Hi fellow aviators and welcome to another short style trip report!
The Belgian charter and leisure flights company Jetairfly recently started operations from Antwerp airport. Destinations include TXL, BCN, MXP, AGP, PMI and ALC. Together with VLM Airlines (GVA, SOU and HAM) and CityJet (LCY), the amount of daily flights in and out of Antwerp has increased with more than 200% - iirc the biggest growth Antwerp has seen in its existence. A major downside of this however is that they’re already overhauling the free parking area at the airport - one of the main strong points of the airport - making it a paying one. Another strong point is the short check-in deadline: 20 mins before departure is enough.
Anyway, as soon as the flights were bookable on the Jetairfly website I was able to snatch a cheap € 29 ticket to MXP, increased with a whopping € 15 booking fee, totaling € 44 for a one way flight to MXP, which in total is good value. To get home on the same day I was able to book an even cheaper ticket in SN’s Check&Go class, € 37 to be exact.
I’m all set for the journey, let’s see what the route is like on the map (thanks to Great Circle Mapper, copyright Karl L Schwartz).
As customary I take the public bus from my home town to the airport. I checked in online yesterday and am assigned seat 13A (with no possibilty to change it), which later appears to be an exit row seat.
However, as I like to sit further in the back of the cabin I enquire at checkin for another window seat. Sadly, all window seats are already taken, the flight is sold out today as well which is most likely due to the fact that the World Expo 2015, held in Milan this year, starts today. Oh well, no problem, I'll stick with this seat then
It's a 10" walk to security and already a few minutes later I'm airside, where the pax from the inbound BCN flight are busy disembarking. The small waiting area fills up quickly and 15 mins before STD, we are invited to board the aircraft - via a nice long walk over the apron
ANR to MXP
Embraer 190 OO-JEM 'Explorer'
Photo © Fabrizio Capenti - Malpensa Spotters Group
On board flight JAF 5855
I enter the aircraft via the front stairs, the purser provides a warm welcome just as the lovely Jetairfly lady standing near my seat 13A. I settle in, legroom is excellent and information about how to use the exit ICE is prominently present. I’m once more reminded about it by the FA. In total there are 3 FA’s onboard. They provide a warm welcome in 3 languages through the PA, as does the captain. Boarding takes its sweet time and the doors are closed 10 mins after SDT. No problem though, runway 11 is around the corner and in no time we are airborne for the 1h20 journey to MXP.
Once cruising, the crew passes through the cabin for the onboard service which is BOB style. There’s a modest number of items for sale but prices are reasonable. I decide to go for a cup of tea - an generous one - and a pain au chocolat, total amount € 3,5. Too bad the pain au chocolat is a small and prepacked one
Outside there’s nothing to see except white clouds for almost the whole duration of the flight with light to sometimes moderate turbulence at times. Then it’s time to descend and also the captain informs us of this in 3, no 4 languages - a flash of basic Italian included!
We land 5 mins late on runway 35L in a dreary Milan and taxi to a finger gate position at Schengen terminal, which is most convenient for my connecting flight back home. Disembarking is swift and 5 minutes after stepping off the plane, I’m back in the departures area relaxing.
Kudos to Jetairfly for having the balls to launch 6 new flights from ANR in such a short period of time. Clearly the operation until now is a succesful one, not only was the flight full but also the offered onboard service is of a very good standard. ANR has a few advantages over BRU, for ex the short checkin times and virtually no walking distances, too bad the free parking will be history in the next months to come. I have another flight with them scheduled, from BCN to ANR in a few weeks, so let's see then if the quality is consistent!
Here you can find the full flight report in video version.
[Edited 2015-05-14 22:49:09]