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DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7)

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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject: DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7) Reply with quote

I was looking forward to this trip since it would be my first on
the `masked bandit', the CRJ700, in service with Air India
Regional (the former Alliance Air). Also high on my excitement
quotient was the fact that this would be my first domestic flight
from T3 at DEL. All snaps are from my cellphone, hence the bad
quality of the pics.
This report is at the following URL:
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10401.html

My itinerary was the following:

Set out 11 Dec (Sat) for Chennai from New Delhi
IC 429: Air India (A321) [Seat: 14F; PNR: RQXQFQ]
New Delhi (DEL) - Chennai (MAA)
[10:30 am - 01:15 pm]

The first impression of the domestic section was...not too good.
It looked extremely crowded. However, there were many counters,
and the IC agents were quite efficient.



The subsequent security check also did not take much time - the
number of counters was quite sufficient for the numbers at hand.
Another iconic element of T3...this is on the domestic part,
landside. Elephants!



Here is some ramp action on the IC side: a 319 and a 321 in the
new livery, and a 320 in the original IC livery in between, pushing back.
After the Asiatic elephants, White Elephants?



A vehicle was being showcased in the domestic section...it was
the new Tata Aria! Their first vehicle designed by their European
design office (based in the UK?). This sure looks good! While the
Chevrolet Tavera (and the Mahindra Xylo?) have barely been able to
give a semblance of competition to the Toyota Innova in this
segment, here's hoping that the Tata group will capture a
sizeable chunk of the market segment.



The Kolkata flight was boarding from the gate right next to ours
(32B) - here is the plane making that one.



I also spotted VT-ESB, an old IC 320, looking quite resplendent
in the new colours. Unfortunately, I was not able to approach
the plane any closer than this, or have any zoomed view.



Just prior to the Kingfisher section, here is a landside view of
T3. Wow - this looks good!



I was quite excited on roaming all around the domestic section,
especially since it is almost identical to the International one.
The only differences are in the US-bound departure gates with the
secure hold areas, and the vertical gardens in the International
section. Here are some of the indoor plants near the Kingfisher
section.



This was some ramp action near the Jet section - this is a bird
with the `Konnect' titles.



The plane for the day was the `presentable' A321 - VT-PPT.
I was on seat 14F, and here is the view from the window some time
prior to roll-back.



The Commander of the flight was Captain S Reddy, who made a
feather-touch landing on the main runway at Chennai, coming in
from the sea side. I was pleased to see the economy section quite
full - there would have been only 5 or 6 empty seats. This looks
like another popular inter-metro flight, which is partonised by
many other apart from the Government crowd. This flight had only
3 J class passengers - so this section was quite empty.

Time passed very quickly at Chennai, and soon it was time to go
back to Delhi. And wasn't I looking forward to it?
My itinerary was the following:

Set out 16 Dec (Thu) for New Delhi from Chennai
IC 7602: Air India (CRJ7) [Seat: 07A; PNR: RHWFH5]
Chennai (MAA) - Vishakhapatnam (VTZ) - New Delhi (DEL)
[10:35 am - 11:50 am ; 12:20 am - 02:35 pm]

I had arrived at the Kamraj Terminal well before time, and had
been gazing intently on the activity in front of me, from the ground floor.
This is IC430 MAA-DEL as viewed from the emergency gate at the Kamraj
terminal on the ground floor.



SpiceJet buses look quite nice, especially with the B737-800
stickers on the body!



Here is the `masked bandit', as viewed from a distance.



Captain Rajesh Puri and Captain Gujar were in command of the
CRJ7. The flight was delayed due to the late incoming arrival of
the aircraft. This was to be the `political party', VT-RJD.

First, I was amazed at the loads - this was 100%! All 68 seats
were filled. The flight to Vizag would have all but 10
disembarking (onward passengers to Delhi). The crowd joining us
at Vizag would only leave 13 seats vacant. The plane had seats
numbered A, C, D, F. I was the first person to board the plane
(this was through the inbuilt stairs in the front). I clicked
the following 4 shots were clicked at various stages of the
boarding process, when the plane was on the ground at Chennai.
The first is looking towards the boarding door.



This one is looking behind:



This is the seat right in front of me. The seats were in the new
Air India red-and-orange livery, and looked good! The plane was
quite neat and clean. This was not exactly a spring chicken, but
both the plastic and fabric looked very clean - the seats, that
is. The floor could be forgiven, as it was raining outside.



Here are seats 07D and 07F, soon to be occupied by a couple and
their cheerful young kid.



We had two very pleasant flights: the MAA-VTZ leg, and the
VTZ-DEL leg. On both occasions, the captains executed very
smooth landings. The take-offs were interesting - the `masked
bandit' has a very high angle-of-attack, or whatever it is
called. The plane takes off at a very high angle. I was slightly
apprehensive about the engine noise in the cabin - it turned out
to be quite tolerable - even from the rearmost seat, where I sat
for some time, after the cabin service was completed. Both legs
had some nice snacks on offer - both picked up from MAA. The
MAA-VTZ link had a tasty veg croissant and a muffin (and
tea/coffee, of course), and the next leg had veg wrap frankie
with a very sinful walnut chocolate brownie.

Our plane pulled up right next to an attractive Jet ATR-72:
(VT-JCU)



We were bused to a gate on the ground floor:



I was pleasantly surprised to see the Mudras hall in the domestic
part as well! Here are two pics of the same:





The baggage carousels look quite nice and clean - here is the one
our flight's baggage came to (quite late, I must admit).





A pic of the trolleys parked neatly.



..and a nice Christmas set-up, on the way out!

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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing the report Sumantra! The first for the CRJ. Glad you didn't face any problems regarding photography this time around. Smile
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Nimish
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Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice TR! How were the service standards on board?
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your kind words, Varun and Nimish!

Varun: yes, I am glad on the photography front. On the return flight (MAA-VTZ-DEL), there were clear announcements before coming in to VTZ, as well as on the taxi to the active runway at VTZ - that VTZ was a naval aviation airport, and photography and videography was prohibited there. This was detailed, clear and unambiguous, and we all appreciate that. (The new terminal at VTZ with its three aerobridge points and two aerobridges looks nice!)

Nimish: the service standards were quite good. The IC standards on the DEL-MAA flight were at their usual level. Interestingly, I pointed out to the chief stewardess that two rivets on the right engine cowling looked missing. As we were boarding the bus, I saw both Captain Reddy and his companion coming out to have a look.
About the MAA-VTZ-DEL leg, there were two stewardesses aboard. They were quite professional about it, and quite efficient. They responded promptly to calls. The only time when they were not available was on the VTZ-DEL sector, when they sat down for their own meals, but then, there were no calls that time. This was my second flight on the erstwhile Alliance Air (even the board in Chennai announced the flight as CD7602 - the other one was displayed as IC 7503!), the first being DEL-JAI on an ATR-42. The DEL-JAI had two nice young ladies. One of them had politely requested me not to take pictures at DEL, but then as soon as the plane gained altitude, she came to me and pointed out the sunset - that it would be a nice thing to capture on camera, as we were heading towards sundown very shortly. That was nice!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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GuyFromBOM
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Joined: 19 Jun 2010
Posts: 544
Location: VABB

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR, Sumantra..!

From my experience with AI/IC (all in Y, Gulf & Regional), i believe that the meals / service standards are better in Domestic as compared to International service. Wink

Does anyone echo the same views..?
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me111993
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Posts: 3210
Location: MAA/AMD

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR Sumantra! Thanks for sharing. Smile
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sri_bom
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Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR on a CRJ. Thanks for writing.

As I have never travelled in a CRJ curious to know does it feel clasutophobic?
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4482
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiren, Rishul and Sri - thanks for your kind words!
Hiren: I guess I have a slightly different view with regard to the domestic vs international part, since I have never travelled international to/via the gulf. I have been on AI to the US and Europe, and the far east: Singapore and Hong Kong. The good memories far outnumber the bad ones. As far as the domestic parts go (IC, AI Regional) - yes, I agree with you on the high standards. In most cases, they have been quite good.
Sri: no, the `masked bandit' did not feel claustrophobic. The 2-2 seating and the seat pitch is fine for a 6 footer like me, who is also well-endowed around the waist. I haven't felt uncomfortable on the ATR-42 either, by the way. One place on the `masked bandit' which is very cramped is the toilet: it is impossible to stand upright (as the fuselage curves around this point), and difficult to turn around in. I needed to wash my hands - but if someone with similar physical characteristics needed to put the toilet to more appropriate use - I guess, would have to crouch and make a beeline for the seat, on opening the door.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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airindia787
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The CR1 and CR2 are very cramped, but that is because they were not meant to be used as passenger jets, they were originally meant to be private/business jets. The CR7 and above are much better, as they were designed with regional airlines in mind.
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stealthpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR, thanks.
How long was the halt in VTZ?
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sumantra
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stealthpilot wrote:
Nice TR, thanks.
How long was the halt in VTZ?

Thanks for the kind words, Captain!
The VTZ halt was about half-an-hour, as scheduled.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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