abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:14 pm

Feedback always appreciated.




I > Background:
As many of you know, I had cut my trans-Siberian short to take an interesting adventure on board Ir Aero (http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/209040/) to Vladivostok. We had to somehow get to Beijing and it seemed the only flight available was from relatively nearby Khabarovsk (KHV). None of us wanted to do another short flight on a regional airline, so we settled for an interesting road trip.

Khabarovsk was a pleasant town and we actually had a great time. It is an interesting city, and a pleasant escape from the rest of Russia. I really enjoyed the Asian influence on the city as it seems to have mellowed the residents, and made them more "open" than their counterparts inland.

So the ticket we found to get us to Beijing was on Vladivostok Avia (aka: Vladavia) - I am actually surprised that this might be the first report of Vladavia on A.Net on its KHV-PEK run. As an additional bonus, the flight was supposedly on a Tupolev Tu-204 - a type, I had never flown before.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
Vladivostok Air (aka: Vladavia) is the largest carrier in the Russian Far East and Siberia, with scheduled domestic flights within Russia and international flights to Asia, and Europe, as well as charter flights - all the way to Africa. With a modern fleet of 320, 330, T20 among others, XF flies from its main hub at Vladivostok International Airport, and secondary hubs at Moscow Vnukovo International Airport and Khabarovsk Novy International Airport.

Unlike all the excitement of booking with Ir Aero, ticketing with Vladavia was very simple. In fact, I though Vlad Avia had the smoothest booking engine of all Russian airlines. Located at http://www.vladivostokavia.ru/en/, I was amazed at the clean design and efficiency of use. Within a few minutes, I had booked the group KHV-PEK tickets - for the first time, I got no errors or anything at a Russian site. Moreover, since there was no ability to request seats, I took the moment to email their reservation desk and was shocked when an English speaking agent called my Russian mobile phone and confirmed the group and what seats we wanted. Who would have thought?

b) At Airport:
After a last night of debauchery in Mother Russia, it was time to head back. Most of us ended up sleeping well past noon as our creaky "30's bodies" moaned the effect of partying like we were in our 20's. Very sad indeed. Anyways, it took us around 2 hours to pack and checkout, and wearily make it to KHV airport. Now, KHV airport is like other airports in Russia, a fascinating construct of how you forget local culture and embrace uninspiring Ikea-like airport infrastructure that seems to be mushrooming everywhere in the world. Seriously people, these generic airports are beginning to get on my nerves.

Thankfully, the inside of the airport was more like Ma-Russia, and we were welcomed at the Vladavia counter by a rather nice lady. She was very intrigued by our "tour group" and developed an affinity for my Indian friend (and fellow A.Netter). Apparently, Bollywood movies are huge in Siberia (go figure) and she went off on this long conversation and even sang some sing to him in Hindi. He just rolled his eyes and apparently said that he is getting a lot of these random comments (in Brasil, the top TV "telenovella" is some Indian love story) ... but either way, what was a 5 minute check-in process turned out to be an amusing 20 minutes or so. None of us cared, but I think the people in the queue behind us had other opinions  .

After check-in, we had some time to kill, and went upstairs to the "fine dining" restaurant - some of us got a bite to eat while others plane spotted. A new Airbus A-320 had just pulled in, and the crew were all taking pictures of the aircraft with them in it. I was amused because I find the 320/737 so generic and here it was an exotic commodity. As I began wondering where the T20 was, a bad feeling crept through me of an equipment swap.

Quick immigration and security later, we pulled into the rather uninspired waiting area. There really was not much going on and we waited until boarding was called 45 minutes prior to the flight. There was the usual Russian madness to join the boarding process ("ILBST" is fully in gear here), and we fought our way to the gate ... and to my sheer disappointment, the brand new 320. Oh well. I think the disappointment would be greater and unbearable if it was some historical aircraft! Boarding was via staircase and we soon found ourselves in the most generic 320 cabin. It was such a huge contrast from days earlier. Y load was around 90%.

Airport - External:

(Khabarovsk Airport: Old)

*
(New)


Check-in:



Airport - Internal:



(FIDS)
NONE
*

(Post Security @ KHV)

*


Scenes of the tarmac:

(I was severely reprimanded after taking this picture)


Lounge

NONE



Boarding:


(Gate Area)
NONE



III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
These days, I have moderate expectations from Economy Class on a medium haul flight - service consisted of a drink and meal service as soon as take-off.

b) Aircraft + Seats:
One of the highlights would have been flying my first Tupolev 204 - but as mentioned above, this was not to be. The Airbus 320 was as generic as you could get. Being new, the aircraft was clean and sterile - reminded me of a flight I once did on a new indiGo 320 a few years back - the entire white fuselage with generic blue seats looked a tad too boring for me. The positive side was clean bathrooms - with no "poo-poo". Small gains huh  ?

The seat itself was actually OK - the pitch was very tight, but the recline was generous. Now, that worked well until the person in front decided to put her/his seat in recline.

Aircraft:
(Our aircraft)


Views from Aircraft:

(@ KHV Airport)

*

*

*

*

*


General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

(Seat)

*
(Front of seat)
NONE
*
(Seat controls)
NONE
*
(Around Seat)
NONE
*
(Legroom)


Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Notice the difference between these seats, and say LH's slim-line)

*


Cabin:


*

*

(Blanket ++)
NONE

(Bathroom)


c) Meal + Beverage:
30 minutes into the flight, the meal service commenced. This consisted of first a drink service where I proceeded to take a ginger ale (still nursing that hungover) and some water - they were served in those frat house party glasses. Then, dinner was served. I was actually positively surprised to see the offering - first a plate was given to me with bread, some cold cuts, couple of sushi, and a rather nice looking dessert. I thought it was decent offering for a 22,30 flight - so imagine my surprise when I was asked what I wanted for my main course?! Taken aback slightly, I chose the salmon over the chicken. While served with a rather uninspiring rice and corn, it was fresh and juicy. I have had far worse salmon in JCL.

Topping up the surprisingly good meal service was nice café. Overall, I felt really satisfied - though as my Israeli other half said that it could have been because my benchmark had been so lowered after the "meals" on our last flight ...

(Pre-takeoff @ KHV)

*
(Beverage & Dinner)

*


d) Inflight Entertainment:
Perhaps the single biggest disappointment on the flight was the lack of any IFE. Now, this was a brand new 320 with drop-down screens and safety briefings using these screens. Would it have been too hard to actually use them. For a flight of this length, I found this very poor. Their in-flight magazine was fairly informative - too bad I seem to have lost it along the way.

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.: No magazine - these were given @ take-off @ IKT)
NONE



e) Crew:
Well, there was no Olga on this flight. However, the crew were not particularly charming either. There was no real attempt to be warm and hospitable when I boarded the aircraft, during service, or when I disembarked. They did their service efficiently and without any drama. I guess that is what I had to settle for.

IV> Post-Flight:
Unlike most carriers who use the Norman Foster designed T3 @ PEK, Vladavia uses T2 - so as I have said before - swap the beautiful terminal filled with white people with a functional basic building with people who look as diverse as China’s increasingly fascinating foreign policy. Tons of flights to the “Stans” and those random other routes. Landing was smooth, and we were done with immigration and the like in a flat 15 minutes.

(Beijing - Terminal 2 Arrivals - depart AND arrive at 2230)


V> Impressions + Scores:
Vladavia gave me a no non-sense approach to getting me from point A to B. On these type of flights, I do not have major expectations, and I guess XF went ahead and matched what I thought of. I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of their online booking engine and customer service, and also by the nice dinner on board. This was balanced by a non-existent IFE, and a crew that seemed to display a notion of hospitality, I was not aware of   ...

Overall, neither a thumps up or down. If offered the choice, I would fly XF if the price and schedule was right again. I would not go out of my way to avoid it; nor, fly it.



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: JET AIRWAYS **FIRST** (110): LHR-BOM: 10/2010
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: UNITED AIRLINES **FIRST** (110): SFO-ICN: 10/2010
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.38: AMERICAN AIRLINES **FIRST** (112): LHR-JFK: 10/2010
7.38: CATHAY PACIFIC **FIRST** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Air Pacific (120): NAN-APW-HNL: 01/2011
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.88: Egypt Air (123): LHR-CAI: 03/2011
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.75: Afriqiyah + Libyan (113): CAI-TIP: 11/2010
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.11: Tunisair (115): TUN-ORY: 12/2010
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.89: TAAG Angola (117): TMS-LAD: 12/2010
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.81: STP Airways/Euro Atlantic (116): LIS-TMS: 12/2010
6.67: Air Malta (124): MLA-FRA: 04/2011
6.63: Vladivostok Avia (126): 06/2011
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.11: Caribbean Airlines (119): POS-FLL: 01/2011
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009
4.59: IR Aero (125): IKT-VVO: 06/2011

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.04: Suriname Airways (118): PBM-POS: 01/2011
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.52: Sevenair (114): TOE-TUN: 11/2010
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.04: Biman (121): DAC-CGP: 01/2011
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: United Bangla (122): CGP-DAC: 01/2011
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

NONE
Live, and let live.
 
Avianca
Posts: 5273
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:49 pm

great report as usual. I was actually checking these days kind of similar routings as I would like to go this or next year to Russia to make the Transib railway... and of course their would be several options to go back to CCS  

Cheers and thanks
Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
okapi
Posts: 161
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:15 pm

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:51 pm

My Goodness! What happened to Mr A's stunning trip reports?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
service consisted of a drink and meal service as soon as take-off.
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The positive side was clean bathrooms - with no "poo-poo". Small gains huh ?

No poo-poo? No cat food? No low altitude flying with impressive drops to allow passengers to place phone calls? And where is Olga? Come on! This story about some charming check-in employees who sings Hindi songs to one of your friends? Well, you've raised the bar very high after the Olga Airlines TR. And here you are again, once again, sharing the delights of travelling around the world, for the sole purpose to discover how diverse it is.

More seriously, I just thoroughly enjoy every single report of yours and this is no exception. Thanks for sharing. I also must admit that I really appreciate the Khabarovsk Airport pictures. The airport looks very interesting indeed.

Can't wait for your trip to Central Africa (did you say you're going to Cameroon or Uganda?)  

Take care!
oKp
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting Avianca (Reply 1):

great report as usual. I was actually checking these days kind of similar routings as I would like to go this or next year to Russia to make the Transib railway... and of course their would be several options to go back to CCS  

Cheers and thanks
Avianca

= Avianca, what the **ll? I thought you and I are going to trot the world together  . I have been away from home for 3 weeks now - am going to send you a PM now that you are back to CCS. It was time you left LIM - though, I must admit, LIM has better good than CCS.

Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
My Goodness! What happened to Mr A's stunning trip reports?
Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
No poo-poo? No cat food? No low altitude flying with impressive drops to allow passengers to place phone calls? And where is Olga? Come on!

= You know, I was thinking, no matter that I did, the next report was going to be "disappointing" after Olga Avia  . But the other part of me wonders - so you people on A.Net don't care about my safety and just want me to live dangerously for your benefit   ...

Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
This story about some charming check-in employees who sings Hindi songs to one of your friends?

= Haha. I have to find this picture where random beauty salons and other stuff all had Indian posters - my Indian friend was weirded out.

Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
And here you are again, once again, sharing the delights of travelling around the world, for the sole purpose to discover how diverse it is.

=  . The world is indeed diverse and amazing.

Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
More seriously, I just thoroughly enjoy every single report of yours and this is no exception. Thanks for sharing. I also must admit that I really appreciate the Khabarovsk Airport pictures. The airport looks very interesting indeed.

= Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting okapi (Reply 2):
Can't wait for your trip to Central Africa (did you say you're going to Cameroon or Uganda?)  

Take care!
oKp

= A larger trip to Africa is being planned - but the next report will cover an area of the world which surprisingly has VERY little trip reports - bonus points if you can guess where ...

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
Avianca
Posts: 5273
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:03 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= Avianca, what the **ll? I thought you and I are going to trot the world together . I have been away from home for 3 weeks now - am going to send you a PM now that you are back to CCS. It was time you left LIM - though, I must admit, LIM has better good than CCS.

jaja, we will trot the world together, dont worry !!!
Well right now I am still in MDE arriving in CCS in around 2 weeks, looking forward to meet soon in order to plan our trips!

Cheers
Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:49 am

Hello again Alex,

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
But the other part of me wonders - so you people on A.Net don't care about my safety and just want me to live dangerously for your benefit   ...

Heh. Well, how else are we going to get a TR on all these wonderful machines? But seriously, even in coldest Siberia, the risks aren't that bad (at least in summer--in winter hypothermia is probably quite a big risk).

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
As an additional bonus, the flight was supposedly on a Tupolev Tu-204 - a type, I had never flown before.

Really? Not even on CU's Tu-204s?

Well, it's a shame about the A/C swap... I really like the looks of the Tu-204 even if it's the most boring wing-engine configuration.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Now, KHV airport is like other airports in Russia, a fascinating construct of how you forget local culture and embrace uninspiring Ikea-like airport infrastructure that seems to be mushrooming everywhere in the world. Seriously people, these generic airports are beginning to get on my nerves.

It is ridiculous; they're all starting to look exactly the same. These sorts of "Ikea-Airports" often give a cold feeling of which I'm not a fan.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Apparently, Bollywood movies are huge in Siberia (go figure) and she went off on this long conversation and even sang some sing to him in Hindi.

Who would have thought!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The Airbus 320 was as generic as you could get. Being new, the aircraft was clean and sterile - reminded me of a flight I once did on a new indiGo 320 a few years back - the entire white fuselage with generic blue seats looked a tad too boring for me. The positive side was clean bathrooms - with no "poo-poo". Small gains huh  ?

So, keeping in mind all these aspects, A320 or An-24? Now that you have flown on the An-24 would you ever choose it over a much more boring 320 or 737 given all its inherent disadvantages (I mean: speed, noise, etc)?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Seat)

Legroom looks really bad there unfortunately.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Overall, neither a thumps up or down. If offered the choice, I would fly XF if the price and schedule was right again. I would not go out of my way to avoid it; nor, fly it.

That's what I'd call a typical airline nowadays. It seems XF isn't too bad.
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:43 am

Quoting Avianca (Reply 4):
jaja, we will trot the world together, dont worry !!!
Well right now I am still in MDE arriving in CCS in around 2 weeks, looking forward to meet soon in order to plan our trips!

Cheers
Avianca

= Sounds good. I am still thinking the HAV - LAD - TMS - LAD flight ... thoughts?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Heh. Well, how else are we going to get a TR on all these wonderful machines? But seriously, even in coldest Siberia, the risks aren't that bad (at least in summer--in winter hypothermia is probably quite a big risk).

= Haha -- I was joking man. I can die anywhere anytime - so why worry?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Really? Not even on CU's Tu-204s?

= No. I keep forgetting they have those - maybe a weekend trip from CCS. I am not a big fan of Cuba though - so that is a big deterrent.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
It is ridiculous; they're all starting to look exactly the same. These sorts of "Ikea-Airports" often give a cold feeling of which I'm not a fan.

= Yup. Thankfully, the Asian airports (HKG, SIN, DEL, etc.) have maintained their culture and integrated it as they build new terminals. How is the scene in Romania?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Who would have thought!

= I know!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
So, keeping in mind all these aspects, A320 or An-24? Now that you have flown on the An-24 would you ever choose it over a much more boring 320 or 737 given all its inherent disadvantages (I mean: speed, noise, etc)?

= What do you think  ?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Legroom looks really bad there unfortunately.

= Absolutely. Just look at the angle shot.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
That's what I'd call a typical airline nowadays. It seems XF isn't too bad.

= 100% what I thought.

Thanks for reading.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
Avianca
Posts: 5273
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:01 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Sounds good. I am still thinking the HAV - LAD - TMS - LAD flight ... thoughts?

couldnt agree more, we should start to plan this...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
= No. I keep forgetting they have those - maybe a weekend trip from CCS. I am not a big fan of Cuba though - so that is a big deterrent.

lets plan this as well, the fares are right now pritty cheap... around 2200 to 2500 bolos...
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:07 am

Hi Alex !

Thanks for another report with nice pictures!

XF seems nice but too bad you missed out on the Tu-204......

Meals looks fantastic and size is very impressive!

I guess I'm not that surprised about the indifferent crew; had the same experience on SU about ten years ago. Perhaps a cultural trait of Russia ?

Too with no IFE at all; they could at least have had a moving map display on......

Looking forward to your next report!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
but the next report will cover an area of the world which surprisingly has VERY little trip reports - bonus points if you can guess where ...

Domestic flights in Canada or Brazil ?

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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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:24 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Haha -- I was joking man. I can die anywhere anytime - so why worry?
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
No. I keep forgetting they have those - maybe a weekend trip from CCS. I am not a big fan of Cuba though - so that is a big deterrent.

I see. Why are you not a fan of Cuba?

One of my friends here at UChicago wants to go to Cuba sometime. There are definitely enough interesting aircraft in Cuba to make a trip worth it for me. Of course, I'm technically not allowed to spend any money in Cuba which makes such a trip in a grey area legally. Not that that ever stopped anyone.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Yup. Thankfully, the Asian airports (HKG, SIN, DEL, etc.) have maintained their culture and integrated it as they build new terminals. How is the scene in Romania?

Well, I don't know if you caught my report regarding my domestic trip in the summer of 2010: Romanian TR: Bucuresti-Suceava Via Timisoara (by dc9northwest Dec 24 2010 in Trip Reports)

Basically, the bigger airports are moving towards the bland architectural style with nothing special, as you can see from the Sibiu airport picture in my TR. CLJ, TSR, TGM also have new, boring terminals. OTP on the other hand is quite nice IMO and not just the simplest possible architecture they found.

Places like BBU (getting shut down very very soon it seems) have their "flair", but BBU is one of the worst airports I've been to functionally speaking (worse than CDG-but no need to connect). Small airports, like SCV, are rustic (check out the arrivals lounge pic) and maintain their flair--I actually think it looks good for an airport in arguably the poorest region in the EU.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
What do you think  ?

Well, for fun, the An-24. To get somewhere, the A320. That's what I'd do.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Thanks for reading.

Thanks for writing  
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:34 am

Another exotic report. Alex, give us a hint of what is next!
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:15 am

Hi Alex,

Good read, thanks, shame you missed out on the T20 though, that would have been cool!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
the ticket we found to get us to Beijing was on Vladivostok Avia

- I wanted to fly these guy's on an upcoming trip I have, sadly the schedules did not work.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
since there was no ability to request seats, I took the moment to email their reservation desk and was shocked when an English speaking agent called my Russian mobile phone and confirmed the group and what seats we wanted. Who would have thought?

- That's more than impressive!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
dinner was served. I was actually positively surprised to see the offering - first a plate was given to me with bread, some cold cuts, couple of sushi, and a rather nice looking dessert. I thought it was decent offering for a 22,30 flight - so imagine my surprise when I was asked what I wanted for my main course?! Taken aback slightly, I chose the salmon over the chicken. While served with a rather uninspiring rice and corn, it was fresh and juicy

- Not a bad looking meal for Y, much better than some stuff seemingly offered as 'food' these days.

Cheers

Mark
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:19 am

Hi Alex,

great report about another exotic airline! I really enjoyed this one. It's amazing how all these Russian carriers keep adding Western-built aircraft.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
The Airbus 320 was as generic as you could get. Being new, the aircraft was clean and sterile - reminded me of a flight I once did on a new indiGo 320 a few years back

It seems you had VP-BFY, an ex-Thomas Cook bird, built in 1997. It's much older than the Tu-204s.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:15 am

Nice report on a rather rare airline. I was planning a few flights with them and S7 a few years ago in the Far East, but my plans fell through - looks like they are quite a good/reliable airline

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I was actually positively surprised to see the offering - first a plate was given to me with bread, some cold cuts, couple of sushi, and a rather nice looking dessert. I thought it was decent offering for a 22,30 flight - so imagine my surprise when I was asked what I wanted for my main course?! Taken aback slightly, I chose the salmon over the chicken. While served with a rather uninspiring rice and corn, it was fresh and juicy. I have had far worse salmon in JCL.

Very impressive for Y. SHame there was no IFE, and you missed out of the Turpolev
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:02 pm

Nice TR! You sure are lucky to get to travel the world like this! Do you keep a flightlog? If so, how many flights do you have?

Rgds,
Sveinn
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Hi Alex,

great report, really interesting to see the pics from KHV. I always wondered how this airport would be like since during my work I usually took KHV as enroute alternate for our 777 Etops flightplanning. Thanks for the pictures.
The white Il-76 from Aviacon Zitotrans is often seen at EIN in The Netherlands, operating flights for the Army afaik. Why did the Russians make trouble to you after making this picture? Nothing to be seen except the aircraft.

Sorry to hear about not scoring a ride on the Tu204, I would love to fly on one. But what's up with the Tu204 (or 214?) without engines. Is this ex Dalavia judging from the colours?

As already mentioned by PH, your aircraft VP-BFY is not really new, you can also see this in the pictures of the 'old' interior and overhead panels in the cabin. The cabin looks well maintained though, friendly staff, user friendly websites, good catering. It seems to be a really nice airline to me.

Thanks,
Eric
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:50 am

Quoting Avianca (Reply 7):
couldnt agree more, we should start to plan this...

= Absolutely. Let me know when you are back, and we shall start. Their schedule seems very erratic. The biggest issue is going to be getting that rare Angolan visa. I would love to spend at least a few days in the country - outside LAD, it is supposed to be incredibly nice.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 7):

lets plan this as well, the fares are right now pritty cheap... around 2200 to 2500 bolos..

= Ya ... maybe, use it to connect to the aforementioned?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
XF seems nice but too bad you missed out on the Tu-204......

= Ya. I might get a chance with CU as suggested.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Meals looks fantastic and size is very impressive!

= It was!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
I guess I'm not that surprised about the indifferent crew; had the same experience on SU about ten years ago. Perhaps a cultural trait of Russia ?

= In general, I agree with you - but, I also had a great SU crew (reviewed the flight) on MOW-DEL and also on a SEA-SVO flight once. Did you fly them J or Y?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
Domestic flights in Canada or Brazil ?

The777Man

= Haha. Pretty impressive - now, can you think of the airline/routing? I will be mightily impressed!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 9):
I see. Why are you not a fan of Cuba?

= I am all for socialism and all-inclusive development ... but Cuba is ANYTHING but. I mean, how can you claim to be about equal access when you have islands where the locals cannot even go to!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 9):
One of my friends here at UChicago wants to go to Cuba sometime. There are definitely enough interesting aircraft in Cuba to make a trip worth it for me. Of course, I'm technically not allowed to spend any money in Cuba which makes such a trip in a grey area legally. Not that that ever stopped anyone.

= Are you an American citizen or Romanian?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 9):
Well, I don't know if you caught my report regarding my domestic trip in the summer of 2010: Romanian TR: Bucuresti-Suceava Via Timisoara (by dc9northwest Dec 24 2010 in Trip Reports)

= Ohhh ... my read for tomorrow. I will post comments there.

Basically, the bigger airports are moving towards the bland architectural style with nothing special, as you can see from the Sibiu airport picture in my TR. CLJ, TSR, TGM also have new, boring terminals. OTP on the other hand is quite nice IMO and not just the simplest possible architecture they found.

Places like BBU (getting shut down very very soon it seems) have their "flair", but BBU is one of the worst airports I've been to functionally speaking (worse than CDG-but no need to connect). Small airports, like SCV, are rustic (check out the arrivals lounge pic) and maintain their flair--I actually think it looks good for an airport in arguably the poorest region in the EU.

= There is nothing worse than CDG  . Don't ever forget that   ... though, increasingly, I am getting annoyed @ FRA.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 9):
Well, for fun, the An-24. To get somewhere, the A320. That's what I'd do.

= Agred.

Quoting kiramakora (Reply 10):
Another exotic report. Alex, give us a hint of what is next!

= Think exotic planes ...

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 11):
Good read, thanks, shame you missed out on the T20 though, that would have been cool!

= Agreed Mark. Next time?

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 11):
- I wanted to fly these guy's on an upcoming trip I have, sadly the schedules did not work.

= What was your planned routing?

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 11):
- Not a bad looking meal for Y, much better than some stuff seemingly offered as 'food' these days.

Cheers

Mark

= Agreed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
great report about another exotic airline! I really enjoyed this one. It's amazing how all these Russian carriers keep adding Western-built aircraft.

= Ya. Did you read the Ir Aero report?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):

Nice report on a rather rare airline. I was planning a few flights with them and S7 a few years ago in the Far East, but my plans fell through - looks like they are quite a good/reliable airline

= Where were you planning to fly?

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 14):
Nice TR! You sure are lucky to get to travel the world like this! Do you keep a flightlog? If so, how many flights do you have?

Rgds,
Sveinn

= Been on around 3,300 flights. I will have to check.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 15):
great report, really interesting to see the pics from KHV. I always wondered how this airport would be like since during my work I usually took KHV as enroute alternate for our 777 Etops flightplanning. Thanks for the pictures.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 15):
The white Il-76 from Aviacon Zitotrans is often seen at EIN in The Netherlands, operating flights for the Army afaik. Why did the Russians make trouble to you after making this picture? Nothing to be seen except the aircraft.

= No idea ... this Russian bloke came screaming at me with "Nyet" "Nyet" and I was like OK. My Israeli better half and the Croatian friend were not amused at his violent behaviour.

Amazing isn't it when an aircraft you know suddenly is spotted in somewhere so random.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 15):
Sorry to hear about not scoring a ride on the Tu204, I would love to fly on one. But what's up with the Tu204 (or 214?) without engines. Is this ex Dalavia judging from the colours?

= PH. Thoughts?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 15):
As already mentioned by PH, your aircraft VP-BFY is not really new, you can also see this in the pictures of the 'old' interior and overhead panels in the cabin. The cabin looks well maintained though, friendly staff, user friendly websites, good catering. It seems to be a really nice airline to me.

Thanks,
Eric
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
It seems you had VP-BFY, an ex-Thomas Cook bird, built in 1997. It's much older than the Tu-204s.


PH

= Eric, ya - pretty neat airline for sure. Now, both of you - actually this was new - the aircraft that is pictured (VP-BFY) was the other 320 - this is the picture I took thinking it was ours - before the security guard came screaming at us. So technically, I should say of the picture "sister ship". You two have great eyes!

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:49 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
= Are you an American citizen or Romanian?

Both, in fact. I am a dual passport holder... I'm pretty sure the US doesn't want me to spend money in Cuba even if I would enter on a Romanian passport though.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
There is nothing worse than CDG  . Don't ever forget that   ... though, increasingly, I am getting annoyed @ FRA.

Heh... Well, I don't know. Not as bad as 2B, I guess  Never changed planes at FRA... And we used boarding bridges both times, surprisingly. I can't form an opinion on such little data.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
I am all for socialism and all-inclusive development ... but Cuba is ANYTHING but. I mean, how can you claim to be about equal access when you have islands where the locals cannot even go to!

Yes, I had heard about this. Quite strange. But I guess given the two currencies it only makes sense you have two types of domestic destinations--for locals and for foreigners... I'm curious if it's possible to get a taste of the real Cuba.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
No idea ... this Russian bloke came screaming at me with "Nyet" "Nyet" and I was like OK. My Israeli better half and the Croatian friend were not amused at his violent behaviour.

Don't you just love the Eastern Bloc school of thought? Forbidden, no, no! No photo! State secret! (combine this last one with a 40 year old An-24 and you have irony that hipsters can only dream about) How is a normal aircraft photographed hundreds of thousands of times a state secret? Who knows!
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:54 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(I was severely reprimanded after taking this picture)

Look on the bright side, at least they allowed you to keep the picture.
 
The777Man
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:00 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):I guess I'm not that surprised about the indifferent crew; had the same experience on SU about ten years ago. Perhaps a cultural trait of Russia ?
= In general, I agree with you - but, I also had a great SU crew (reviewed the flight) on MOW-DEL and also on a SEA-SVO flight once. Did you fly them J or Y?

Y. Actually, the ARN-SVO was not bad and it featured older Olga type of F/As. The young model-looking F/As on SVO-PEK had very poor sense of service.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):Domestic flights in Canada or Brazil ?

The777Man
= Haha. Pretty impressive - now, can you think of the airline/routing?

YUL-YVR vv or YUL-YYZ vv ?

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
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:21 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Both, in fact. I am a dual passport holder... I'm pretty sure the US doesn't want me to spend money in Cuba even if I would enter on a Romanian passport though.

= Oh come on. Just risk it and use your Romanian passport to enter. Why not fly to a place like (say) Venezuela or Mexico or Canada and then take an interesting Cubana flight? I recommend Cayo Coco, but I hear there are resorts now and very touristy.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Heh... Well, I don't know. Not as bad as 2B, I guess  Never changed planes at FRA... And we used boarding bridges both times, surprisingly. I can't form an opinion on such little data.

= Fair enough. I have had really poor luck with FRA of late and getting bus gates each time - does not matter if they are long haul (CCS) or short haul (BLQ).

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Yes, I had heard about this. Quite strange. But I guess given the two currencies it only makes sense you have two types of domestic destinations--for locals and for foreigners... I'm curious if it's possible to get a taste of the real Cuba.

= I think you can in Havana - harder elsewhere.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 17):
Don't you just love the Eastern Bloc school of thought? Forbidden, no, no! No photo! State secret! (combine this last one with a 40 year old An-24 and you have irony that hipsters can only dream about) How is a normal aircraft photographed hundreds of thousands of times a state secret? Who knows!

= I know. But, it is definitely not all throughout the Eastern Bloc though - for example, no real problems in places such as Litthuania, Latvia, Serbia, etc.

Quoting EricR (Reply 18):
Look on the bright side, at least they allowed you to keep the picture.

= Aaah ... but I sneak it though claiming I had deleted it, and showing them pictures of Khabarovsk nightlife  .

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Y. Actually, the ARN-SVO was not bad and it featured older Olga type of F/As. The young model-looking F/As on SVO-PEK had very poor sense of service.

= Absolutely agree on this one! You know, I also find this true in many parts of the world.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
YUL-YVR vv or YUL-YYZ vv ?

The777Man

= Come on L ... give me some more credit  .

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:59 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Oh come on. Just risk it and use your Romanian passport to enter. Why not fly to a place like (say) Venezuela or Mexico or Canada and then take an interesting Cubana flight? I recommend Cayo Coco, but I hear there are resorts now and very touristy.

Oh, trust me, just because the US has stupid policies doesn't mean I wouldn't go. Indeed I was thinking about flying to CUN or MEX and taking the Tu-204 from there (a detour through CCS or BOG probably wouldn't fly if I go with my friend--unless it's much cheaper!). A non-US CC also helps a lot given the restrictions.

I was actually trying to see whether a sidetrip to CCS or BOG would fit so I can say I've been to South America as well. Thing is, it probably won't happen until 2013, possibly spring break, so it's a bit early to plan--stuff will change.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
I think you can in Havana - harder elsewhere.

Yes, it seems so. I was just reading Superfly's TR to Cuba from 2001 earlier today.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
I know. But, it is definitely not all throughout the Eastern Bloc though - for example, no real problems in places such as Litthuania, Latvia, Serbia, etc.

Yeah, true, I had no problems in the Baltic states. And it's changing in Romania too; it's much better than 5 years ago.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Fair enough. I have had really poor luck with FRA of late and getting bus gates each time - does not matter if they are long haul (CCS) or short haul (BLQ).

Yeah, even in 2004, there were a lot of aircraft on parking stands. I was actually surprised when I got lucky both times.
 
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:01 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
Ya. Did you read the Ir Aero report?

I had a look at it - but honestly, I'm not a fan of old Russian-built aircraft. I would never take a flight on those.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
Now, both of you - actually this was new - the aircraft that is pictured (VP-BFY) was the other 320 - this is the picture I took thinking it was ours - before the security guard came screaming at us. So technically, I should say of the picture "sister ship". You two have great eyes!

Alright - but the newest A320 in the fleet is a frame built in 12/2000 (ex-Iberia).


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
The777Man
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:39 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):YUL-YVR vv or YUL-YYZ vv ?

The777Man
= Come on L ... give me some more credit

Perhaps something on First Air or similar? Iqualit - Montreal ?  

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
 
globalflyer
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:36 pm

Hi Alex... Nice read. I have always been curious about XF. I would see them in ICN and wanted to try them to BKK but never had the chance. Actually a trip up to VVO sounds kind of cool. So sorry Olga was not on the flight!  
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
SuperCaravelle
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:30 pm

I've been following your reports for quite a while now, and they are always very enjoyable, so allow me to say thank you for your efforts in general and of course also for this newest installment. A bit less exciting than your IrAero one, but I doubt that's a bad thing.

I've heard before that Vladivostok Avia is a really decent airline, it's good that there is such a choice in that region for those people (most of us I bet) not daring to board an Antonov-24. Pity that you didn't get the Tu-204 though, but they will be around for some time to come (actually, are they still being produced today? I think so, albeit at a really low amount).

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
= A larger trip to Africa is being planned - but the next report will cover an area of the world which surprisingly has VERY little trip reports - bonus points if you can guess where ...

I'm guessing inland China, considering your destination in this report.. Although it wouldn't surprise me if you went hunting for the only operator of the Ilyushin 114 (Uzbekistan Airlines) for our entertainment   Looking forward to it either way.

[Edited 2012-02-15 10:32:07]
 
akhmad
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:19 pm

Hi Alex,

What a delightful report. First you gave us the taste of Africa, this time is for Russia!  

I am pleasantly surprised to learn that your online booking experience was hassle-free and followed up immediately and properly by ticketing agent. This is the way to get potential passengers excited to go on board.

Then on board, the meal was just impressive! The crew members might be distant, but they did a great job to keep the cabin and the bathroom spotlessly clean.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Most of us ended up sleeping well past noon as our creaky "30's bodies" moaned the effect of partying like we were in our 20's

Are you serious?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
She was very intrigued by our "tour group" and developed an affinity for my Indian friend (and fellow A.Netter).

Did the story have a happy ending?


Thank you for sharing.

Best wishes,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
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RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:13 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 21):
Oh, trust me, just because the US has stupid policies doesn't mean I wouldn't go. Indeed I was thinking about flying to CUN or MEX and taking the Tu-204 from there (a detour through CCS or BOG probably wouldn't fly if I go with my friend--unless it's much cheaper!). A non-US CC also helps a lot given the restrictions.

I was actually trying to see whether a sidetrip to CCS or BOG would fit so I can say I've been to South America as well. Thing is, it probably won't happen until 2013, possibly spring break, so it's a bit early to plan--stuff will change.

= Well, let me know if you end up taking the flight via CCS. You can experience the TU-204 fleet that makes her appearance here - and you MUST go to Los Roques. It has better beaches than ANYWHERE in the Caribbean. Trust me, I am a big beach snob.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 21):
Yeah, even in 2004, there were a lot of aircraft on parking stands. I was actually surprised when I got lucky both times.

= Please send me some luck! I just landed in FRA and got a far away gate - thankfully, F to F connection  .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
I had a look at it - but honestly, I'm not a fan of old Russian-built aircraft. I would never take a flight on those.

= Haha - come on PH  . You would have been OK.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
Alright - but the newest A320 in the fleet is a frame built in 12/2000 (ex-Iberia).


PH

= Ok. Always good to check with expert like yourself.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 23):
erhaps something on First Air or similar? Iqualit - Montreal ?  

The777Man

= Getting much closer   ....

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 24):
Hi Alex... Nice read. I have always been curious about XF. I would see them in ICN and wanted to try them to BKK but never had the chance. Actually a trip up to VVO sounds kind of cool. So sorry Olga was not on the flight!  

= Is their ICN-BKK flight cancelled? I know, I did miss Olga ... and, VVO is definitely a cool place to visit. So is KHV.

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 25):

I've been following your reports for quite a while now, and they are always very enjoyable, so allow me to say thank you for your efforts in general and of course also for this newest installment. A bit less exciting than your IrAero one, but I doubt that's a bad thing.

= You are welcome ... ya, we need breaks from all the excitement ...

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 25):
I'm guessing inland China, considering your destination in this report.. Although it wouldn't surprise me if you went hunting for the only operator of the Ilyushin 114 (Uzbekistan Airlines) for our entertainment   Looking forward to it either way.

= You now ... I have flown it   ... but it was for work, and hence no TR.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
What a delightful report. First you gave us the taste of Africa, this time is for Russia!  

= Haha ... thanks Suryo. Like my mind, I am way too scattered!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
I am pleasantly surprised to learn that your online booking experience was hassle-free and followed up immediately and properly by ticketing agent. This is the way to get potential passengers excited to go on board.

= Ya. Totally surprising.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Most of us ended up sleeping well past noon as our creaky "30's bodies" moaned the effect of partying like we were in our 20's

Are you serious?

= Absolutely. At 32, I cannot go out until 10am and expect to feel totally OK. I am not like you man  . It is like why I have decided never to date "young people"   ...

Quoting akhmad (Reply 26):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
She was very intrigued by our "tour group" and developed an affinity for my Indian friend (and fellow A.Netter).

Did the story have a happy ending?

= No. He is quite the attention getter though ...

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:25 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 23):erhaps something on First Air or similar? Iqualit - Montreal ?

The777Man

= Getting much closer ....

I guess it could be Air North or something like that ? Perhaps you went to Churchill to look at the polar bears ?

I'm not so familiar with those routes and carriers but it sounds very interesting already so very much looking forward to that 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
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:03 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
= Well, let me know if you end up taking the flight via CCS. You can experience the TU-204 fleet that makes her appearance here - and you MUST go to Los Roques. It has better beaches than ANYWHERE in the Caribbean. Trust me, I am a big beach snob.

Just looked at pictures from Los Roques--it really looks amazing! I will let you know when I know something concrete.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
Please send me some luck! I just landed in FRA and got a far away gate - thankfully, F to F connection

I'll send you any luck I can, but flying First class can substitute luck every once in a while  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
You now ... I have flown it   ... but it was for work, and hence no TR.

See... I'm not surprised you flew on the Il-114. But you must rectify the no Tu-204 situation at once!  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
Is their ICN-BKK flight cancelled? I know, I did miss Olga ... and, VVO is definitely a cool place to visit. So is KHV.

I don't think Olga would expect for her biggest fan to be the foreigner who actually *wanted* to fly on the An-24 for 6 hours! Hehe.
 
stipica
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:55 pm

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:09 pm

Hi A. !

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Most of us ended up sleeping well past noon as our creaky "30's bodies" moaned the effect of partying like we were in our 20's. Very sad indeed.

hehehe jumping from decade to decade is an interesting process ... come on you're still young

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
a fascinating construct of how you forget local culture and embrace uninspiring Ikea-like airport infrastructure that seems to be mushrooming everywhere in the world.

efficiency and manufacturers-construction monopoly is a problem ... everything you stated is a costly... I think that it's not a coincidence

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
As I began wondering where the T20 was, a bad feeling crept through me of an equipment swap.

hehehe all serious A.net members know the feeling...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
There was the usual Russian madness to join the boarding process ("ILBST" is fully in gear here), and we fought our way to the gate ..

hehhe 10 members of international forces led by the Israeli command ...pure disaster ... hehhehe you should activated a "mole" for tripping and spread misinformation ...you get to the goal without a fight hehehe

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
though as my Israeli other half said that it could have been because my benchmark had been so lowered after the "meals" on our last flight

I disagree with yours other half ... I have to admit that they offered a decent meal ...of course taste is a stretchable term

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Their in-flight magazine was fairly informative - too bad I seem to have lost it along the way.

how is this possible ? lose so precious prey ... can not imagine yours "treasure" how many rooms is filled ?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Overall, neither a thumps up or down. If offered the choice, I would fly XF if the price and schedule was right again. I would not go out of my way to avoid it; nor, fly it.

so just like average company like OU ... did A320 have business class seats?

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
I am all for socialism and all-inclusive development ...

why am I not surprised ? ... I can move forward hehehe towards enlightened absolutism

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 16):
the Croatian friend were not amused at his violent behaviour.

hehehe why am I not surprised ?

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 20):
it is definitely not all throughout the Eastern Bloc though

try FCO or Italian airports ...

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
and you MUST go to Los Roques. It has better beaches than ANYWHERE in the Caribbean. Trust me, I am a big beach snob.

ok snob ... do you really want to destroy everything ...some things must not be pronounced ...remember what happened with Cayo Coco

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 27):
At 32, I cannot go out until 10am and expect to feel totally OK. I am not like you man . It is like why I have decided never to date "young people"

hehehheheheh "ooooo Almighty give me strength" ... heheheh
too long comment ...stipica  
Open your eyes and think
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:43 pm

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
try FCO or Italian airports ...

Stipica, I hope you don't mind a funny story about FCO that happened to me. I was boarding an (ex-)AirOne A320 and was taking some pictures. The agent there clearly saw me and said absolutely nothing to me. Then this guy behind me takes out his iPhone or whatever it is and starts taking pics and immediately the agent says "no photo!"

I guess I don't look that threatening, hehe. Or maybe it's just the Italian interpretation of applying rules... whenever they feel like it  

Italy has absolutely fascinating stuff going on... I'm surprised they don't drop the security screening at airports between 12:00 and 14:00 to go for lunch. Just let everyone through or make everyone miss their flights! Italy's the only place in the world where I saw a monastery closed for lunch  
Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
hehehe all serious A.net members know the feeling...

Either that or they're very lucky.
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Hi Alex

Great trip report, enjoyed the read! How come I learn somthing new every time I read these reports of yours   ?
Seems like you had a good flight, just seat pitch was a bit on the tight side IMO.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:00 pm

Excellent Alex, as usual, thanks!

Now, is this the sign of things to come for Russian aviation? No Olga, clean, modern aircraft, edible food... Almost "western" !

Thanks again

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:16 pm

Quoting The777Man (Reply 28):
I guess it could be Air North or something like that ? Perhaps you went to Churchill to look at the polar bears ?

= Just wait and watch. I am preparing a self-desribed "bonanza"   ... would love to go to Churchill. Apparently, there are "seasons" to go watch polar bears. And, it is expensive. The only rational link would be flying from WInnipeg on Calm Air. Has Calm Air been featured here before?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 29):
Just looked at pictures from Los Roques--it really looks amazing! I will let you know when I know something concrete.

= I tell you. Los Roques is pure heaven. I don't consider myself nationalist by any definition ... but Los Roques makes any Caribbean and Latin islands look overrated.

BTW, when are you done with Uni?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 29):
I'll send you any luck I can, but flying First class can substitute luck every once in a while  

= Fair enough ...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 29):
See... I'm not surprised you flew on the Il-114. But you must rectify the no Tu-204 situation at once!  

= My current interest is to fly older aircraft - the T20 is definitely going to be there for a while.

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
hehehe jumping from decade to decade is an interesting process ... come on you're still young

= Hehe ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
There was the usual Russian madness to join the boarding process ("ILBST" is fully in gear here), and we fought our way to the gate ..

hehhe 10 members of international forces led by the Israeli command ...pure disaster ... hehhehe you should activated a "mole" for tripping and spread misinformation ...you get to the goal without a fight hehehe
Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
I disagree with yours other half ... I have to admit that they offered a decent meal ...of course taste is a stretchable term

= No. And, I harass my other half reminding of LY YCL food ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
how is this possible ? lose so precious prey ... can not imagine yours "treasure" how many rooms is filled ?

= It is in a box somewhere ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
so just like average company like OU ... did A320 have business class seats?

= NO JCL.

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
hehehe why am I not surprised ?

=  .

Quoting stipica (Reply 30):
too long comment ...stipica  

= Hahahahaha ... for sure. I did meet an young person a few years back who kept me awake too long   ...

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 31):
Stipica, I hope you don't mind a funny story about FCO that happened to me. I was boarding an (ex-)AirOne A320 and was taking some pictures. The agent there clearly saw me and said absolutely nothing to me. Then this guy behind me takes out his iPhone or whatever it is and starts taking pics and immediately the agent says "no photo!"

I guess I don't look that threatening, hehe. Or maybe it's just the Italian interpretation of applying rules... whenever they feel like it  

= Oh God. FCO is a joke. I was traveling with an Indian friend and we were arriving from Boston. The Immigration guy just waved him through - and, he was like, "NO. You need to stamp my passport". He was like, "Don't worry". Indian friend was like, "NO. I have no desire to be considered illegal in EU". Italian was like, "No stamp. Don't worry. Relax". My Indian friend who finds the policies in Europe to be antiquated anyways lost it   ... it was amusing.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 32):
Hi Alex

Great trip report, enjoyed the read! How come I learn somthing new every time I read these reports of yours   ?
Seems like you had a good flight, just seat pitch was a bit on the tight side IMO.

Greetings
Marc

= Marc, I am such the teacher   ... ya, seat pitch was tight for sure. Thanks for stopping by.

Quoting signol (Reply 33):
Excellent Alex, as usual, thanks!

Now, is this the sign of things to come for Russian aviation? No Olga, clean, modern aircraft, edible food... Almost "western" !

Thanks again

signol

= Ya. Sadly so. Just like the Ikea-zation of airports.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:50 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 34):
I tell you. Los Roques is pure heaven. I don't consider myself nationalist by any definition ... but Los Roques makes any Caribbean and Latin islands look overrated.

BTW, when are you done with Uni?

I'll be done next year. I'm in my 3rd year now.

Hah, yes, it's a shame Venezuela looks so expensive (airfare from the US, at least). But I'll get there eventually  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 34):
Fair enough ...

Speaking of which, I recently booked a Norway (speaking of expensive) trip for July and I'll be transiting through FRA for the first time. Let's see whether I get lucky this time.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 34):
My current interest is to fly older aircraft - the T20 is definitely going to be there for a while.

Good idea. I just realized Bahamasair still has the 732 in their fleet so I'm thinking how/when to get to Nassau. I wanted to do the same thing in 2009 but it didn't work out and I thought I'd missed the chance.

Regarding the T20... at least it's still in production.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 34):
Oh God. FCO is a joke. I was traveling with an Indian friend and we were arriving from Boston. The Immigration guy just waved him through - and, he was like, "NO. You need to stamp my passport". He was like, "Don't worry". Indian friend was like, "NO. I have no desire to be considered illegal in EU". Italian was like, "No stamp. Don't worry. Relax". My Indian friend who finds the policies in Europe to be antiquated anyways lost it   ... it was amusing.

I have a lot of FCO anecdotes even if don't transit there all that often. Every time there's something happening. I particularly liked the anything but busy border agent giving me an extremely stern look upon seeing my Romanian passport and asking "[da] dove vieni?" and then just waving me through when I said "da Chicago". Guess Romanians are only a threat if they come from Romania, heh.

Italy is an extremely strange country in some respects. Still, it's a country that seems to have something for (almost) everyone.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:43 pm

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 34):
= Just wait and watch. I am preparing a self-desribed "bonanza" ... would love to go to Churchill. Apparently, there are "seasons" to go watch polar bears. And, it is expensive. The only rational link would be flying from WInnipeg on Calm Air. Has Calm Air been featured here before?

It sounds very promising ! I'd love to go there too but so many places to visit so not sure when I will go there.

Don't think Calm Air has been featured here yet.

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
 
abrelosojos
Topic Author
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:10 am

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
Hah, yes, it's a shame Venezuela looks so expensive (airfare from the US, at least). But I'll get there eventually  

= Have you looked at COPA?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
Speaking of which, I recently booked a Norway (speaking of expensive) trip for July and I'll be transiting through FRA for the first time. Let's see whether I get lucky this time.

= Whatever you do, you must visit Ålesund. Is it on your plans?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
Good idea. I just realized Bahamasair still has the 732 in their fleet so I'm thinking how/when to get to Nassau. I wanted to do the same thing in 2009 but it didn't work out and I thought I'd missed the chance.

= I was in Miami for a meeting and saw the UP 732 on an IROP recovery I think and thought of you  .

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 35):
I have a lot of FCO anecdotes even if don't transit there all that often. Every time there's something happening. I particularly liked the anything but busy border agent giving me an extremely stern look upon seeing my Romanian passport and asking "[da] dove vieni?" and then just waving me through when I said "da Chicago". Guess Romanians are only a threat if they come from Romania, heh.

Italy is an extremely strange country in some respects. Still, it's a country that seems to have something for (almost) everyone.


= Sadly, the notion of multiculturalism in Europe has a L O N G way to go.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 36):
Don't think Calm Air has been featured here yet.

= Maybe, in 2013 with you? Or, will you only fly them if they ordered a 777  ?

Good luck tomorrow and the following day  .

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:59 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
Quoting The777Man (Reply 36):Don't think Calm Air has been featured here yet. = Maybe, in 2013 with you? Or, will you only fly them if they ordered a 777 ?Good luck tomorrow and the following day

Hi Alex !

Not sure about Calm Air; planning to start adding new countries to my list and been to Canada so it may be a while. It doesn't have to be a 777 for the trip to be interesting but it helps.... 

Thanks! I'm sure I'll have a great time; report to follow probably this weekend. Going to MNL in a week for about a week flying back via PVG.

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
 
dc9northwest
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Vladivostok Avia XF 819: JUN/11: KHV-PEK: Y Cabin

Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:03 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
= Have you looked at COPA?

I have now. A bit better (25%) but still a lot for the distance IMO. On the other hand a ticket to Bogota then a separate ticket seems reasonable.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
= Whatever you do, you must visit Ålesund. Is it on your plans?

It was not... I'll have to see if/how I can work it in.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
= I was in Miami for a meeting and saw the UP 732 on an IROP recovery I think and thought of you  .

Haha, thanks! I hope they will still be operating the 732 in May. Speaking of which, are there many 732s operating in Venezuela? According to the fleet lists there are 3 or 4 airlines with 732s, but are they all still operating (not very familiar with the Venezuelan aviation scene, sorry)?

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