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North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1 Reply with quote

North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1

What is this Hitchcock-esque title supposed to indicate?
A tale of intrigue and suspense? Not quite.
Beijing literally means Bei-Jing, or North Capital.
And thankfully, I did not fly Northwest Airlines, I made this
trip on Air India, and Air China.
What would be the title of Part 1 of my trip report? I debated
between the above, and `No Peking Duck: Beijing, 2001 Part 1'.
Why the second? I was looking for something based on the name(s)
of the city. There would be no ducking the appeal of the abode of
peace, or Peking, as the city had been named, after the land had
gone through a protracted period of war and turmoil.

This report can be found at the following URL:
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12348.html

I will cover my Beijing 2011 trip in three parts, this being the
first. The other parts, and their contents in a nutshell, will be:

- No Panda-monium: Beijing, 2011 Part 2
This part will cover an extremely exotic aviation enthusiast's
dream, The Chinese Aviation Museum at Datangstan, and places of
tourist interest namely, the Ming Tombs, the Jade Garden and
the Great Wall.

- Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: Beijing, 2011 Part 3
This part will sum up the remainder of the stay in Beijing, where
I visited the Summer Palace, the Forbidden Palace and Tiananmen
Square, and the Temple of Heaven. This will also cover my
departure from the Chinese capital, and include spotting at both
the Beijing Capital International Airport, and the Hong Kong
International Airport, and the journey back to my hometown,
Delhi.

---

This would be my first trip to Beijing, the capital of China.
This time, I had obtained permission to take any carrier, as Air
India did not fly to Beijing, and the Shanghai flight did not
offer good connections to Beijing. What were my options? I could
not take the Air China direct flight, as this three-times-a-week
flight suited my dates only in one direction. The China Southern
option involved a transit in Shanghai, with very short transit
times on both legs. Since one clears both Immigration and Customs
at the first instance of landing in China, I did not look forward
to that. Moreover, a senior colleague had not encouraged me by
pointing out some horror stories about the typical cuisine on board.
And of course, the service standards (or rather, the relative
lack of the afore-said term). The official travel agent came up
with the Air India option, and I jumped at it. This would give me
some nice frequent flyer points, and involve a transit in Hong
Kong, an airline spotter's paradise.

Transit? That raised an important question.
I was booked for DEL-HKG on Air India, and HKG-PEK on Air China.
I made inquiries through our official travel agent - at Air India,
and I made inquiries on my own at Air China as well. No, they
were not on talking terms. They would not check in my luggage at
New Delhi direct for Beijing. Neither airline would allow that.
Further, I asked if in case I reached Hong Kong well in time to
catch the previous flight, would my ticket be endorsed for the
same? The reply was negative, again. My tickets were purchased at
Air India, which was in-lining with its (at the time of the
journey) ex-future Star Alliance partner. (No, the last line does
not refer to a time machine!) This was quite odd. Air
India had earlier done a through check-in a few times for me (and
United once misplaced my baggage - the airline I was in-lining
with at that time). I kept my fingers crossed. On my previous
Moscow trip, an acquaintance had his luggage through checked in
from Calcutta to Moscow, only to find that his baggage had not
reached Moscow. Worse still, Aeroflot were not even able to trace
his bags. Some 10 days after he got back to Calcutta, his baggage
was traced to the Aeroflot Delhi office.

While I had set out for IGI T3 well in advance, the day's heavy
rains meant that there was water logging around, and some traffic
snarls. The taxi hit a roadblock (literally, as well as
figuratively) as we entered the T1-T3 connecting road. The police
was directing traffic away from this short and convenient road to
T3. Of the other options, rather than risk another snarl on the
NH8 route, I ventured to take the toll plaza route. The taxi
driver commented that the toll booth was making a hefty earning
that day, thanks to the rain! I entered the international portion
of T3, and went towards the three dedicated check-in counters for
AI 310, the Hong Kong/Seoul flight. My itinerary for this leg of
the trip was as follows:

Set out 15 Sep (Thu) for Hong Kong from New Delhi
Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3, New Delhi -
Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1, Hong Kong
AI 310: Air India (B777W) [PNR: HQBCF, Seat 42K, Class V]
New Delhi (DEL) - Hong Kong (HKG) {- Seoul Incheon (ICN)}
[11:15 pm - 06:50 am] {05:05 hours}

At an Air India counter for the flight, I sought a clarification
from the lady at the check-in counter. She told me that it would
not be an issue at all. I asked her to re-confirm with her
supervisor - he gave her special instructions on the procedure.
While my bags would be checked in all the way from New Delhi to
Beijing, I would have to go to the Air China transit desk in Hong
Kong, and have a boarding pass issued. This was the rush hour
for Delhi, and lines were quite long - both at the immigration
section (where almost all counters were manned), as well as the
security check. On getting airside, I roamed around.
There was a maroon coloured shiny Mercedes Benz SL class under
display, with a smaller scale model by its side:



The plane for the first leg of my trip was VT-ALO, `Karnataka'. I
had walked all around the international terminal - there were
quite a few planes docked at the gates. An American Airlines
Boeing 777-200ER, A Continental Boeing 777-200ER, An Emirates
plane of similar numerological characteristics, a Malaysian
Airbus 330-200, A Thai 747-400, among others. However (in my
opinion), nothing looks more stately and attractive as an Air
India wide-body in the new colours. The plane was spic-and-span
both from the outside, as well as the inside, as I took my seat
42K. Row 42 is my favourite in the Air India Boeing 777-300ER (or
the 77W, if you please). There are two seats at the sides
instead of the usual three. The window seats 42A and 42K offer
some great views outside, unobstructed by the long wing of the
77W. The relative proximity of the galleys (Mmm...) and the
lavatory (Ugh...) is an added plus. (Ugh...? Not not quite. For a
neat and clean plane, this is not a forbidden zone. On the other
hand, for attending to Nature's calls quickly, this is a big
bonus.) For me, an added bonus was that the seat next to me had
been vacated by a gentleman who was desirous of the legroom on
the exit row ahead (the window is not well-aligned with this
row). The loads on this flight were moderate - about 70% in the
section of Economy I was in - this was towards the end of the
long plane. The earlier Hong Kong trips were on the B777-200LR,
and the smaller plane was almost chock-a-block on both legs.
Today's load factor paled out in comparison with the
corresponding statistics of those trips! What was the ethnic
composition like? Interestingly, this was about 50-50 - south
Asians, and south-east Asians! The relatively large number of
people of Chinese/Koren origin was a pleasant surprise. As
passengers settled down in their seats, there were some
interesting aircraft movements around. Those that caught my
attention were the departure of the United/Continental 777 for
Newark, an arriving Swiss A330-200, an arriving Air India Express
Boeing 737-800, with the absolute highlight being an arriving KLM
MD-11. I somehow had the (wrong) impression that the type had
been withdrawn from passenger service (I had confused the Finnair
MD-11 retirement with this one), so my eyes searched in vain for
`Cargo' titles, without success. Of course, the lighted windows
were a give-away, as the plane came close.

Here is a picture of the back of the seat in front, showing the
nice IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) screen.


The leg room in the Economy section was...awesome. I am a
six-footer, and I enjoy good leg-space!



Back to VT-ALO, `Karnataka', my plane for the journey. Captain
Rakesh Verma was in command, as he lifted the big plane into the
dark rainy skies above Delhi, from the main runway 10-28, towards
the east. We went past an USAF C-17, a Jet Airways Boeing
777-300ER, and an Airbus 330-200 of the same company, on remote
stands in the area between T2 and T3 of the IGI Airport. The
cabin crew put in a wonderful show - there were two very senior
ladies, and one senior gentleman - in a predominantly younger
crowd. This was in spite of some usual irritating passengers of
Indian origin. There was this man who rushed to the galley just
after boarding, and demanded a coffee in an authoritative voice.
He was told spoken to softly, but firmly about procedures, and
requested to wait till the service started. Would he like some
water? No, please be seated - we will start the service shortly
after take-off, as soon as we reach cruising altitude. There was
another senior corporate-type man who demanded to be seated on
the exit row. Softly, but firmly, he was put in his place - both
literally, as well as figuratively. Yes, I also noted that the
lady from the North East who had been on my previous DEL-HKG
flight about a year back, was also on this flight. I admired the
way the crew went about their duties, in spite of such irritants
around them.

The service started with the drinks run, with a small packet of
Bikano Navratan Mixture. I chose an orange juice to go with this
nice and spicy offering. As the reader would have guessed by now,
I was getting hungry! And this was in spite of the fact that The
Wife (`TW') had ensured that I would not leave the house
empty-tummied. I was looking forward to the meal.
Meanwhile, I fiddled around with the PTV. Yes, it was in good
working condition, and those around me were working, too. The
service had stopped the mood-lighting show, which I usually
enjoy. What was on offer on the PTVs?
I was making this trip on 15 September, 2011.
Yes, as has been reported on this forum and others, the offerings
were shockingly sparse. There was one English film, yes, you read
this correctly, exactly one English movie. There were a few Hindi
offerings - a combination of the old and the new, one Punjabi
movie, and a Bong one (`Abohoman', a rather well-crafted work
of art, which TW had got along for us to watch.), and a few TV
shows. The forward camera was not available on the seat PTV, but
was shown on the ceiling screens, which shifted to the moving map
after take-off. On my adjacent seat, I set the moving map to
switch between different display options. Yes, this new plane had
the newer Thales i-4500 system. In spite of getting
disappointed at each step of my exploration of the various
options on the IFE system, I finally hit the audio option. This
part was thankfully well-stocked, in the old melodies section
part, at least. I kept myself entertained throughout most of the
flight with the audio offerings, on the nice two-pronged
earphones. The lavatories were not back-to-the-basics as I had
read in some fora - for the Economy class, they were reasonably
well-stocked. There was a moisturiser, in addition to soap,
paper napkins, and the usual material.

As soon as the seat belt sign was switched off, the cabin crew
immediately got into action, and took up their respective duties
in and around the galley. The ovens were fired with the
right settings, and they started with the drink-and-snack run.
The wonderful smells started permeating the cabin as the crew
finished the above run in an extremely efficient manner. My mind
started playing guessing games as to what the contents of the
meal would be. The meal offering was satisfying in terms of the
quantity, but sadly, did not score that high on the quality
scale, at least in my opinion. I started with the
bread-and-butter item (both literally as well as figuratively -
my favourite irritating cliche!). The bread was hard and cold,
and quite a dampener. I attacked the salad, next. This was the
usual Indian green salad - cucumber, tomato, and a slice of
lemon. I noted with some disappointment - the presentation, or
the lack of it (another of my favourite irritating cliches!).
No, the cucumber pieces were not finely serrated on the outer
periphery. The pieces were more circular than oval. Yes, I like
the presentation (yes, this reminds me of 3-D coordinate geometry
and conic sections - what an un-appetising thought!) to have the
cuts certainly not at ninety degrees to the visage of the
cucumber. Nor were the cuts uniform in any way. Ditto for the
tomato slice. Well, this was not bad in any way, but this was
what I usually do at home, when in a hurry (the latter option,
that is). The Wife (`TW') would point out that I usually did
worse - not even cutting the salad items in question. Yes, I peel
them at home - in typical Indian fashion. There was a large fat
chilli - the one we know to have some nice flavour, at not be too
hot, at the same time.
One should not expect much of presentation in the Moo-Bleat
class, but then, I know Air India to do a much better job of it
than what was presented to me today! I looked around at the other
items on the tray with a bit of trepidation. There was a standard
Mother Dairy yogurt, Gulab Jamuns in the dessert ramekin, and of
course, the main course, from where the lovely cabin-permeating
smells were emanating.

The main course more than redeemed the meal.
Two prominent features of the meal were that it was light both in
terms of the oil, as well as spices, for the
fragile-at-the-middle. To the right was some dal (pulses) - with
a thin green chilli. The lightness on the oil and spice meant
that I was able to enjoy this dish immensely. Most of the
container was occupied by a fantastic chicken biriyani. This was
done with a hint of ghee (clarified butter), which beautifully
complemented the aromatic long-grained rice. The chicken had been
marinated beautifully: with the light marination flavours having
seeped into the small and soft pieces of succulent chicken. The
chicken was neither over-boiled, nor a bit tough - it was just
right. The spices in the marination were mild enough to add
flavour to the biriyani, and at the same time, went very well
with the rice that had been done just right again - neither too
dry and tough, nor too sticky and swollen. Each grain stood out
in an unobtrusive manner, with the finely sliced onion slices
just fried lightly brown. The biriyani tasted as if it had
been done lovingly over a low flame. This was one of the best
biriyanis I have ever tasted, and I enjoyed each morsel.
The coffee was served from my favourite old-style tall jug -
interestingly, the coffee run was done before the tea - at least
in the area around me. Please read more about it, below. There
seemed to be a brewer on board - remember the pesky passenger who
had demanded some coffee just on boarding? The crew answered that
they would fire the heaters soon, and set it to brew. The coffee
was excellent. I could not resist myself, and the lovey smell
overwhelmed my senses to the extent that I partook of the coffee
just after the lovely biriyani. The yogurt was quite plain -
nothing special about it. The dessert disappointed - the two
Gulab Jamun balls - while not overtly sweet or oily, were cold
and nothing out of the ordinary. Air India, what happened to thy
lofty catering standards? Or was this an off day?

It is often the cabin crew which make or mar an in-flight
experience. In this respect, I have only praise for the crew in
this section of the plane. What caught one's attention was the
camaraderie between the crew - irrespective of the two clearly
different age-groups. There were some seven cabin crew members
going all around - no, one person did not specifically
concentrate on a particular section of passengers. They rotated
their roles, and positions seamlessly, and were very active,
without being obtrusively over-attentive. This was perhaps the
first time I noticed that the activity was very well orchestrated
- there was no major overlap of duties. At the same time, there
was no evidence of the entire set of activities being
choreographed with people doing their duties like
automatons/automata. The crew chatted with passengers during the
service in a very pleasant manner. I counted three tea/coffee
runs, which was appreciated by some people around me - who
somehow looked forward to an extra cuppa. I was served the meal
tray by the elderly gentleman (his figure at this age was in
stark contrast to my huge middle). When I smiled at him, and
said, `Thank you, Sir', he gave a warm smile, gently patted my
back, and said softly, `enjoy the meal'. Wouldn't I? This was
touching - both literally, as well as figuratively. In site of
the less-than-stellar meal, this was simply an excellent
experience.

Captain Verma made a smooth landing on runway 07R, and we headed
off towards Terminal 1 of the Hong Kong International Airport. An
acquaintance based on Bengaluru was also making the trip for
similar reasons. The next leg of my itinerary was as follows:

Set out 16 Sep (Fri) for Beijing from Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1, Hong Kong -
Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 3, Beijing
CA 108: Air China (A321) [PNR: MTYYZF, Seat 12F, Class L]
Hong Kong (HKG) - Beijing (PEK)
[10:30 am - 01:55 pm] {03:25 hours}

He was however booked on the 08:30 am flight. I met him at the
transit counter. He told me that in all probability, because the
connection time was tight, they may not be able to transfer his
luggage to this very flight. (AI 310 was half-an-hour late, we
had started late by that amount of time.) In the worst case, he
would have to wait by the baggage carousel, for two hours. What a
distasteful thought! When it was my turn, I asked the same
question, and got the same answer. I could be accommodated on
this previous flight, but there was no guarantee that my bags
would be transferred well in time. As expected, his bags did not
come on his flight - they were delivered to his hotel sometime at
night. Since I did not see him around the baggage carousel, I
assumed that either he had got his bags right then (which was not
the case), or the latter. He also happens to be a pure
vegetarian. As a member of this forum has pointed out, airline
food typically leans towards the non-vegetarian option - in terms
of the effort put in, into the planning, and execution (at least,
on airlines outside India). So, vegetarians often get a `raw
deal' - the pun is not exactly unintended. When I was to ask him
about it later, he pointed out that at this time of the year, he
did not even take preparations based on onion and garlic. Since
his travel agent had messed up on the onward leg, he made sure by
calling him up and asking him to fix up at least a Jain food
option on Air India (he is a Tamilian based in Bengaluru). He
mostly subsisted on juice, fruits, salad and bread during the
conference (for which we had come to Beijing), and on other days,
where he had to give the hotel's complementary breakfast - a
`royal miss'.

While his onward connection was very tight, he return connection
was atrocious - a wait for six-and-a-half hours at Hong Kong! My
travel agent had given me the next Air China flight, which would
give me Hong Kong wait time as five hours, since the further
next flight would make the connection a bit tight, in case the
Air China plane got delayed at Beijing, or en route.
Back to my arrival at Hong Kong!
Light and visibility around was very nice. I set about roaming
the length and breadth of the Hong Kong International Airport.

Here is one of the most common sites at the HKIA, a Cathay
Pacific Airbus 330-300:


Here is a Flying Finn...a Finnair Airbus 340-300:


A beautiful Hong Kong Airlines Airbus 330-300:


A Delta Boeing 777-300ER (77W):


A Dragonair Airbus 330-300:


...and an ANA Boeing 767-300, Do not miss the Kingfisher A330-200
parked at a remote stand, well behind it.


There was a nice surprise nearby! An Eva Air McDonnell-Douglas MD-90:


There was a Jet Airways Airbus 330-200 parked beside the terminal.


Here is a Dragonair Airbus 330-300 in a special livery:


A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400!


A United Boeing 777-200ER was parked at a nearby gate:


A surprisingly clean Air France Boeing 777-300 was parked at a gate,
with the same Kingfisher bird behind it, as well.


My enthusiasm in boarding a plane from a bus at the Hong Kong
International Airport (we got a bus gate!) was quickly doused as
soon as I found out my seat, and sat down. Two related items
struck me simultaneously: the very limited leg-room, and the
consequent horrid placement of the windows. Seat 12F did not have
a convenient window: I had to crane my neck in front to get a
partial view. This was an Airbus 321 (`leased' from Air Macau -
I wonder what that means), the plane wore the Air Macau colours,
and the safety cards in the seat pockets were from Air Macau. The
in-flight magazine was the (quite boring) Air China one.
As I craned my neck to get some view outside, I saw a China
Eastern Airlines Airbus 321, which had just landed on the
sea-side (south?) runway.



As the reader would have guessed by now,
the writer was extremely hungry.
I was quite tired, and the lack of sleep, followed by the
workout at the Hong Kong International Airport had contributed to
the above two things, both quite fundamental in nature.
One of them immediately took shape - I fell asleep (this was also
possibly because there was not much to see outside the window,
even from the limited view I had).
My disturbed sleep (you know the reason, why) was disturbed by
the sound of a familiar clatter-clunk. The food-and-beverage cart.
But wait, my keen eyes (albeit clouded with sleep) could detect
only drinks on the cart. I opted for an Orange juice.
Yes, this was the same F7 brand I had seen on Aeroflot during my
Moscow trip, two months earlier!
The contents of the cup disappeared in no time.
So did the cabin crew.
When they finally came out, oriental cuisine smells filled the
cabin. Yes, there would be a snack. This turned out to be a
mini-meal. The quantity of food left me hopeful, in anticipation.
There was the usual bread-butter stuff: yes, a bread roll, and
butter. O Lord, give us this day our daily...bread.
Had I added a `hard' as an adjective, before `bread'?
This too, rocked.
I chiselled through it, polished my weapon with butter, and
consumed it. I was hungry, after all. A stone's throw away from
the roll was a small salad bowl, from which I noticed some black
mushroom slices staring at me. Eagerly, I removed the plastic
cover, to find black mushroom slices on a bed of black lettuce,
with some black cumin on top. Everything was apparently black,
including my mood, which was induced when I had my first
mouthful. The mushroom had been lightly tossed in a little oil
with black cumin seeds (`kala jeera'/`kalonji', to the North
Indian), and placed on a bed of the lettuce. So, the snack would
not be a bed of roses for me. This was quite tasteless, as my
taste buds were left clueless as to how the above ingredients
would gel together (except deep in the entrails of the person who
consumed it). Such thoughts consumed my thoughts, I opened the
hot main course aluminium container. Ah - this could not perhaps
be enjoyed even in the traditional contemporary American way -
dousing it with tomato sauce (ketchup, if you please). I had been
asked, `fish or chicken', and I had gone in for the first option.
Except for a Chettinadu-based fish preparation of Tamil Nadu, and
the Vada-Meen curry of God's Own Country Kerala (which possibly
has sea fish, anyway - read on, below), I am not exactly
a big fan of river fish, and most other Indian fish preparations.
Unlike many Indian fish-eaters (especially those from the eastern
part of the country), I seem to prefer the fish from places close
to Neptune's garden, and Davy Jones' Locker. One one side were
the fish fillets, in a thick but translucent gravy. Most of the
container was full of sticky rice (so the meal would at least be
filling, to some extent), while the other side had the colours of
the Indian national flag. There were boiled carrot sticks and
Chinese asparagus, on a bed of white sticky rice. The flagship
dish part of it tasted...just as boiled carrots and asparagus
taste, nothing more, nothing less.
Well, more-or-less.
However, the fish item was quite nice, and went well with the
sticky rice. The fish was very soft, and seemed to have been
steamed, and then cooked in the brown translucent gravy.
After this tasty offering, my rising hopes were fulfilled by a
nice caramel pudding. This was not overtly sweet, and was set in a
dessicated milk base. There was another beverage run, where I
took some orange juice, again. There was no way I could use my
laptop (add to it my sleepiness). I briefly watched the variety
entertainment programme (the term `entertainment' could also be
dropped from the trio of words above, without making the
slightest impact felt on the semantics of the above expression.)
The variety programme was playing on the folding TV screens on
the nether-side of the cabin baggage bins. Throughout the course
of the three-and-a-half hour flight, the captain did not once
introduce himself, or the cabin crew (though he spoke some very
good English). We wiggled into a Beijing Capital Airport runway,
but made a feather-touch landing, crossed another runway, and
docked at a gate. So this was the famed huge Beijing Capital
International Airport! This did not look that busy, or have too
many interesting planes to see. There were huge lines at the
Immigration counter, which made the luggage appear to have come
rather quickly. The baggage belt started some five minutes after
I reached there. My bags were the fourth, and eighth to come out!
I was both happy as well as relieved.
The Beijing Capital Airport looked quite large, but I did not
find anything extremely impressive about it - both in terms of
any exotic planes serving the airport, or any features of the
airport itself. While language was a big issue, signs (around the
city) were bi-lingual - this was a saving grace. I got onto the
Airport Shuttle bus to the hotel where we were put up, the
Beijing Friendship Hotel.





The Beijing Friendship Hotel was extensively renovated during the
Beijing Olympics, and was the venue of the conference. This is an
example of the Chinese garden architecture, and a hotel which was
completely beyond my means, had I not been officially sponsored
for the conference. Of course, I was put up in the `economy'
section of the hotel, not the higher end parts (which was housed
in different buildings), but this was really very nice and
picturesque. This would be my abode for the next few days. The
conference was two blocks away, within the same hotel complex.
the two images above show a part of the hotel facing one of the
main roads (with the internal parking lot visible), and the
second one, the venue of the conference. I was excited to be in a
communist country for the first time, modulo a good bit of
trepidation, as to what the experience would be like, for an
Indian. I had a(n) (un)reasonably packed schedule as far as my
official role in Beijing was concerned, to attend the conference.
There was so much to see there...how much would I be able to do
on the tourist circuit?

(To be continued, in Parts 2 and 3)
---
Links to my previous TRs, in reverse chronological order:

18. Going Bananas over Oranges: Nagpur, Aug'11
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12333.html

17. To the City of Joy and back, on Air India: Aug'11
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12238.html

16. To Chennai, Mar'12 with a Celebrity Captain!
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12196.html
(This is out of sequence owing to sheer excitement, and nothing else!)

15. Marble Rocks, Marbles Rock; Jul 2011
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12157.html

14. The Fish-Eye Beckons! Madurai, on Air India. Jul 2011
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12136.html

13. To Russia, with Awe: Moscow, 2011, Part 3: Monino!
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12091.html

12. To Russia, with Awe: Moscow, 2011, Part 2: The Central Museum
of the Armed Forces
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12016.html

11. To Russia, with Awe: Moscow, 2011, Part 1: The Overall Trip
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11717.html

10. The City of Lakes: Mother's Heart, Heart of the Motherland
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11556.html

9. Mostly Indoors, in Indore:
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11533.html

8. Inter-metro Shuttling on AI: DEL-BOM on AI810, BOM-DEL on AI888
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11449.html

7. On the cusp: DEL-BOM on IC863, BOM-DEL on AI660
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11160.html

6. DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10986.html

5. DEL-MAA on IC439, MAA-DEL on IC802
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10809.html

4. DEL-PNQ on IC849, PNQ-DEL on IC850
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10510.html

3. DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7)
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10401.html

2. DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10169.html

1. IGI T3, AI 314 DEL-HKG and AI 311 HKG-DEL
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10018.html
---
7. On the cusp: DEL-BOM on IC863, BOM-DEL on AI660
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic11160.html

6. DEL-BOM on IT308, BOM-DEL on IC166
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10986.html

5. DEL-MAA on IC439, MAA-DEL on IC802
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10809.html

4. DEL-PNQ on IC849, PNQ-DEL on IC850
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10510.html

3. DEL-MAA on IC429 (A321), MAA-DEL on IC7602 (CRJ7)
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10401.html

2. DEL-NAG-NDC, NDC-BOM-DEL on G8
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10169.html

1. IGI T3, AI 314 DEL-HKG and AI 311 HKG-DEL
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10018.html


Last edited by sumantra on Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ameya
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1 Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
[coming shortly...]


hahahaha
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himmat01
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1 Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
[coming shortly...]


I clicked the link in anticipation of an exciting TR and all I get to read is "Coming shortly....."

This is called a K*PD. Wink
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aeroblogger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KLPD indeed.

Looking forward to reading this one Smile
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I apologise for the goof-up, Ameya, Himmat, and Rohit. The `coming shortly' turned out to be much longer than I had anticipated. I have put it in now. Thank you for your patience!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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aeroblogger
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report as usual.

It also had the unfortunate effect of making me hungry, so now I have to go fix myself something Mad
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Rohit! By the way, I am a big fan of your site, and your writings. The IPG perspective (though you do not support their point of view yourself) was a beautiful piece of work.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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aeroblogger
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thanks a lot, Rohit! By the way, I am a big fan of your site, and your writings. The IPG perspective (though you do not support their point of view yourself) was a beautiful piece of work.
Cheers, Sumantra.


Thank you for the kind words Smile

When can we expect parts 2 and 3 to be posted?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aeroblogger wrote:

When can we expect parts 2 and 3 to be posted?

[Coming soon...] Wink
Seriously, I am working on the text of part 2 right now, trying hard to remember many details. It was like a dream!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra, waiting for your pictures from Chinese Aviation Museum. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Sabyasachi, I'm keying in Part 2 right now, thank you!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PAL@YWG
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sumantra, frankly speaking I like the way you position your title for the trip. A good title says a lot about the content that follows.

Think about names like "Hundred years of solitude" or "Quiet flows the Don"...even if someone doesn't want to read these classics, the names like these will make a person to flip through pages at least Smile

Coming to your trip: you are covering a country that sits on the very top of my list of places to visit. So, I am gathering data from your report. Also waiting for Part 2 & 3 where Beijing and the aviation museum will be covered. And yes, HKG is definitely a spotters paradise, one can find aircrafts from all over the world. And HongKong is one helluva city, level of energy I haven't seen anywhere else! The art of "making money" taught by British during colonial days have never learnt better by any other colonies than the HKG Islanders.

You could easily be a successful food critic, I am saying this without flattering. In fact AI should use your expertise to get their food critiqued when you fly them which you do frequently Smile .
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Mr. Pal, thanks for your kind words, once again! China being high on your travel list - this has made me re-think on the organisation and details I have already keyed in for Part 2. I will try to keep it more detailed, and have more pictures. Yes, Hong Kong is a nice place, though at times, I still feel it to a Singapore wannabe, and its slightly poor cousin. Your post has been good food for thought (``literally as well as figuratively'', as I often put it), thank you very much!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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