Mission Saab 2000 and BMA
Hello folks, welcome to my latest trip report featuring a recent trip to Sweden, based around Stockholms second airport, the ‘city airport’ Stockholm Bromma. The planning of this trip is quite unusual, and started when I noticed that I had some expiring Miles&More frequent flyer miles from Lufthansa. I had acquired about 25.000 miles, of which 5.000 would start expiring in the upcoming year. Knowing that I wouldn’t fly Star Alliance enough to re-acquire these miles, I was a matter of ‘use them or lose them’. 25.000 miles is enough for the so called ‘Fly Smart’ intra-Europe Business Class roundtrip award. It basically allows you to fly for half the miles that are usually required if you book two weeks in advance. It is only valid for flights operated by LH
Group airlines, not on other Star Alliance carriers. To make full use of the Business Class experience I had my mind set on a destination like Athens or Lisbon.
Now I could of course just start this trip from my home airport AMS
, but that was a tad boring. I am an A.netter after all. So I decided to start the trip in Scandinavia, to have another longer flight and to be able to use the well-know SAS lounges. For this purpose I initially decided to start my trip in Copenhagen (CPH
). To get there I could have chosen one of the many SK
flights between AMS
, but again, that’s a bit too easy. Stockholm second airport, Stockholm Bromma (BMA
) had been on my ‘to fly’ list for a while now. It’s located very close to the city center and often offers some very scenic sights of Stockholm. I remembered that Brussels Airlines (SN) fly to Bromma, instead of Arlanda, like most international airlines. In fact, the BRU
flight is one of the few flights from BMA
that is not going to another Scandinavian or Nordic country. SN
would be a new carrier, and I only arrived at the non-Schengen area in Brussels once, so in a way BRU
would also be a new airport. From BMA
I could have taken the FlyBe flight to Copenhagen, but instead I decided to fly with the local carrier Malmo Aviation (TF) to Malmo (MMX
), another new carrier and airport. Copenhagen would only be a short train ride away. So on a dreary May day I booked these flights for a Thursday in August, knowing I could then book the Lufthansa flights from Friday on a few weeks in advance.
When browsing the web somewhere in June I realized Bromma also has a number of flights operated by not-so common aircraft types, including the Saab 2000, an aircraft I had been meaning to try for a while now. I noticed for example an interesting flight to the city of Sundsvall (SDL
), about 200 miles north of Stockholm. This flight was marketed by Sundsvallsflyg, a virtual airline that is present on a few routes out of Sundsvall. The actual flights are operated by Golden Air (DC), on the Saab 2000. I would be able to return by train, which seemed like an interesting way to see a bit of the vast Scandinavian landscape. Unfortunately, there was not enough time between my SN
and TF flight to fit a roundtrip in between, so I could either drop the TF flight, or fly back from MMX
and go to Sundsvall the next day. Since there were still a number of affordable flights available between MMX
I decided to do so and booked another flight for Thursday. I also booked a morning flight from BMA
on the next day, and an afternoon train to Stockholm, to allow myself some time to visit Sundsvall. I also decided to take my Lufthansa flights out of Stockholm Arlanda (ARN
) on Saturday instead of the initial planned flight out of CPH
This report will focus on the flights to and from Brussels, Bromma, Malmo and Sundsvall. The Business Class flights booked with my Miles&More miles will be featured in a separate trip report, which I am still working on. The following flights are covered in this report (courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper):
Thursday August 23rd 2012
Brussels Airlines Flight SN2303
Brussels Airport (BRU) – Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA)
170th overall flight
1st flight on Brussels Airlines
3rd flight on an Avro RJ100 (7th flight on an Avro RJ85/100 series)
2nd visit to BRU
, and 1st visit to BMA
1st time flying the BRU
Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 09.05 / 09.03
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 11.25 / 11.13
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 2.10 / 2.10
Flight duration: 1 hour, 59 minutes
I had arrived in Brussels the day before, and spent the night in a hotel in the city. After an early wakeup call and a short train ride I arrived at the Brussels Airport train station, which has been totally remodeled in the last years. It looked a lot better than the dark dungeon it seemed when I was there in 2009. After a few escalators I found myself in Brussels Airports departure hall. I had already checked in online, so I only had to get a boarding pass. Unfortunately, none of the self-service machines were able to find my booking, so a friendly agent assisting passengers using the machines directed me to a check-in desk. I feared a long queue – it was the holiday season after all – but to my surprise it was immediately my turn. I handed over my identity card, some typing followed, the agent inquired if my window seat 15A, was okay, and a boarding card was produced. Good service here by SN
. Then it was time to proceed to the departures area. Schengen departures actually depart from a separate satellite building, and it’s quite a tour to get there.
Brussels Airlines check in area.
The often photographed old style FIDS at BRU.
To get to the Schengen satellite, one must first take a number of escalators.
Then proceed to a tunnel, which ends with a security checkpoint. Although there was a short queue, security didn’t take look and I was through in about five minutes.
After security back up again, to enter the satellite building. These escalators are surrounded by numerous cafes and duty free shops.
And here we are in BRU’s very modern, spacious and bright Schengen terminal. A very pleasant place.
Looking back towards the non-Schengen departure area, and the main terminal building to the right
My aircraft on stand. Note the 4 Jet Airways birds in the top of the picture, 9W operates a ‘scissor’ hub here
If I am not mistaken, there are plans to replace the underground connection, by expanding the main terminal building towards the satellite. Although I didn’t find the underground walkway all that inconvenient, I can imagine a same-level connection would make the passenger experience better. With about 45 minutes to spare I did some looking around in the terminal. Not all that much activity actually, my flight to Bromma was one of the first flights to depart after I had arrived at the airport, and was also the start of a SN
departure bank. I did find Brussels Airport to be extremely expensive: E3
,30 for a cop coffee and over E6,- for a simple pre-packaged triangle sandwich. Definitely amongst the most expensive airport prices I encountered in Western Europe.
Boarding commenced a few minutes late, with the usual Star Golds and other premium passengers to be welcomed on board first. I entered just after that and walked into a flight with a healthy premium load: 2 rows of business class, 8 rows of premium economy and 8 rows of regular economy. To my surprise, the aircraft also had 2-3 seating – I had not realized SN
also flies in this comfortable layout. I also hadn’t noticed this on the seat map when checking-in! I was seated on the two-seat side, and to my luck the seat next to me remained empty – one of the few on this flight. The legroom was also surprisingly good. I was kind of not looking forward to spending 2+ hours in an AVRO, but the 2-3 seating, decent legroom and the empty seat next to me would make the flight surprisingly comfortable! A welcome on board announcement was made in Dutch, French and English and also the safety demonstrations was performed in three languages. A short announcement from the cockpit was in English only: a flight time of about two hours and good flying conditions along the way.
My view for the next two hours.
Decent legroom here. SN also uses Lufthansa’s Miles&More frequent flyer program.
Pushing back with a view of Spanish, Italian, Austrian and Swiss visitors.
Only a short taxi was required, and with no other traffic ahead we were airborne a few minutes later.
Climbing out, and heading into the clouds.
During climb out we turned North, towards the Netherlands. On Flightrader 24 I already noticed that this flight has a nice flight path over the Netherlands, and to my luck the clouds disappeared as we headed towards Dutch airspace, offering some nice views of my home country
But first the Antwerp harbor.
The many islands in the province of Zeeland
Great view of the greater Rotterdam area
The coastline. I live somewhere down there in the second picture
Great view of the engine, as well as some nice cloud formations
With only two FA’s on board, and a 10 rows of premium passengers it took a while for the FA’s were able to do their BOB service in Y. I decided to purchase a coffee
Beautiful views as we make landfall somewhere near the south of Sweden
View of the cabin after the BOB service in Y
Descent began trough some very disturbing but great looking clouds. Also some beautiful Swedish scenery down there
We made some twists and turn and I had somewhat lost my sense of direction. I was under the impression we would be landing from the West, once on the ground I noticed we actually landed from the East, which means downtown Stockholm and the old city was on the other side of the aircraft. Fortunately I would have another flight, where I can be seated on that side
And in spite of the weather, a smooth landing was made on Bromma sole runway, almost 15 minutes early. Looking back at the aircraft one more time
Thursday August 23rd 2012
Malmo Aviation Flight TF109
Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA) – Malmo-Sturup Airport (MMX)
171st overall flight
1st flight on Malmo Aviation
4th flight on an Avro RJ100 (8th flight on an Avro RJ85/100 series)
2nd visit to BMA
, and 1st visit to MMX
1st time flying the BMA
Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 13.10 / 13.07
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 14.20 / 14.12
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 1.10 / 1.05
Flight duration: 58 minutes
Mileage: 236 nm
I had about two hours to spare here at Bromma, so I decided to do some exploring. Although the airport doesn’t look all that appealing from the outside, it’s had a modern and “Scandinavian-design-ish” feel on the inside. The surroundings are also rather spotter friendly, with some hills that even have picnic tables.
View of the small airport terminal from one of the hills close to the airport. As you can see Bromma is a very small airport. There is only one departure lounge, and you walk to your aircraft via a covered walkway, which is visible to the right of the three aircrafts on stand. Visible is a Finncomm/Flybe ATR, a Malmo Aviation AVRO, and an Albino Saab 2000, probably from Golden Air.
Looking the other way, with the Brussels Airlines flight I arrived on now lining up on the runway
Main entrance of the airport, reminds me of a factory somewhat
Check-in, only a few counters here. And a restaurant; a small souvenir shop, a tourist office and a small supermarket (a Pressbyrran of course) is also on this terminal but not visible in this picture. To the right is the security checkpoint.
I had already checked in online – not knowing there was free seating, and I wanted to secure a good seat – but could not print out a boarding pass at that time. I was not able to print my boarding pass at one of the machines, they told me I was already checked in. I know, I just want a boarding pass. So I proceeded to one of the check-in where it was my turn immediately and I was issued a boarding pass quickly enough by a friendly gentleman. Malmo Aviation uses boarding pass the size of a credit card, quite convenient, but so nice for those who like to collect boarding passes. Security was swift too, and I made my way through a duty free shop to a small departure hall. A few gates here, which were no more than desks with an agent, as each exit led to the same covered walkway with gates. Boarding start time was printed as 20 minutes before departure, and began straight on time.
Walking towards the aircraft
Aircraft on duty, it was possible to enter through both the front and rear doors
It started to rain as we taxied out. Here we are at the end of the runway
Powerful take-off over the suburbs of Stockholm
Beautiful landscape below
In to the clouds, but still some nice scenery down below
Reaching cruising altitude and passing along some impressive clouds
The initial welcome speech from the lead FA
was in Swedish only. Probably not that many international travelers on this domestic flights, with hardly any international connection opportunities on both ends. The manual safety demonstration was in two languages though. Also the small speech from the captain during the flight was in both English and Swedish. He announced an on-time arrival into a very windy Malmo, where the temperature was about 20 degrees.
The service round was done very efficiently on the flight. There was one FA
handing a Yoghurt with granola snack and empty coffee cups (+sugar and milk), whilst simultaneously the two other FA
’s walked through the aisle with coffee and tea, one from the front and one from the rear. Afterwards, a second round was offered, and towards the end of the flight, hot towels were distributed. Great job Malmo Aviation!
Inflight service, a tasty “yogurt surprise” and some caffeine
Interesting cloud formation here in the middle of the picture, almost looks like a table
Descending, the landscape definitely looks different here in Southern Sweden
Love the view of the engine here
And so we arrived 8 minutes early. Malmo Aviation actually operates a pretty regular schedule between Malmo and Stockholm, with almost hourly departures. This aircraft would return to BMA
at 14.50, and I decided to take the one after that at 15.30. This gave me some time to look around at Malmo Airport, so I headed towards the arrivals hall. The airport was actually surprisingly big, with about 10 jetbridges, but it did seem to be operating below capacity. The larger Copenhagen Airport is very close, and now that the Oresund bridge is finished I believe it is more convenient from downtown Malmo to take a train to CPH
, then to depart from MMX
. I guess they must have had some more passengers here before the bridge opened. Nowadays, the airport is served by Ryanair and Wizzair, as an alternative for CPH
, a few destination with Malmo Aviation, an SK
flight to Stockholm Arlanda and a few charter/leisure destinations.
Outside the airport, looking towards the main building. Add some blue, and you’ve got yourself an IKEA
Main building and control tower. With those big advertisements it reminds me of an IKEA even more!
From the parking lot there is a pretty decent view of the apron. Pretty empty at this time. The AVRO on the right is the aircraft I arrived on
Bizzjet visitor and two cargo Fokker 50’s in the other side of the apron
Main check-in area. A bus from downtown Malmo had just arrived, hence the crowds
The new SK branding had also already arrived at MMX
Thursday August 23rd 2012
Malmo Aviation Flight TF172
Malmo-Sturup Airport (MMX) – Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA)
172nd overall flight
2nd flight on Malmo Aviation
5th flight on an Avro RJ100 (9th flight on an Avro RJ85/100 series)
2nd visit to MMX
, and 3rd visit to BMA
2nd time flying the MMX
route, first time in this direction
Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 15.30 / 15.29
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 16.35 / 16.29
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 1.15 / 1.00
Flight duration: 54 minutes
Mileage: 236 nm
Also this time I had already checked in online, but the machines were again unable to re-issue it. Fortunately, the crowds mentioned earlier had already made their way towards the departure lounge, so there was a hardly a queue at the TF check-in desks. Security was again very swift. I explored the airside area at MMX
for a little while and then preceded towards my gate. I wanted to be near the front of the queue, free seating again, and I had to be sure I was able to sit on the right side of the aircraft this time for (hopefully) the great views of Stockholm. Boarding started again straight on time, and I was among the first to enter the aircraft. I picked the second row on the right, which was actually something new for me – so far I had only been seated in the back in AVRO’s. This time both the welcome speech and the safety demonstration were in Swedish only. There was no word from the cockpit this flight.
Quick shot of part of the departure lounge, pretty much deserted
FIDS. Not that many flights today
My aircraft pulling into the gate. This is the same gate we arrived on too. By looking at the FIDS, I noticed that all the next BMA flights would also depart from this gate, so I guess TF always the same gate for the Bromma flights
View from my seat. Those two engines actually look pretty cool from this point of view
Taxing out and looking back towards the terminal. A Scandinavian Airlines flight from Stockholm Arlanda had just landed.
Climbing out, the Oresund Strait is visible in the top of the first picture
The same service concept again, with one FA handing out the snack, and the other two distributing coffee and tea. No seconds this time though, but the hot towels were offered near the end of the flight. The cinnamon muffin was absolutely delicious, and warm!
A stunning of the Swedish coastline with the Baltic Sea, and the many, many islands that are in the Stockholm archipelago was offered as we began our descent
And as I had hoped, landings were still being made towards the East, which meant I was now on the correct side for views of Stockholm. And those views were absolutely amazing indeed
And we’re back at Bromma! Again a few minutes early/
One final view
Friday August 24th 2012
Sundsvallsflyg Flight DC721 (operated by Golden Air)
Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA) – Sundsvall-Harnosand Airport (SDL)
173rd overall flight
1st flight on Sundsvallsflyg / Golden Air
1st flight on a Saab 2000 (1st flight on Saab a 340/2000)
4th visit to BMA
, and 1st visit to SDL
1st time flying the BMA
Departure Time (Scheduled/Actual): 08.10 / 08.07
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 09.00 / 09.00
Block time (Scheduled / Actual): 00.50 / 00.53
Flight duration: 47 minutes
Mileage: 221 nm
I spent the night in Stockholm. I had been there twice before and I love the city. It is very beautiful and scenic, and has great vibe and atmosphere. And the different islands it’s build on makes it a very unique city with in a unique setting. Definitely recommended to all!
The advertised way from getting from Bromma to downtown Stockholm, would be to take the Flygbussen airport coach. But this is rather expensive, and costs about 80 SEK (around 10-12 euro’s). Pretty much for a 20 minute busride to the main train station. There is another option: a 15 minute walk to the Sundyberg Tunnelbana (metro) station. There are also local busses between the airport and this metro station. The same ticket is valid on the bus and the metro, and it’s just as quick as taken the expensive Flybussen – even quicker if your destination isn’t the main station as you can take this metro to numerous other stations too.
So that it was I did at this rather early hour. I got up at 5.30, did the usual morning routine, walked towards the nearest Metro station and arrived at Bromma airport at around 07.00 hours. I grabbed some breakfast at the Pressbyran and headed for check-in. No online check-in is offered, but there is a self-service machine. As there is also open seating here on Sundsvallsflyg, it is a just a matter of entering your booking reference and a boarding card is produced immediately, once again credit card sized. Security was a bit longer then yesterday, many business folks heading to their meetings in other Swedish cities, but took no longer than 5 minutes. Boarding began 20 minutes before departure, and I once again made my through the covered walkways towards the apron. A friendly greeting – in Swedish – by the sole FA
at the door, and I began to look for a good seat. I settled for row 15, where I had both a nice view of the wing and the prop. During boarding there was a lengthy announcement from the cockpickt, but in Swedish only. My fellow passengers didn’t seem disturbed or anything, so I assumed it was just a regular welcome speech. The safety demonstration was also in Swedish only, a recording with the FA
doing the demonstration manually. I noticed a Buy on Board menu in the seat pocket, whit quite some expensive prices. Not many passengers bought anything, the short flying time of about 45 minutes probably also contributed to this.
Walking towards the aircraft
Dedicated stand for Sundsvall
My first Saab 2000! Golden Air has one aircraft painted in Sundsvallsflyg livery, but it looks like we are flying on a ‘regular’ Saab. There is also a flight from Sundsvall towards Bromma around this time, so the liveried aircraft was probably operating that flight.
An excellent view of the wing…
… and the prop from my seat
Ah, the Saab 2000 in Sundsvallsflyg livery is just arriving.
Taxing out a few minutes early, passing by an old acquaintance, and the Sundsvallsflyg Saab in the distance.
Busy morning at Bromma, with many flights to different Swedish destinations. The weather also hasn’t improved since yesterday.
The hill with excellent views over the airport where I had spent some time the day before.
Holding short for the runway. A Finncomm/Flybe ATR is landing
And after the powerful take we were into the clouds almost immediately.
The weather was clearing up a few minutes later
Love the reflection of the aircraft in the clouds
After about 20 minutes at cruising altitude descent began, through some thick cloud layers again.
The beautiful coastline coming in sight.
Passing by Sundsvall in the distance.
Touchdown in the ‘middle of nowhere’.
Old terminal building, now seemed to be in use for freight.
And the new, more modern looking, terminal.
One final look, thanks for the great ride!
Interior view. Check-in before the escalator, arrival and luggage belt after the escalator. There was a restaurant and conference facilities upstairs. And SAS is probably expecting rain inside the terminal.
Exterior view of Sundsvall-Harnosand Airport
And so ended my “Mission Saab en Bromma” with a mission accomplished mark. Some wonderful views of the Stockholm area when flying in/out of Bromma, and a great flight Saab 2000. Thanks for reading. Comments are appreciated, as always. Next up will the report on the Lufthansa and Swiss flights to Lisbon in Business Class!