Some time ago, I decided to take part in a daytrip to Copenhagen, organised by some guy(s) from a Belgian aviation forum called ‘Luchtzak’.
These folks do 1 or 2 or more trips per year to a Brussels Airlines destination in Europe. Sometimes they do get a special price for this, but not this time unfortunately. Not to worry because at the time of booking, the proposed ‘group’ fare was more expensive than the advertised fare on the website. So the booking was made via the website, costing around € 130 for a dayreturn, first flight out, last flight in.
Although I haven’t been to the city of Copenhagen just yet, the idea of walking in the cold in the city all day didn’t quite appeal to me so I had a look to see if I could squeeze in some Danish domestic flights. Time wise, there were a few destinations on SAS (MD-80!) and Norwegian possible but prices were unfortunately not friendly for my wallet.
Then my eye fell on DAT or Danish Air Transport, a kind of a niche carrier that operates mainly domestic flights and a few international ones. They have a very mixed and colourful fleet in operation, consisting of some ATR’s (42-ers and 72-ers), Saab 340, MD’s and Dash’s. One of their destinations is the island of Bornholm (airport code RNN), to the southeast of CPH. Served multiple times per day, short flight times of 35 mins and very attractive pricing persuaded me to click the ‘Book’ button. Sold for € 89! I deliberately chose a same plane turnaround so I would be able to join the other people in the afternoon for a leisurely stroll through the Danish capital.
To sum it up, my day would look like this:
BRU-CPH on Brussels Airlines A319
CPH-RNN-CPH on DAT ATR42-300
CPH-BRU on Brussels Airlines A319
And on a map (thanks to the excellent Great Circle Mapper, copyright Karl L Schwartz):
Fellow a.netters FLIEGER67, airbuseric, and FlyingFinn76 have also flown this route in the past, but on a different airline. Their reports can be found here:
Danish Sunburn And A German Go-around (by FLIEGER67 Jul 17 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Mad-Dog To Denmark, Bornholm & More On SK/QI/DY (by airbuseric Jun 26 2010 in Trip Reports)
Born In... Holm? HEL-CPH-RNN-CPH-HEL (by FlyingFinn76 May 10 2011 in Trip Reports)
I won’t go into detail on the Brussels Airlines flights as these have been covered many times before already. Thus my journey starts off at CPH...
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport - CPH
I don’t have a boarding pass yet - OLCI didn’t work - for the DAT flight so after bidding my fellow daytrippers adieu, I first head off to the transfer desk to sort this matter out. A bit of furious typing later, the SAS lady hands me over 1 boarding pass for the CPH-RNN flight. I ask her about the retun but she says: “I’m sorry, I tried but the system doesn’t allow it”. Fair enough, I’m used to tight connections and not having an onward boarding pass, I’ll manage just fine
From terminal 2, I head over to the domestic terminal, which is located in the Far West (pun intended) corner of the airport. It is quite a long walk. There is a shuttle bus available though but one has to go landside and look for it, so no, I do the airside walk.
I forgot to mention that during the Brussels Airlines flight, my camera broke down. The problem being the lens that refuses to open. And what is a trip reporter’s worst nightmare? Right, you guessed it...
As I am half an hour early for boarding, I seat myself on a table chair and fumble some with my camera, doing unorthodox things that most likely would void the warranty but suddenly the trick is done and the damn thing is back in operation, just in time...
A few eateries but not enough seating:
There are no finger gates here, the aircraft are parked adjacent to the terminal building and boarding is done à la Ryanair, a straight walk to your plane.
At the gate, there’s not much going on for the moment:
Outside, there’s this Saab machine which will operate the DAT flight to SGD at around 13h15:
And this Cimber err... SAS CRJ, interestingly wearing a Spanish reg so most likely an ex-Air Nostrum plane?
At around 11h00, I hear the typical howling noise of a propeller plane coming closer. It is the Bornholm flight taxiing in, presumably from it’s 1st or already 2nd run of the day:
Interestingly, a look at the data section on Flightradar24 reveals there’s 1 aircraft performing these short hops to the island:
I wonder what happens if it goes tech?
I’m glad that’s not the case today, at 15 mins prior to STD, boarding is called.
CPH to RNN
Photo © Danijel Jovanovic - AirTeamImages
I strategically position myself in the front of the boarding queue to make sure I get a window seat. DAT has a free seating policy. It’s good to see that despite the free seating, people are not rushed and can actually board in a civilized manner. Unlike the boarding scrum often seen with a certain Irish LCC...
The walk to the aircracft is only 30 m or so:
It is indeed quite a colourful show. Mind the sign ‘Don’t walk under the wing’!
Not quite under the wing:
I take a seat on the right side, next to the wing, which is about the 4th or 5th row, starting from the back. As I do have to get out rather quick in RNN, I figure it’s better to take a front seat on the way back.
The window is dirty and scratched, so my apologies for the photos taken through it, they are not up to my usual standard
The plane is full. There’s one female FA on duty and she’s friendly enough. After a headcount ‘boarding complete’ is announced and we’re good to go now. As the FA walks her way up and down the cabin a few times I notice the plane shaking and wobbling. And that’s not because the FA is heavily overweight or so
The leg space and overall seating comfort are acceptable for this short flight, although the seat is rather narrow which is to be expected on this small plane. I do have a seatmate of the opposite sex. She closes her eyes from the moment she sits down until the moment we disembark.
Here’s the Saab again, sideways:
The engines are started and revved up. A droning noise fills the cabin. We taxi off in a forward direction a few minutes after SDT. Later on I will notice that the schedule is not padded much, the actual flight time is announced as 25 mins where the schedules lists this flight’s duration at 35 mins.
The domestic terminal:
An Icelandair B753 coming in:
And Emirates passing by as well. Landings are on 04L today and departures on 04R.
The climbout features some nice views of the Øresund bridge amongst others:
CPH’s cargo area:
The mouth of the Øresund bridge:
We turn right thereafter and set course for Bornholm:
When the fasten seat belt sign is extinguished, I start exploring my surroundings. First stop is the seat pocket:
The magazine is in Danish mostly, but this edition dates from Dec 2012 Anyone has an idea how regularly they update the magazine?
The square design of the overhead bins makes me think of the ‘80-’90’s...
Meanwhile outside, these Pratt & Whitney PW-121 engines make a helluva noise:
Our route takes us over the Southern tip of Sweden where the last signs of snow are still visible:
To my surprise, the cart comes out and we are treated with coffee or tea and a piece of chocolate, on the house. That’s impressive for such a short flight!
The trash is gathered quickly as the engines spool down and the female captain announces our landing in a lightly clouded Bornholm.
We come in straight from over the sea:
The pilot flying makes the softest landing ever and we backtrack our way to the terminal:
We are the only visitor at this time of the day, the ramp folks guide us into the parking position:
Disembarkation is followed by a short walk to the terminal building. I hold my tongue and don’t crack a joke with the FA who’s at the door saying goodbye. After all, I’m supposed to be back inside this noisy little bugger in no time.
Bornholm Ronne Airport - CPH
No time, that’s what I have. I hastily get inside and make my way to the desk which is conveniently located right around the corner of the arrivals room. I check myself in again and deal with the ordeal of the security screening.
I’m the last person in the holding pen and once more strategically position myself near the gate desk. The boarding process is very simple and straightforward here: the chain is released and without any scanning or check, we are let out and can walk to the aircraft.
RNN to CPH
Photo © Lars Frøystein
A change of FA has taken place so it doesn’t make sense to crack a (stupid) joke about my quick return.
I take the left side bulkhead seat, this time and to my delight, the window is much cleaner this time. Don’t you like the view of this colourful engine? I certainly do.
Here’s another look to the seats. The cabin in general is well used and clean.
Bags are stored up front as you can see:
As the new FA does a head count, she asks me if I’m familiar with the safety procedures in the row I’m sitting in, after all, I’m in a bulkhead and exit row at the same time!
After a welcome word from the cockpit - which btw sounds very much the same as on the outbound except for the fact that the words ‘Copenhagen’ and ‘Bornholm’ have traded place - we drive off to the runway.
We hold short for a while before the engines rev up and we start our take off roll. Heck, the noise up front is even worse than in the back; the resonance is most disturbing. Pity I forgot my ear plugs @ home...
The engine proudly shows off it’s vibrant colours in the glistening sun:
After departure, it’s another right turn to align us in the direction of CPH. Bye Bornholm!
The airport terminal as seen from FL***:
The main event on this flight is again the catering round: free tea and coffee and a choc!
25 mins is not a long flying time and before too long, the descent towards CPH is initiated. This could very well be Sweden still but I’m not sure, my geographics is quite bad
We overfly the locality of Höllviken, south of Malmö, Sweden. Ikea has also a ‘Höllviken’
After that, we make a dive into the Bay of Köge for our final descent into CPH’s 04L. Doesn’t this feel tropical?
‘Ship ahoy’! Land in sight!
Upon touching down, the engines’ noise dies down which is music to my ears. The taxi to the gate sees some old acquaintances taxiing out:
And what do we have here parked next to the Russians? According to Flightradar24, this is OO-JAP being turned around for a flight to STX. This bird normally does the longhaul charters ex-BRU to some
sunny places like Cancun, Zanzibar, Puerto Plata ,...
10 minutes after landing we make a halt at the same stand we departed from 1,5h ago:
One more shot after disembarkation:
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport - CPH
All pax but me and someone else take the way out to baggage claim. I take the door labeled ‘connecting flights’ and make the long trek all the way back to terminal 3 to catch the metro downtown.
Nice architecture 1...
And nice architecture 2!
What follows next:
... is a nice metro ride where I make a childhood dream come true by playing the train driver,
... an excellent walk through Copenhagen city, in the sun and the cold and in good company,
... a nice and tranquil flight back home on Brussels Airlines.
I’m glad I was able to add this somewhat special carrier to the log. On the plus side there’s certainly the colourful and original livery on this ATR42-320, the onboard service, the price and convenience. The plane was clean and comfortable enough for the short flight. On the down side there’s the almost unbearable engine noise, or am I getting old
Thanks for reading and if you feel like it, do leave a comment