Wine Tasting at FL310: Emirates Hamburg to Dubai
The chauffeur has dropped me off at the terminal. Along the way we have persuaded the British to abandon Brexit, suggested that all migrants stop working for a month to see how the economy fares, and talked in the way that strangers do when meeting for a short period. He wishes me a pleasant flight and I make my way to check in my suitcase. Once done, I pass through security and go up to the lounge where I receive a cheerful "Welcome back, Mr HGL."
Before doing anything else, I take a look out of the windows. One of the reasons why I like this lounge is that it offers clear views over the "Vorfeld" and runways. Here we see a BA A319, G-EUPD still in the special livery for the 2012 Olympic Games but reconfigured to CY143 in 2015.
There is some activity on the ramp around a 757-256. This aircraft started its career with Iberia, named Cuba
in August, 1994. Since then it has been with several airlines, including Sudan Airways, Phuket Airlines and Yakutia. It joined Icelandair in May 2014 and now flies as Helgafell
This Airbus A321-231(WL) was ferried from Finkenwerder to Istanbul in February, 2013 on delivery to Turkish Airlines. Powered by two IAE V2533-A5 engines, it flies under the name of Niğde
and is configured CY180.
Earlier I had received email notification that the flight would be delayed. I guess I might as well have a look for something to eat. That shouldn't be a problem as the lounge is always well-provisioned. There are various breads ... perhaps to go with some soup?
The options for cooked meals look appetising: Potato and cashew curry; some roast with apples and red cabbage; lamb chops; or perhaps spinach and nut pancakes. It's good to see that both carnivores and vegetarians have options available.
For those who prefer something light or who are thinking of their waste line and conclude it needs a few centimetres added, their is a range of salads, desserts and cheeses. The cheese looks inviting but for now I think I'll have some of that delicious potato and cashew curry.
After dining and before going through to the sitting area, I take a look over the apron and notice that the delayed arrival has appeared. Due to the delay it is parked at C02 rather than the usual C05. Cargo is being off-loaded and the catering crew are doing their bit to make the aircraft ready for departure.
After some time a call goes out to passengers in the lounge that they may now proceed to the gate and a reminder to have their passports ready. Boarding has commenced through 2L and I am able to snap a shot of the aircraft as I walk along the jet-bridge. It looks as if some adjustments are being made to the forward landing gear.
Flight: Emirates EK060 Hamburg - Dubai
Aircraft ID: A6-ENX
Type: 777-31HER Seat: 2K
STD/ ATD: 16:20/ 17:27
STA/ ATA: 00:55/ 00:54
Richard welcomes me aboard and shows me through to the suite, offers to hang my jacket and asks whether he can bring me something to drink.
"May I be cheeky and ask for for orange juice and some water?"
"Of course you can. Everyone's allowed to be cheeky," he replies.
He goes to fetch the drinks while Kim offers slippers and eyeshades. The Arabic Coffee and Dates are offered and I mention that this is one of my favourite parts of the pre-departure ceremony. Later a second cup of coffee is offered as Richard remarks, "if anyone's this excited about the coffee, I know they'll want a second cup."
The Captain meanwhile makes an announcement, advising that the Cabin Crew are here primarily for our safety and to follow their instructions at all times. He apologises for the delay and says that they will attempt to make up as much time as possible to retain the scheduled arrival."
Richard comes along and noticing that I am writing in my journal, says "I've brought you a book mark." It is a fast track card for security in Dubai.
I comment that it is nice to see a sense of humour.
"Doesn't everyone have one?"
"I'd like to say yes."
"You'd be surprised at some of the people we come across," he rejoins but our conversation is brought to an end as the aircraft begins to move back. Kim comes to take the snack basket for take-off, promising to return it later.
The safety video commences as the Captain announces, "Cabin Crew, prepare for take-off."
As we push back I take a look at the different tails at the gates and on the apron. There is a mix of eurowings, airberlin, Lufthansa and Turkish at contact stands ...
eurowing and germanwings at remote stands ...
while bags are being loaded into this easyJet. It is an Airbus A320-214 with the registration G-EZUW.
We must wait for this Bombardier 402Q, born as C-FYGN and ferried YYZ-YYR-RKV-FMO during 23 - 24 October 2009 on delivery. It leased from NAC and operated by Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter for airberlin.
We also wait for D-AGWG to pass in front of us. This Airbus A319-132 first flew with the test registration D-AVYS on 29 June 2007 and was delivered to germanwings in July, 2007.