It’s been a while since the last time I wrote about my journeys. This trip is purely done in order to cover at least one of my two “aviation-related” goals for 2013: flying the A380 with as many different airlines as possible and the second goal being the coverage of all top20 airports in Europe. So, you can expect some more fun trips across Europe to cater for the latter one. On this trip I’ll write about how I caught Emirates’ A380.
Just for your info, almost all pictures are taken with my phone camera.
The whole trip is as follows:
…and shown here on a map (courtesy of gcmap)
…and the first two legs with Lufthansa
LH1773 Istanbul to Munich
Operated by Airbus A321-100
D-AIRS, delivered 1996, named after the city of Husum
116th flight on this type and the 3rd time on this particular aircraft
Photo © Mehmet Mustafa Celik
Photo © Irfan Caliskan - AirTeamImages
It was a straightforward, very standard Lufthansa Intra-European flight; therefore, I’ll just add some pictures and that’s it.
Departing runway 35L in IST and climbing with North heading
New urban areas to the West of the city
Tastes much better than it looks like; chicken with tomato sauce, rice and vegetables
Some more catering
Clouds all the way to Munich
Quite healthy load with only a few empty seats; I would guess a SLF around 90%
Shortly before arrival, snow covered Munich
Looks like the snow removers did a great job, quite a hill! Shortly before touchdown on runway 08R with the hangars in the background
Construction side for the new satellite terminal
ANA 77W parked in between two LH aircraft
We parked next a company A340-600, the same aircraft type for the MUC-HKG leg
What now followed was a transit time of approximately four hours. MUC is one of the very few airports around Europe where one can spend such a transit time very comfortably. No wonder the airport won so many prices.
LH730 Munich to Hong Kong
Operated by Airbus A340-600
D-AIHY, delivered 2009, second youngest 346 in the fleet
3rd flight on this type only and a new registration to the log
Photo © Rahul Gulati
Photo © Yu Cai
Our bird parked at the terminal (sorry for the picture quality)
…and TG’s retro 747-400 parked next door
Boarding started very early. Looking around at the gate area this flight will be very full with passengers mostly from Asian origins. Also a big amount of Europeans onboard. I got assigned seat 32A which is right at the end of the wing area.
The crew with a very nice welcome during boarding and pro-active assistance with baggage and kids. I spotted at least three non-Germany based cabin attendants, all three being most probably Chinese. Especially to Asia, Lufthansa has cabin crews of the destinations countries’ origin (e.g. Japan, China, India, Thailand, Korea, etc). Accordingly, the announcements were in German and English (by the purser) and followed in Chinese by one of the international crew members.
The captain also on the speakers with a detailed explanation of the upcoming de-icing procedure and some route information. A flight time of 10:25hrs was announced.
An ice layer on the wing; parked next door an A320 and an A340-300 on the new MUC-CPT route
IFE system, not the best of the industry, but good enough to keep you entertained for such a long flight
Good legroom; the IFE box might disturb some people, but it certainly didn’t hurt me (you’ll know why later…)
We left the position a few minutes later than scheduled since some passengers with checked-in baggage didn’t the way to the aircraft. The baggage offload took some time.
We taxied to the de-icing pad shortly before runway 26L; however, the taxi time was rather long due to other aircraft. This made me quite sleepy at that time.
…and suddenly the cabin is even darker. To be honest, it was a strange feeling with all the de-icing fluid covering the windows.
We also had to wait after de-icing. It was very busy at that time with many, many aircraft departing and arriving.
I fell asleep and can hardly remember the take-off. I must have been so exhausted from the day and weeks before this trip, because when I woke up we were here…
Overflying the Himalya
I slept for almost 8 hours, something I had never been able to do, especially not in an economy class seat. I was very astonished and surprised about myself. This also means, I missed the dinner service as well as a big part of the flight.
I recovered the route later: we flew MUC-LNZ-VIE-KBP-ROV-Caspian Sea-Kazakhstan-ALY-over the Himalaya and straight to HKG
The A340-600 has one unique feature: the lavatories in a lower compartment and also the place to check out!
Very good timing from my side, because the cabin crew switched on the lights again for the breakfast service.
Again, a very good seat load factor (almost 100% in economy at least)
A view outside, unfortunately only clouds to be spotted
The breakfast might have been better; especially, the egg was quite dry, but the potatoes and the fruit were tasty. I didn’t touch the sausage at all. The breakfast was served together with hot and cold beverages. In fact, the crew did several beverage runs throughout the whole remaining part of the whole flight. From past experiences LH is quite good in this regards. They do drink runs every hour or so even in darkness for those who are up.
Approaching HKG slowly but surely
I guess, the island right in the middle of the picture is Bluff Island in the East of HKG. This means also an approach from Easterly direction with an arrival on one of the two 25 runways.
Is that the Lantau Link bridge?
Shortly before touchdown
‘Heavy’ traffic with a lot of CX birds
Asia World City also in town
KLM 747 next door
Immigration was a fairly quick affair. I had experienced a totally different scenario some years ago. Baggage was also delivered very fast. With a priority tag it was one of the first once on the belt. I collected the ticket for the express train to the city and jumped on the already waiting train.
Only 25minutes to Hong Kong Central station
I stayed at the recently built Ibis Sheung Wan and received an upgrade to waterfront viewing room. I had originally booked the cheapest option facing the streets (or better said the other skyscrapers around…), but very much appreciated this upgrade.
Roomy is something different; however, we are talking about Ibis and Hongkong here…
The view from the 27th floor was excellent (day and night)
In the following some impressions of the lovely city of Hong Kong…