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Tesla
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Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:53 pm

Flying Iceland: Air Iceland Connect Q200 & Q400 Y

Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:51 pm

Flying Europe: Air Iceland Connect Q200 & Q400 Y

Background: My last trip prior to the COVID-19 travel restrictions was to Iceland, an awesome trip to a beautiful country. To get to Iceland, I had flown Icelandair, a great airline. Part of my trip to Iceland took me outside the capitol area of Reykjavik. I was able to fly round-trip to Akureyri on the domestic airline, Air Iceland Connect. Air Iceland Connect is a prop plane operator, with a fleet of five aircraft: three Q200 and two Q400. I was able to schedule one flight on each type. It was exciting to fly domestically within Iceland, a very convenient way to get across the country...and the most fun way, as well.

Please enjoy the following reports on my domestic flights within Iceland, and I look forward to your comments.

RKV-AEY
Air Iceland Connect NY112
Departure: 07:10 (actual 07:17)
Arrival: 07:55 (actual 07:56)
Actual Block Time: 0h39
Actual Flight Time: 0h33
Seat: 14F
Q400

I took a taxi from my hotel in downtown Reykjavik to the Reykjavik Domestic Airport - Air Iceland Connect Terminal, a trip which took only five minutes, arriving 05:45. It turned out that the terminal didn't open until 06:00. Two other passengers were already waiting outside.

Employees arrived to open the terminal just prior to 06:00. I went inside to be checked in, got my bag checked and got assigned window seat 14F. I was sequence number 30. The gate was to be announced later. Check-in was to close at 06:50, and the departure time was 07:10. I had a seat in a comfortable chair in the check-in hall. There were two check-in desks and a service desk, but at this early hour, only one was open. Hanging from the ceiling was a Flugfélag Islands DC-3 model with registration TF-ISF, and there were various FI DC-3 historic photos on the walls. FI - where the Icelandair code comes from.

Reykjavik Domestic Airport Terminal:

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This morning's departures:

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It was a very interesting and pleasant experience so far. It's so nice to fly out of such small airports. Really a no-stress experience. I was very excited to fly domestic Iceland on Air Iceland Connect, and this morning's flight would be my first on the Q400. Other passengers were arriving slowly, and very few of them were checking luggage. Most arrived after 06:40, but I guess some were there for a later flight.

Boarding was called at 07:00. My boarding pass was scanned, and my ID was checked, and I was out the only gate into the dark rainy morning to my waiting Q400. Notably, there had been no security. Air Iceland Connect's online booking engine had displayed the operating aircraft's registration number as TF-FXA, and indeed that was my waiting aircraft. One of two Q400 in the fleet, TF-FXA had begun life in 2000 operating for SAS as LN-RDG. Beginning in 2008, she flew for Flybe as G-ECOY. Then in 2013 she flew for Air Niugini as P2-PXP. Finally she joined Air Iceland Connect in 2015.

TF-FXA during boarding:

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I boarded through the front boarding door, admiring the prop. Two flight attendants were waiting onboard, one in the front, and one in the back. I headed back to my seat, 14F, just under the back of the wing. Nice gray leather seats gave a good first impression, looking clean and new. I found minimal but adequate legroom, but the curvature of the fuselage restricted footroom. But honestly it was comfortable enough. I found a travel journal in the seatback pocket to share travel stories with future travelers.

Seats 14DF:

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Legroom shot:

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Safety card:

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Boarding completed within ten minutes and I ended up with no seatmate. The plane was not full, I'd estimate it was only 2/3 full. The flight attendant welcome message in Icelandic, followed by English, advised a flight time of 40 minutes, and introduced the pilots. The safety demo was performed to recorded narration in Icelandic, then English narration was played separately. I really liked listening to so much Icelandic. Cabin lights were switched off, making it very dark in the cabin, with no one using the overhead lights, and no outside light coming in, either.

Cabin overview:

Image

We pulled off stand at 07:17. It was a quick taxi to runway 13, and our takeoff roll began at 07:20. I enjoyed pretty good pushback into the seat, and a short roll. It was not actually overly loud. We climbed over Reykjavik into the clouds. It really was not loud, which I found very surprising.

Climbing over downtown Reykjavik:

Image

In only five minutes the flight attendants were released and the seatbelt sign was switched off. A recorded announcement about service was played; it said that coffee, tea, and water will be served. It was surprising to have an in-flight service on a short hop like this.

I went for a hot tea, which was served very hot along with a surprise small chocolate - very nice. About halfway through the flight, the captain announced the weather for our destination, 3 degrees with southerly winds. Then seatbelt sign was already back on, and the flight attendants were back to collect service items. I could already feel the descent beginning. A bit bumpy, but not too bad.

At cruise:

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Inflight service & inflight magazine:

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Air Iceland Connect route map:

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The landing gear came down right outside my window, and then landing came at 07:53. The cabin lights came back on during our taxi to the Akureyri terminal. We parked on-stand at 07:56. I went down the aircraft's stairs into an even smaller terminal than Reykjavik, with only one small bag claim, which started up almost right away.

On-stand in AEY:

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Akureyri Airport:

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Air Iceland Connect was very nice, and it was super convenient to fly within Iceland. The local airports were great, small and very conveniently located. My first flight with the Q400 had shown it to be very nice, modern and quiet, and it had provided a nice ride. I included some photos from my time in North Iceland at the end of the report, but next up is my return flight AEY-RKV on the Q200.
 
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Tesla
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Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:53 pm

Re: Flying Iceland: Air Iceland Connect Q200 & Q400 Y

Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:52 pm

AEY-RKV
Air Iceland Connect NY159
Departure: 19:05 (actual 19:04)
Arrival: 19:50 (actual 19:48)
Actual Block Time: 0h44
Actual Flight Time: 0h41
Seat: 9F
Q200

Having gotten to Reykjavik Domestic Airport entirely too early for my first flight, before the airport had even opened, I attempted to go to Akureyri Airport a little later, arriving at 18:10 for the 19:05 departure. My incoming airplane was due to arrive three minutes early at 18:32. It was another lovely little terminal served only by Air Iceland Connect. There was nobody checking in, so I got an easy in-person check-in to Reykjavik. I was assigned window seat 9F with sequence 12; it seemed like there'd be fewer people on this flight, although it was a smaller plane, the Q200 instead of Q400. Speaking of which, it was to be my first Q200, Air Iceland Connect receiving the distinction as the operator of my first and only Q200 and Q400. It had been a nice sunny day in North Iceland, so I was expecting an enjoyable short flight back to the capitol.

Akureyri Airport Terminal:
Image

Once again the majority of passengers arrived within 30 minutes of departure. Boarding began 15 minutes before departure at 18:50. There was again no security, just a boarding pass scan and an ID check, and then directly outside. My Q200 today was TF-FXH. It was interesting to have had the website display the aircraft registration; even when booking six months in advance, the registration number proved correct. TF-FXH, one of three Q200s in the Air Iceland Connect fleet, had begun life in 1999 operating for Piedmont as N965HA. Beginning in 2008, she flew for AIRES as HK-4554. Then in 2011 AIRES was acquired by LATAM, so she then flew for LAN Colombia under the same registration. Finally she joined Air Iceland Connect in 2018.

TF-FXH during boarding:

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I walked around the aircraft to the front boarding door. I found that Row 9 was actually the last row, with five seats across. My seat was the window seat 9F. The legroom was just a little bit better this time, but very similar overall, with clean gray leather seats. It was a nice bright cabin with only nine rows, a great plane for this short domestic flight. We had only one flight attendant this time.

Row 9, last row, five seats across:

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Seats 9DF:

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Legroom shot:

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Safety card:

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Boarding completed in five minutes with a load of 35/37. The door was closed, and engines started. The flight attendant welcome message in Icelandic, followed by English, advised a flight time of 40 minutes, and introduced the pilots. The safety demo was performed to recorded narration in Icelandic, with the message repeated in English.

Cabin overview:

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We pulled off stand at 19:04, cabin lights were shut off, and it was the shortest taxi ever - less than one minute to the end of Runway 01. It was a very, very short takeoff roll. We then had quite a shallow climb.

During taxi:

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10,000 feet was reached in good time and the flight attendant was released to begin service from front to back. There were automated announcements about inflight service. During takeoff and now at cruise, it was much louder than the last flight. I think it was due to my seat position relative to the engine, further back behind the wing and behind the engine. Overall it wasn't too loud, but last time, I had kept thinking how quiet it was, and I wasn't thinking that this time. It was a more expected level of noise for a turboprop.

For my inflight beverage, this time I selected water, which was served with the nice chocolate again.

Inflight service & Air Iceland Connect travel journal:

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With about ten minutes left, the seatbelt sign came back on, the aircraft landing lights came on outside, and the cabin lights came on to collect service items. Those lights were then switched off again for descent and landing. Landing was at 19:46 on Runway 13. We parked in front of the terminal at 19:48.

On-stand in RKV:

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Another Q200, TF-FKG, at RKV:

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I was the last one off the plane, and my bag was already waiting on the carousel. I had really enjoyed my two domestic flights with Air Iceland Connect.

Previous Flying Europe trip reports:
Flying Europe: Swiss Avro RJ100 & Helvetic F100 J
Flying Europe: Lufthansa B737-500 & A321 J
Flying Europe: Air France A319 J & HOP! CRJ-1000 Y
Flying Europe: BA Club World B767-300ER To FRA
Flying Europe: Air Dolomiti E195 BUD-MUC J
Flying Europe: Singapore B777-300ER MUC-MAN J
Flying Europe: KLM Cityhopper E190 & F70 Y
Flying Europe: LAN B787-8 FRA-MAD J
Flying Europe: Hahn Air Business Jet LUX-DUS
Flying Europe: Joon A320 TXL-CDG J
Flying Europe: Condor B757-300 DUS-LPA Y
Flying Europe: Vueling A320 LPA-AGP Y
Flying Europe: Brussels Airlines A320 AGP-BRU J
Flying Europe: Swiss A220 & Helvetic E190 J
Flying Europe: Icelandair B757-200 & B767-300ER J
 
User avatar
Tesla
Topic Author
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:53 pm

Re: Flying Iceland: Air Iceland Connect Q200 & Q400 Y

Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:52 pm

I've included some photos from my time in the Akureyri area of North Iceland. As I said before in my Icelandair report, Iceland was one of the most beautiful places I've been, and I'd love to visit again.

Icelandic Super Truck:

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Near Siglufjörður:

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Outdoor hot tubs:

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Hiking across snow and ice to Dettifoss, a very cool experience:

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Dettifoss waterfall:

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Goðafoss waterfall:

Image

Hverir geothermal area:

Image
 
vfw614
Posts: 3846
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

Re: Flying Iceland: Air Iceland Connect Q200 & Q400 Y

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:10 pm

Lovely. Thanks for sharing.

I took the same flight a couple of years ago when Air Iceland Connect was still using Fokker 50s. The experience was somewhat spoilt by Akureyri being flooded with hundreds of German cruise ship tourists - if you go all the way to Akureyri, the last thing you want is being surrounded by mostly obnoxious fellow countrymen.

Did you have a chance to visit the little aviation musem at Akureyri airport locate next to the terminal?
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5498
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

Re: Flying Iceland: Air Iceland Connect Q200 & Q400 Y

Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:45 pm

Regarding cabin noise:
The Q-series updates to the Dash-8 family feature ANVS. This Active Noise & Vibration System uses technology somewhat similar to Bose noise cancelling headsets; but on the Q400, it's very complicated. Something like 80 microphones sense noise amplitude, plus four accelerometers, and then the computer takes that input as well as input from the prop RPM, and powers 42 Noise Attenuators which vibrate in counter-phase to the ambient noise.
It's brilliant. And effective. When it works.
The system is notoriously unreliable.
Sounds like yours on the Q400 was probably working.

As far as the Q200 goes, it could have been louder for two reasons. First, the ANVS may have been inoperative on that flight. But really, the second reason is the simple reality that the Q200 is just a louder airplane. The four-bladed props produce more noise than the Q400's advanced six-bladed props. The Q400 props actually turn slower in takeoff, climb, and cruise settings (1020RPM, 900, and 850 respectively) than the previous versions with the four-bladed props... which I can't find the numbers for right now.

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