But, in the process I got to compare the carriers quite well, Jet Airways, which the day I flew was announcing their deal with Etihad and Indigo, already India’s largest domestic airline. Different airlines, different aircraft on what is one of the world’s busiest air corridors with over 60 flights daily.
First the Jet Airways flights as it was earlier.
Flight 9W 304
Photo © Rainer Bexten
Early morning, off to Terminal 3, the terminal where 9W operates all its flights from, on the way you pass this sight
Where some strange old planes are kept.
I had already checked-in for my flight and as 9W OLCI allows you to choose the emergency exit rows, I had done exactly that. But as I could not get the second, reclining row, I had to settle for the first row of exit seats on this 737-800 VT-JBR, almost exactly three years old. The aircraft was coming in from Lucknow (LKO) and boarding began on time. But I did have enough time to grab a McMuffin.
FIDS at DEL T3, lots of flights
trying to figure out my gate, DEL can have massive walks, I was lucky I had a very close gate!
The Domestic Departure area of T3 is like a huge shopping mall
The view from the McD’s on the domestic side
Exit Row legroom, 39” and loving it
Wow, IFE on a domestic flight? Awesome!
Jet has also gone the animated safety demo way, but this was the only video they showed on this flight! Dang!
Breakfast, the eggs were ok, the potatoes were dry and the kebab/meatball was pretty insipid
The Indian summer sun illuminating the winglet
The flight was pretty uneventful, as I had stayed up watching the UEFA Champions League semi-final matches the two previous nights, I slept through pretty much the entire flight. Load was not light, there were a few middles such as the one next to me empty, but load was around 75%. The approach to BOM was a normal one, and oddly we did not get plonked into a holding pattern and came straight in to a landing on runway 27. However, we did not get a contact gate and parked quite a way off at a remote stand, which allowed me the chance take a few pics from the tarmac.
Juliet Bravo Romeo parked at BOM
Quite a few other 9W birds
Another shot of BOM’s ramp
Well, I only had a couple of meetings in Mumbai, pretty close to the airport only and soon afterwards it was time to return to DEL, again on 9W. Having some issues checking into this flight, I could not find an exit seat. And this was a 737-700; unusual since 9W usually operates the longer 737’s on the DEL-BOM-DEL sectors. In fact, I was looking forward to this, I don’t end up getting too many 73G’s in my life, although this was my second time on this particular plane having done a DEL-PNQ flight on her a few years ago.
Flight 9W 311
Photo © Sushank Gupta- Indian Aviation Photographers
Boarding was done, again like the morning a few empty middles here and there – again the one next to mine was empty.
The view from my window
This time, the aircraft had some seats with personal TV’s and others without, made little difference as the TV’s didn’t work at all, and the safety demos were manual. We taxied out for a runway 27 takeoff, and I could see the Air India hangers in the distance, with several parked AI 787’s waiting for their battery fixes, they should have them by now.
AI 787’s waiting forlornly to fly again
Jet has horribly dirty windows, so a take-off video was out of the question.
A light snack was served, it wasn’t too bad, but not the quality that 9W had a few years ago to be quite honest.
Some PTV, others no PTV. Discrimination? :-P
We landed on Delhi’s runway 29, the pilots came down quite hard indeed, but the taxi was quick to T3, although for reasons beyond me, the flight was given gate 45 – far, far away from the main arrivals hall. It was a very long walk back.
The long walk back
So enough of T3 for now, the next week on Idigo I would be at the other terminal, the LCC terminal of DEL. That is another post, in a few hours, but this is a teaser image – of my A320
That is right – Sharklets!