Airliners-India Forum Index Airliners-India
Flickr Group & Facebook
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Trip Reports
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:26 pm    Post subject: DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8 Reply with quote

DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8
This is possibly a place to where not too many AI.netters have
been, by air... Nanded(NDC). Again, apologies for the relative
lack of pictures - both in terms of quality, as well as quantity.
I had only a cell phone with me for taking digital snaps.
This report is at the following URL:
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10169.html

Nanded lies on the banks of the mighty Godavari, and is a holy
place for the Sikhs, in the state of Maharashtra, in the
Marathwada region, adjoining Andhra Pradesh. This is one of the
holiest places for the Sikhs, being the residence of the tenth
Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in whose honour the huge gurudwara
Sachkhand Sahib was constructed in Nanded, an immensely beautiful
structure in this small town. Nanded is also known for its
educational institutions, with important ones related to Computer
Science being SGGSIT, MGM, and Yeshwant Mahavidyalaya, SRTM University.
MGM's College of Engineering lies right behind the airport.

One of the biggest impediments in reaching Nanded from the big
cities in India was... the absence of air connectivity, for quite
some time. The Vayudoot flights used to go quite empty, and did
not make much economic sense. Aurangabad's Chikalthan airport,
and Hyderabad's Shamshabad/Begumpet are both some 250-odd
kilometres from Nanded, and the road journey to/from either of
these places takes quite a while - 6-8 hours, on the average. For
the former, the route is via the Parbhani-Jalna route, and for
the latter, via the Nizamabad side. The railway station is quite
beautiful, neat and clean. My previous visits to this place had
been from Delhi, once, via Aurangabad, and once, via Hyderabad.
Air services started with the Kingfisher Red service.
This was/is not a daily service, and is the Mumbai-Nanded-Latur
one, with Latur having been dropped recently (but possibly to be
restarted from November, 2010). The 300th anniversary
celebrations in 2008 saw a twice-weekly(?) Air India A319 service
from Delhi, over a period of 21 days. But that was that.
Then Go Air started services to Nanded from Delhi.
It started off with a twice-a-week service, then four-times a week
(Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun). The DEL-NDC flight was via NAG, and NDC-DEL
options were via BOM or NAG.

Now, Go Air is the only LCC I hadn't flown with thus far. My
brother had done so once - when Go Air operated from Terminal
1-B. There had been a huge delay due to a snag with the plane in
question, and after some cajoling, Go Air had finally announced
that `guests' would be served sandwiches. My brother had termed
this as a `culinary snag', and did not exactly rave about the
service. All in all, I was not exactly looking forward to the
trip on Go Air (even though they had had an image make-over of
late, and the two `Go Business' rows had been added in their
planes.) I had flown on SpiceJet BOM-DEL and DEL-BOM (Terminal
1-B to Terminal 1-B), when they served complimentary cookies and
water on the flights - this was in 2006. I had flown Indigo once
DEL-PNQ on a rather un-LCC-like fare. So, Go Air would be new for
me. Go Air was the only option for a DEL-NDC flight, so I was not
complaining. The Go Air website was otherwise not too bad, but I
did not find any email for correspondence, perhaps to avoid spam.
The return flight would be a bit dicey, since I was not sure
about whether this would be a same-plane operation. The
connection time was quite tight, and the call centre did nothing
to ease my discomfort at visualising me carrying my huge frame
across the BOM terminal, at top speed.
There was also some confusion about the time of departure of the
flight at both ends - there were some SMSes over the last two
days announcing changed timings, and a request to arrive at the
airport at least two hours before departure on 12 October.
(This was the CWG time in Delhi). My itinerary was as follows:

Set out 12 Oct (Tue) for Nanded from New Delhi
G8 212: Go Air (A320) [PNR: USYZM1]
New Delhi (DEL) - Nagpur (NAG) - Nanded (NDC)
[06:00 am - 07:30 am; 07:55 am - 08:40 am]

The uninformative website did not help - there was a discrepancy
in the flight timings on the schedule page, and when one tried a
dummy booking.

I now get a strange feeling whenever I walk into Terminal 1-A:
the feeling that this nice structure will be decommissioned soon.
The refurbishment has indeed made is quite nice - so what if it
doesn't have inline check-in. I had got up at around 2:30am that
day, and sleepily walked into the airport at around 4:00am. The
Go Air counters had opened, but I was told that the check-in
process would only start two hours before the scheduled time of
departure. This would be 15 more minutes - not a big deal, but my
first impressions of Go Air were not fantastic.
Airside, this would be the first time I would see Terminal 1-A so
empty!

I parked at a place where I could use my laptop. this was near
Gate 4. Here is a view to my right:


Boarding was on time.
Our plane for the day was to be VT-WAL, the Chocolate one.
Go Air has 10 planes, and I sighted at least 3 of them on the
tarmac - the pink one, and the bottle-green one also, at DEL.
The plane looked, and felt quite new. It was spic-and-span, and
both the fabric as well as the plastic were very clean.

Some interesting offers were on hand, all mentioned behind the
seat in front.

The loads were healthy - about 80%.
The cabin crew were nice and friendly, and the announcements were
also done well. This was a difference I noticed with respect to
Indigo - in my only flight with them on 21 June 2009 (DEL-PNQ,
6E-105), all was fine except the cabin announcements. They seemed
to have been done a bit causally.

The landing at Nagpur was a feather-touch one, on 14-32. The
plane pulled up near the old terminal building. I did not get a
chance to see much of the new one with the two aerobridges, as I
was on the right (read, wrong) side of the plane. One side of the
runway had two Il-76 Gajrajs parked, beside two derelict HAL/HS
748s. The other side had the civilian terminal(s). Yes, we landed
with the derelict Boeing 720B to our right (I was on seat 06F).
As has been mentioned on this forum, the Atlanta Skylarks sign is
now showing up. Overall, a sad sight - somehow, I personally feel
something to be always elegant with the 707 variants. Even though
lengthwise, some 737 variants are just about as long/are longer,
and even though the front is very much the same (except the
eyebrow windows), there is always something very elegant about a
707 - be it the forward antenna on the tail, or the four engines
with their unique shapes. A chocolate-coloured engine in
view, during the refuelling:

Another view, with the 720B visible way behind, in the distance.

Here is a picture of the old terminal, with the baggage
compartment about to be closed shortly.

About 25-odd people got down at NAG, and some 15 boarded the
plane. There were many Sikh families, and many passengers en
route to BOM.

The arrival at Nanded's Guru Gobind Singh-ji terminal was very
interesting. The NDC runways were marked 10-28, painted over an
earlier 09-27 sign to this effect. Magnetic shift, again? And
another 09-27 combination! DEL, BOM, BLR... I wonder how many
more! We had a feather-touch touchdown again. Kudos to Captain
P.K. Sharma. This has 3 gates: two departure gates, and one
arrival one. The arrival one has a solitary baggage belt.
Entering the terminal, I saw a nice sight. There was a young lady
with folded hands, welcoming visitors to Nanded. There was a man
with water in paper cups - even though a water dispenser was
located 20 steps away. Baggage trolleys were arranged beautifully
around the belt in a radial manner. (I was to see this at DEL's
Terminal 1-C again, on 14 October - I hadn't noticed it anytime
before.) The terminal itself is small, with adequate signage. It
was very neat and clean. It was a warm welcome - not just
literally (it was 25 degrees Celsius at both Nanded and Nagpur).
The landside of the airport is also quite interesting: the arches
look quite good. This is the new terminal building, constructed
on occasion of the 300th anniversary celebrations.
Here is a view of the three gates: the arrival gate is to the
extreme left.

Here is a land-side view, albeit taken on the day of my departure
from Nanded, 14 October:


I was to fly back on 14 October, the last day of the Commonwealth
Games in Delhi. Till I actually checked in, I was uncertain
about how I would handle the NDC-BOM and BOM-DEL segments. the
call centre had clearly said that there would be a change of
aircraft at BOM, but the second one was a connecting flight, so
it would wait if the NDC-BOM flight got delayed. This had a
different flight number, too. I was dismayed. The ticket had
mentioned G8 212 as the flight from NDC to DEL. The Go Air
website mentioned a NDC-DEL connection as a same-plane operation
- I noticed this on 10 October. I was finally assured that this
would indeed be a same-plane operation - this was only at
check-in, where I was given two boarding passes, one for the
NDC-BOM leg, and one for the BOM-DEL leg. My itinerary was as
follows:

Set out 14 Oct (Thu) for New Delhi from Nanded
G8 212: Go Air (A320) [PNR: UQA4X3]
Nanded (NDC) - Mumbai (BOM) - New Delhi (DEL)
[09:05 am - 09:50 am; 10:40 am - 12:45 pm]

The baggage X-ray man asked me what metallic item I had above my
USB hard disk in my bag to be checked-in. I was surprised, and
opened my bag for inspection. The agent clearly told me where to
look for it, and I found it to be the metallic clasp of a belt I
had packed inside! We had a little laugh over it, and I went
towards the check-in desk.

My last trip was one to Hong Kong
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10018.html
One of the incidents I had forgotten to mention was at the
check-in at the IFC Mall - the city check-in for Airport Express
train passengers. I was well familiar with language problems at
Hong Kong. The Jardine air services agent operating on behalf of
Air India announced with some concern,
``Sir, you are overweight!''
I answered back with a pleasant smile,
``Sure - my wife often complains about it. I am indeed
overweight, but my luggage should be well within bounds!''
I had requested her to check the combined weight of my bags
again, and it turned out that she had made a mistake in addition.

The check-in was quick, and I waited to go to the departure
lounge. The terminal itself is relatively large for a small city,
and has a few suites on the first floor. It was nicely lit - with
a lot of natural light, and was spacious. When we went airside, I
would the announcement counter at the end of the hall to have
Go Air announcements pasted there, right beside the mic. Seats
were comfortable, there were two TVs, a few tourism posters, and
quite a few power outlets for people to use their laptops and
mobile phones. This was impressive!
I counted 42 passengers ready to alight from NDC, excluding me.
But the flight itself was delayed. The delay of 20 minutes would
mean a delay in coming in to BOM, and consequently, a further
delay since the plane would miss its ATC slot. I was to land in
DEL one-and-a-half hours late.

Another view of the terminal at NDC:

Here is a view of a biz craft - belonging to the Bafna group, as
I could read from the fuselage. This was VT-BAF, standing right
in front of the first station.

The plane this time was the grey one, VT-WAN. The interiors were
again spic and span, very much like VT-WAL on the first leg of my
journey. The load factor was above 80% this time. We had a slightly heavy
landing on BOM's secondary runway 14-32.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that our plane got an
aerobridge at Terminal 1-C:

Yes, we were running behind by at least 40 minutes.
There was a cleaning operation going on, and a verification done
by Go Air staff. I had my analog SLR around my neck, when a Go
Air agent told me that photography was prohibited. I was taken
aback, since the announcements had clearly stated that
photography at defence aerodromes was prohibited. I had a copy of
the DGCA notifications Sl.No.7/2004 dated 9th December 2004, and
Sl.No.8/2005, dated 08 July, 2005: PDF files aic7_2004.pdf and
aic08_2005.pdf, which I had downloaded from the DGCA website.
These have been mentioned repeatedly by members of this forum,
and I always carry these with me. I showed these, and was told
that these were quite old. I told the agent politely that there
has been no change in these notifications, and that he could take
the captain's opinion on this. I was asked for my boarding pass,
and proof of identity, which I gave him. The captain had come
out by now, and I witnessed the agent talking to him for quite
some time. The agent came back and told me that the captain would
not accept my point of view. I was surprised, but put back both
my SLR, as well as my cellphone. I was disappointed, but took the
captain's word on this to be final. On some occasions, these two
documents have held me in good stead, and in one case, I have
requested the cabin crew to take the captain's opinion - which
turned out to be in my favour (IC 403 DEL-BLR, in 2007).

The past few days were quite taxing for me, and I nodded off to
sleep. We had a very soft landing on the new runway 29-11 at DEL.
The plan would go onward towards LKO.
While I was getting down, the captain had come out from the
cabin, and I thanked him for a very soft landing.
Thanks for reading,
Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Spiderguy252
Member


Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 4256
Location: Indian Ocean

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8 Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
I had my analog SLR around my neck, when a Go
Air agent told me that photography was prohibited. I was taken
aback, since the announcements had clearly stated that
photography at defence aerodromes was prohibited. I had a copy of
the DGCA notifications Sl.No.7/2004 dated 9th December 2004, and
Sl.No.8/2005, dated 08 July, 2005: PDF files aic7_2004.pdf and
aic08_2005.pdf, which I had downloaded from the DGCA website.
These have been mentioned repeatedly by members of this forum,
and I always carry these with me. I showed these, and was told
that these were quite old. I told the agent politely that there
has been no change in these notifications, and that he could take
the captain's opinion on this. I was asked for my boarding pass,
and proof of identity, which I gave him. The captain had come
out by now, and I witnessed the agent talking to him for quite
some time. The agent came back and told me that the captain would
not accept my point of view. I was surprised, but put back both
my SLR, as well as my cellphone. I was disappointed, but took the
captain's word on this to be final. On some occasions, these two
documents have held me in good stead, and in one case, I have
requested the cabin crew to take the captain's opinion - which
turned out to be in my favour (IC 403 DEL-BLR, in 2007)


Interesting bit, I wonder why the captain didn't agree with those pdfs though.

Thanks for sharing. Smile
_________________
Yeah.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Varun - I guess this is something we photography enthusiasts have to bear with, once in a while....
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ameya
Member


Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3584
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VT-WAN is the atest additin in the fleet so you got to fly a 10 day old bird.

Who was the pilot on the return leg ?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
VT-WAN is the latest addition in the fleet so you got to fly a 10 day old bird.
Who was the pilot on the return leg?

Wow - I guess I sure have been lucky, here.
As to the name of the captain, I had initially typed it in here, but then edited my post to remove a negative incident associated with an individual being identified by name. I have sent this to you as a PM - I hope this suffices.
Thanks and regards,
Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nimish
Member


Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 9755
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report - thanks for sharing!

Good to see activity in our tertiary airports as well, definitely need more of such services to enhance connectivity in the country.
_________________
We miss you Nalini!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Nimish. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised to see the loads in and out of Nanded. Good going!
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
stealthpilot
Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2281
Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flying through NDC = celebrity status Smile
Nice TR.
_________________
eP007
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
himmat01
Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 1368
Location: DEL

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report.

When did GOAIR move to terminal 1A at Mumbai. When I last flew GO AIR in May, it was from Terminal 1B.
_________________
Save Maharashtra!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
sumantra
Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stealthpilot wrote:
Flying through NDC = celebrity status Smile

himmat01 wrote:

When did GOAIR move to terminal 1A at Mumbai. When I last flew GO AIR in May, it was from Terminal 1B.

Thanks a lot for your kind words, @stealthpilot, and @himmat01!
I guess I have been lucky to have been through a not-so-visited place.
Himmat: the plane docked at Terminal 1-C at BOM. Terminal 1-C is connected both to Terminal 1-A, as well as Terminal 1-B (I saw some X-ray machine or something of the sort on the Terminal 1-B side when I had been inside Terminal 1-C from the 1-A end in August this year. I wonder whether one can walk in to 1-B from 1-C, and vice versa. 1-A to 1-C and vice versa is no issue at all.)
Cheers, Sumantra.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Airliners-India Forum Index -> Trip Reports All times are GMT + 5.5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group. Hosted by phpBB.BizHat.com