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Yflyer
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What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown On?

Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:33 pm

I know that can be a hard concept to define, so for this thread let's just say that if it felt exotic to you then it counts.

For me it would be Estonian Air, flown in August 2014, TLL-CPH. Why it felt exotic: I hadn't even heard of them when I booked my flight (which was a codeshare through SAS), but I thought it was really cool to get to fly on the obscure national airline of a small country. More so that their fleet only consisted of seven planes at the time. Now that they're recently ceased operations I'm glad I did. I'm normally not one to collect boarding passes, but I saved the ones from Estonian Air because they just felt special for some reason.
 
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csturdiv
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:18 pm

Nothing too exciting for me. As a midwestern boy growing up in the sticks of southern Indiana, up until recently the only "exotic" airline I flew was Aeromexico. But now that I am living in Australia, I guess it would be Qantas or Air New Zealand. Up until a few years ago when I was still living in the US, I never ever imagined I would be flying them.
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TWA772LR
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:22 pm

Mine was Southwest until I flew Qantas in 2013!
When wasn't America great?


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Ytraveller
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:31 pm

Probably Condor, the German leisure carrier that's part of TCX Group. LAS-FRA-LAS

Honorable mentions: Dragonair (BLR-HKG) and AC Rouge (LAS-YVR - soon after this route got converted from AC mainline   I hate rouge!)
 
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shamrock350
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:16 pm

DOT LT or Danu Oro Transportas, a Lithuanian airline based in Karmėlava, near Kaunas. It mainly operates on an ACMI basis and owned by Danish Air Transport.

My flight was was meant to be on Aer Lingus Regional but due to an aircraft shortage they were using a DOT aircraft and crew for the majority of the summer last year. The aircraft was an ageing all white ATR but it had a very nice, newly installed cabin and the crew were all from Lithuania, one Aer Lingus flight attendant was on board for service consistency.

I'd never heard of them before, since FlyLAL collapsed I wasn't aware Lithuania had any based airlines so DOT was a since surprise and I also discovered Small Planet airlines based in Vilnius.

This is actually a photo of my flight arriving in Southend.


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OMP777X
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:33 am

For me it would have to be Aeroflot. My mother used to send me back to Ireland each summer to visit my father in Clare, and my brother and sister and I would fly ORD-SNN on them in their 767. It was a very interesting experience for me as a kid, especially because I'd never seen Russian in print before, so the in-flight magazine was kind of a strange form of IFE for me as a kid killing time on a plane in the '90s. They didn't have as nice of a cabin crew as EI or any other carriers I've flown on a TATL flight (e.g. they wouldn't wake you up on landing), but the price was right. I look forward to maybe visiting Russia one day to see what it is like after having enjoyed my unique experiences with Aeroflot.


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OMP777X
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777Jet
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:45 am

For me it would be NOK Air in Thailand.

The female FAs are total babes, like most female FAs in Asia, and each of their planes has a different livery.

At the time, their in-flight snack called 'Nok-Kanom', was even better than the snack box offered on TG.
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388crazy
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:47 am

Mine would probably be Air Costa, a small airline in India with 4 aircraft (2 E170, 2 A190)
But to be honest all non Australian airlines seem exotic to me when I fly them.
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MIAspotter
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:16 am

Hmmm.

I would have to say Kuwait Airways, last year a friend and I flew DXB-KWI-DXB on KU just to get a ride on either an A310 or A300, we got A310 the both ways, no other reason to go to KWI... just the Airbus LOL.

Service was OK, and we got to visit the cockpit on both sectors and chat to the crew  

And Kuwait was actually not a bad place, nothing much in the way of sights or fun, but it´s very modern.

Other airlines I have flown, but I cannot quite consider ¨exotic¨ but just had the chance to fly on them.

-Garuda Indonesia
-Hong Kong Airlines
-Jetstar Asia

MIAspotter.
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baldwin471
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:04 am

Same as 777Jet for me, probably NOK. Maybe Flyby Nordic as a close second.
 
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XAM2175
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:41 am

It'd be Brindabella (FQ) for me, small charter-ish outfit down here that dabbled in scheduled flying and ended up going bust a few years ago.

That one flight actually gave me a real exotic trifecta - exotic airline, exotic aircraft - the Jetstream 41 - and exotic route, ARM-BNE, which receives no scheduled service now.
 
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OA260
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:39 am

For me it was Guyana Airways B757 from JFK-GEO back in the 90's. Of course they do not exist anymore so I am glad I got the chance to fly them. Our routing back was GEO-CUR-JFK.
 
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Loran
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:52 pm

The most exotic in my log would probably be:
1) Barq Aviation L-1011-500 routing NBO-LHE, also
2) DETA Aviation Il-62M routing SAW-CIT would qualify as exotic.

Just had a look through my list and realised that at least 60% are semi-exotic to very exotic airlines. It would be a very long list to quote here.

Regards,
Loran
703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 787 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 359 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 IL1/8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2 YK4/2
 
trijetsonly
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:10 pm

Mine would be:

1) Air Koryo (JS - whole fleet)
2) Aerogaviota (ATR42), departed on a wide road and flown to Havana Playa Baracoa
3) LTU Süd (LTS - LU - B767-300ER), FRA-CMB-MLE-FRA
4) LTE (XO - B757-200) FRA-FAO-FRA

Quoting Loran (Reply 12):
1) Barq Aviation L-1011-500 routing NBO-LHE, also

How did you manage to get on that flight? I was trying really hard to contact Barq to join the flight.
Happy Landings
 
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MrHMSH
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:55 pm

For me it would be Air Mandalay, I went to Burma in 2001 and visited 3 cities, Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan, scooting between them on ATR 72s.

I think it may have been this one: F-OHFS:


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Otherwise Royal Brunei will be an exotic one to many, but I lived in Brunei so it was less so for me. They had a less than stellar reputation back then!


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jetsetter629
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:48 pm

I spent a year traveling the world and certainly got a few exotic (non-alliance) airlines under my belt:

- Amaszonas (Bolivia)
- Sky Airlines (Chile)
- Precision Air (Tanzania)
- SpiceJet (India)
- Cebu Pacific (Philippines)
- FireFly (Malaysia)
 
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Loran
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:06 pm

Quoting Trijetsonly (Reply 13):
How did you manage to get on that flight? I was trying really hard to contact Barq to join the flight.

I was lucky to have the right contacts. Took me over a year though to finally get on the flight. 6 weeks after they sadly ceased ops.

Regards,
Loran
703 717 727 732-9 747 757 767 777 787 AB2/6 310 318-321 330 340 359 380 D8M D91/3/5 D1C M11 M81-90 L10 IL1/8/6/7/W/9/4 TU3/5/2 YK4/2
 
flymia
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:09 pm


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Guess it would have to be Chalks. Flew them multiple times from 1997-2004. Such a great experience. But Chalks being a hometown airline, I guess outside of that it would be Czech Airlines.

In May I will be flying Air Thaiti around the FP, excited about that!
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CrimsonNL
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:46 pm

Three exotic airlines from my log;

Naft Airlines, on one of their daily AWZ-THR flights. Definitely the most obscure airline I've been on, on the F100

Ruby Star, in the back of their AN-12, which should count as pretty exotic  

Air Greenland, on several of their aircraft as well as the Bell 212 helicopter


Martijn
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DocLightning
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:05 pm

SAETA, the airline of Ecuador back in 1989 or so.
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fallap
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:28 pm

Cinamon Air Cessna 208 floatplane from Polgolla reservoir to Colombo

Aerocaribbean ATR42 Cuban domestic

Air Greenland Dash 7
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jetwet1
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:29 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 17):
Guess it would have to be Chalks.

I am jealous, saw them many times, but never had the chance to fly them.

For me it would be Sansa, flying inside Costa Rica.
 
TUGMASTER
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:46 pm

Off the top of my head....

Carribean Airlines B747-123, LX-KCV
 
CalTex
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:46 am

Although not niche, my most exotic experience would have to be China Eastern. At the time, they still had very Oriental-style boarding music, interesting snacks on the in-flight meals, and flight attendants rigorously enforcing CAAC regulations in proficient but not fluid English. It was very clear that I was in a foreign country.
 
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:14 am

Lake Union Air is about the most exotic I can get. This was in 1992, floatplane from Lake Union (Seattle area) to Victoria Harbor, BC.

I have been on several small(ish) airlines that are no longer around (PSA, Muse Air, Pacific Western, Western, USA 3000, Midwest, British Midland, original National plus the more recent merged airlines) but those aren't necessarily exotic.

Besides those, just the big US airlines and flag carriers from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia.
 
spacecadet
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:44 am

Not really "exotic" but I don't know how many Americans have had the chance to fly Skymark. It actually felt to me like something special. I took tons of pics and video and even bought the model airplane they sell on board (how many airlines still do that??). They had really good service. I've flown JAL domestically in Japan too and there wasn't really a difference... except Skymark sells model airplanes.
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csturdiv
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 2:49 am

Quoting StlHsvSfoSan (Reply 24):
Lake Union Air is about the most exotic I can get. This was in 1992, floatplane from Lake Union (Seattle area) to Victoria Harbor, BC.

If we are going to that route, then make it was Tasmanian Air Adventure back in 2013 when I was in Hobart. Flew their DHC-2 on a long flight down to some amazing untouched land at the bottom of the island.

http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a140/csturdiv/Australia/HobartSeaplane/DSCF1462.jpg
An American expat from the ORD area living and working in SYD
 
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Scooter01
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:59 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 17):
Guess it would have to be Chalks.

That goes for me too!

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Taxiing into the water was awesome the first time.  



Other memorable airlines were Wardair

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Being served orangejuice with champagne while taxiing out from the gate was kind of nice  



..and SABENA

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Was lucky enough to fly in one of these from downtown Brussel out to the airport  

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mad99
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:11 am

My first biz trip to the states i flew on US Airways and it was exotic, 3rd world experience right in the middle of America!
 
jeffh747
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:23 pm

Definitely Winair. Last year my buddy and I visited SXM for five days, and before we left, we decided we wanted to take a day trip to SBH so we chose Winair. They're such a relaxed and cool airline. Also got my first flight in a Twin Otter.

Also flew on Pan Am Clipper Connection in 2006. I was only ten but I still recognized the significance of flying in a Boeing 727-200, which was my favorite airplane. I flew on them MIA-PUJ-MIA (week long stay in Punta Cana) and still have a photo my mom took of me in front of the gorgeous Boeing 727!

Honorable mention: Mexicana, who gave me my only ride to date in an A318 and flew them MIA-CUN-MIA (week long stay in Cancun) about a year before they went under. Such a fantastic airline and I do miss them.
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flyTPA
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:53 pm

Atlantic Gulf Convair 580 PIE-MIA-PIE
Nordlandair DHC-6 AEY-GRY-AEY
Malev TU-154 BUD-FRA
BA SSC JFK-LHR
IG D95 CTA-FCO
Allegheny Commuter SH3 SH6 ABE-PHL
Allegheny Commuter F27 ABE-BOS
Altair ND2 PHL-ABE
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flymia
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:41 pm

Quoting Scooter01 (Reply 27):
Taxiing into the water was awesome the first time.

Yes it is. Takeoff was by far the best part and that first moment the plane become a boat is really cool. The windows are right there almost in the water. I remember the takeoffs from Paradise Island were fantastic, long roll on the water, then level off a low height and turn to the left and follow the beach. One time the pilots left the windows open for a few minutes.

No autopilot, not cockpit door. It was a lot of fun. Landings in downtown Miami were great too. A shame how it ended for them.
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airindia787
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:06 pm

My most exotic airline for me so far is definitely Air Panama, from PAC to Isla San Jose (a resort island with no airport code as far as I can tell) and back. Cessna Caravan on the outbound and a Twin Otter on the return.
 
planeguy727
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:23 am

Saereo (Ecuador)
Aeroperlas (Panama)
Rusts (Alaska)
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
YVRLTN
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:33 am

I have 4 flights on Air Malawi


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Hola Airlines were fairly exotic, operated a sub for EUjet who themselves I guess were fairly exotic and I did get their F100 on the outbound flight.


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Buffalo Airways has to be up there.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7298/10528587864_e494886476_k.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3793/10371818425_fb29f43d2f_k.jpg

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2831/10371755133_7ae688482f_k.jpg

Coastal Aviation of Tanzania are fairly exotic too I guess

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7335/9754976653_6dd744e457_b.jpg

Quoting csturdiv (Reply 26):
Flew their DHC-2 on a long flight down to some amazing untouched land at the bottom of the island.

Common as anything round here, but they are pretty exotic anywhere else - have floatplane flights with Georgian Bay Airways, Harbour Air, West Coast Air and Seair Seaplanes.
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cedarjet
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:02 am

- two different Il-62Ms in Iran, DETA Kazakhstan op for Aria Air Iran
- Il-18 JIB-HGA-JIB, Mega Air op for Daallo Airlines
- over 100 sectors on Air Koryo (all types)
- over 40 sectors on Saha Air 707s
- THR-ISF on locally-built Iran-140 (An-140 under licence)
- African Express MD-80 / DC-9 DXB-NBO with a change of plane in Mogadishu
- only passenger on Biman DC-10 ferry flight BHX-DAC, last last ever DC-10 passenger aircraft movement
- SQ22
- American Airlines 777-223ER LHR-YYZ
- BA001 LHR-JFK 15 Oct 2003, last ever westbound bookable supersonic flight ever
etc
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
TUGMASTER
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:28 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 35):
- two different Il-62Ms in Iran, DETA Kazakhstan op for Aria Air Iran
- Il-18 JIB-HGA-JIB, Mega Air op for Daallo Airlines
- over 100 sectors on Air Koryo (all types)
- over 40 sectors on Saha Air 707s
- THR-ISF on locally-built Iran-140 (An-140 under licence)
- African Express MD-80 / DC-9 DXB-NBO with a change of plane in Mogadishu
- only passenger on Biman DC-10 ferry flight BHX-DAC, last last ever DC-10 passenger aircraft movement
- SQ22
- American Airlines 777-223ER LHR-YYZ
- BA001 LHR-JFK 15 Oct 2003, last ever westbound bookable supersonic flight ever
etc

IS THAT IT....?????
 
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A333MSPtoAMS
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:24 am

air Mandalay & Yangon Airways (Myanmar)
TAG Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (Guatemala)
As of Dec 2019 I've flown 457,440 miles on 270 flights on 54 airplane types with 60 airlines traveling thru 104 airports. I've visited 60 countries.
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e38
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:54 pm

not really an exotic airline, but somewhat of an unusual airline for the route.

Many years ago--like around 1983--I flew AIR FRANCE Boeing 747 from Houston, Texas to Mexico City (IAH - MEX).

The people who met me in Mexico City were positive I had made a mistake with regard to which airline I would be arriving on.

e38
 
jumpjets
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:20 pm

Hard to judge but for me I think:

Aerogaviota AN26 from Santiago de Cuba to Havana Playa Baracoa; and

Aero Continente [Peru] B727s from LIM-AQP/CUZ-PEM/PEM-LIM. The last was quite dramatic as PEM was shut for hours due to monsoon type rain and after a couple of attempts the pilot abandoned an intermediate stop at CUZ and went straight to LIM- which was fine for me as that's where I wanted to go but there were quite a few disgruntled passengers who had wanted to get off!
 
ZKCIF
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:12 am

Well, for me
Australia and around:
Air Rarotonga
Air Caledonie (both A42 and A72)
Chathams
Rex (sorry, for Australians that's mundane, but for me, 3 sectors on Rex were cool)

South America
FIGAS (the Falklands)
Star Peru
Aerosur
Tiara
FlyDae
SkyAirline

North America
Air Greenland (Dash 7, of course!)

Africa
still to be visited, too expensive for now

Europe
Flugfelag Islands (D81)

Asia
Hunnu (F50)
Merpati (XianMa60)
AirMacau (sorry, extremely exotic for me)
 
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A333MSPtoAMS
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:25 am

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 39):
Aero Continente [Peru] B727s from LIM-AQP/CUZ-PEM/PEM-LIM. The last was quite dramatic as PEM was shut for hours due to monsoon type rain and after a couple of attempts the pilot abandoned an intermediate stop at CUZ and went straight to LIM- which was fine for me as that's where I wanted to go but there were quite a few disgruntled passengers who had wanted to get off!

I forgot about this one. I flew Aero Continente in 2002 from Trujillo to Lima on their 727-200.
As of Dec 2019 I've flown 457,440 miles on 270 flights on 54 airplane types with 60 airlines traveling thru 104 airports. I've visited 60 countries.
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AMS
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:52 am

For me it was

1) Royal Jordanian L1011 JFK-AMS-JFK

2) Pakistan Airlines PIA A310 JFK-AMS

3) Varig 747 AMS-FRA and MD-11 AMS-CDG-AMS

3) Aigle Azur 733 ATH-CDG

All these Airlines offered great exotic service flying on special routes.
 
TR1
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:32 pm

In 1996 I had an opportunity to fly:

Merpati CN-235 Bali-Lombok
Bouraq HS-748 Lombok-Bali

Both flights chosen to experience a new airline and aircraft type!
 
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Thunderboltdrgn
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:12 pm

I think this airline would be considered exotic, it only operated for two months and only on
domestic route(s?) in Sweden. Flew it NYO-MMX and a day later MMX-NYO.


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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:07 am

Maybe doesn't qualify as exotic but for me Icelandair JFK-KEF-LUX on the short time they operated a DC-10 in 1979
 
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:10 pm

A few that stand out, and only counting scheduled flights:

Deta Air IL-62M, SAW-CIT
Daallo Airlines IL-18, JED-JIB / JIB-HGA-JIB (separate trips, 2 different IL-18s)
Barq Aviation L1011-500, KHI-ISB
Zhetysu YAK-40, ALA-TDK-ALA
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:47 pm

Some notable ones:

OXF-EDI on a J31 of Varsity Express - the first of only 11 flights they made.
MPH-CEB on a Cn-235 of Asian Spirit
DAL-DAL on a BAC 1-11 of Business Jet Access


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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:49 pm

Quoting XAM2175 (Reply 10):

Brindabella (FQ) for me as well, my only flight with this slightly obscure regional airline was in 2013 on a Metroliner, so rare airline and rare aircraft. A lot of fun!

Honorable mention to British World Airlines, a British ACMI charter operator. Flew on a BAC-111 which by the late 1990s was already very rare.
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RE: What's The Most "exotic" Airline You've Flown

Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:33 am

Jueyao airlines from the secon Shanghai airport (Not PVG) to Xian when I was doing a tour of China. Was one of 2 airlines in the airport I had never heard of before getting my boarding pass.
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