This is a tripreport covering a daytrip with three domestic Swedish flights, one of which was operated by a Dornier 328 of Suckling Airways.
In mid-September of 2012 I did an ARN
return, and both when I arrived and departed SDL
I noticed a Dornier 328 painted white parked at one of the gates. When departing I managed to figure out it was operating for the Swedish regional airline Direktflyg. Since I was very interested in logging this type I decided to send an e-mail to Direktflyg to ask which of the two HS
routes out of SDL
) it was operating on. A quick response revealed that it was operated by a “Scottish airline” on their SDL
route, and that it would do so for the foreseeable future.
I quickly looked up the fares and the cheapest ordinary ticket on the route were priced at 995 SEK, or about 110 EUR.
Luckily Direktflyg also offered youth tickets, which on this route were priced at 700 SEK, or about 80 EUR. Not the cheapest ticket around, but still a much cheaper way of logging a D328 than going to Billund or Bern.
flight for September 19, the very next week, was booked for this price. During the booking process it was also confirmed that this “Scottish Airline” was Suckling Airways.
To get to SDL
and back from GOT
I simply booked two 399 SEK (45 EUR) youth tickets on SAS.
The booked routing showed with the help of Great Circle Mapper:
Public transport was the way to go to the airport on this day. So a train and bus ride later I arrived at ARN
The clock was 11.04 at that time, so with a departure time at 12.15 I was in no rush.
Terminal 4 was very calm, and so was the security check so I was quickly through.
I took a shot of the check-in hall as seen from airside upstairs:
Note the new color on the SAS check-in kiosks, it's supposed to make SAS “more visible at airports”.
A view out the T4
After this I went to the lounge, which had the exact same offerings as my last time here. So I again spent the time nibbling on the offerings and using the free WiFi.
The views from the lounge were great as usual. Here's two SK
736's, my plane is the one parked furthest away, LN
-RRD. This would be my 7th flight on the bird.
I believe Sultanils and MSS658 knows the bird in front, SE
-DNX, quite well though.
I soon felt 'done' in the lounge so I went for a little stroll in the terminal before boarding was scheduled to begin.
During the stroll I passed a FIDS screen, which showed “Boarding” for my flight, despite not showing anything when checking the FIDS just a couple of minutes earlier in the lounge, and the clock still being before scheduled boarding time, so it was a little surprising.
So to gate 32 I went and found the area pretty much deserted with only a couple more people to board besides me. I wasn't late or anything though and I was let allowed to board without any problems.
-RRD “Embla Viking”
As I boarded the aircraft I was greeted by two female FA
's in the front galley. The crew consisted of three ladies in their 50's, all of them seemed to have the usual SAS kindness.
Further down the cabin I went and the load wasn't good at all, with everyone having at least three seats for themselves. I'd estimate the load at around 30%. This route might be quite difficult for SAS nowadays, SJ
has many train departures every day, Stockholm C to Sundsvall C only takes 2½ hours and they have their newest train sets on the route. Worth mentioning though is that on my ARN
flights the previous week both flights had a load factor over 80%.
I walked down the aisle and I soon reached my chosen seat 22A, on the second to last row.
View out my window:
The blue cloth seats on this bird was comfortable, but the legroom was not:
As expected boarding was soon announced as completed and the cabin crew prepared the cabin for departure and preformed a manual safety demonstration. Before pushback the flightdeck did a welcome announcement mentioning the flight time as a quick 35 minutes.
I overheard the cabin crew jokingly saying “Do we even have time to make coffee in 35 minutes?”.
We soon pushed back and taxied to runway 19L, the furthest of ARN
's three runways.
Passing the terminal we just left:
And Terminal 2:
As we reached the active runway we took off in a semi-powerful way.
We banked to the right and preformed a 180 degree turn to line us up to the north. This must have given the passengers seated on the right hand side some great views of Arlanda.
I was given some nice views of the lake Mälaren though:
We quickly climbed to cruise and the cabin crew did the usual BOB/Free coffee and tea run. I asked for and received half a cup of coffee which I forgot to take a picture of, but I'm sure you know how a paper cup half-filled with coffee looks like anyway.
The weather on this flight was good, I spotted some towns which lies along the coast north of Stockholm. The flightdeck did however mention that the weather in Sundsvall was foggy.
Here's Gävle, home of the ice-hockey team Brynäs, which are the current champions.
As we got closer to Sundsvall the skies got gradually more overcast as expected, too bad though since I was looking forward to seeing Hudiksvall from above, a town where I have spent a lot of time over the years.
Here's the bay of Hudiksvall, with the town being somewhere beneath the cloud layer:
Hudiksvall is also the place where I foolishly forgot my camera at, hence all pictures in this report are taken with my old camera.
Shortly after passing Hudiksvall we begun our descent for Midlanda, which is the name of the airport.
During the initial approach I was treated with some nice views of Sundsvall, sadly it was quite difficult to take a picture of it though, since when the wing wasn't in the way, then clouds were.
Here's the best I could do:
is located in the middle of the delta of Indalsälven (Indal river), so during final descent quite a lot of water can be seen:
We soon touched down on SDL
's runway 34 a good 20 minutes ahead of schedule, once we had braked to a slow enough speed we turned around on the runway and taxied to the intersection outside of the terminal. No such thing as a taxiway parallel to the runway here.
Breaking with the terminal in the background:
We taxied to the terminal where we docked to a jetway. SDL
is one of five airports in Sweden with jetways (the other ones being ARN
Deboarding was done both in the front and in the back, I of course went through the rear exit, thanking the crew as I exited the aircraft. The walk to the terminal was a good photo-op.
The earlier flight to GOT
were just getting ready to push back as I walked in to the terminal:
Hope to see you in a couple of hours!
Once in the terminal, I went for a mini sightseeing around, snapping pictures here and there.
Here's the check-in hall:
I had a few hours to kill here at SDL
, so once done with the sightseeing I settled down in a corner where I finished my Milan tripreport and also spent some quality time online.
During the wait it also started to rain outside.
Direktflyg doesn't offer OLCI so I had to wait for the check-in desk to open before I could go airside. Not that it would have mattered if I had a BP
anyway, since SDL
only open the security checkpoint when there's a departure.
About an hour and a half before my departure time of 16.40 the Direkflyg check-in desk opens, I was the first to check-in for the GOT
flight as I receive a SAS-branded boarding pass with sequence number 1. I'm also quite surprised to see a seat number on there as I kind of expected it to be free seating, but since I get 6A
it's all good for me anyway.
Next I went through security which was quick and seamless as usual.
There are five gates here at SDL
, two of which are “walk over the apron”-gates, one is downstairs right after security (I believe it's solely used by Sundsvallsflyg for their flights to BMA
), the other non-jetway gate plus the three jetway gates are upstairs in the main airside area.
The assigned gate for HS365 is 4, which is the only gate I have seen the D328 parked at when at SDL
, it is a jetway gate but the Dornier is too low for it so they use stairs built in to the jetway to get the passengers to apron level.
The gate was empty as I arrived, so I decided to look around in the small area that is SDL
There was a SK
flight leaving to ARN
15 minutes before my GOT
flight so the area around gate three was pretty busy.
There is a cafe airside too, but it wasn't open even at this 'rush hour' with 4 flights departing within 30 minutes.
There's even a Duty Free shop, but it's understandingly not open since all 4 aforementioned flights are domestic.
flight was operated by SE
-DNX, the same bird I saw parked at ARN
earlier that day:
Suddenly I saw the white D328 land, which made me really glad, as it pretty much eliminated the risk of a last minute equipment change.
Pulling up to the stand:
I watched the passengers from the inbound flight deboard, the load wasn't very good, I think there was only 6-7 passengers.
Soon enough a gate agent arrived and not long after that boarding was called.
operated by Suckling Airways
As we boarded via the apron I was given another nice photo-opportunity.
The Dornier 328 kind of reminds me of a Saab 340 with wings mounted on top of the fuselage instead of beneath.
I boarded the aircraft and in the forward galley I was greeted by a Scottish young male who was the FA
for the flight.
As I walked down the aisle I noticed that the all the windows were covered in fog, making looking out difficult and taking pictures pretty much impossible. Bugger!
I assumed though that it would go away after the engines were started.
I sat down on my seat 6A
. The legroom wasn't the best but it was enough for the short flights a plane like this does.
The blue-ish (fake) leather seat was otherwise comfortable enough. Nothing worth mentioning.
Boarding was quickly finished and I recall counting the passengers to a grand total of 11. Don't kill me if I'm wrong though, but it makes sense since I'd estimate that almost a third of the seats were taken.
There were a few announcements done before we pushed back. There was the standard flight deck welcome with an estimated flight time of 1hr 20mins cruising at 26000 feet, the FA
also greeted everyone, and last but not least there was a recorded announcement in Swedish (in terrible quality) supposedly done by Direkflyg, that greeted us to this “Direkflyg flight op. by Scot Airways”.
Scot Airways changed the name to Suckling Airways as they were bought by Loganair, so that info wasn't really up-to-date.
As we pushed back the FA
preformed a manual safety demo with a recorded voice and then he quickly finished preparing the cabin for departure.
The fog on the windows disappeared as the engines were spooled up and we begun taxiing, so no worries there.
View out the window getting better as the fog disappeared:
We backtracked the runway and did a very powerful takeoff from runway 16. The acceleration on the little bird was impressive.
Turning on the active:
We banked to the right after takeoff and we climbed up over the Bay of Sundsvall. I imagine that the people seated on the right hand side of the aircraft would have been treated with some nice views of Sundsvall, if it wasn't for all the clouds.
View out my (nicely shaped) window:
Climbing up, up, up!
As expected it was pretty cloudy as we climbed towards cruise height. The seatbelt sign was soon turned off and the FA
prepared the service round at the back galley.
Once he was prepared he begun distributing what was on offer from the front of the aircraft with a trolley, but as we were still climbing, and it was quite shaky, he had a difficult time trying to make the trolley stand still, so he soon gave up the idea and simply distributed everything directly from the galley.
He had juices, coffee, water and cookies on offer, all for free. I was surprised he didn't have tea though, considering that us Swedes are pretty fond of the drink (SAS serves it on all flights) and this was a British airline after all.
We were served two cookies each and to go with it I had some coffee and apple juice.
It was a little more than I was expecting for service so it was all good, a nice snack for a flight of that length.
The flight was otherwise quite uneventful. The sound level wasn't very high, I'd estimate about the same or slightly lower than other props of the same era.
The seatbelt sign remained on for pretty much the entire flight for some reason. It appeared that one was allowed to go to the toilet though but I didn't bother getting up to take a cabin photo from the back.
As we flew over mid-Sweden the skies became quite clear compared to how it was in Sundsvall, so some nice views could be seen during cruise.
Here's a place called Filipstad:
Soon enough we begun our descent to Landvetter.
The descent and approach was quite uneventful. As the seatbelt sign was already on the flight deck just pointed out over the speakers that we begun our descent and we'd soon land.
Lots of trees here outside of Gothenburg as well:
Note the Air Nostrum CRJ200, apparently it was operating for Widerøe on their GOT
Touch down was on runway 21.
Some hard breaking and we soon left the runway and begun our taxi to a remote parking position outside of the terminal.
My seat after the flight:
Disembarkation was soon in process and I thanked the FA
as I exited the aircraft.
Outside there was a bus waiting and I snapped a few more pictures as I went to it.
Cityhopper pushing back, as seen from the bus:
The bus drove us around to the other side of the terminal (to the “landside”-side) where it dropped us off right next to the luggage claim belt, so no possibility to make an airside connection at GOT
when arriving at a domestic flight on a remote stand.
A Malmö Aviation in a Football special livery as seen from the bus during the drive to the terminal:
domestic arrival/departure hall:
I had a little more than an hour for my flight to begin boarding at this time, so I decided to have a light dinner at a Sushi restaurant in the domestic arrival hall.
I'm not a big fan of raw fish so 7 tofu nigiris it was for me! Not a proper sushi meal perhaps but tasty anyway. The guy running the place was even kind enough to let me have miso soup at no extra cost, so all this just cost me 49 SEK, or about 5-6 EUR. A great deal for being at an airport in Sweden.
I then decided to head airside. The domestic terminal has since I was there last had a security fast track installed for EuroBonus Gold members, and since there was a 5 or so minute queue I decided I might as well use it. It was a little awkward though as it was first just a turnstile where you scanned your own boarding pass and then you just walk to the front of the queue, where you have to squeeze yourself in ahead of someone.
As I said, it was a little awkward but I guess it can be useful as it's said that the queues can be awful during peak hours.
Security itself was easy and quick and I was soon through. Upstairs to the waiting area I went and it was quite busy this Wednesday evening.
I sat down in a seating area where it was a little quieter than other parts of the terminal. That was where I waited for my aircraft to arrive.
Scheduled boarding time was 18.50, but as that time approached no aircraft where to be seen.
The scheduled MD80 landed soon enough though and pulled up to the stand at around 19.05, 10 minutes before scheduled time of departure.
-RMT would do the honors of getting us to Stockholm this evening:
This very aircraft got me stranded at LLA
for eight hours once, and on a separate occasion I'm pretty sure it indirectly had me delayed for 1½ hours. So this plane has a little bad karma with me, I believe in the machine though so I wasn't worried. This would be my third flight on “Jarl Viking”.
Among the deboarding passengers from the incoming flight I noticed players from the ice-hockey team Modo of Örnsköldsvik, apparently they had a game against Frölunda of Gothenburg the next day.
Boarding was soon enough called and I was among the first 15 or so to scan my BP
at the gate.
McDonnell Douglas MD80
-RMT “Jarl Viking”
Nose as seen from the jetway:
And a view towards the tail:
I was greeted by and greeted the FA
in the forward galley. I worked my way down the aisle to my seat 29F. I usually try to sit upfront in the MD
's but this time I kind of felt like having a proper wing view and hear more of the JT8D sound.
View out my window:
“Please locate your nearest exit, as it may be located right behind you”:
Well, more like right across the aisle in my case!
The standard SK
MD80 blue cloth seat was comfortable just as usual, the legroom wasn't bad but not as good as further upfront:
During the flight deck crews welcome announcement (flight deck was staffed by two women on this flight, I believe it's the first time I've experienced that) it was mentioned that the delay was due to some cargo loading difficulties when leaving ARN
on the inbound flight. They also mentioned that we were now scheduled to land about 10-15 minutes late at ARN
Boarding was soon completed and for some reason I can't for the life of me remember if I had any seatmates. I don't recall being uncomfortable though so my best bet is that I had three seats for myself.
I'd estimate the load at around 70%.
We pushed back as the crew did a manual safety demo and we taxied to the same runway 21 that I touched down on some 2 hours or so earlier.
The takeoff was powerful in true MD80 style.
We banked to the left after takeoff. Shortly after we entered the clouds and the ride became quite shaky. Especially one bump was quite sturdy, it made everyone look up from whatever they were doing.
This flight was uneventful. I just had a glass of water when the service cart passed by. I mostly spent the flight listening to music and looking out my window. Most of the flight was done in darkness so all there was to see was the occasional village or town.
We soon begun descending towards Arlanda.
Landing lights on:
Touch down was on runway 26, which meant a taxi of about three minutes to reach our gate a Terminal 4.
My seat after the flight:
The terminal was more busy at this time with the evening rush in progress. I managed to reach curbside without any problems though and then my daytrip to Sundsvall and Gothenburg had come to an end.
To sum things up,
The Dornier 328 was a nice little bird to fly on. Comfortable cabin, a little roomier than the comparable Saab 340. The Saab 2000 remains as my favorite turboprop though.
I can't really comment on Suckling Airways as an airline since this was a wetlease (although they don't have any scheduled flights on their own I believe?), but nice nonetheless to log the airline and the service I received was nice, I don't know if it was Direktflygs service concept or just for this wetlease though.
is a nice airport; bright, clean and modern. Shame it doesn't handle as much traffic as it was built to handle though.
Thank you all very much for reading my trip report, all feedback is appreciated!
My next report will cover a flight on a reincarnated airline and a purple Airbus.