In fact there really is not much of an introduction to this TR needed. As SN was running a another sale some time ago, I happily made use of a promo code to book this same plane turnaround flight to Stockholm BMA, price € 89. Not having flown the SN route to THF, which has been closed some years ago now, I didn’t want to make the same mistake again and not having flown into this city airport as well. It seems SN has a special relationship with city airports: THF and not TXL (now they do fly into TXL of course), BMA and not ARN. SN is also the only Western European carrier (not counting in the BA subsidiary flying AAR and BLL from BMA) which flies into BMA. It is currently also the longest scheduled flight ex-BMA clocking off at 2h25 mins. Oh if only they flew into LCY iso LHR. They do have the right equipment for that with the RJ100 and DH8 though...
I realise there are already plenty of TR’s who feature SN and the RJ100 but still I thought this one would be of interest due to the nice contrast in weather conditions (lots of snow in BMA). Therefore I’ll keep the words to a minimum and let the pics tell the story.
The obligatory map (thanks to the excellent www.gcmap.com, copyright Karl L Schwartz):
I arrive in a rather quiet terminal A some 10 mins before boarding time:
The day hasn’t started yet to it’s full extent and I meander my way throught the terminal and watch the morning activities, such as the loading of another Africa flight and the unloading of what looks like a fully loaded Air Baltic Dash from Riga (I still wonder who might be so crazy to spend 3h in a Dash...?):
Meanwhile, OO-DWH comes into gate A60, inbound from MRS and due to carry me to BMA. Gate A60 is just adjacent to the border control area for the Africa bound SN flights and a lot of Africans are having a rest/sleep on the seats.
BRU to BMA
BAE Systems Avro RJ100 (RJ1H) OO-DWH
Photo © Jens Breuer
Gate view from my seat, a sea of SN tails:
Legroom is not overly good this time:
The load is about 60% with quite some pax in the b.flex cabin:
Takeoff from 25R:
Do you notice the Shaheen Air A330?
BRU cargo ramp:
Turning north over a cobweb of roads:
Vilvoorde power plant:
Antwerp in the distance:
The Port of Antwerp:
Emerging out of the clouds and into the blue, I always like these moments in flight...
Magazine and BOB menu. The prices have gone up since I last flew SN in June, now € 5 for a muffin/drink combo iso € 4:
‘Tea and lemon’ hits the spot nicely this morning (and I’m not paraphrasing someone here ):
A while into the flight, the first signs of snow appear underneath:
Here’s another cabin view, taken after a toilet visit:
The aft galley and the male FA’s coat hanging on the door:
It’s quite a different view for me, looking down with the earth covered in snow. I know for our Nordic or Antarctic a.netters it is ‘business as usual’ but for me it is certainly special:
After about 1h40 of flight time, we start the descent for Stockholm Bromma Airport. Total flight time as announced by the flight deck crew was 2h00 with a bit of tailwind.
After quite some time in the murk, we finally break though the low cloud base:
Ha ha, there is a runway indeed, and we’ve found it!
We make the most gentle touchdown in a snowy Stockholm. The runway seems to be slightly sloped:
1 week prior to my flight, the airport was closed for some time due to heavy snowfall. I understand why now, there are large piles of snow on the sides of the taxiways:
These albino’s pretend very hard not to be here in this harsh white environment. Lucky for me I have eagle eyes!
Another striking thing is the abundant presence of Malmö Aviation Avro’s, they are really everywhere. This Sverigeflyg ATR is also quite nice:
We make a halt at stand 12 and disembark swiftly, here’s my chariot:
It is a chilly -9°C so I hastily make my way inside. No finger gates here, I find that quite charming.
Only some minutes after disembarking, I see this sign and the circle closes itself once again.
I’m directly in the airside departure hall (no security check!), which is quite small as expected. It is quite crowded:
The scheduled ground time is about 30 mins:
I fumble some with my phone to get the free wifi working and to reproduce my electronic boarding pass. One needs to apply for a validation code which is sent by sms. This all goes smoothly. I wish there were more airports (and places in general) to offer free wifi.
How it should be:
After a 10 minute wait boarding is called and I make my way back to stand 12.
BMA to BRU
BAE Systems Avro RJ100 (RJ1H) OO-DWH
Photo © Gareth harvey
Isn’t that a nice tail design?
Here she is again.
The crew members both recognize me but don’t ask or say anything about me taking the very same flight back. I guess I’m not the first one who does this kind of thing
This time I’m seated on the left side, window last row of course. Legroom here is noticeable better and tray tables are stored in the armrests but there’s a nasty draught coming from behind me on the window side. It will continue troughout the flight. Brr...
Some BOB items are stored here:
The load is even lighter now, maybe some 50%?
We taxi off under own power, making a hard right turn:
Once more one of the prominent players here:
And now the most fun part of it all. We turn onto the runway, n° 30 and stop. The engines rev up, full power, the brakes are still on. The plane shakes and vibrates violently and then all of a sudden, brakes are released and we rocket off. Forget about derated takeoffs, this was a real one. What a moment!
In no time, we are back into the clouds and above:
It being midday and me being hungry, I opt for a double decker grilled chicken sandwich and a tomato soup. I lose € 6,5 by this. It’s nothing special but hits the spot again quite nicely (damn, I said it again!).
Let’s try some art now:
One of the FA’s enjoying that day’s paper in the front galley:
The flight back is uneventful and 5 minutes longer than the outbound. Eventually, we start the descent for BRU. There’s definitely no winter here...
The military airfield of Brasschaat:
The usual twists and turns follow ending in a lineup for 25R:
Another plethora of SN tails waiting for their next flight.
We taxi all around the A terminal, passing these 2 Thomas the Cooks. They’re probably not of much use at this time of the year...
Here’s that Shaheen Air bird again @ the LH Teknik hangar:
Guided in by a marshmallow errr... marshaller:
And that’s the end for today as we park next to sistership OO-DWI:
Brussels Airlines once again provided me with a solid, no-frills flight. On time, relatively comfortable - except for that nasty draught on the way home - and for a more than good enough price. The airline is still struggling hard with it’s finances but I do hope they can keep their head up.
As for Bromma, what a nice little airport. Extra bonus points for the snow and of course that mighty powerful takeoff
Thank you for reading and feel free to leave your comments!