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Seq#001 for the 1st flight in NOTAM hour at Pune, 1 pe 2 fre

 
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3671
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Seq#001 for the 1st flight in NOTAM hour at Pune, 1 pe 2 fre Reply with quote

As I said in my last TR, there was some personal work in Pune today. As I started booking my return journey, I noticed that the date of my return is 25th June Ė the day the NOTAM in PNQ gets lifted and two new flights are launched so as to depart to Delhi at 2100/2105 by 6E and SG respectively.

I went ahead and was 1 step short of the payment on the SG website, when it showed that I have to pay Rs.100 extra for doing this web going. At a time when airlines are trying so hard to get over the agents commission and encouraging direct sell, this 100 INR thing is a total rip off. The only reason to fly SG was that it would be the only carrier I would miss in these trips for a month and I have heard some good reviews about the inflight food.

With the 100INR message, I shifted to 6E for booking, I believe they have similar charges, but dint really notice, the timings were same and as any other person in the country I have more faith in 6E than SG. So booking was done for what will be the first landing and take off to be cleared by IAF in the history of PNQ airport. I have been associated with this airport for a long period of time in various capacities and seen it grow.
At the airport, it really makes me nostalgic, to see a station which was sunrise to sunset with strict adherence to Watch hours, to entry of airlines like DN, IT , I7 and then the expansions which happened at regular intervals.

I completely take the view of IAF that its their base and their operational flying does get affected by the movement of civil aircrafts, but itís a very difficult situation at the ground level. Will the airport at Chakan work, when it would roughly take the same time to go to Navi Mumbai ? How big would be the losses for Chakan with limited potential and can they deliver a low cost airport ?

Now this was a new flight and it doesnít really get better for the airline to have a flight at a lucrative place like Pune at a good hour. A 1830 dep from DEL and a 2100dep from PNQ ! WoW ! As I was on the way to airport accessed mobile.goindigo.com to check if the incoming aircraft has departed, it was running late by 10 minutes.

Reached airport very early at around 1900hrs and seq#1 did the check-in, since it was just another new flight for 6E, not much of a fuss happening around but there was a lot of crowd, which I later learnt was to go by SG.

Post a quick checkin, with my printed boarding pass being torn and new one issued, I headed to security only to be sent back. Security is closed sir, it will open at 0745. Ok !

Pune airport now has two sections, AI,9W,6E in the left side and IT, LH and G8 on the right. The right side one is the renovated area and the left one is the old area. Sat there awaiting security which started a little before 0745. The CISF chaps were whining as to how they now have to work extra. ď Abhi 2 flight hai sir, over time karna padta haiĒ. I am sure that isnít an over time, because their shift ends at midnight and they were just chilling out in this NOTAM hour before, which has now ended.
I headed to the first floor boarding area, because its from there that indigo normally boards. All the passengers were herded to the first floor. There are quite a few food outlets there, but all had stale looking food, unfortunately. All I wanted was a s/w better than the airwich.. but no luck !
Checked how this aircraft was now fitted in the rotation. HYD-DEL-BOM-GOI-BOM-DEL-NAG-PNQ now operated HYD-DEL-BOM-GOI-BOM-DEL-PNQ-DEL and DEL-NAG-PNQ leg has been attached to the two back to back DEL-BOM-DEL flights, where the a/c is idle after 1930. It was easy to figure out the change, I went about checking the arrivals in Delhi and this flight from GOI-BOM to DEL was delayed, which delayed the next flight, also fits into the ground time requirements at DEL and checked the swaps to ensure that NAG can be fitted in on the other rotation.

Also checked the SG flight and it was running 10 minutes late as well, but it looks like SG had taken off first from DEL, because it landed before 6E and docked in to the aerobridge. 6E landed and parked to a non aero bridge bay. Counted the incoming passengers, over 145. I was expecting a similar load since the flight is new and hardly any days they could get to sell the flight.

Boarding commenced for SG and the load was 150+ and then I see that hardly half plane load remains. A quick glance at the screen confirms, the load is only 75 !

Now thatís completely empty plane ! Boarding commenced shortly and we were in, in no time. It is stupid in Pune to first go the the 1st level and then come down again and board, when you have only 2 planes in ramp.
VT-SPW was chocks off to Delhi 5 minutes before VT-IGS. Now the strangest thing happened.

VT-SPW taxied all the way to end of rwy 28 and took off over PNQ city and immediately, VT-IGS had a short taxi to rwy 10 and took off in the other direction. The experts, please throw some light on this.
Service commenced and I was happy to see Pepsi being replaced by Coke on the flights of IndiGo. I opted for a hot veg biryani, I was explained that it is like noodles, pour hot water, close the lid for 8 minutes and eat. It was way better than the airwich. Service finished very early due to the light load. All middle seats were empty and few lucky ones like me had the aisle empty as well, having all three seats for myself.
I again asked if the metal model of A320 is on board for sale and the answer was No. Due to the light load, the crew looked efficient and service prompt. The pilot gave the details twice, cruising at 39000, we landed at 2250 in Delhi. The mystery blue tailed bird still there at T2 some distance away, we parked far away from T1C and were bussed promptly. VT-SPW had reached the bay 3 minutes before us as per FIDS and thus I justified my decision to fly in the same price in a A320 and get 3 seats instead of 1 in a B737.
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sumantra
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ameya, thanks once again. Yet another trip report with an incredible level of detail - blink, and you miss it. We know how passionate you are about Pune and Lohegaon/Chakan (the latter, if it ever becomes a reality). Your immersive style of writing has all of us put on our thinking caps at the beginning of the report, staring at a screen, and thinking about other factors also, while making a booking. I haven't been to Pune after 06-07 Dec, 2011, but thanks to your details, I can well visualise most of what you have described here. The sudden change of direction of the runway used: I have experienced this once in Dec 2010 on a trip to Pune: DEL-PNQ on IC849, PNQ-DEL on IC850
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic10510.html
It is indeed odd to get a First class Y seat on Indigo - but yes, this is an experience worth describing! Your description of the Biriyani was interesting, and does set me thinking, yes, why didn't people think of this one, before? Is this an Indigo-branded product, or does this come from some well-/little-known brand? For a country which likes Biriyani so much, I am sure many people in big cities would prefer something like this to a cup of noodles.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3671
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is some small time company making these biryanis.

I was curious as to how they are serving hot since I know they do not have ovens on board.

Interesting concept. It had a nice thing written.

Weight when rehydrated - 250gms

The profile of the passegner for SG and 6E was a complete Corporate for 6E and completely VFR for SG.

I have observed time and again that SG gets a lot of VFR traffic and groups. Justifies why it would make less money than 6E
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Nimish
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Posts: 9757
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - learn something new everyday - never heard of a "dry" biryani that needs some hot water to make it ready!

Great report - thanks for posting. The comment on pax profile is telling too - 6E is definitely picking up in the corporate sector. If they add a basic FFP program - that can be the beginning of the end for 9W in the domestic sector.
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3671
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to mention few things

VT-RJC/D were in the AI hanger with jacks in the near and front.

Speaking to Sumantra the other day, we were discussing the birds which were flying, so now there is some confirmation.
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3671
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, we docked right behind the MDLR bird at DEL and there were 6E aircraft all around, the first line full then second line few and then at these bays away from the terminal. I am sure DIAL will have to move these dead birds soon, the MDLR, the KFs and what not to make way for the 6E onslaught

Biryani - absolutely a new learning, I had not imagined a rehydrated rice.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:

VT-RJC/D were in the AI hanger with jacks in the near and front.
Speaking to Sumantra the other day, we were discussing the birds which were flying, so now there is some confirmation.

Thanks a lot, Ameya! So`The Lord' plane and the `political' plane have gone tech...so the ones we saw would be VT-RJB and VT-RJE. But wait...hadn't one of these been returned to the lessor at some point in time? Was it re-leased/released?
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DGCA site shows RJ-B/C/D/E as active and the only 4 CR7
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Ameya - these were the 4 CR7 Air India Regional ever had. Yet, there was some news some time back about one being returned to the lessor, possibly VT-RJE, so it has possibly been taken back. Or it was re-leased without being returned. Or the news about the return was a false one. The last option is not valid, as I remember reading about it!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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