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Two Quick Runs DEL-BOM-DEL On 9W And 6E -Sharklets

Sat May 04, 2013 11:09 am

In the past couple of weeks I have had to travel between Delhi and Mumbai twice, the first on work and the second time for a friend’s wedding. Each return was flown on a different airline, the first on Jet Airways and the second on my usually choice for domestic travel these days – Indigo. Possibly because the first ticket was paid for and the second was a self-purchased one.
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
Seat: 14F
Scheduled: 0825-1030
Actual: 0827-1027
Aircraft: VT-JBR

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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
Seat: 22F
Scheduled: 1750-2000
Actual: 1756-2003
Aircraft: VT-JGX

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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.
Evening snack
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!
been there, flown that
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RE: Two Quick Runs DEL-BOM-DEL On 9W And 6E -Sharklets

Sat May 04, 2013 11:56 am

A week later, I had to fly down to Mumbai again, this time for a very old friend’s marriage. As she was getting married to a member of Zoroastrian community, I wanted to attend for the food as well. It is that good. After I figured out exactly which friend I would spend the night with, it is Mumbai after all, lots of friends to stay with.
I found a good fare on Indigo, even after I chose my seats, the total fare came to around Rs 12,600 after taxes, around $220 for a return ticket. As I chose my seats at the time of booking, I was able to block the second row of exit seats on both sectors and got a free snack and drink as well. Small price to pay, frankly.
Flight: 6E 187
Scheduled: 1830-2040
Actual: 1845-2035
Seat: 13F
FIDS at T1D in DEL
All gates at T1D are bus gates, and during the evening rush hour, it is mighty crowded
While waiting at the hold area of Terminal 1D at DEL, one can see movements on both runways 27 and 28, I noticed an Indigo A320 with winglets land on 27, was this going to be our plane?
Yes, it was.
VT-IFJ was delivered to Indigo on Valentine’s Day this year and was the third of six A320’s in Indigo’s fleet that have sharklets. Indigo has an active fleet of 65 A320’s currently and 14 aircraft, most of the older planes with the VT-IN* registrations have moved – many to Etihad and SAS. Indigo’s aircraft are impeccably clean, their flights (at least all my Indigo flights) are on time – if you get these two things right do you really want much more on domestic flights – given that I live in DEL, almost every destination save a few such as IXZ are served non-stop from here, and within 150 minutes flying time. I can live with Indigo and its fares.
The other price you pay although is load, this flight had 172/180 seats occupied! Indoigo also has no issues with the number 13 – Jet (and Kingfisher too in the past) never had a row 13 on their planes.
Boarding this two-month old plane
have to admit the sharklets look sharp, although it will take a bit of getting used to on A320’s.
Take-off video, it was late but I wanted to capture a sharklet take-off, so here it is
Sorry about the picture quality, despite the plane being new, the windows were not all that clean.
As I had a west-facing seat, the colours of the setting sun were spectacular.
A sandwich and a Diet Coke as my evening snack!
Indigo does like to say a lot of stuff on their food packaging
The wedding over, the next day I had to fly back to Delhi else my wife would have killed me. If I travel a bit too much without her, she gets upset. She could not attend this ceremony so was upset as it is. Somehow, I avoided a food coma after lunch and made my way to airport after a friend was kind enough to drop me.
The check-in desks in BOM T1B
Looking for gate-info
No luck with sharklets this time, I had VT-IGH, a three-year old veteran of Indigo

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Photo © Praneeth Franklin.

Flight: 6E 191
Scheduled: 1940-2140
Actual: 1935-2130
Seat: 13F
Boarding was quicker this time
I had the same seat, but heavy condensation outside my window peculiarly meant I couldn’t really see all that well outside.
same sandwich but different message
After an uneventuful flight, accompanied with a lot of sleep as I had partied the last night away and also watched Bayern humiliate Barcelona at the Nou Camp till 3 in the AM, one needed some sleep. The landing was smooth on Runway 28, the middle runway at Delhi which meant a short taxi. Despite the slight delay in taking off, we made up time into Delhi, although I do feel Indigo’s habit of ‘padding’ their flight-times to maintain an on-time record is a bit dubious.
The Indigo girls board a Indigo Cab while we wait for our bus
India Hotel Golf up close and personal
On the bus back to arrival hall
The LCC arrival hall
No luggage, but still worth a look-see
All in all, while 9W is still a good airline and I can earn miles on the airline, I doubt I will ever pay personally or even have my company pay for Jet Airways domestic flights unless the fares and/or timings are worth it. Indigo has issues, but it gets the hjob done efficiently, and that is what you want on domestic flights.
Now that the government has allowed ‘unbundling’ of services – allowing Indian airlines to charge for seat allocation, extra luggage, etc, let us see if Indigo can maintain their edge.
been there, flown that
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RE: Two Quick Runs DEL-BOM-DEL On 9W And 6E -Sharklets

Sun May 12, 2013 8:40 pm


Interesting report, thanks for sharing!
Strange to see 9W's seating arrangment with not al seats with or without AVOD!

Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:23 pm

RE: Two Quick Runs DEL-BOM-DEL On 9W And 6E -Sharklets

Thu May 30, 2013 1:10 pm

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 2):
Strange to see 9W's seating arrangment with not al seats with or without AVOD!

I'm assuming that the AVOD seats are being as JGX has been moved to being a primarily domestic plane. I called 9W's FFP and asked about this and they said that even if planes with in-seat IFE operate domestic sectors, the system isn't activated for domestic flights. 9W used to show IFE on domestic sectors when Kingfisher was around on some sectors - I saw it MAA-DEL and DEL-BLR years ago.
been there, flown that

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