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N NQ'd PNQ trip: An Enqueued PNQ trip, Jul'13

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

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: N NQ'd PNQ trip: An Enqueued PNQ trip, Jul'13 Reply with quote

N NQ'd PNQ trip: An Enqueued PNQ trip, Jul'13


62.1 Introduction
I knew that 03 July, 2013 was going to be tight.
The Wife would take care of most of Junior-related duties (as is
the case most of the while), including getting him ready for
school, dropping him there, fetching him from there, and much
more...I had far too much work on my hands. So much so that I had
barely finished packing for a 03 - 07 July trip to Pune for a
conference and just started with my lunch, when the friendly cab
driver turned up at the designated time of 02:00 pm.
Actually, 7 minutes before time.
The Wife had prepared a lovely potato-French beans dish in mustard gravy,
and I wanted to have it dry, with heaps of rice,
but I had content myself with a few gulps, and rush out.
I had five colleagues travelling for the same purpose
(and I would discover, two of them also on the same flight, as well).
I had not done my part of the work which was needed the next day.
I would have to work on the flight, and beyond.

The itinerary for this leg of the flight was as follows:

Set out 03 Jul (Wed) for Pune from New Delhi
AI 849: Air India (A321) [Seat: 11F; PNR: JCYEC]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Lohegaon Airport, Pune
New Delhi (DEL) - Pune (PNQ)
[04:00 pm - 06:00 pm]

The itinerary for my flights of fancy is as follows:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
of which, this particular trip can be found at the following URL:
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13928.html

62.2 At the Airport



After my customary round of the terminal, and clicking a few
pictures (I was in the departures section of the IGIA T3,
on an afternoon, after quite a long time!),
I settled down on a bench as the check-in counter
was getting ready to take in the load. Yes, loads looked good.
What had I seen? There was a B77W (VT-ALM) and a B788 on the Air India
international wing, as a B777 had come in, presumably the JFK
flight. Among other interesting movements, an EK 332 was taxi'ing
away, and an Air India `masked bandit' CR7 RJD, the `political
party' plane, pushed back for take-off, presumably on the main
runway. The direction of movements was west to east. In fact, I
had been quite excited as Delhi spotters had reported landings on
the secondary runway, runway 09. This was a rather pleasant
surprise, since runway 09 has a visual approach, and on an
average, is usable for only about 15 days a year. This had seen
action on a day on which visibility was less than perfect, and
interestingly, a day before too, on 02 July, 2013.
A day before my flight. I did not see the new runway in use after
the Air India B777 had come in, so I was looking forward to the
main or the secondary runway, for a take-off.

There was an interesting sight on view just after the ramp, on
the Air India side. The `Craft Traditions' shop had some live
traditional music on, with a gentleman on the harmonium, singing
traditional Rajasthani songs. On the other side, there was the
CT, `medical scan' plane: VT-SCT, with a Dream)liner (not visible
in the picture), an Air India ATR-42 in the old Alliance Air
colours, and a CR7 `masked bandit' parked at remote stands, behind it.



Seated at the extreme end of the finger (from which the runway 11
operations are visible), I observed some lawn-mowing operations
in place.

Our ride for the day would be PW, the `Engines' plane, VT-PPW.
After almost an eternity, I would get a new registration!
The cabin crew started coming in at 03:15 pm. The passenger
boarding was done row-wise, and started without any ado at 03:20
pm. We pushed back on time. The loads were clearly above 80%.
The number of people in the Business section would have clearly
been above 6, the number I counted when I had boarded.
The plane was not spic-and-span from the inside - the fabric, at
least. It looked a bit tired, and the grime on the seat belts on
seat 11F - it was 100% perspiration, and gave me no inspiration
to put them on, though I had to. The plastic surfaces had not been
cleaned as well as one would like them to be. The PTVs would work
perfectly like clockwork, and had the usual 5 video channels, and
all 12 audio channels. Needless to say, I tuned in to the old
Hindi film music channel, and went about my in-flight tasks, the
most important of which is described in the next section, below.
But, of course.

62.3 Lip-Smacking Snack

Captain Amitesh Ahuja was in command, with Mr. Kanwaljit as the
lead cabin crew member. I have flown with Captain Ahuja on 22 Dec (Sat)
2012, on AI 43, MAA-DEL. I was a bit disappointed as we went
towards runway 11, and took to the air, and soon turned right,
nearly 150 degrees, and headed towards Pune, amidst occassional
chop on the way. So it was the new runway after all, after all
this hope of getting either the main runway, or the secondary
one. All my disappointment evaporated into thin air as soon as
appetising smells filled the air.

Oh, this would be a snack, I did a reality check on myself.
It turned out to be much more than that.
The catering was by ChefAir.
It started with a marbled bread coleslaw sandwich. The bread was
extremely fresh, and complemented the generous coleslaw filling,
with finely shredded cabbage and carrot pieces. The bread was
very fresh, and I did not partake of either the coriander
chutney, or the sauce/ketchup packet, as an accompaniment, lest
it spoil the taste, or the experience. I let the taste linger
on in my mouth for quite some time, before trying the next item.

Why, the reader may wonder - the slight chop in the air meant
that the beverage service would not start very quickly.
I had been eyeing the dessert ever since it had made its appearance.
It had a golden orange colour - I wondered what it might be.
I opened the main box. It had a very nice pizza slice to the right,
and the topping left me wondering whether it was a pizza at all.
It was very thick, with generous amounts of sweet corn,
chopped capsicum and cheddar cheese towards the base, and
grated Mozzarella cheese on the top. The latter had melted
during the preparation, lending it the mmm..taste, with the
Mozzarella cheese presumably added to the pizza after it had
been baked, so that the hot pizza would melt a bit of it, leaving
the shreds retain their form, and yet give it a molten cheese taste.
The crust was a surprisingly soft and thin one, making the molten
goodness result in an absolutely melt-in-the-mouth bliss.

There were three large soft and succulent skewered chicken pieces,
which had been marinated in a spice mixture, but skewered with a
green coriander, mint and curd-based mixture, which lent it a
slight tang. The dessert took my senses away.
Greedy me had taken an aromatic sample at it, before I tried
anything else. No, I made sure, it did not have the look, feel
and texture (and aroma, of course) of Air India's heavenly firnI.
There was the unmistakable smell of ripe mangoes.
And here was another of Air India's fusion desserts.
This was an otherwise well-made kheer/pAyesh/pAyasam, with fine rice
(broken, not whole grained) being cooked in milk over a low
flame, to lend the concoction a slight brownish touch, with some
caramelised sugar added to accentuate the taste. After the above
had been cooled down, a blend of mango and desiccated milk had
been mixed in. It was simply heavenly.
I have never had anything like this before.
Words fail me when I try to describe this...the only impediment
to the heavenly feeling on partaking of this magic potion, was a
moderate amount of turbulence, which was giving me an uneasy
feeling, as it was moving the above contents in my tummy below,
in a way which did not quite go well with me.

The coffee was a hot and strong nice instant coffee, which was a
pleasant surprise. If only the turbulence were not there...but
then, I would not have been able to savour the marbled bread
coleslaw sandwich in little portions, or put a dab of the dessert
at the forward edge of the spoon, put it on the tip of my tongue,
and roll it around my mouth, getting all the taste buds inside to
scintillate the digestive juices down my middle, which then
prepared to receive the next little helping.

Captain Ahuja landed the plane from the west like a feather, as
we taxied past the usually impressive line-up of the IAF's
front-line Su-30MKIs (many were not in their hangars, possibly
gone somewhere), got to the civilian conclave where a Jet Airways
B738 was preparing for departure, and a Go Air A320 would come in.
We had landed 20 minutes before time! We got an aero-bridge as
usual, in the drizzle outside. As I waited and waited for the
bags to come out (they had started well on cue, but the delay in
getting batches of bags is on an average, more than at many other airports),
I noticed two of my colleagues - oh no, they had been on the same
flight, and I had not noticed them at all! One of them was
waiting for his bag, too. I was the last among the trio, and we
got into our pre-designated vehicle, to the place where our
accommodation had been arranged, Hotel Ibis.

62.4 Balancing Work, with Pleasure

Hotel Ibis is located relatively close to the airport.
I had work on my hands.
I also had some friends to meet in the city.
I was supposed to meet a colleague over dinner, and appraise him
of my progress (or the lack of it) on the portion of the work
entrusted with me.
I was supposed to meet a friend before this dinner discussion.
I managed to do both, but just so.
The dinner was at a Mall located close-by, the Phoenix Mall.
We had gone in for a Maharashtrian thAlI, where apart from the
brinjal done in the Kolhapuri style, the other items were hardly
`Maharashtrian', with the jowAr bhAkhDI (an unleavened
millet bread) being the highlight - I
had insisted that I would not have the chappAtIs, but would like
to have a jowAr bhAkhDI, which fortunately, the joint had on its
menu. The other items had a dry potato curry tossed around with
mustard seeds and curry leaves (done the `Bombay'/`Mumbai'-style),
an ordinary dAl (pulses, no, not the Maharashtrian
`AmaTI'), and a dream-khanD...oops,
shrIkhanD, which was like a dream.

The view of the Nagar Road, from the Ibis hotel seventh floor
(I was in room 722, but this was from the part near the elevators)
of a post-rain environment, and a BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) corridor,
and Hotel Hyatt located adjacent to it, is spectacular.



62.5 Meeting Ameya! And `Leading Light'

The other days sped by, very quickly. I was busy in the conference
most of the while, and unable to get to the sights, sounds and
smells of this wonderful city, or its lovely monsoon weather,
with a little rain and lovely cool breeze. On the last day of the
conference, I decided to bunk the morning part of it, to meet
someone who is from the city, and writes lovely trip reports.
Ameya Joshi
I had not been able to be online for a large part of the Pune
trip, and in the conference venue, I was able to catch up with
him over my usual SMS mode, and it dawned on me by dusk on 06 July
2013, that both the place where I was put up (Hotel Ibis, Viman
Nagar) and the place where the conference was held (Dighi) would
be extremely far a very busy software professional to come over
and meet me at decent times. I also did not want to make my
absence from the conference as bright as day, utterly conspicuous
to my senior colleagues.

I decided to give them the slip at the start of the
day, wondering if I could catch up with Ameya before his busy day
started. Pune is not as mass public transport-friendly as Mumbai
or Delhi are, but Ameya sent in detailed maps of intermediate
places where we could meet. I got some useful information from
the Internet about the city bus service in Pune, and discovered
that it would be better for me to try to get to Ameya in Shivaji
Nagar, which was one of the places he had mentioned, would not be
too difficult for him to get to, as trying to get to the
conference venue, and then trying to get to him, and me getting
back to the conference. I decided to do it one way, in the
morning, and gave my senior colleagues the slip. From Nagar road,
I was able to get a bus to the Pune station (where I had nearly
missed the Pune Shatabdi in the early 2000s, when I had decided
that I just had to stop at the a joint of the famous
confectioners of the city, Chitale Bandhu.) From there, I took
another bus to Shivaji Nagar, and apart from my usual stream of
SMSes, called up Ameya to arrange for a meeting. In my usual
manner, I had got down at a non-descript place which I could not
describe to Ameya in a worthwhile manner. He asked to try and
get to the Central Mall, a more central place. This turned out to
be a simple 5 minute walk, close to the next crossing. I told him about
the dress I was wearing, and the fact that my paunch had advanced
a bit further than what he had seen when we had met at the IGI
airport T3, before boarding our respective flights, me to
Calcutta, and Ameya to Pune - Ameya had then been a Delhi'ite
(NCR'ite, to be precise).
37. Calcutta: A Short and Sweet Trip, June 2012
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12982.html

I was standing right in front of the
Pune Central Mall, with the Krishi Mahavidyalaya being across the
road, a bit off to the right. I had told him that I had a huge
radar signature, and he may be able to spot me on FR24 too.
Very soon, a Ritz car pulled up, and the warm smile of the person
behind the wheel filled my heart with joy. He even had some
Chitale Bandhu delicacies for my belly! (Chitale Bandhu is the
best-known confectioner in Pune). The meeting was very
short, necessitated by the fact that he had a tight schedule that
day, and I had a conference to continue attending. He dropped me
at a convenient bus stop, and I was able get convenient buses
once again. It felt very nice to meet one of the most prominent
trip report writers on this forum, even if it was for a very short while!

That night, I was also able to meet an old friend, and yes, once
again, please pardon a very poor pun on his name, `Leading Light'.
He had come to the Phoenix Mall to meet me. He is a marvellous
writer, but an extremely lazy person. He loves physics, with this
habit of his best described as `The Law of Conservation of Energy', which
in my case, also results in `The Law of Conservation of Mass',
when it comes to physical laziness. I have been pressing him to
write reports on this forum, but he never obliges me. He had once
shown me a draft of a report, but unfortunately, never got along
with trying to post it on this forum.
He reads some trip reports, occasionally.

62.6 The Return

My return trip itinerary was the following:

Set out 07 Jul (Sun) for New Delhi from Pune
AI 852: Air India (A320) [Seat: 04A; PNR: JCY9E]
Lohegaon Airport, Pune - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Pune (PNQ) - New Delhi (DEL)
[07:40 am - 09:40 am]

I had been lucky with this one. The conference had ended the
previous evening, and some colleagues had to forego the last part
to get back to Delhi, those who were able to get a seat on AI
850, the 06:40 pm evening flight from Pune to Delhi. I was
perhaps the only lucky one to be able to get a seat on AI 852,
the morning flight. This flight was not even available for
booking, for Saturday (for those who wanted to leave even
earlier), and Sunday. I had managed to get a seat on it, since I
had booked my trip a bit in advance. I was looking forward to a
breakfast flight on an old all-Economy A320. Which one would it be?
I usually seem to get SD, the `Memory Card' plane VT-ESD, or the
EPiC plane VT-EPC, the latter perhaps being Air India's second
oldest A320.

62.7 The Ibis Early Riser Breakfast

Ameya has written about his bad experience with the `Early Riser'
breakfast that Ibis has, from 04:30 am to 06:30 am. Had some
items finished out, or had they not organised this till the time
he and Mrs. Joshi had gone to the place?
I planned for both situations, and went down at 04:45 am.
No, it would not be served in the usual dining area, it was in
the lobby, at the entrance. I had the first mover's advantage.
There were no tags on the items, so one had to look and feel
around, to figure out what the item in question, was.
Added to it, was the fact that very few lights were on.
There was a fruit platter, with apples and bananas.
I took one of each.
There were two juices: a tomato juice, and the eternal Indian
favourite: Mango. I tasted both.
There were three bowls with three types of cereals - corn flakes,
Chocos (chocolate flakes), and wheat flakes.
No, I did not take all three - I took the most sinful one.
I looked inside the jugs and felt around, and had it with cold
milk. Maharashtra values cow milk, at least in Mumbai and Pune.
I was pleased at the overall taste.
There were two types of confectionery items: a doughnut, and a
pastry. I had one of each. A box had beverage options: tea bags,
coffee sachets, a jar of Bournvita, and Drinking chocolate.
Contrary to what the reader may expect, I did not take one of
each. I went in for some drinking chocolate, with hot milk.
With my belly quite full, I went up again, completed my packing
in a jiffy, and went down to the check-out desk, where the entire
process happened quite quickly. Two senior colleagues also came
down, and the three of us sped towards the Lohegaon airport.

62.8 At the Airport

At the time of the trip (Jul'13), the entrance was to the right
of the building. One senior colleague was scheduled to take the
evening Air India flight back, but was done with his work (as I
was), so decided to check if he could snag a seat on this flight,
which was earlier not available for booking, since it had been
sold out. He had spoken to Air India the previous night, who had
told him that they could possibly accommodate him, as there had
been a couple of cancellations. One colleague and I checked in
without any ado, after the customary baggage X-ray.
We waited for our third companion.
And waited.
He had been given a fresh ticket at the outside booking counter,
so that he would be allowed inside the airport.
Once inside, he went into the Air India room.
When he came out, we realised that it would be tight to check in,
in case the 45 minute rule was strictly enforced.
He said that he had a story to tell.
He got delayed at the X-ray counter, as the security agents
wanted a manual check of his check-in bag, with which he readily obliged.
Time was ticking away, however.
The new 15kg baggage rule on Air India often delayed check-ins,
with passengers more familiar with the older one, having to pay,
adjust the weight with other pieces, or re-pack.
He managed to get to the counter on the dot of the 45 minutes
rule, which it seemed, was not enforced on the day, at least, as we
saw a few people around, on the four check-in counters.
Here too, he got delayed, as he was asked to hand over his
ticket, the payment slips and related documents.

The airline office had been unable to perform a date-time change
on his ticket, in the system. The person had rung up his senior,
and had been asked to issue him a paper ticket.
A paper ticket in this age!
He was amazed, and wanted to keep the stub as a souvenir.

The boarding passes finally in hand, we went upstairs, where the
Jet Airways flight to Delhi (on VT-JGL) was boarding, which was
immediately followed by ours. The Indigo Bengaluru flight took
off on runway 10 towards the east, and much to my surprise, the
SpiceJet flight to Delhi which followed it, took off from runway
28 - an almost immediate change in direction.
The Jet Airways flight had preceded ours for take-off.
I was on seat 04A, and saw some sights which had been around,
but I had never observed before.

Our ride for the day was SD, the `memory card' plane.
On entering the plane, we were enthusiastically greeted by a
young lady, and there was a mechanical greeting from the senior lady.
The plane was as usual, spotlessly clean from the inside.
The fabric looked fresh and clean.
I have often wondered how the same Air India in Delhi maintains
the older birds so well, but is a bit lax with the new planes.

As we taxied towards the threshold of runway 28, being on the
port (left) side of the plane, I looked around for the chief
attraction of the Lohegaon airport, the IAF Su-30 MKIs! Most of
the hangars were occupied, and I spotted a rather nice plane in
the distance - a Canberra, in an all-metal finish. This plane
with its distinctive off-centre cockpit, has served the IAF
really well, and last active planes of the type served well
into the 2000s, if I remember correctly. I remembered the
Kargil war incident about the one reconnaissance Canberra which had flown
back to its base with almost all of its control surfaces shorn
off - a tribute to the skill of the pilot, the immaculate
maintenance of the IAF in keeping such an old aircraft in
excellent condition, and the robustness of the aircraft in question.

In a post on this forum, I had written that first,
the Pakistani soldier in question must have been shocked out of
his wits to see the aircraft in question, which his grandfather
may have flown. (The PAF had Canberras, too.) He would have been
too shocked to see an aircraft of his grandfather's time, in
pristine condition, in the skies, and must have been shocked out of his wits.
Second, he must have been wondering as to whether
his seniors would even believe that he had seen a Canberra in action.
Last, no one would even believe that he had been unable
to down a comparatively slow plane like the Canberra,
whose flying characteristics made it idea for the recce role.

The damaged Beechcraft King Air frame was visible behind the parked
biz-jets, props and helicopters, on taking off from runway 28
beyond the threshold of the 10 end, to the left. I remembered
Ameya pointing this out on the forum, and I had been on the
lookout for this. We made a very powerful take-off towards the west,
and banked to the right, soon after take-off.

62.9 Double Standards: The Second Breakfast of the Day

The senior lady (who was a bit reserved), and her young colleague
were quite pro-active in firing the ovens well in time, so that
as soon as the seat belt signs went off, they swung into action.
The breakfast was superb.
It started with a fruit bowl.
It had three pieces of a naturally sweet pineapple, two slices of
the nice `Disco' variety of papaya, two slices of musk
melon/honey dew melon, topped up with a cherry.
What a cheery way to start the day!

I am a bit ashamed to state that no, I had started the day with a
full breakfast at 04:45 am,
but then, the regular reader knows what food does to me.
There was a small but very fresh bun, which went well with the
rock hard cold butter, and a mixed fruit preserve.
The main box had a nice potato mash chop, with finely
shredded coriander leaves breaking the monotony. It had been
fried very lightly, to reduce the glutton's guilt,
but keep the taste intact.
The right side had baked beans in a tomato gravy.
This was done just right, the beans were not too hard, nor
completely over-baked. The omelette was a simple one - not a
cheese one, but light and fluffy, and done in a wee bit of oil.
It had been done on a large pan, and done very thin, with all of
it rolled up into one unit. Every time my knife sliced into the
omelette, I admired the large number of layers it in.
The increased surface area, added to the fact that it had been done with a
minute quantity of oil, really enhanced the taste.
Much to my pleasant surprise, the instant coffee was hot, strong
and quite tasty. The crew cleared the trays quickly.

I had missed the name of the captain on the Intercom, since the
audio quality was not terrific. I noticed the senior Captain come
out, presumably for a bio-break. A little child had got up for
the same, and he had a big smile on his face, as he gave
preference to the child. He had a pleasant expression on his
face, and chatted briefly with the three members of the cabin crew there.

The light was not fantastic when we had landed, and the window
had some scratches, so I apologise for the quality of the picture
(actually, the lack of it). This shows a Qatar (pronounced
`qAtar', I guess) A332 in line (`qatAr', in Urdu) for take-off,
behind an Air India A319.



IGIA T3 welcomes weary travellers with flowers, and today was no exception.

---
Links to my 62 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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jbalonso777
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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 1419
Location: Never, never land

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note to self - try not reading a Sumantra TR when going for a class, especially if you haven't had breakfast!
And then came Harpo's Pizza, perhaps the best pizza here in Colombo!

Yes sir, I am referring to the sinful food descriptions of the outbound!

Another great TR, nice to see a change in timings this time - afternoon and morning flights rather than the usual morning and late evening flights: not a complaint, just an observation Smile

Great pictures to along with that, sir!

Oh, Ibis breakfast. I enjoyed it the first day, and then by the 8th day, I got tired of that formality! In Paris, of course.

Amazing that another AI.net mini meet happened! We really should be thinking about a group meet, soon! Wow, think about all the TRs then!

Looking forward to the rest! Very Happy

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

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbalonso777 wrote:
...nice to see a change in timings this time - afternoon and morning flights rather than the usual morning and late evening flights: not a complaint, just an observation

Nice observation Sir, and thanks for the kind words!
jbalonso777 wrote:
Oh, Ibis breakfast. I enjoyed it the first day, and then by the 8th day, I got tired of that formality! In Paris, of course.

That is true Sir, but yes, at times, especially in foreign lands and on very tight budgets, any complementary food is welcome, even for this glutton Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3584
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great TR Sir. You actually remember the lunch you had in July’13 ! You seem to record the name of the crew diligently, something which I never manage. Impressive!

Since you are a regular traveler with Air India, please compare the baggage waiting time at Pune vis a vis other stations – for some reason I feel it takes exceptionally longer at Pune.

Your pictures of Nagar road from 2013, make my blood boil, the BRT implementation is still not done and now the local NCP dominated corporation thinks they should not do it since it will affect them negatively during the assembly elections.

Glad you got a good early riser at Ibis – unlike as you have mentioned our experience at Gurgaon in 2013.

The Jetairways flight mentioned in your TR, no more operates, that’s one of the stupidest network changes of 9W. It was always full, reliable, on-time even in winters since it came in from MAA. They just pulled it out and the entire MAA-PNQ sector in April and reintroduced a MAA-PNQ-AMD and v.v last month. The damaged beech craft air frame is still around!

Last but not the least – Thanks a lot for my mention in the TR and let me tell about the wonderful sweets you got from Dilli. . .from the sweet shop near my old office Wink
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Ameya Sir!
ameya wrote:
Since you are a regular traveler with Air India, please compare the baggage waiting time at Pune vis a vis other stations – for some reason I feel it takes exceptionally longer at Pune.
Yes, the baggage wait times seems incredibly long at Pune. I really wonder why!
ameya wrote:
Your pictures of Nagar road from 2013, make my blood boil, the BRT implementation is still not done...
The BRTs in most cities seem to havre failed, on top of the existing infrastructure. Delhi is a prime example of the same! Indore has seen some mixed experiences.
ameya wrote:
The Jetairways flight mentioned in your TR, no more operates....The damaged beech craft air frame is still around!
Sir, trust you to know everything about rotations and route changes! Sad about the Beechcraft.
Thanks once again Sir, for going through the TR in detail!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sri_bom
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting the report, and I see that you are still taking the early morning flights to Pune. Seems like Air India food is still holding up in spite of the cost cutting.

BTW I did not know you were into cross dressing and wearing a dress in Pune Smile LOL:

"I told him about the dress I was wearing, and the fact that my paunch had advanced a bit further than what he had seen...."


Sri_Bom
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Nimish
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Joined: 16 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twisted Evil Sumantra - yeh kya sun rahe hain Twisted Evil ?
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
BTW I did not know you were into cross dressing and wearing a dress in Pune Smile

Nimish wrote:
Sumantra - yeh kya sun rahe hain

Ha ha! You caught me with my knickers atwixt, Srinivas and Nimish.
Actually, I have written far more incriminating lines in a few previous trip reports, which I am glad no one noticed!
Thanks for reading my TR in such level of detail!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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shivendrashukla
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Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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Location: Mumbai, India

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful TR as usual from you Sumantra Sir. Your description of Pune has brought back fond memories of my time in Lonavala from where I used to visit Pune, Nagar Road and specially Pheonix mall a lot fr pass time.

Read about the Canberra's. That canberra that you mentioned is standing as a gate guardian beyond the tarmac. Incidentally IAF and PAF both had canberra's. Which IAF had English Electric Canberra's, PAF had the American Martin B-57 Canberra. There is a slight variation in these. But both were beautiful birds and the Kargil incident is a proof of its ruggedness. It flew all the way back from Kargil to its base in Agra with the damage.

More recently, I wanted to get into the famed double bogeyed A320 before AI retired them, hence booked AI 854. Ofcourse TW had no clue about it. Unfortunately AI subbed it with A321 VT-PPU and it had a measly load of 20 Pax.

Enjoyed reading your TR as usual Sir.

Shivendra
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivendrashukla wrote:
Your description of Pune has brought back fond memories
Thanks for your kind words, Sir.
shivendrashukla wrote:
Which IAF had English Electric Canberra's, PAF had the American Martin B-57 Canberra.
Sir, I learn new things from you, everyday: I knew it for a fact that the PAF had Canberras, but did not know that they were the B-57s!
shivendrashukla wrote:
More recently, I wanted to get into the famed double bogeyed A320 before AI retired them
Sir, unlike many on the forum, I am not that nostalgic about the old unique double bogeys: in fact, I never liked them in the old IC livery, or the interim `Indian' one. They still cause quite a few headaches on the longer Middle Eastern sectors, where AI persists with them due to their better hot-and-high performance with the V2500 engines. The only reason I look forward to travel in them now-a-days is to see a very clean and well-maintained plane. Someone in Delhi feel for these elderly birds, and has them cleaned spic-and-span, which is quite an oddity given that the newer AI narrow-bodies have again showed signs of tired fabric and grime marks since the last year and a half, or so.
Thanks once again for reading this in detail, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3584
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivendrashukla wrote:

Read about the Canberra's. That canberra that you mentioned is standing as a gate guardian beyond the tarmac. Incidentally IAF and PAF both had canberra's. Which IAF had English Electric Canberra's, PAF had the American Martin B-57 Canberra. There is a slight variation in these. But both were beautiful birds and the Kargil incident is a proof of its ruggedness. It flew all the way back from Kargil to its base in Agra with the damage.


Wow. never knew this at all! Superb addition to knowledge. Thanks !
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ameya
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
The only reason I look forward to travel in them now-a-days is to see a very clean and well-maintained plane. Someone in Delhi feel for these elderly birds, and has them cleaned spic-and-span, which is quite an oddity given that the newer AI narrow-bodies have again showed signs of tired fabric and grime marks since the last year and a half, or so.


You have this superb story about somebody having special relationship with these older AI birds. I wish you get to interact more with the AI maintenance staff in Delhi who would divulge more to you !
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
You have this superb story about somebody having special relationship with these older AI birds. I wish you get to interact more with the AI maintenance staff in Delhi who would divulge more to you !
Given your encouragement, let me try to see if I can find more details on this!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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