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New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:51 pm

I have recently been going frequently to India. Its economy is revving up again and I have found myself shuttling back and forth once more almost like in the boom times of the late 2000s. So I thought I should write about the country, its airlines, and its airports.

The following trip report is not a narration of a particular trip but rather a compilation of reports which focus mainly on showcasing India’s 3 major airports (DEL, BOM, and BLR) because I feel they have really propelled the country into the 21st century and are so much different than what the world usually knows India for which is for slums and cows on the street. This is also the India that is different than the India I stepped into for the first time almost 10 years back when all the airports were plain dump pits. I have seen the country and its infrastructure grow and am proud to be part of that journey.

I will also be showcasing 3 airlines: 9W, and AI mainly but also SQ to tie in the departure and arrival experiences at each airport.

I will start with BOM, my favourite city in India, a heaving breathing metropolis where all India collides. It has a newly-opened T2 which has a most striking and distinctive architecture. It’s also a massive architectural and urban planning challenge because the new building is built in phases over the existing old terminal. It’s a complicated challenging construction programme because it has to fit in an operational airport. I have seen this massive hulk rise slowly for the past 4 years a hair breadth’s away from a functioning terminal and it’s finally open. I believe it’s either you like it or you hate it. For me, I LOVE it.

Here’s a model of it to show how it looks when it’s completed.

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As it is now. See how they will have to demolish the curved old block before they can complete the project. The massive new building is built over the old carpark. This is construction over an operating airport. Truly marvel me.

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New T2 @ BOM (open Feb 2014)

Route: SIN-BOM
Flight: 9W 11
Aircraft: A330-200
STD/ATD: 1905
STA/ATA: 2200
Duration: 5 hours 25 minutes
Class: Business Class
Seat: 10A
Load: 50%

9W has been my airline of choice for the past 1.5 years or so. First, it offers incredibly good-value business class fares and if you really want to push the fares super low, fly to South India destinations like BLR, HYD, COK, CMB. The fares to these destinations via BOM work out to be about SGD 1350 in J Class, which is only slightly more than SQ’s Y class (priced at SGD 1250).

And furthermore, 9W offers flat beds in herringbone layout on their A330s. So how could I resist flying with their flat beds at SQ’s Y fare levels!

The following flight would actually be my last on their A330 because 2 days after this flight, they changed all India-Singapore routes to 738s in domestic configuration. ☹ Now their low fares are not that super good value anymore. The downgauging of BOM to a narrow body also paves the way for SQ’s A380s to gobble up all premium customers. I have since then fly SQ. I love you 9W but I don’t love your 738s for a 5 hour red eye flight.

One last look at 9W’s 2nd last A330 at Changi Airport.

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Post-take off drinks and assorted nuts. Note that on herringbone configuration, these have to be placed awkwardly around the curvature of the seat.



My favourite seat is 10A. The A330s are configured 1-1-1 with the A seats arranged in a column off the left aisle while the other two seats in the same row face each other across the right aisle. So A seats are most private. But this is true only for the rear mini J cabin. In the front J cabin, the K seats are the most private. Row 10 is also the best because it is the last in the J cabin and there is an extra triangular space for placing personal items, such as my companion in this case. Haha.



IFE screen is of pretty good size IMO. I have no complaints here. Dinner started with either salad or soup. I had to choose one, not sure if we could choose both. For me, it was cauliflower soup on that night. I quite liked it.



For my mains, for some reason, I always gravitate towards their pseudo-oriental selection. This is usually a plate of noodles with fish, which, in typical Indian-chinese style, comes with a rather copious amount of gravy. But I love it usually. On this particular flight, no exception. The fish was tender and moist. And the sauces were flavourful although not that authentic (more peppery). One wouldn't get these on SQ.

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I am never into Indian desserts which tend to be super sweet. So it was cake for me.

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The flight, as usual, was bumpy over the Bay of Bengal and then it was smooth sailing afterwards. We landed on time and I was excited to be in the new Terminal 2 that just opened in February this year. Singapore Airlines 772 already docked at its gate.

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Disembarkation was to a new and fresh aerobridge with soothing warm lighting and warm carpet tones. A lot of passengers were still unfamiliar with this airport and many took the left route going up towards the departure gate. They had to turn back to take the right turn towards arrival.



First impression of the new terminal was positive. I like the hotel-like ambience. The lighting is soothing and not harsh. It feels cozy and is very different from a lot of other airports. This really feels like a plush 5-star hotel.



I like the carpet motif too. This is supposed to be inspired by peacocks. But one of my colleagues insisted that she saw mangoes instead.



Art work lines up the wall – very beautiful.

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I believe the idea is to reduce the feeling of dread along the long walk to immigration. But the walk is really super long – really super long I repeat.

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More walk.

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And more walk. This time passing Indian antiquities in display. These are real antiques. The airport claims to be the airport with the largest collection of art under its roof – some sort of a museum.

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And more walk. Passing a replica of a tribal dwelling



And more walk. Passing more installations.

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And more walk. Phew!

And then finally, after a good 15 minutes, I reached the immigration hall. With so many counters, there is no more need for dreadful queues unlike in the old Terminal 2. Gone are the industrial grid ceilings, replaced with warm and welcoming timber panels.



Baggage reclaim hall is also spacious.

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Looking up the impressive and unique twisted columns. It feels almost Antonio Gaudi-like. I couldn’t help but looked up in awe. So much dream-like too.



From this hall, there is another foyer area with F&B joints before the heat and humidity of India. Meeters and greeters can’t get into here. And this is the last zone of peace before the chaos of India just outside.

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RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:53 pm

Route: BOM-SIN
Flight: SQ 423
Aircraft: 77W with NNBC
STD/ATD: 0005
STA/ATA: 0820
Duration: 5 hours 45 minutes
Class: Business Class
Seat: 19K
Load: 50%

The departure process is slightly better experience because the long dreadful walk feels a lot less.

View of the departure kerb with T2’s distinctive twisting columns. I couldn’t stop myself from being awed by the dramatic effect.

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There are a total of 8 doors. Each door has a sign relating which airlines’ check-in counters are around the area.

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For Singapore Airlines, it’s the last one at the end of the kerb and I think there is a reason for that.

Another look across the kerb and what is that? A Salvador Dali clock in this surreal dreamscape?

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And then I walked inside. A closer look at the columns and their warping and twisting forms. It's either you love it or you hate it. For me, I am awed.

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I do find the interior a little crammed though. The passage between the check-in counters and the terminal’s façade is quite crammed considering the volume of people. Space is really tight and it felt pretty crowded that night. In no time, this terminal will be at its capacity limit.



Singapore Airlines occupies the 2nd last counter. This is for Economy passengers only.

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And it is well positioned next to the premium section. I guess they do position themselves there because of the high number of premium traffic.



Premium counters are quieter and peaceful. They are at the edge of the terminal’s rather odd-shaped / trapezoidal shape so there is more space.

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Clusters of sofas for premium passengers

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Premium passengers have their own processing route through security and immigration, well-separated from the main queues.



The immigration desks for premium passengers. It was quiet that night.

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They are in the same bank as the main ones, but located towards one side at the extreme end of the building. The bank of immigration counters occupies almost the entire width of the building. And there is a good number of counters, which is unlike in the old terminal where 45 minutes queues were not unusual.

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This is Walk-through duty-free shopping just after immigration. Only half was open as of mid-April. You can see parts of it were still boarded up.

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And the common waiting hall with info desk.

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Waiting area in the common hall. The ceiling design is very intricate but I find that there is quite a bit of overdesign. Too much sensory simulation everywhere.

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Common F&B areas with cafes and bars.

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From here, I went to the lounge. On the way, passing more display of antiquities.



And then by lift to the lounge level. The walls are again overdesigned and like I said before, too much sensory simulation.

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The lounge seems to be temporarily occupying an unoccupied wing. This is looking into the completed but unused waiting area for some boarding gates.



View of the lounge. This seems to be temporary. It's a common lounge to all airlines. No airlines own their own lounge here. I am not sure if this is the long term plan as well or if we will see individual airlines lounges.

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The lighting levels are hotel-like. Soft and warm. And it will stay that way when the lounge moves and the area becomes boarding gates.

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I waited here till half an hour before boarding time. And then I started walking towards the gate. Doesn’t it feel like an upscale mall rather than an airport?



And then down to the pier. I like this space. Quite beautiful IMO.



The boarding gate area also feels hotel-like with its soft and warm lighting. Other than the slight visual overstimulation due to the numerous gilded flower-shaped lighting fixtures, I thought the place is quite comfortable. And there is ample space.

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9V-SWU docked at the gate. This would be my 2nd time on her.



My super sexy seat! And not only sexy, but super comfortable as well.



It’s a supper service for this midnight flight. I always thought it would be better with breakfast service.



Tonight, I just had champagne and nuts. And then straight to my comfortable bed.



Arrived the next morning after a very sound 4 hour sleep. It was not enough for sure but it was as best as I could ever get on the flight of that duration. Thanks to NNBC (New New Business Class) - I will be missing you.

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RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:55 pm

BLR airport new extension

Route: BLR-DEL
Flight: AI404
Aircraft: A320
STD/ATD:2045/2130
STA/ATA: 2315/2345
Class: Executive
Seat: 3A
Load: 9/12


For one of the trips, I had to make a cross country trek from Bangalore to Delhi. Since Bangalore airport is far out from the city and I was packed with meetings, I wouldn't be able to take any flight which was earlier than 8pm. I could have flown the morning after but considering the distance to DEL, I would have to miss my morning meetings.

As I said above, I frequently travelled with 9W and I have had quite a large miles stashed up in their Programme and for my domestic travel, it is my preferred airline. But for some reason, the second last flight from BLR to DEL is at 645pm which is way too early and the next flight is at 1045pm which is too late arriving into DEL at 1am plus. 9W is usually the business travelers' first choice. It's either them or AI as all other airlines are single-class LCC. I can't make out why they are not pursuing this business market leaving the market wide open for AI with it's better 845pm departure. Either that or there is really very little business traffic between north and south India. For info, 9W pursues the BLR-BOM market much more intensively with hourly departures between 5pm and 10pm. And these are always packed to the brim.

Anyway, left with no choice, and though with some concerns with AI's less-than-stellar reputation recently such as pilot being locked out of the cockpit, pilot not turning up at aircraft, frequent delays, etc, I bit the bullet and just gave it a try. This was not my first time with AI though. I had taken a domestic flight before in Y and it was a good experience with good food and good legroom. On another occasion, I took an international flight from BOM-LHR in Y in their 77W and it was horribly worn out. But it was super empty with less than 100 pax in the 77W so plenty of room to stretch.

Now, on to the trip report proper.

I arrived at BLR airport after a harrowing 1.5 hour drive. I was running late and I almost thought I wouldn't be able to make it here. But thanks to the new flyover from the city, I could just make it in time at 45 minutes before the flight.

Bangalore airport just had a new extension or two extensions rather on either side of the terminal. They were discreetly built over the last few years, so discreet that I didn't notice it. Only now that they were completed then I noticed them. The roofs over the extensions are higher and therefore the space feels a lot more spacious and pleasant inside.

Exterior view

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Check-in hall view. 9W occupies the premium corner next to the escalators leading to security. The yellow background wall is very prominent and matches 9W's livery. But I believe the yellow is part of the design and has nothing to do with 9W. Anyway, I like that colour. Really perk up the mood.

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Check-in at AI was rather slow and painful. There were not many passengers and I was late and it was just minutes before check-in closing time. It was frustrating to see the processing of the passenger in front of me took what seems like an eternity. And this was at the executive class counter.

Anyway, I was then checked in with no fuss at exactly T-45 minutes and quickly proceeded to security. Fortunately no line at security. I think there is a lot of increase in capacity after the extension and the experience is much more pleasant. I also like the timber accents of the architecture. It's very simple and elegant.



Post security, the F&B area has also been upgraded. The lounge is one-storey above, on top of the timber element.

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Although I didn't have much time, I thought I should check the new lounge. For many years, 9W didn't provide lounge at this airport for domestic departures. Now I think they share the same as AI - Plaza Premium Lounge.

The lounge is very spacious and the mood lighting is good and comfortable. The food selection IMO was pretty bad and typical of India's domestic lounges so I decided not to take any bite.

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Alcohol is usually served from the bar and is not self-service at Indian airports. And for today, no alcohol due to general election. What? Looks like the government thinks that when people drink, they can't vote rationally?

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While the lounge is a pleasant place to wait for a flight, the area around the boarding gates is still the same old BLR and was very crammed with passengers. They should have designed the terminal deeper!

Onto the flight report ...

AI also has 788s plying BLR-BOM but the timing doesn't suit me so I have to be satisfied with an A320 with recliner seats rather than flat beds. Not a big deal for a 2.5 hour flight. The inbound flight came in slightly behind schedule but I thought they should be able to board us on time.

Boarding was then called but in no order of priority. It was first come first serve. There was no attention to a premium experience with AI for this flight and I didn't expect it either. But since I had an executive BP and true to indian style, I squeezed through the crowd and pushed myself to the front. Not bad for a foreigner who is rather used to the indian way. I just didn't want to be stuck at the aerobridge.

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Entering the plane, I was greeted by a rather elderly FA and her junior company. They are not the hottest FAs around especially after my many trips with 9W whose boys and girls are hot hot hot  

Settled down on my mustard-coloured seat.



First impression was good. There is IFE - 9W has none on most of its planes on domestic routes.



But it is old style non-AVOD. Only two buttons for channels and volume each.



Legroom is good.



But then I started noticing the wear and tear. Am usually not bothered by wear and tear but the seat (though could recline properly) always turned back to upright position after awhile. Something was wrong with the mechanism..... But I was resigned to my fate. I wanted a window seat and that was the only one.

Boarding was slow and Y pax streamed through the cabin endlessly.
J cabin was almost full too, which is not surprising considering that this is the only businessman-friendly available timing between the two metros.

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There was no inflight magazine in the seat pocket. Money saving exercise?

There was only a safety card and I thought I better read it considering AI's reputation :5eek:



Boarding process seemed like an eternity because there were too many carry-ons onboard and many of them had to be brought down to the haul. We then began taxiing almost 30 minutes behind schedule.

Take off was smooth and a few minutes later, the junior FA went around offering drinks - juices, or bottle of water. I took a bottle of water. She was quite friendly although a bit shy. AI has a reputation for surly FAs but this team of crew was not bad at all. They were not superb but they were not bad either. I was ok with them.



Dinner was served an hour into the flight. It was served on tray and the apps and desserts were covered with plastic. The tray was just so not-elegant. I wonder what is so difficult to take the wrappers off in the galley for a better presentation.

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As you can see, the meal doesn't look appetizing. But it tasted better than its appearance :hello2: I have no complaints other than the presentation.

To round up the meal, tea was served. Pretty basic, but I didnt expect much out of this sector.

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The flight went smoothly until a small medical attention was required by one of the passengers behind. One of the J class passenger was a doctor and she went behind to check. A few minutes later, she came back (with the passenger) and since I had the only empty seat near her, the passenger was seated next to me. I would have no issue of having someone in Y who is ill sitting next to me. But this passenger shouldn't deserve any sympathy. As I figure out soon after, he reeked a little of alcohol. Apparently he had been drinking on the ground and he felt awful. He probably threw up behind. Lucky not with me around. Anyway, unhappy as I was, I decided not to bother anyone. It was not that bad actually, just a little convenience and soon after I delved into my book until landing.

Conclusion is that BLR has improved after the opening of the extension and the check-in and security halls as well as the lounge are better. But the gate area is still very crammed and chaotic so I probably wouldn't be planning to get there early.

AI is no 5-star airline. And I have low expectation. It was not my best flight experience but I wouldn't complain too much either. It was just an average experience. Timing being equal, I would still pick 9W over AI but in this case, timing was the more important factor.
 
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RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:58 pm

On another of my trips, I had to make my way from BOM to BKK via DEL.

BOM domestic terminal

Route: BOM-DEL
Flight: 9W 301
Aircraft: 737-900
STD/ATD: 0700/0720
STA/ATA: 0905/0855
Class: Business
Seat: 6A


It was a 7am flight and I was already at the airport at 530am. I had missed a flight before at this terminal due to Jet's very strict check-in cut off time (because of long queue outside the terminal for document check) and I had since then been trying to always arrive early even if it is before dawn.

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This was a Friday morning and the terminal was surprisingly quiet. Usually it was already packed with a lot of business travelers traveling all across India. I checked in at the Premiere counter. And then was checked-in quickly and efficiently.



The domestic terminal is a few kilometers from the international terminal which I had shown earlier in the trip report. At some point in time in the future (I heard 2 years), both terminals will co-locate under one roof and it will be seamless connection from international to domestic and vice versa. For now, BOM is the worst airport in the country to make the transfer because pax have to be bussed a few kilometers along the runway to make such connections. And in some of my earlier experience, the transfer bus may not be as regular as you wish!

Compared to the old international terminal which operated up to 11 February thus year, the domestic terminal is actually a much more pleasant place. It's actually a much older building but in 2006, the domestic terminal was upgraded so here we are with a spacious modern space.

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Nice to be a silent terminal.



The domestic terminal consists of 2 boarding areas. The majority of flights leave from bus gates. For these flights, the waiting area is on the ground floor in the older original terminal building. It's dreadful place, very overcrowded, and there is no lounge. It's down the hall in the picture below. The model I showed earlier in the trip report is actually here. Notice a small curious crowd around it.



Luckily for me, the morning flight to DEL departed from contact gates. This is a separate area on the 1st floor. It's used mainly by AI, and many of Jet's DEL flights. This area is much better - modern and spacious. There is a lounge too but it's dreadful, claustrophobic, and the ventilation is very bad. It's so much better to wait outside in the common waiting hall.

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The flight itself was standard efficient Jet Airways domestic service, and as usual of Jet was crewed by very attractive eye-candy quality FAs boys and girls :tongue:

It was a 739 that morning and for me, it has the largest business cabin on a narrow body I have seen anywhere. There are rows and rows of business class seats (7 rows in total for a total of 28 seats). But it wasn't full that morning. Just like the airport, it was unusually quiet that Friday morning.

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Seat is okay - a bit old-fashioned.



Whole row was empty.

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Service started with a refreshing glass of coconut juice while still on the ground.



We left the gate on time and then it was a rather long taxi to the end of the main runway. Along the way, passing the new T2 with SQ, TK, and KU at its gates.

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View of Mumbai from the air. Lots of slums around the airport. This is one reason why the project is dragging for much longer than the other airports in the country which also went for privatization at more or less the same time. There is a lot of incursion into airport land and there is no space to expand and the works have to be phased.

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Over the Arabian Sea before we turned northwards and back to the mainland the rest of the way to DEL.

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I didn't take any photos of the meal or may be I was sleeping. I can't recall. Apologies for that but indeed my purpose of writing this TR is mainly about the airports.

Anyway, on landing approach, India is dense indeed !

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And we landed on a foggy morning at Indira Gandhi international Airport

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Compared to BOM, this airport is sprawling. View of one of the 4 piers.

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IGI Airport Terminal 3

IGI T3 is huge and I am always wary of having to disembark at the end of the pier. There is no sky train here like in Changi T3. But for that morning, it wasn't a long walk. The interior is pleasant, not as plush as BOM new T2, more subdued, good enough for an airport but probably not memorable.

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This is the impressive arrival hall. This is for domestic arrival, there is a symmetrical space on the international side too.



With its distinctive hand gestures welcoming to Delhi.



I didn't have check in luggage and it was a quick exit for me to the arrival waiting hall.

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And I quickly made my way up to the check-in hall for my onward TG flight to Bangkok. It's a modern spacious space but not as iconic as BOM definitely.

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Then it was to security and then immigration.

The whole process that morning was so smooth that I was back in the departure hall in slightly more than half an hour from landing.

I had plenty of time and i had a good time because this was daytime and there were so many exotic airlines . Well, exotic is relative but I won't see some of the airlines in SIN and even if they do fly to SIN now, it's not very frequently spotted.

Kabul, Tehran, Dushanbe are not cities one see in SIN's FIDS

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Uzbekistan Airways to Tashkent (now they fly to SIN something like 1x a week?)

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Air Astana to Almaty (can see in SGN 2x a week)

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Oman Air to Muscat

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Kam Air to Kabul (won't ever come to Singapore) and I had to google this aircraft type. Looks like an MD-81?

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Ethiopian 763 to Hangzhou (In SIN a few times a week too).

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/842/6lp1t.jpg

It was a few hours of wait but it was not boring with all these 'exotics'

Anyway, to conclude, I have to say that Indian airports have been improved by leaps and bounds compared to those airports we had to go through 10 years back. The processing is still quite similar with meeters and greeters not being allowed in the building, the document check before entering the building, the many layers of security and document checks etc, but all these are made more bearable with the improved infrastructure. Architecturally, I find BOM most interesting for there is no other like it elsewhere in the world. And the interiors feel more hotel-like than airport-like. It's still my favorite airport in the country as is the city. I look forward to the day when both international and domestic comes under one roof and will prefer to make it the gateway to India. That until probably the Navi Mumbai airport comes to completion (but if the current airport took 10 years to plan and build, we won't see anything in Navi Mumbai until may be 30 years!)
 
Rishul93
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:34 pm

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:29 am

Brilliant report Squeeze! Wonderful pics too!

Airports across the country have got a massive uplift, but its these public-private partnership airports, i.e DEL / BOM / BLR / HYD that are really top notch.

Unfortunately, 9W have started deploying a 737 on BOM-SIN flights.

on a side note, i'd posted a TR on BOM's T2 too, check it out, - Mumbai's Spectacular New T2 + AI 332/77W (by Rishul93 Mar 16 2014 in Trip Reports)?threadid=250902&searchid=250902&s=AI#ID250902

cheers
 
karan69
Posts: 2728
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:57 pm

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:56 am

Great Report Squeeze

Always good to read an outsiders perspective about developments in India

Thanks for sharing

Karan
 
ardian
Posts: 506
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2000 3:15 am

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:26 pm

Great and interesting trip report. I completely agree with you; by judging from the pictures, BOM looks stunning! Almost surreal!
 
harim
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 1:57 am

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:27 am

Thank you - great report!
 
User avatar
kann123air
Posts: 1604
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:58 am

Very nice TR. I've been to the new DEL - great improvement from what it was. Have you been to the new MAA? The new check-in area is almost a replica of IAD's, it looks amazing!
Going for great
 
Gr8Circle
Posts: 2614
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:44 am

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:38 pm

Quoting ardian (Reply 6):
BOM looks stunning! Almost surreal!

Yes, I passed through BOM T2 a few days after it opened in Feb '14.....it is really as good as it looks in the pics......the feeling of spaciousness is really great.....
 
directorguy
Posts: 1376
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:53 am

Impressive trip report, thanks for sharing!
I am impressed by how far India has progressed-and with Modi at the helm, probably only the beginning. It's great to see they addressed the international/domestic transfer problem by allowing seamless transfers in DEL (and soon BOM). Architecturally, I think both new terminals are pleasant enough, and can hold their own against the international competition. When compared to the new DOH airport, they are certainly not as plush, but IMO travelling is travelling, and so long as there are minimal queues, good signage, plenty of seating etc. one does not need any gimmicks. The long walks are the main downside, but I think most airports have that problem now, and only a few have invested in shuttles or conveyors.
 
SQueeze
Topic Author
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:33 pm

RE: New BOM, DEL, BLR: 21st Century Airports Of India

Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:36 am

Thank you all for the encouraging remarks

Quoting Rishul93 (Reply 4):
i'd posted a TR on BOM's T2 too, check it out, - Mumbai's Spectacular New T2 + AI 332/77W (by Rishul93 Mar 16 2014 in Trip Reports)?threadid=250902&searchid=250902&s=AI#ID250902

Saw your TR before Rishul. It's great read too.

Quoting Karan69 (Reply 5):
Always good to read an outsiders perspective about developments in India

Hi Karan, I consider myself as half-outsider, I have been to India far more often than to my hometown. Haha. I can understand Hindi and can read Devanagari script too but a little slow.

Quoting kann123air (Reply 8):
Have you been to the new MAA?


Well, I have not but I heard the workmanshop is not as good. CCU looks great too with the prints on the ceiling.

Quoting directorguy (Reply 10):
When compared to the new DOH airport, they are certainly not as plush, but IMO travelling is travelling, and so long as there are minimal queues, good signage, plenty of seating etc. one does not need any gimmicks. The long walks are the main downside, but I think most airports have that problem now, and only a few have invested in shuttles or conveyors.

I can't agree you more. But the best IMO so far is Changi, my home airport. It's not flashy architecturally, but it's very calming, very relaxing.

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