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PNQ: PeNning Queued Reports, Dec 2011

 
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: PNQ: PeNning Queued Reports, Dec 2011 Reply with quote

PNQ: PeNning Queued Reports, Dec 2011
-------------------------------------
06 December, 2011.
Please forgive my choice of words in the title above.
Yes, it is a terrible pun. More so, as I was headed to what
Maharashtrians (and Punekars, especially) refer to, as the
cultural capital of the state.
I was to commence a month of busy travelling with a trip to
Maharashtra's cultural capital, Pune. Pune is also well-known for
its wonderful weather, and is sometimes referred to as
`Bengaluru, minus the pollen'. Punekars lament the lack of the
early morning and evening cool breeze, which can still be
experienced in the outskirts of the city, such as the Pashan
area, and the Khadakvasala side. There would be no such luck for
me however, as I was going to Shivaji Nagar.
Those familiar with my fancies would understand that I also adore
Pune - not for its cultural raphsody, or its lovely weather - for
me, Pune is the city of Chitale Bandhu, the famous sweet shop
chain, and the Shrewberry biscuit.

This trip report can be found at the following URL:
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12557.html

The itinerary for my onward trip was as follows:

Set out 06 Dec (Tue) for Pune from New Delhi
AI 849: Air India (A321) [Seat: 30F; PNR: YJ99H]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Lohegaon Airport, Pune
New Delhi (DEL) - Pune (PNQ)
[04:00 pm - 06:00 pm]

The taxi arrived a bit late - this was a brand-new Indica eV2,
the Tatas' new offering: the proven Indica V2, with the CRDi
engine (common rail diesel injection), which gave it an
incredible efficiency of 25kmpl under test conditions. The
gentleman behind the wheel told me that it gave him around 20kmpl
under city conditions, and he was quite happy with it. The
dashboard has a new look, ditto for many of the interior panels.
The suspension was the amazing Indica one. I was apprehensive
about the new UDF (User Development Fee) which was to be levied
by the airport authorities - I was running late, and would there
be lines to pay this Rs.211 outside the terminal, a la Bengaluru?
I was relieved not to see any line outside, indicating no
collection there, at least. There was none inside, as well. Air
India had common counters for all flights - and I went to an
empty counter, and checked in quickly.

I was unable to web check-in for both the legs of this
journey. I did not try a tele-check-in for the DEL-PNQ leg. I
went up to the counter to ask for a nice (read, window) seat. I
was quite surprised to be told that only the last-but-one row had
a free window seat. I proudly snagged seat 30A, and underwent my
usual ritual after the security check. I was travelling after
about a week, and saw the same three cars I had seen on my
previous trip - the November-end Bhopal trip:

``Little BHO-Peep, Nov 2011''
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12496.html

My usual ritual consists of going to the Citi ATM machine,
looking towards the International piers (there were three AI 777s
there!), then going up the escalator to the food court, and then
coming back down again. We would board from Gate 29B. When I had
booked my tickets, the equipment showed a 320 on both legs. This
usually was an old Indian Airlines A320 in hybrid colours, with
the new seat colour scheme inside. A few days before the flight,
I was pleasantly surprised to note the equipment change. This
would be a A321. Yes, an A321, 100% full in the Economy section.
I was among the first 15 to board, and there were already two
passengers in the Business class. I did not note how many more
would come into this section. However, I was happy to see an
absolutely full economy section on this sector. More so, after
this traditional flight had been augmented with another morning
flight between the same city pairs.

The part of IGI T3 domestic just beside the smoking lounge has a
nice area to spot aircraft, relatively unimpeded by the presence
of walk-ways to the boarding bridges. There was an old A320
there, looking resplendant in the new Air India Flying Swan
livery. This was SH, the `shell' plane, VT-ESH.



The plane for my flight AI 849 would be VT-PPL, the `proletariat'
plane. We took off from the secondary runway 09-27, towards the
east. I was on the secondary runway after a really long time, and
I noted with interest, that the position of the four planes had
changed a bit. They were now lined up: The two DC-3s, the
Caribou, and the Tu-124K. Captain Shiraz Farooqui took off into
the mist, as we flew over some prominent landmarks in Delhi, and
took a turn over the Yamuna. As soon as the seat belt sign went
off, I switched on my laptop, and got to work. I could not work
for long, as some irresistible aroma filled the entire cabin. All
the cabin crew for this flight were young people - two ladies in
the business class, and three gentlemen in the economy section. I
did not check if someone else was `manning' the rear galley. The
`snack' was similar to what I had, on my previous journey with
Air India. There was a brown bread sandwich, with a serrated
carrot piece on top. Inside was a nice coleslaw-based shredded
salad filling. Nothing special about it - it was not
fantastically fresh, nor was it too bad, either. I then turned my
attention to the aluminum case. This had a nice vegetable
kabab/kebab to the left. As with the previous trip, this had a
potato base, and mashed greens in a tasty browned outer covering.
It wasn't too oily, either. The middle had a vegetable patty -
nice, soft and Mmmm...The right side had some nice boneless
Tandoori chicken pieces. There was some mint chutney to go with
it, along with a sachet of sauce/ketchup. The dessert was...a
slice of light chocolate cake. Ah - some plain Jane dessert, I
told myself. When I dug my knife into it, out flowed some
chocolate sauce. The cake was nice and moist, and the chocolate
was not too gooey, dark and sticky - it was a bit light and fluid
for my sinful desires. A nice cup of some tasty instant coffee
rounded up a nice meal. Excessive eating rounds up Sumantra, too.
Excessive rounding eats up into his energy...but then,
didn't the reader already know this?

It is always a pleasure to come into Lohegaon air base with its
civil conclave, on runway 28. I was on the left side of the
plane, and saw the beautiful sight of many Su-30MKIs lined up,
with their canopies covered. When we came into a parking
position, we got one aerobridge. A Kingfisher Airlines A321 was
leaving, and another Kingfisher A320 just came in to land. This
got a bus gate, though all passengers walked into the terminal.
The new and impressive new terminal has the baggage claim on the
ground floor. The bags came out quite fast, and soon, I was out
into the 29 degrees centigrade Pune weather. We passed the Mula
river, and I was led to Hotel Centurion, opposite the Akashvani
Bhavan, Shivaji Park. This is a very nice hotel (I have stayed
here before, albeit on another official trip nearly a year back).
Given my seniority (or rather, the complete lack of it), and my
limited means, official trips are possibly the only modality
where I get to see the inside of structures I would never be able
to afford, for personal purposes.

The itinerary for my return trip was as follows:
Set out 07 Dec (Wed) for New Delhi from Pune
AI 850: Air India (A321) [Seat: 11A; PNR: H8LQ5]
Lohegaon Airport, Pune - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Pune (PNQ) - New Delhi (DEL)
[06:40 pm - 08:35 pm]

I set out for the airport quite early, at around quarter to four.
On reaching the airport, there was some wait till the Air India
baggage X-ray machine was manned, and the Air India booking
counter opened. Once that happened, the late arrival of the
incoming aircraft meant that I would have to wait till 07:20 pm,
which was the announced expected time of departure. I set out to
work on the first floor waiting area. The runway
being used was 10, with the planes coming in from the west,
and taking off into the east. The plane came in at 06:30 pm, and
docked at an aerobridge. This was to be gate 4B for us. Around
boarding time, a huge crowd had formed at the gate. The Jet
Airways flight to Delhi was also delayed, and had not yet landed.
The plane was awaited, though the departure time was announced to
be the same: 07:20 pm. I noted with interest, that the plane for
the day was to be an A321, PJ, the `not-so-funny' plane, VT-PPJ.
The plane was neat and clean from the inside, and I noted with
interest that the PTVs behind the seats had blue screens, as
opposed to the grey ones of the more recent Air India
narrow-bodies.

Captain K.S. Dhar was in command, and he made a powerful take-off
towards the east, on runway 10-28. The plane was 100% full in
economy once again - there was not a single empty seat in sight.
This was perhaps the first time that I was to make two legs of a
trip in a packed-to-the seams A321. Air India must be doing
something good on this sector, as with two daily flights, at
least one of them going full in both directions. Loads are often
not correlated with yields - for the sake of the beleaguered
national carrier, I hope that they are making money on this
route, as well. The cabin crew on this flight were a mixture of
middle-aged ladies, and some fresh ones. Just after the seat belt
sign went off, this was announced as a dinner flight.

Food for thought! Very soon, very pleasant smells enveloped the
cabin, as the cabin crew got into action. As usual, I chose the
non-vegetarian option. There was the usual `Indian green salad':
a longitudinal slice of capsicum/bell pepper, two slices of
carrots, three slices of cucumber, on a bed of shredded cabbage.
No, there was no slice of lemon/lime to go with it.
This was something I missed!
There was a very fresh melt-in-the-mouth bun, and some salted
yellow butter to go with it. (It is a bit strange that by
convention, salted butter has an artificially Annato-coloured
visage to it, whereas `white butter' is generally unsalted. Of
course, there are yellow unsalted butters as well, such as a
famous product from New Zealand - I forget the brand name. There
are Indian brands, as well. I wonder why salted butter is almost
always, yellow in colour!)
The main course aluminum container had a bed of nice
long-grained aromatic rice in the centre. Flanking it on the left
was a dry ordinary potato-and-peas preparation. To the right was
a tasty chicken curry. (This reminded me of an incident
at a lunch where a friend was describing the fine Chikan-kari
embroidery work of Lucknow, and I was harbouring thoughts of the
etymologically similar `chicken curry'.)
The dessert was an excellent Rasgulla.
The meal was topped up by a not-too-bad instant coffee.

There wasn't too much to write about the rest of the flight.
To prevent this trip report from having an absolutely abrupt
end, I have attached a picture of a service counter in the
semi-Government organisation that I work in:



Finally, we have visual proof of why productivity is so low in
semi-Government organisations. The period of recess, or a tea
break, is twelve-and-a-half hours long. One also tends to get a
bit worried - not about the lack of work, but the amount of tea
that the people behind the counter, drink, behind-the-scenes!

Cheers, Sumantra.
---
Links to my previous trip reports:

23. Little BHO-Peep, Nov 2011
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12496.html

22. The Call of the Vaigai! Madurai, Oct 2011
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12465.html

21. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: Beijing, 2011 Part 3
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12452.html

20. No Panda-monium: Beijing, 2011 Part 2
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12389.html

19. North By Northwest...er, AI and CA: Beijing, 2011 Part 1
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12348.html

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
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Spiderguy252
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Joined: 10 Aug 2007
Posts: 4257
Location: Indian Ocean

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Re: PNQ: PeNning Queued Reports, Dec 2011 Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing!

sumantra wrote:
I was unable to web check-in for both the legs of this
journey. I did not try a tele-check-in for the DEL-PNQ leg. I
went up to the counter to ask for a nice (read, window) seat.


Why was this the case? A problem with the website?

sumantra wrote:
The dessert was...a
slice of light chocolate cake. Ah - some plain Jane dessert, I
told myself. When I dug my knife into it, out flowed some
chocolate sauce.


Heck, those are the best ones! Razz

sumantra wrote:
When we came into a parking
position, we got one aerobridge. A Kingfisher Airlines A321 was
leaving, and another Kingfisher A320 just came in to land. This
got a bus gate, though all passengers walked into the terminal.


How come? Was the bus/were the buses full? Is walking across the tarmac even allowed in any case?

sumantra wrote:
The plane was neat and clean from the inside, and I noted with interest that the PTVs behind the seats had blue screens, as
opposed to the grey ones of the more recent Air India narrow-bodies.


That would be because this aircraft was delivered initially to IC and the interiors were made to stick to that interim 'Indian' blue and orange scheme.

sumantra wrote:


Great catch. I know of this website which collects photographs of unintended posters around the country, this one could become part of their collection. Razz
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice TR. Again the typical sumantra subjects - Food, pilot and the wonderful description of each registration.

I think PNQ airport is now of decent size. When all such cities, BLR, HYD, PNQ, AMD - in that order see significant traffic peaks in the busy hours only, it is insane to build a greenfield airport with mandatory 2 runways and what not.

If PNQ gets a single runway airport, it would be much easier to break even for the company executing the project. A simple functional terminal would do as well.

Btw, if you are lucky, you see a IL76 in PNQ, if you are very lucky then a AN124

Fantastic TR ! Thanks for sharing !

After the rule for government organizations to use AI whereever possible, PNQ has become a hot market for AI, due to the large no. of government and military establishments in PNQ. Even the morning flight which was introduced in Oct,2011 goes full, incidently thats the first flight into PNQ from DEL, landing at 0705. The next comes at 1035 due to the runway clousre in between.
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Nimish
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Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR - thanks for posting. That long break at the end - really hilarious Smile.
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: PNQ: PeNning Queued Reports, Dec 2011 Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the post, Varun!

Spiderguy252 wrote:

sumantra wrote:
I was unable to web check-in for both the legs of this
journey. I did not try a tele-check-in for the DEL-PNQ leg. I
went up to the counter to ask for a nice (read, window) seat.

Why was this the case? A problem with the website?

Yes, Air India's website sometimes is unable to perform web check-ins for some cities. An intermittent problem, though things look better now-a-days. One can do a web check-in for off-beat destinations such as JLR also.

Spiderguy252 wrote:

sumantra wrote:
When we came into a parking
position, we got one aerobridge. A Kingfisher Airlines A321 was
leaving, and another Kingfisher A320 just came in to land. This
got a bus gate, though all passengers walked into the terminal.

How come? Was the bus/were the buses full? Is walking across the tarmac even allowed in any case?

I have seen people walking on the tarmac regularly at PNQ. I woudl have enjoyed the walk even more, had the Air Force conclave been a bit closer to the civil one!

Spiderguy252 wrote:

sumantra wrote:
The plane was neat and clean from the inside, and I noted with interest that the PTVs behind the seats had blue screens, as
opposed to the grey ones of the more recent Air India narrow-bodies.

That would be because this aircraft was delivered initially to IC and the interiors were made to stick to that interim 'Indian' blue and orange scheme.

Yes, Varun, and sometimes, one finds some odd-ball seats even on the newer planes! Substitution, repair, ...

Spiderguy252 wrote:

Great catch. I know of this website which collects photographs of unintended posters around the country, this one could become part of their collection. Razz

Yes, Varun - please share this with me. I am quite tech-challenged, so there is no surety that I will be able to post anything, but it will be good to know about this, nevertheless Smile I am still taking my baby steps into FB, even after receiving your friend request so many moons ago!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Btw, if you are lucky, you see a IL76 in PNQ, if you are very lucky then a AN124

I hope I'll be lucky to spot Ameya in Pune, given the travelling you do Smile
Thanks for the very kind words, and even your replies are typical Ameya subjects: myriad aviation details which we all love and lap up, trends, and projections, all from a very fertile analytical mind and a well-informed statistical storehouse! From your posts, and what I hear from some of my friends in the region, the Chakan project is almost a non-starter, and Lohegaon will continue to operate well, possibly with a runway extension. The biggest plane I have seen at PNQ is the A321, and the only Air Force birds being the superb Su-30MKIs, an odd An-32, and sometimes, a Mi-8/17. since you have written about it, I hope to be both lucky, and very lucky, sometime! Unfortunately, photography is frowned upon even in the civil conclave at PNQ.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Great TR - thanks for posting. That long break at the end - really hilarious Smile.

Oh thanks a lot, Nimish, for the kind words! This was a report I was wondering whether to post, or not, since I did not have many photographs. Ameya shifting base to Pune prompted me to search out whatever notes I had with me, and put together a report. Being in a semi-Government organisation has its own joys in seeing such laugh-riot signage and print items. I have a few examples of the same, which I will add to reports where I do not have too many pictures. Nimish: can we all request you to put up a trip report, at least, a picture report of your recent US trip? Your itinerary, and the numerous legs on exotic aircraft types, has had me expectantly looking forward to it, for quite some time! Your last HYD trip report was fantastic, which leaves us wanting more, and more!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In December 2008 when Lohegaon became international, AI for a short period operated A310s to DXB. Then even IC operated A320s on PNQ HYD SIN sector, which later was pulled out.

So it is A310 and AN124 in terms of pax and cargo who hold that title now. Though A310s wont come again, I hope next time around you see AN124

As far as chakan is concerned, it has now moved to rajgurunagar, but land remains a problem as ever. The current infrastructure is such that you would reach Navi mumbai sooner than rajgurunagar, and the chances of Navi Mumbai being up and running are more than Rajgurunagar.

Pune AAI is not allowing busses to be deployed due to the ramp congestion and lack of marked lanes for them. So if you are not on aerobridge, which many a times you are not, then you have to walk. Stranger experiences are the ones with 6E, where you to go 1st floor after security and then descend down thru another flight of stairs and walk on tarmac.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ameya, thanks for the history of wide-bodies at PNQ! I did not know about the tubbies operating to DXB, though I had heard about the HYD-PNQ-SIN service before. Interesting update about RajguruNagar - I had no idea about this. This Dec'11 visit was my latest to Pune, and I had asked people there on Chakan, no one told me about the RajguruNagar part at that time - I guess people are obviously not as well-informed as you! As regards walking on the tarmac at PNQ, I have done the ground-first-ground transfer before at PNQ, I forget, when. It must have been on IT. mazA akRa-vazun-tees-minitAnchi flight hoto, I had a 11:30am flight, IT 3151, that time. Needless to say, I enjoyed it immensely!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words.

IT 3151 - OMG, thats long time back. What started like a IT 151 became IT 3151 and then again IT 151 now.

IT started with a night parking in Pune on a all economy A320 to operate PNQ BLR CJB AMD DEL IXJ and v.v soon to realise that CJB AMD is good for the traffic they say it carried for textile but doesnt make money, then came the new routing, PNQ-DEL-JAI-GOI and v.v only to realise that yes JAI-GOI has traffic, amazing for a foreigner to visit Rajasthan and then Goa but it doesnt make money and then came this rotation which continues even today

PNQ-DEL-PNQ-DEL-PNQ-DEL-PNQ
PNQ Dep : 6:15, 11:30, 18:30
DEL Dep : 09:00, 16:00, 21:10

This I have always equated to the Shivneri which fly between Pune and Mumbai, one bus doing the route whole day.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for sharing! I loved all your usual descriptions of food!

Speaking of which, the dessert on your DEL-PNQ flight. The way you described it, I think I had the same thing on my MAA-CCU flight! Wait for the pictures (tomorrow!) and I think you'll get to know if its the same. Lucky that you got your aircraft upgraded to an A321, I think AI quite frequently changes aircraft on all its routes. Reason I'm saying this: my MAA-CCU flight had J (or C?) class tickets on sale, but Environmental Protection Index was deployed on our route (yes, I think even I am naming my planes Razz ). I read about the smoking area in many TRs, probably if I ever go to DEL (Indian GP perhaps?), I'll surely ask my Dad to get in there and click a few pictures for me Razz

Also the last picture, LOL that was epic!! Very Happy Very Happy

Looking forward to more!!
Regard, Jishnu.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for your appreciation, Jishnu! EPIc full form of EPI, I must say Smile Yes, I look forward to your pictures. About AI changing equipment - in addition to substitutions of an aircraft going tech, I have quite admired the way AI have been doing capacity planning, and quietly going about establishing their hub at DEL, as Ameya and I were discussing at DEL that nice evening we met up. Of course, their lacunae are far too may to count, but it is nice to see some genuine effort put into the beleagured `national carrier'.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:

I have equated to the Shivneri which fly between Pune and Mumbai, one bus doing the route whole day.

Ha ha! good one, Ameya. Thanks for the history of the IT Pune operations-this was an interesting story!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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shivendrashukla
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1347
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice TR there Sumantra. Although I live fairly close to PNQ, yet I prefer travelling via BOM. Looks like I will have to transit through PNQ sooner than later. Recently I too flew AI A321 VT-PPB. Food was excellent as usual.

Cheers
Shivendra
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot, Shivendra! Interesting to know that you do the Pune-Mumbai stretches regularly. I have many pleasant memories of the same, by car (when the Expressway opened in the early 2000s), by bus, and of course, numerous times, by train! Oh the sight of those tunnels, and the incredible stretch between Karjat and Khandala all the way till Lonavla - what a treat to the eyes! Sinhagarh Express, Pragati Express, The Deccan Queen, The Pune Shatabdi and its later replacement, the Inter-City Express - all bring back sweet memories of 2001-2006.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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shivendrashukla
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1347
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thanks a lot, Shivendra! Interesting to know that you do the Pune-Mumbai stretches regularly. I have many pleasant memories of the same, by car (when the Expressway opened in the early 2000s), by bus, and of course, numerous times, by train! Oh the sight of those tunnels, and the incredible stretch between Karjat and Khandala all the way till Lonavla - what a treat to the eyes! Sinhagarh Express, Pragati Express, The Deccan Queen, The Pune Shatabdi and its later replacement, the Inter-City Express - all bring back sweet memories of 2001-2006.
Cheers, Sumantra.


All I can say is +1 Razz
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Shivendra - did I forget to mention the Parsi Dairy Kulfi wedges on the train, while going from Mumbai to Pune? Very Happy
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PAL@YWG
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 406
Location: YWG, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another interesting TR Sumantra, I really enjoy your TRs covering smaller cities of India. Kinda "Bharat Darshan" with you.

Quote:
Pune is also well-known for
its wonderful weather, and is sometimes referred to as
`Bengaluru, minus the pollen'. Punekars lament the lack of the
early morning and evening cool breeze


I have very fond memories of Pune. I used to visit the city (being the head office of my employer at that time) regularly during 1985-91.
I remember the mornings & evenings used to be cool (you need a light sweater) even in July-Aug. Plenty of birds, clean nice city. Shrewberry biscuit - ah the smell! And the Rajneesh ashram, the gorgeous maroon robe!

I don't know how much Pune has changed over years..

Quote:
I could not work for long, as some irresistible aroma filled the entire cabin
Well when I reach this type of sentences of yours, I just jump to the next paragraph! Truly, I don't want to salivate knowing nothing I can do to subside the gastronomical urge Laughing

Waiting for another great city-centric TR.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
Speaking of which, the dessert on your DEL-PNQ flight. The way you described it, I think I had the same thing on my MAA-CCU flight!

Yes, Jishnu - you had me salivating on that picture! The same heavenly creation!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAL@YWG wrote:
Another interesting TR Sumantra, I really enjoy your TRs covering smaller cities of India. Kinda "Bharat Darshan" with you.

Oh Mr. Pal - thank you very much! Pune is now a sprawling metropolis. I usually report on my official trips - wherever work takes me. Of course, I like to travel to places which AI.netters do not visit too often Smile

PAL@YWG wrote:
I have very fond memories of Pune. I used to visit the city (being the head office of my employer at that time) regularly during 1985-91.

This is an interesting snippet of information! I am sure you would have lots of pictures on film, and lots of sweet memories firmly etched in your mind. We would love it if you share these with us!

PAL@YWG wrote:
Waiting for another great city-centric TR.

Oh Mr. Pal, thank you! The next one will be possibly sometime early next week, and will be a departure from the usual chronological order. The next trip report will be to Jaipur, entitled `JAI Ho! My Double Standards?'. This will, in addition to having descriptions of a January 2010 trip to Jaipur on Air India (CD/IC) (which will enable it to qualify to be on the Trip Reports section of this aviation forum), will cover a journey which The Wife and I look forward to this weekend (we haven't told Junior about it, since he will be equally excited) - a trip on the week-old Jaipur Double Decker train!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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