PTV in Biz-Class, or just covered under the arm rest?!

Not sure they work or not, most of the time, I don't watch TV or music either onboard, I simply daydream and too busy taking photos around or chatting with other passengers.

Quoting debonair (Reply 20):
Great TR! I wished you would have flown something more "exotic", like the KK B757's or MD90 (still in use?)...

What is KK ? Sun Air? Although the Sudanese Domestic carrier is interesting, I am only interested in Dove Air which flies a Tu-134B3 (ex Marsland Aviation) but she didn't move during my stay in Sudan.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 24):
You are truly blessed with lots of opportunities to travel to exotic places and meeting people like Mr Sultan and Omer who surround you with hospitality and friendliness.

Thank you Suryo. Very kind. I think Saudi crew are very good and hospitable, if you introduce yourself to them. I was allowed to sit in Business Class for the remainder of the flight on the A330.

The Saudi FA consist of Saudis (usually more senior, working 20+ years), lot of Filipinos and 2 Bosnians on contract (worst altitude, weren't interested in service at all). The Indonesian and Filipino are the best, they like to work with Saudia, as the airline have much more generous and longer layover in city like New York and others. (since SV don't fly daily to most long haul cities) The passengers behaved and are generally less demanding and less gadget to work with onboard.

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
debonair
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:30 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 29):
What is KK ?

KK is ATLASJET Turkey and Saudia lsd. some of there B757's...
 
planejamie
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:18 pm

How fantastic! I loved reading this trip report. When I lived in Riyadh a couple of years ago, I flew SV frequently to DXB from RUH, one time on a 747-300 (I think it was a sub for a -400) and a couple of 777 flights. Mainly because I had done EK and found them overpriced for what they are (and many other reasons, but I won't go into). SV is a decent carrier actually, I mean, what other airline can you get a full meal on a 90 minute flight (was gonna put hot, but on the second flight there, your meal wasn't hot).

I've never seen the inside of an SV Airbus so it looks far cleaner and newer than the 777s and 747s I've been on with them! Lack of IFE isn't actually an issue as I found when flying between RUH and DXB, it didn't get used and the PTVs were old and in a poor condition (scratches etc) so they used the over-aisle monitors anyway. I just used the PTV for camera views.

I hope when SV are fully in SkyTeam that I will fly with them more! My dad has tonnes of SV points/miles and as a carrier I have no issue with them! Maybe I'll visit JED for the first time in transit (the terminal looks really modern actually) I've been there onboard a CY A319 going Larnaca - JED - RUH but I stayed on the aircraft for obvious reasons (I was carrying onto RUH). Thanks for sharing this rare insight into SV!
 
N178UA
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:42 am

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 21):
I am intrigued of this unusual flight on the DXB departure board. PVT 101 to Colombo at 2030? Do you know what that was?

Good observation. I am not sure. Does anyone here knows?

Quoting chepos (Reply 23):
Was that a MAS crew deadheading to Medinah or another Malaysian carrier? I ask the question because the crew are not using their famous kebaya but rather something bland, boring and not very colorful- and a veil? If it is a MAS crew I'm assuming it might be a special uniform for flights to The Kingdom similar to what Garuda does.

I have seen MH crew depart Jeddah on MH150/151 schedule service with full kebaya uniform, perhaps this is a charter and they do a differently ?
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
MHTripple7
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:34 am

Awesome trip report! Very rare and exotic for sure. SV is a fascinating airline, and their new A330s look great. A shame about the lack of PTVs, however.

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
There are many stories on lengthy visa delay or almost impossible to have a Visit Visa. (no such thing called Tourist Visa) Luckily my Sudanese Colleague’s father in law was the Sudanese Ambassador to UAE, so a Visit Visa can be arranged through the Embassy on the same day!

Ahh, it's nice have someone on the "inside" helping you out!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
A quick call to Saudi Airlines office to confirm I do not need Visa on transitting, even the plane stop by at Medina, which makes it bit more interesting!

Do you have any idea as to how hard it is to obtain a transit visa for Saudi Arabia? I'd love to check out the place, even if it was only for two nights while "in transit". I know they don't issue tourist or regular visas, so that'd really be the only way.

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
I have met a young man name Omer, later we befriended each other and he became my tour guide in Khartoum and the life support there.

This is actually really cool. You seem to be pretty good at making friends!
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:06 am

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 33):
Do you have any idea as to how hard it is to obtain a transit visa for Saudi Arabia? I'd love to check out the place, even if it was only for two nights while "in transit". I know they don't issue tourist or regular visas, so that'd really be the only way.

It is quite possible since there is a Transit Visa category. Enquire local Saudi Embassy, I will leave you for the challenge  
Quoting debonair (Reply 30):
KK is ATLASJET Turkey and Saudia lsd. some of there B757's...

Yes the 757 are parked next to my Saudi 747-300 on the Tarmac in JED. I am mostly interested on Classics and Jumbos  
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
deltamartin
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:32 pm

Hi Sam!

Thanks for posting this great tripreport, I truly enjoyed reading about your traveling to Khartoum.
I like your routing, as you said, definitely preferable over LCC's.
That A330 looks really nice. Looks wired though that such a new widebody doesn't have PTV's. Thanks for explaining why, as I was gonna ask.
Nice to catch a ride on a 747 classic, I can only imagine that it was a rather special flight.

Martin
 
HiJazzey
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:28 pm

Hey Sam,

Merry christmas. I'm glad your trip went well. I haven't flown SV in a while, but I've heard from a few that the catering isn't what it used to be. You seem to have had the same experience.

BTW the thing about Saudis not watching TV or listening to music is BS. SV are just being cheap.
 
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vivekman2006
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:15 am

What a fantastic TR Sam!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
A very fast rotation off Rwy30R passing the lights of Deira, Mina, and Sheikh Zayed Road high-rises. The plane performs no turns as we head straight Westward towards Medinah. Flying time is 2 hr 30mins.
No in-flight entertainment was offered on Saudia newish A330. Instead newspapers were offered

Wow, it is so strange. A modern aircraft like the A330 with the screens missing looks so weird!  
Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Business Class onboard A330-300

Was there IFE in Business Class?

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I took my chance to take a few more cabin photos before the seat belt sign came up.

Superb shots Sam. Such a classic looking cabin!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
This trip gave me an immense level of satisfaction, I was on a mission and through my strong will, I achieved exactly what I wanted. A lifetime story to tell for the next generations I suppose.

Totally man!

The photos (both aviation & non-aviation) are superb. I am sure it must have been an exhilarating experience.

Cheers,
Vivek
 
MSS658
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:20 pm

Hi Sam

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing it with us.
We don't see to many trip reports of SV or KHT. Thanks for bringing us here
The 747 looks classic, but that is how it is supposed to be!
Thanks for showing us some Sudan-lifestyle as well

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
sjacob
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:43 am

Sam welcome to Africa.........KRT looks good.........

I hope you enjoyed the trip to Africa.   

Hope to see more travels to Africa
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:45 am

Hi Sam,

excellent review with fantastic pictures! Very good to see a new report about SV. However, I'm shocked that there's no IFE on the brand new A330s! Do you know what to expect on the 777s?

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I also took photo of the praying area which are located at the back of the plane.

Interesting - are the lavatories located nearby?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
ba319-131
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:53 pm

Sam - Amazing!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I have developed a modest interest and curiosity to go to Sudan from my fellow work colleague which is from there. A few plane spotters recently shared information with me about the prospect of spotting there

- Brave of you for sure to go there, I'm not of the same metal you are!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
The Non-Emirates departure board, much more colourful

- Makes a nice change and far more interesting!

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
Saudia check-in was at Area F, which is the old Emirates USA flight check in area before they moved out

- Remember the area well from the inagural A380 flight  
Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
A quick dinner is served. The food looks better on the picture but the pasta was barely edible. The sweet and salad were fine.

- What, surely a nice curry or something in this part of the world?

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I went explore around the cabin after the meal and was invited to sit in First Class (or Business class) as the guest of the purser Mr Sultan. He told me no problem with photo whatsoever as long as no crew photos is in the picture. I also took photo of the praying area which are located at the back of the plane.

- Kind of him. I have so say the entire cabin is quite stark, I thought SV would have nice sand like colours , similar to aircraft exteriors - very boring!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
A Saudia Jumbo Jet, B747-368

- Cool in this day and age, rare!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
Breakfast was served with choices of Ful Medames or Omelet. However the Omelet was cold and I think they forgot to heat up the breakfast. With a short flying time of 1hr 30mins, may be there isn’t enough time to wait for the food to be heat up and then serve it. The crews were working very fast and served rounds of coffee/tea before landing.

- Impressive offerings for such a short flight with a high capacity, same it was not warmed through though!

Quoting N178UA (Reply 1):
You can see more Plane Spotting photos from Khartoum at

http://www.samchuiphotos.com/New/Kha....html

- Very nice!

Excellent stuff Sam, most enjoyable!

Cheers

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
 
planejamie
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:37 am

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 40):
Do you know what to expect on the 777s?

I do. Some have been "refitted" with lie-flat Business class, (I presume flat bed First) 3-3-3 Economy (previously 2-5-2) and nose to tail AVOD. The only thing with the AVOD (great selection) was that the women are blacked out and some scenes are cut out for obvious reasons due to the nature of the country.

The non-refitted 777s have PTVs and I think it's a tape loop system. On both the legroom is fine, food fine and a decent all round carrier.

Source: My dad who still lives and works in Saudi Arabia and frequently commutes on SV. He's pretty much flown every aircraft in their fleet now (except the Embraer E-Jets)
 
N178UA
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:39 am

Happy new year to all!   Thanks for your replies.

Quoting HiJazzey (Reply 36):
BTW the thing about Saudis not watching TV or listening to music is BS. SV are just being cheap.

I know this, of course most passenger prefer something to watch over boredom. But from what this Saudi citizen told me is amazing, so his quote quickly came to my mind after seeing no PTV on their A330s.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 40):
However, I'm shocked that there's no IFE on the brand new A330s! Do you know what to expect on the 777s?

Yes, I know their B777 has. Would be interesting to see where their new B77W flies to.....

Quoting vivekman2006 (Reply 37):
The photos (both aviation & non-aviation) are superb. I am sure it must have been an exhilarating experience.

Totally!

Quoting sjacob (Reply 39):
I hope you enjoyed the trip to Africa.

Hope to see more travels to Africa

Would love to do more Africa travel this year  

Cheers
Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
signol
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:53 pm

Sam,

at the risk of sounding like a broken record and repeating what others have said - Amazing!

Saudi doesn't immediately strike as a common airline, especially with non-Saudis. I guess this can explain the lack of transit passengers. (Did you use the meal voucher, given your Priority Pass lounge access?) Especially since a visa for Saudi can be very hard to get, people may be worried about a transit there.

Interesting too they provide a "prayer area" at the back of the aircraft - did the 747 have one too? It would appear to us to be a waste of sellable space, but for some religion can be a powerful force. Can you imagine an on-board church on a western airline?!

Also fantastic pictures from Khartoum, not a usual destination for sure!

Thanks again!

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
The777Man
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:51 am

Hi Sam!

From Airline Route.net 2Nov11:

Jeddah – Casablanca eff 01MAR12 3 weekly
Jeddah – Cairo 01MAR12 SV307/306
Jeddah – Kuala Lumpur eff 29FEB12 4 weekly
Jeddah – Riyadh – Kuala Lumpur eff 06MAR12 1 weekly
Riyadh – Jeddah – Casablanca eff 05MAR12 2 weekly
Riyadh – Kuala Lumpur eff 02MAR12 2 weekly

Configuration:

J30 (2-3-2)

Y383 (3-3-3)

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
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:04 am

Hi Sam,

I've been meaning to congratulate you on yet another stellar report!! In the words from Star Trek "To go where no man (a.netter) has ever gone before" lol. Those pics of the Saudia 744 are amazing, how fortunate to be able to use the stairs and not have anyone say anything to you, unlike an airport like Abu Dhabi where you would be told off, well maybe not you lol

I find the fact that there are no PTVs on board because the planes are used for labour flights, is a bit discriminatory!! What happens on sectors where they are not doing these labour flights to and from Saudi Arabia.

There was a time in the 80s that Saudia had skirts and blouses for their FAs, before they actually went to the very conservative uniform where long sleeved coats, pants, headscarf fully around the face, revealing nothing but the smile of the FA, and keeping with the Islamic traditions. I lived in an area that had SV FAs that used to go to work in the skirt and blouses,that looked really nice actually.

Quoting chepos (Reply 23):
Thx for sharing, very interesting read not many SV TR's around here. Was that a MAS crew deadheading to Medinah or another Malaysian carrier? I ask the question because the crew are not using their famous kebaya but rather something bland, boring and not very colorful- and a veil? If it is a MAS crew I'm assuming it might be a special uniform for flights to The Kingdom similar to what Garuda does. Hope you enjoyed your time in The Sudan, great pics.
Quoting N178UA (Reply 32):
I have seen MH crew depart Jeddah on MH150/151 schedule service with full kebaya uniform, perhaps this is a charter and they do a differently ?

I'm assuming the Malaysian crew were dressed this way is because they were going to Medinah, the most holiest city in Islam and it would be mandatory to be completely covered, that is hands, head, legs etc. I'm surprised though that they are not even wearing abayas to fully cover themselves. For Hajj flights they probably even remained dressed that way while on the aircraft, but I really wouldn't know.
 
reifel
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:02 pm

Hi Sam,

just read this report when looking for previous experiences with SV. I booked a mighty routing DXB-JED-RUH-MXP with SV 6 hours layover in JED and 8 in RUH. In total 16 hrs in KSA and 2 transits, just under the 18 hour limit allowed for transit without visa.
It was very interesting to read your experience, and I am reveiled to read that the Alfursan lounges will be nice to spend the layovers, giving me food and some opportunity to sleep. Do you remember if they had showers and/or some kind of "relaxing area" where people could sleep (i.e. dimmed or with some kind of sofa beds as in other lounges)?

Furthermore, what was the meal like they offered you? Did you actually used the voucher since you had the lounge? I read horrendous comments about transiting in KSA as the facilities both of JED and RUH are very bad (as long as you don't have lounge access).

Maybe someone else can also enlight this: As you were transiting international to international in the same airport this was quite straightforward, but in my situation, I will need to transfer from International to Domestic and then from Domestic to International again. Is there a domestic lounge in JED where I can spend 6 hours? Or is SV even providing hotels (especially on the 8 hours layover in RUH)? I suppose I will need to deal with immigration in JED and emmigration in RUH...
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:28 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 46):
I've been meaning to congratulate you on yet another stellar report!! In the words from Star Trek "To go where no man (a.netter) has ever gone before" lol. Those pics of the Saudia 744 are amazing, how fortunate to be able to use the stairs and not have anyone say anything to you, unlike an airport like Abu Dhabi where you would be told off, well maybe not you lol

Very kind of you Flightsimboy

Quoting reifel (Reply 47):
I booked a mighty routing DXB-JED-RUH-MXP with SV 6 hours layover in JED and 8 in RUH. In total 16 hrs in KSA and 2 transits, just under the 18 hour limit allowed for transit without visa.

Unless your flight from JED-RUH-MXP is on a single SV flight number, otherwise I am afraid this routing will not work without possession of a Saudi Transit Visa.

Quoting reifel (Reply 47):
Furthermore, what was the meal like they offered you? Did you actually used the voucher since you had the lounge? I read horrendous comments about transiting in KSA as the facilities both of JED and RUH are very bad (as long as you don't have lounge access).

I have a priority pass card so I was allowed to use the Al Fursan Lounge. I didn't take up the meal voucher offer to transit pax. Yes, transit facility are very limited in RUH and JED. But it remains possible for International to International transit.

Quoting reifel (Reply 47):
Maybe someone else can also enlight this: As you were transiting international to international in the same airport this was quite straightforward, but in my situation, I will need to transfer from International to Domestic and then from Domestic to International again. Is there a domestic lounge in JED where I can spend 6 hours? Or is SV even providing hotels (especially on the 8 hours layover in RUH)? I suppose I will need to deal with immigration in JED and emmigration in RUH...

Like I have said above, I believe your routing will not work because it involves int'l to domestic to int'l sector.

May I know what type of equipment they are flying to MXP?

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
reifel
Posts: 1534
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:53 pm

RE: Saudi Arabian Airlines Dubai To Khartoum 2 Stops

Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks for your reply.
According to TIMATIC this is allowed even on a "real" domestic flight, if all the flights are operated by SV and if the time between first port of entry and last port of exit is less than 18 hours. Aparently you don't even need to remain airside...
I will nevertheless try to get this confirmed by the Saudi Embassy and if they recommend it try to apply for a transit visa...
But again, according to TIMATIC it should be fine.

All flights are operated by boring A320. I could have got a longhaul a/c on the Domestic sector, but since they expect a 4h minimum connecting time in JED I need to take a 1AM flight and the flights operating at night between JED and RUH are A320... The whole thing is in January, so it may change til then.

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