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Singularly Sanguine Sangli. Jun'13

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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:22 am    Post subject: Singularly Sanguine Sangli. Jun'13 Reply with quote

Singularly Sanguine Sangli. Jun'13


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13887.html

60.1 Planning a Sangli trip

As soon as there was a call for a trip to Sangli, Maharashtra, I
looked around for options. Kolhapur would have been the closest
airport, but circa Jun 2013, it saw no active service by any
regular carrier. If I remember correctly, Kingfisher Red was the
last regular operator to Kolhapur, and they had their last flight
to Kolhapur sometime around October or November, 2011. my next
best option was...Pune. It would be a close-to 5 hour journey by
road, from Pune, being close to 250km away from the Lohegaon airport.

I immediately got in touch with our ace trip report writer, and
route analysis expert from the city, Ameya. Ameya knew that I
would have to fly Air India, and in this case, the then two sets
of Air India flights would be the ideal combination for me. An
early departure out of Delhi by the 5am flight, getting to Sangli
on time around mid-day, completing a day's work there, hitting
the bed, com-leting the next half-day's work there, and then
setting out for Pune again, to take the 06:40pm flight back to
Delhi. Ameya also knows my weakness for...food. The odd hours
would necessitate some nourishment on the way.

Ameya suggested a joint, "Shree Ram Wada" at Shirval,
around 45 mins from the airport on the road to Sangli,
if I liked the Bombay fast food delicacies such as
vaDA pAv and missaL along with the typically sweet
Mumbai-style spiced-up-tea masALA chAhA, made with cow
milk. A typical road side breakfast of the region, said Ameya.
Yes, the once `Bombay fast food' has now spread to the rest of
the state, and large parts of the country, as well.

I had been shocked when in a food show, anchor (and fellow
glutton, I guess) comedian Kunal Vijaykar announced that
vaDA pAv was typical Maharastrian food.
What was that, again?
Pre-1920s in Mumbai, when the textile mills were there in the
then Bombay, this was the fast food that had evolved, with some
extremely practical items being created there, which could be
prepared without much ado, consumed without spending much time,
and being spicy and tasty, as well. Much of this Bombay fast food
is based on two items which Mumbaikars love, and consume in
conspicuous quantities, baked leavened bread, and potatoes.
In fact, I love them too, and I share the Mumbaikar's obsession
for the two named items, above. The pAv is a baked
leavened bread, where individual pieces smaller than typical
bun-sized portions, are baked together to be easily separated,
and are produced in conspicuously large volumes. Potatoes are
more readily available, given that at one time, the low
availability of quality green vegetables, even in Mumbai. (I am
talking of even the late 1970s, here.) Potatoes are quick to
prepare, and tasty, to boot. The baTATA vaDA is a
ball-shaped piece of mashed potato, dipped in batter, and quick
deep-fried. The bhAjI is a spicy curry, with conspicuous
amounts of butter (usually), and potatoes being a prime component.
missaL on the other hand, has sprouted legumes (which also
grow in semi-arid regions of the state), and is a very spicy
curry based on the same. While this delicacy may not have
originated from the then Bombay, it is also popularly consumed
(devoured, should I say?) with pAv bread. Yes, after
delightfully greasing half-slices with hot butter, that it.

At the end, I would end up blissfully sleeping in
the car around Shirval, and I would miss it completely, possibly
much to Ameya's disappointment at having recommended something
really nice to the resident glutton of the forum, and he missed
it, being over-engaged in his other passion, sleep.

60.2 An Early Start to the Day

My itinerary for this part of the journey was as follows:
Set out 08 Jun (Sat) for Pune from New Delhi

AI 851: Air India (A320) [Seat: 04F; PNR: J0YH4]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Lohegaon Airport, Pune
New Delhi (DEL) - Pune (PNQ)
[05:00 am - 07:00 am]

AI 851 was the first `truly domestic' flight of the day out of
Delhi, with a 5am departure slot. This meant waking up at around
2am, leaving sufficient time to complete my morning duties, and
setting out for the airport at 3am. Everything went like
clock-work, and I was soon at our departure gate.
Boarding was announced well on time.

It was SD, the `memory card' plane.
Captain Smriti Trehan was in command, and Ms J Chadha was the
cabin in-charge. It was another 100% full flight - Air India has
really pulled out a winner on the Delhi-Pune sector, with flights
which seem to go completely full. The morning DEL-PNQ and NQ-DEL
rotations AI 851 and AI 852 are done with an all-Economy A320,
while the evening flights AI 849 and AI 850 are done with an A321.
This had been a long-standing demand, where even the cabin crew
said that Air India should have first, an A321 on the route as
opposed to an A320 - when there was one daily flight, the AI 849
and AI 850 combination, and later, citing a huge demand for a
mornign flight. This is the first domestic flight of the day,
which starts at 05:00 am. I stay relatively close to the airport,
and yet have to set out around 03:00 am, so people who live
further away would have to start much earlier. Yet, the flight is
well patronised, and usually goes choc-a-block, from what I have
seen of late, and from accounts I have heard from friends and colleagues.
Some time later, Air India would launch the third set of
Delhi-Pune-Delhi flights, an evening one, the AI 853/854
rotation, which would also end up being heavily patronised.

Parked to our right was the old Ph, the `acidic/basic' hydrogen
ion concentration plane. At the domestic widebody gate facing the
international finger, was a Dream)liner. It was NJ, the `New Joy'
plane, VT-ANJ. Right opposite it on the international finger, was
another Dream)liner, whose registration I failed to catch.
Captain Trehan made a powerful take-off from runway 11, a
pleasant surprise for me. We turned right soon after taking off.

60.3 The Breakfast was worth the Wait/Weight!

The pleasant announcement was followed by an extremely prompt
service from the cabin crew. There were two ladies in my seciton
of the plane, one senior, and one fairly new. `Vegetarian' seemed
to be the choice of the day, as 23 passengers who were served before
me (I was on seat 04F), opted for the vegetarian one.
Had I made a mistake in choosing the non-vegetarian one?

It started off with an extremely fresh bun, which was accompanied
by a rock-hard Amul butter chiplet - exactly the way I like it,
and a strawberry jam/preserve. The catering was by ChefAir, and I
simply cannot describe how fresh and appetising the bun was - the
aroma set my digestive juices flowing, or to put it more accurately,
gushing out in a deluge, as I have mentioned in a previous trip
report. The fruit bowl was equally impressive, if not more. There
were four slices of the `Disco' variety of papaya, three of a
nice unsweetened pineapple, and an unsweetened cherry on top. The
main box had four potato cubes, which had been lightly tossed
about in Olive oil. On the left was a vegetable chop, which was
again very lightly fried, and had a nice tight mash of potato,
pulses and a hint of coriander. The omelette was simply superb.
It was light and fluffy, and done with only a hint of oil. The
tray had been warmed to precision by the crew, so as not to let
the omelette get runny, or too much, to have it stick to the
Aluminium foil box. There were large coriander leaves throughout
the omelette, lending it a nice strong flavour.
The instant coffee was a complete anti-climax.

The vegetarian tray was not up to the expectations of a passenger
in seat 04D. The vegetarian tray had a
parAnThA/baroTA with a black gram-based
preparation. He let out his ire on the young lady, who
apologised on behalf of the airline, and said that she would pass
on the message to the concerned Department. The passenger
continued, saying that it was perhaps the worst meal he had had
on Air India, with parts of the parAnThA/baroTA
having got burnt. The lady offered to get him a feedback form.
The man went on and on, growling along, till it got quite gruelling.
The crew cleared the trays very quickly, and soon, the lights
also went off, allowing passengers some much-needed eye-shut.
Immediately after the service ended, the lady remembered to bring
a feedback form to the man, which resulted in some mouth-shut,
and consequently, some eye-shut for passengers around him.


60.4 From Pune, to Sangli, in a tad over 5 hours

And what would I know about the trip? I was too dazed to notice
Captain Trehan's soft landing at Pune. My hosts had sent a
vehicle for me. I identified myself, and had slept through the
journey past Shrival, as I mentioned above. I was drifting in and
out of sleep. In the brief phases I was awake, I noticed the
beautiful surroundings. We had taken a long route out of Pune,
wandering around in the city a bit, and finally exiting I guess,
from the Swargate end. Here are two samples of the lovely
country-side, close to the Western Ghat region.





On the road, amidst periods of dizzy sleep, I was active on SMS
with my aviation circle. Forum moderator Varun was one of them.
Varun told me that incidentally, he had also flown with Capt
Smriti Trehan once, on the DEL-MAA. We discussed lady captains,
and other related matters (and of course, unrelated ones, as well).
My first time in modern times, with a lady in charge of the
plane, was a flight with Captain Deepali Gadolikar, the 9W CCU-BOM night
flight, in 2001. After that, there had been quite a few such instances.
Varun replied, ``Ah, just the two times for me. The other was on MAA-SIN
back on the 310 days in 2000, haha!''
``MAA-SIN would have been AI 442, in an A310.
Have you also done MAA-SIN N N IC A300B4 B4?''
I asked him, in chaste SMS-speak.
``Can't remember the name, he said, ``It was a long time ago.
Haven't ever flown the IC 300s unfortunatley. Just the 320s.
The 310 was doing BOM-MAA-SIN back then.
It was shortly after they temrinated the CGK stop, IIRC.''
I remembered that leg.
``AI 442 SIN-KUL-MAA-BOM in 2004, on `Saraswati','' I added.
``Mine was `Yamuna',' he said.
``AI's first tubby! I've been on Tungabhadra, Saraswati, and Pamba, too.''
I was getting excited as we were going into familiar territory.
``Pretty expansive, not-so-pretty-expensive too, I guess.''
Varun mentioned that yes, he had flown on all of
KU's leet of 17 at one point, or another.
I was simply amazed, and texted back saying that had KU been in
better shape, they should have given him a lifetime free pass!

60.5 sAngli-madhye chAnglA muLa

The above line is a bad pun (that too, in broken Marathi) on
Sangli, my destination, and `good'/`dependable' (changlA,
pronounced `cSanglA'), the muLa (boy) in this case,
being the bad body, Yours Truly. I really wonder whether my
behaviour was really changlA or not, since early in the
morning of 09 June 2013 (Sunday), my gracious host sent me an SMS
asking if I was interested in visitng a famous Ganapati temple in
the locality, and if so, a visit could be organised at 08:00 am,
so that we could be back to start our proceedings for the day
around 08:30 am. I looked at my watch, which said 07:00 am, which
is normally deep in the night for me. I had been unable to take a
bath the earlier day, since I had got up at 02:00 am for a 03:00
am start to the day's proceedings, took a 05:00 am flight to
Pune, landed there at 07:00 am, travelled by the picturesque road
route to Sangli. This trip took a little over 5 hours, leaving me
in Sangli with just half and hour to prepare myself.
Preparation for what?

I could have taken a bath, or worked on my presentation, the
raison d'etre of the Sangli trip. The Wife would have
pressed me for both, but I needed to save my neck in Sangli.
(Had The Wife been with me, I would have had to save my neck in
more ways than what I have just described.)
To cut a long (sordid) story short,
there was just no time to take a bath on 08 June, 2013.
It was already 07:00 am.
I had not performed my morning duties, either, which needed a
lot of persuasion, as well as mechanical prodding, in the form of
hydraulic pressure. I had to prepare for the meeting as well,
since I had literally crashed into the bed after dinner.
My accommodation had been arranged at the impressive Hotel Icon Inn,
Vishrambaug, Sangli. The dinner had been arranged at the hotel
itself. I had eaten like there would be no tomorrow, shocking my hosts
completely. I had then hit the bed, quite literally.
And woken up quite late, as expected, after switching off my alarm.
Twice, incidentally.
I ended up taking a bath, after all.
I was looking more human than what I had been, when I had entered
the bathroom with blood-shot eyes, and the general appearance of
a zombie. A bath later, I at least looked and felt somewhat human.
I had a presentation at the meeting, which went off well, thankfully.

60.6 Hitting the Road Again...09 Jun'13

We started for Pune around 10:45 am after the meeting.
The weather was simply great.
It had rained lightly at night, and was drizzling intermittently.
From Sangli via Islampur, we hit the lovely well-maintained NH 4
(National Highway 4), where I spent the time alternating between
doing some reading work, some typing on my laptop (which included
a part of this report), and deep thought, albeit of the Garfield
kind (``Some call it slumber, I call it deep thought'').
I had a companion with me on this route as well.
I felt for him.
Thankfully, the weather was excellent, and the route, very
scenic, so he also spent the time looking out of the window, a
bit of `deep thought', and a little light banter.
I woke up when the Mahindra Scorpio came to a halt.
`kAy zAlA,' (what's happened) I muttered half-asleep,
before I saw a sight that pleased my eyes.
No, not just my eyes, it brought hope to my taste buds, tingled
my ravenous hunger and would relax every muscle in my body apart
from those involved in digestion, since they happen to be the
most over-worked part of my body.

60.7 Kamath's

The smiling visage of Vitthal Kamath invited travellers to the
franchises that bear his name, and picture. This gentleman is the
force behind many food joints all around the country, and outside
too, my companion pointed out. the conceprt was similar to the
Darshini joints in Benagaluru I had seen in the late 1990s. There
would be a limited menu with only a few items, but the place
would be neat and clean, self-service ruled, and the food would
be affordable, and very tasty. Further, each Kamath's joint on a
highway would we sure to have cold filtered water, a clean
wash-basin, and a clean toilet - that was part of Vitthal
Kamath's basic philosophy. I urged my companion to go ahead,
saying that I had had a very heavy breakfast. While the latter
was absolutely true, the former part was a bit questionable. A
little persuation on his part later, I found myself inside the
restaurant, insisiting that I take my purse out. He hails from
Karjat, a picturesque town famous for being the place on the
railway line to Pune, where two engines are used for traction, as
anyone familar with the rail route knows.
It is also famous for vaDA pAv, by the way, he reminded me.
No guesses as to what he ordered.
I went in for a plain ravA dosa(i), which was crisp, and had
finely chopped vegetables in the batter, served with a slightly
sweet sAmbhar (which is not very high on the list of my favourite
savouries), and a nice coconut chutney. We downed it with a nice
fresh lime soda, where the amount of lime and sweetness were jsut
right. We finished the `meal' with a lovely filter coffee, which
I insisted on. It felt nice.
One reason I apprecciate food from the Southern part of the
country is that most dishes use just the right amount of oil in
the cooking, quite unlike Delhi and its neighbouring states,
where people insist on making the meal even more sinful, by
serving the times with white butter, clarified butter
(ghee), butter, or cottage cheese (paneer) made
from full fat milk, spread over almost each item, and the
unleavened bread, having any of the first three items mentioned
above, liberally spread on them. Yes, the glutton that I am, it
is not that I do not like the above items, it is just that they
are not exactly good for me, or for any other couch potato like me.

60.8 Back on the road, again

As we neared Satara, the Ghats came into view. The low
flat-topped trapezoidal mountains with low-lying clouds kissing
them, was a sight to behold, with the landscape all green,a nd
light rain falling all around. We would be in Pune soon.

The reader would remember my friend Mr. J. R. R. Talking, the
chatty friend from not Middle Earth, but Central India, Bhopal.
Yes, the same friend who has a wizardly knowledge of aircraft and
movements, more so related to Delhi and Mumbai, two cities he
often travels to, or at least through, on official work.

A day before, he had told me that as on 07 June 2013, AI did not
base the A332s at DEL. They were doing 1x BOM-SIN and 2x MAA-SIN.
AI had kept one Dream)liner as a back-up in Delhi, for those days.
Princess ANI (VT-ANI) a Dream)liner had gone tech at FRA, and was
to come back at 03:30am, just prior to my setting out for Pune.
QR and ET were also having trouble with their Dream)liners.

At the stroke of 03:00 pm, he sent me an SMS that it would be the
`Precipitate' plane for me. Not one to take precipitate
decisions, I usually refer to VT-PPT as PPT, the `Presentable'
plane. The plane was coming from Amritsar to Delhi, and would go
to Pune, and come back to Delhi. This had reminded him of a
flight between Amritsar and Delhi, where on a recent trip, he had
been served...peanuts, literally, it is a very short flight. AI
849 04:00 pm - 06:00 pm from Delhi to Pune has a snack on board,
while AI 850 06:40pm - 08:40 pm, has a full dinner. What a
gradation: peanuts to a snack, to dinner...on the same plane!

Mr. J. R. R. Talking did a very thorough analysis of which plane
I would get for my ride back to Delhi. From Delhi, he reasoned
that at the time of my trip (June 2013), there were just two A321
fligths between 3 and 4pm. AI 451 (DEL-VTZ) and AI 849 (DEL-PNQ).
AI 451 had the PQ, the P-PQ-rian plane VT-PPQ waiting for it at
Delhi. AI 462 would be too late to be turned back as AI 451. So,
Vizag passengers owuld gt VT-PPQ, and I would get PPT, the
`presentable' plane VT-PPT. The next A321 flight was AI 659 to
BOM, which would be done by the PX, the `passenger' plane VT-PPX,
since it was a SXR-DEL-BOM-GOI same plane service.

60.9 Enter Mr. Edsel Murphy

There was a massive traffic jam close to Pune.
There was a road block there, and we had to had to enter Pune
through Simhagarh instead, which meant a further detour.
Mr. Edsel Murphy, the person after whom the infamous universal
law is named, had more in sotre for me.
The Scorpio developed some vehicle trouble!
Harrowing nail-biting moments at a repair station later,
I entered the airport with 20 minutes to go for the check-in to
close, 05:20 pm.

60.10 At the Airport

There was some road renovation activity going on at the entrance
to the airport. Did I miss the usual entrance? Perhaps I did, and
I made my entry into the terminal through an entrance that was
close to the Arrivals section, made the elngth of the short old
portion (which does not look that old, the renovation has been
quite nice, indeed), and went to the Air India check-in counters
towards the left part of the terminal (while observing it from
the entrance land-side). I first got my check-in bag X-rayed, and
then went for a check-in. This too happened quickly. The security
check took some time. I usually carry a plethora of devices to
interface with my laptop and mobile phone. I emptied all of them,
in addition to my Analog SLR camera. All of it went into the
X-ray machine again. I observed a Jet Airways bus right beside
the terminus, adjacent to where the bus gate was.

Among the movmements I noticed, a Jet Airways B738 VT-JBL pushed back,
and a Go Air A320 VT-GOK came in. This would now do a PNQ-BLR leg as G8-242.
Our ride for the day came in on the dot. It was indeed PPT, the
`presentable' plane: VT-PPT. PPT came in and parked at an
aerobridge. A Jet Airways ATR-72 came in, and parked at a remote
stand. This was followed by an Indigo A320, VT-IEC.

60.11 The Presentation aboard PPT

Captain Deeksha Suri was in command.
Immediately, I visualised how Varun would react on hearing this.
At 07:33 pm, an announcement came, one that I consider perhaps
the most appetising on any flight.
The commencement of the meal service.
Dinner would be served on this flight.

The caterer was SkyGourmet.
The dinner started with a bun and butter.
The Indian salad was berift of any presentation, but was fresh
and tasty, though nothing special. There were rectangular
cucumber slices, and orange carrot slices of the same shape.
There was a small lemon slice to go with it, and that made an
ordinary salad, quite an exciting proposition!
The main course had an ordinary red lentil preparation to the
right, done lightly with a hint of cumin. There was a bed of
white steamed rice in the middle. On the right was a low oil cottage
cheese and pureed spinach (`palak paneer') preparation, which was
nice, though was nothing too special.
The dessert was special, however - a very soft Rasgulla!
It was not overtly sweet, it was very soft, and absoltely melted
in the mouth! All my hopes of a nice ending to the meal melted
away in a horrid instant coffee - it barely lent colour to the
hot water, milk and sugar, and was perhaps the worst coffee I
have ever tasted at a height above FL29.

Captain Deeksha Suri made a tetbook landing on the new runway 11,
as we came in from the West.
We docked at the International piers. This was exciting for me,
for this meant a bus ride around the tarmac (a short one though,
unlike Mumbai, where the route is really long, and the sights are
quite enticing. This had also been the first time I was involved
in a front right door deplaning at Delhi, it was something that
was quite common at Chennai, but not at my home airport!
Mr. J. R. R. Talking texted me saying that PPT's next destination would
be CCU, as the night international connector.

60.12 Pushing back for home: a long and slow taxi!

I texted some friends about the trip.
``I am a Ladies' Man. Captain Deeksha Suri in command.''
``Ha ha, is it women's week already?'' texted Varun.

On my previous trip (Indore), I had texted my friends that I had
liked the IAF pavillion at the IGI Airport T3, and the nice
Mig-23BN put up close to the approach road for the terminal.
One of them wondered as to why Air India did not put its retired
planes at various places. Well, they would be too large, he
reasoned out. I added to this: the last time an Indian airline
put up a model of one of its planes outside an airport's approach
road, it had dire consequences. (Kingfisher Airlines, Bengaluru).
The Mig-23BN had been here since at least May 2013.
This trip was hurried, in that I did not explore the IAF
pavillion, either. I summarised this to my friend Mr. All-Stare
MacLean, ``saw neither a Mirage, nor Miraj'' (Miraj is a town
close to Sangli, whose name if often associated with Hindustani
Classical Music).

60.13 Parting Short

This trip report has been relatively berift of pictures. There
is not much to click on the way, more so, if one decides to dream
and say-dream, most of the while amidst micturesque settings.
I will leave the reader with an image I clicked at the
Electricity bill and complaint office. In the chaste vernacular
of the region, `billI bhagat' refers to the story of the
cat who acted like an ascetic, in order to catch mice caught unawares.


---
Links to my 60 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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jbalonso777
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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 1425
Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, well, well!
Look who's back! Very Happy

Great to have you back onboard! I look forward to all your upcoming TRs!

This TR is amazing! Well, the food descriptions part right at the beginning made me miss BOM food a lot, especially since this year's trip got called off Sad

Interesting about the lady captains - I remember my brother telling me: an all female cockpit crew, while all male cabin crew (Jet Airways CCU-BOM, 2007).

Looking forward!
Regards
Jish
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back Sir! I know you had been very busy but I am glad you chose aviation reading and writing over sleep enroute your Chicago trip

Nice TR! The pictures you have put of the Ghat section is the Khambatki Ghat.

I specially liked this line in your TR, which said a Dreamliner was kept as a spare/ replacement bird !!

Keep writing ! Hope to read more of them soon
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the warm welcome back, Jishnu and Ameya!
Sir, I also appreciate both of you keeping me in the loop over email, during my absence from the forum.
Jishnu: On AI long haul flights, even on Women's Day, the cabin crew usually has two males. Can you guess why? There is an off-beat gender-insensitive rule about men being around when evil spirits make their appearance on flights.
Ameya: aviation reading and writing over sleep: ha ha! When the plane has enough leg-room, my favourite programmes on the IFE, copious amounts of good food, and nice service, would I sleep? I would rather do things I love, and things I missed for quite some time Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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abhijith16
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back, sir. We really did miss your posts. I was just about to launch a thread asking your whereabouts Laughing Laughing
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Abhijith Sir. Work pressures kept me away. I admire your informative analysis.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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shivendrashukla
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Gem from you Sir. This brings me back to fond memories of my previous station where i was based for almost 3 years. Also recently I did the 2130 PNQ-DEL flight which finds mention in your TR. It was an A321 PPU, dinner was served but load was just 20pax, most of them connecting to Intl flights.

Cheers
Shivendra
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sumantra
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Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Shukla-ji: the statistics of your particular flight look quite pathetic, though this flight is particularly convenient for Govt servants making a beeline back for Delhi, or going to Delhi for an official trip starting in the morning. For Air India's sake, I hope that was just a blip on their radar: most flights on this sector go quite full from what I have seen, and this is not just Govt traffic. After Kingfisher closed down and Jet's unfortunate financial troubles took over, AI went on the offensive on this sector to try to push back 6E and SG, and G8, to some extent. There seems to be a market for a good full-service carrier with good frequency: I was pleasantly surprised at the third flight being announced. Some FAs I had talked to when AI/IC just had 849/850, they used to lament that the Govt was missing a cash cow, with so much demand on the DEL-PNQ sector.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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shivendrashukla
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1347
Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thanks, Shukla-ji: the statistics of your particular flight look quite pathetic, though this flight is particularly convenient for Govt servants making a beeline back for Delhi, or going to Delhi for an official trip starting in the morning. For Air India's sake, I hope that was just a blip on their radar: most flights on this sector go quite full from what I have seen, and this is not just Govt traffic.


Yes Sir it was. It was 15th Aug and certainly majority of the ppl were taking advantage of extra long weekend with 18th being Janmashtmi. Hence those wanted to fly, flew Thu evening. The best part was we completed boarding in record 5 mins and was airborne by 2100hrs against scheduled dep of 2130. The baggage too dint take long and by 2330, I was in my car, heading home.

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

PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivendrashukla wrote:
...The best part was we completed boarding in record 5 mins and was airborne by 2100hrs against scheduled dep of 2130. The baggage too dint take long and by 2330, I was in my car, heading home.
That puts things into perspective, Sir. The above statistics are simply mind-blowing: half-an-hour early departure, 5min boarding, and Sir, if I can hazard some childish impropriety: had you been a paratrooper and the wind direction was from West to East, you could have been back in Noida quicker Razz
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
Posts: 9755
Location: Bangalore, India

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - welcome back Sumantra - this seems like such a blast from the past Twisted Evil (reference to the June 2013 date Wink).

Detailed TR as always, thanks for that! Photos would do wonders (esp. of the food). Glad that AI's able to hold it's fort on DEL-PNQ and managing to get good business on this route. A 5 am departure for a domestic flight seems like a disaster to me - but evidently paying pax think otherwise! Good for AI.

Sumantra - you've been missed on this forum, and hopefully we'll get to see more of you on here!
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sri_bom
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 2365
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Back.

Thanks for posting the detailed report, it was interesting to note that you had ladies in commanders both ways.

Awaiting more TR's from you with lots of pictures. Smile

Sri_Bom
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Spiderguy252
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Joined: 10 Aug 2007
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Location: Indian Ocean

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crisp write-up, and welcome back! Smile
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nimish wrote:
Wow - welcome back Sumantra - this seems like such a blast from the past Twisted Evil (reference to the June 2013 date Wink).
...
Sumantra - you've been missed on this forum, and hopefully we'll get to see more of you on here!

sri_bom wrote:
Awaiting more TR's from you with lots of pictures

Spiderguy252 wrote:
"Crisp write-up, and welcome back!

Thank you very much Nimish, Srinivas and Varun!
Nimish: yes, my backlog is a staggering 39 TRs, and counting...the 100th one will correspond to a hurried Mumbai visit on an ominous date...9/11. I will try to expedite my posting.
Nimish and Srinivas: the food pictures will come on board trip reports corresponding to journeys Nov'13 and onwards, since that was when I started carrying my Sony HX300 on board. Till then, there will be more of other pictures.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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stealthpilot
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2297
Location: BLR, DXB

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only a 14 month delayed TR Razz
Long time no see (read), great to have you back!

Great TR, your signature descriptions and of course the food.
Kamaths .... hmmm. I never was a huge fan of vada pav (I like it, just not mad about it) but dosa/idli Smile

Considering the amount you travel I'm surprised you haven't flown on more flights with women pilots.
Why the veg dinner on the way back?
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sabya99
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Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 1142
Location: New Jersey/CCU

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see you back after a long time!
So many lady pilots? Whats going on in India? Desi men donít want to fly or ladies are smarter now!
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="stealthpilot"]Only a 14 month delayed TR Razz
Long time no see (read), great to have you back![/quote]Thank you, Sir: yes, my backlog is quite large now, including the to-read list. I will try to buck up.

[quote=""stealthpilot"]Considering the amount you travel I'm surprised you haven't flown on more flights with women pilots.
Why the veg dinner on the way back?[/quote]I have flown with quite a few Sir: I try to keep an ear out for the announcements from the front office. Among the famous lady captains though, I can only recount Capt Saudamini Deshmukh. My mummy has been lucky to have had Capt Durba Banerjee, during the latter's early years at Indian Airlines.
Why the veg dinner? I usually go in for the non-veg option on Air India, at least, and sometimes, the airline's estimates go awry. The DEL-PNQ leg sees a preponderance of vegetarians on board, from what I have seen, hence the preference to load more veg meals, I guess.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
Nice to see you back after a long time!
So many lady pilots? Whats going on in India? Desi men donít want to fly or ladies are smarter now!
Thank you for the warm welcome, Sir. As regards ladies in the front office, I am actually glad to see aviation being seriously taken as a career option by ladies from quite some time. Given all our deep-rooted gender biases in India, it is somewhat refreshing to see that Indian carriers have had ladies in command since quite some time. Second, the number of lady AMEs is also not small.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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