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July Jabalpur Jet Jaunt, Jul'13

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

PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:49 pm    Post subject: July Jabalpur Jet Jaunt, Jul'13 Reply with quote

July Jabalpur Jet Jaunt, Jul'13


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13943.html

63.1 The Title, of(f) Course

I am no stranger to the city of marble rocks, Jabalpur.
My two trips to the city have been in 2011 and 2012, in the
pristine monsoons, when the city wears an emerald green cover.
Both incidentally, have resulted in trip reports:

15. Marble Rocks, Marbles Rock; Jul 2011
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic12157.html
38. 2012: Jabalpur in July
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13001.html

And in the last one, Mr. Pal (PAL@YWG), one whose trip reports
contain much about the places he visits, with exotic routings, on
exotic planes - and has an inimitable style of writing) had
pulled my leg, on if the trip was to Jabalpur in July, would I
visit Aurangabad in August, and where would this go?
Coincidentally, all my trips to this pristine place have been in
the month of July.

After my last trip, our scheduling and routing expert Ameya, and
another friend, had told me that a bigger aircraft routing for
Jabalpur was just about imminent.
That meant a CRJ-700, or a CR7 `masked bandit'.
I have always been eager to fly this type, which has an
interesting empennage, with the new Air India Flying Swan livery
looking a bit cramped, but nice, anyway. The plane's seating also
fit the bill: a bit cramped, but nice, anyway. No, not quite -
the leg-room on any Air India aircraft is quite decent, each
planned carefully, to make the duration of the journey on a
particular aircraft type, a comfortable experience for the
passenger. This is true for all types of aircraft in the fleet,
and I can attest to have flown every type of plane Air India has
had in its fleet, in the 2000s: the ATR-42-320s, the CRJ-700s,
the A319/320/321s, the A332s, the B77Ls and the B77Ws. Among
other plane types, I can attest to the comfort on the
A300-B2/B4s, the B744s, the 748s (the HAL/HS- kind, not the
Boeings) and the A310s, too. I sincerely regret not
being able to fly on the B707s, the Caravelles, the B742s and
B743s, the B732s and the F-28s - the other plane types regularly
operated by Indian Airlines and Air India, from the 1970s onwards.

The reader would perhaps already be quite angry with me, for
having got distracted, while describing something else. I am
reminded of a statement by a friend, whom I shall refer to as
`Ms. Strings Attached' - that again, happens to be a terrible pun
on her name. Her pun is nice however, she replaced the `A' sound
perfectly with the `a' one.
``I believe in vAstu shAstra. When angry, I pick up any
`vastu' near me, and use it as a `shastra'.''
`vAstu shAstra' is the principles of placement, or Architecture,
in Ancient India, `vastu' is an object, and
`shastra' is a weapon.
I trust that the reader will not pick up a weapon, and hurl it at
the screen right now. Or me, on our next meeting.

Let me get back to the planning.
As soon as I had heard about the CR7s operating to places such as
Dehradun (DED) and Jabalpur (JLR), my heart started pining for an
opportunity to go to the above mentioned places. I started
looking forward to official trips for the same. One to Dehradun
did not materialise. Dehradun also happens to be the place where
The Wife's parents used to stay some time back, so I have fond
memories of the city. The opportunity to go to Jabalpur came a
year later, and I jumped at it. Of course, the reader would
remember that I had got another lovely opportunity to fly the
`masked bandit' - the CR7, on my 2013 trip to Bhubaneshwar,
where I chose the timings specifically to be able to make a
time-efficient round trip on the CR7s:
57. B2B: Bandit 2 Bhubaneshwar & Back. Odissi Odyssey. May'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13530.html

Both the friends happened to mention that Air India Regional had an almost
monopoly of the route, given that Kingfisher Red was then in bad
shape, and SpiceJet was to start the route later, but was making
rapid and unscheduled changes in their schedules, leading to
reduced loads, and not scoring too high on the customer
satisfaction point, in spite of having a rather exotic aircraft
on the route (a Q400) and good buy-on-board food on the deal.
The demand and numbers on the segment justified the choice of the
aircraft. The CR7's economics for the length of the route demand
good occupancy, which was there, in terms of the projected
demand. Even in the days of the ATR-42 service (whose economics
are a bit skewed by its small capacity, but there are a few
airports which can support an ATR-42 alone, such as Kulu),
the loads were high, and this was perhaps one of the longest
routes on the ATR-42, with a 02:00 hour block time, the same as a
typical DEL-BOM/CCU/HYD flight. Then only difference from my
point of view, was the unavailability of a meal, on the ATR-42,
since the type with Air India Regional had no ovens.
Now, with a much faster plane (which also had ovens, from my
obsession point of view - food!), the block
time had a clean 40 minutes shaved off the schedule.
It was 01:20 hours now. That in turn, reduced my hopes for a full
meal though, with the reduction in the flight time.

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

Set out 13 Jul (Sat) for Jabalpur from New Delhi
AI 9617: Air India (CRJ7) [Seat: 05F; PNR: HTVLR]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - Doomna Airport, Jabalpur
New Delhi (DEL) - Jabalpur (JLR)
[07:35 am - 08:55 am]

So, what was I looking for, on this trip?
Of course, another ride aboard an Air India CR7 `masked bandit'.
These would be my fourth and fifth trips on the Air India exotic birds.
What would the `snack' be, on a 01:20 hour flight?
Now I was sure that the Air India CR7s had ovens, having had a
hot breakfast and a hot lunch on my Bhubaneshwar trip.
I was looking forward to another visit to the emerald green
Jabalpur in the monsoons. I would still not have the time to visit
Bhedaghat, the abode of the marble rocks, with the Narmada flowing through.
I was also looking for an opportunity to see the Taj Mahal from
the sky, on what is possibly the closest one can approach it, in
the commercial aviation space. On my last trip, I had woken up
from my sleep to find one of India's most beautiful sights, to my
right - I was on the right side of the plane. The picture came
all messed up, so I have nothing to show for my excitement. The
only impediments to this hope were the aircraft type - the CR7
files higher than the ATR-42 (I think so, at least), and of
course, a cloudy sky may completely ruin my plans.

Member Jishnu Basu (of the lovely exotic trip reports fame) was
also travelling from IGIA T3 that day, but we noted with mutual
disappointment, that we would not be able to meet, since we would
be 05:50 hours apart in time.

63.2 13 July 2013: the day of the trip

The day started with me trying to get up at the scheduled alarm time 04:00 am.
And then getting up alarmed, at 05:05 am.
The taxi was supposed to come in at 05:30 am, and I had to complete my
daily chores, which I rushed through, and was outside at 05:30 am,
with a phone in my hand, dialing the number of the friendly
cab operator. He just came in.
``This is not telephony, but telepathy,'' I said, as I boarded
his vehicle, and we set out for the impressive IGIA T3, in the
morning light. It had rained the day before, but today had some
light sunny morning light.

The morning rush was well in place, after I had reached the
airport around 06:00 am. There were long lines everywhere, at
both the Jet Airways end, as well as the Air India one. Air India
had opened five - yes, five additional counters on the Jet
Airways end, and the agents were prompt. I was checked in in no
time at all, and the gate announced was the expected bus gate,
the 42 series (the 44 series was cordoned off, at the time of the
journey). It would be 42A for us. I have been surprised that of
all places, Pune did not allow a web check-in on Air India
(though the reverse works fine - check-ins for Pune to Delhi
flights), which was otherwise possible even for small stations
such as Jabalpur, for which web check-ins happen without any ado,
for both the to-and-fro legs of a trip.

Just after the security check, there was a Ford EcoSport on
display, this time a red one. On my last trip through the place
(DEL-PNQ, 03 Jul'13, 03:00 pm), I had seen a white coloured
vehicle there.



I roamed around the place.
I paid my usual visit to the place under the food court, and
behind the Citibank ATM counter, to have a look at the goings-on
outside. I could see one Dream)liner at a domestic gate, a B77W
at an international gate, and a large number of AI narrow-bodies.



In the foreground was CD, the `optical storage' plane: VT-SCD, in
a hybrid livery - it had the `Indian' livery, but Air India
titles. I have had quite a few trips on this leased bird,
initially with power-ports which did not work - they were
subsequently hidden under the new Air India upholstery. I have
flown this bird on the Delhi-Mumbai-Aurangabad route quite a few
times, when this used to be a regular on the route.

I went to my next destination, the place up the ramp, to beside
the smoking lounge there. Yes, there was another Dream)liner at a
gate in the `Jet Airways' area. This was `AND', the `connector'
plane, VT-AND. There was the usual sight of an Air India A321
parked there - I apologise for the reflection of the terminal
lights in this picture. PPF, the `savings' plane VT-PPF, was in
the foreground, with PE, the `healthy' plane beside it.



Behind the `savings' plane was my ride for the day, RJD, the
`political party' plane, a CR7, and the `powerful' plane ABB: VT-ABB.
I was on time, but I wanted to have a ground view
of this plane, so I rushed down the mezzanine floor, past the
places where at one time, Kingfisher narrow-bodies could be seen,
but now Jet Airways planes dock, down to the bus gates portion.
It was business as usual, as the mezzanine floor was the
beginning of the place where the air conditioning was insufficient.
Bus gates are opened-and-closed for quite a bit of the time, but
it had dawned on me the first time itself, that the air
conditioning was simply not switched on at all places.
For the first time on 13 July 2013, I found the air conditioning
switched on, on the ground floor as well, and it was quite
comfortable to sit there. Power ports are still missing there, so
that crib of mine will remain, for the time being.

From the gate, I had a look at the activity on the ramp around.
I look forward to the bus trip around the ramp, where the bus
goes along the perimeter of the gates, and then onto the remote
stands, starting from the eastern side. I was pleasantly
surprised to see two Air India Regional ATR-42s (in the old
Alliance Air colours) on the ramp - the second
one would have been because of the Dharamshala flights. The two
birds were possibly the oldest ATR-42-320s in the Air India
Regional fleet, ABA the `Swedish Band' plane VT-AB(B)A , and ABB,
the `powerful' plane. In between was my ride for the day, RJD -
the `Political Party' plane, VT-RJD. We alighted using the CR7's
inbuilt boarding stairs, which is quite a bit of a joy for me.
I looked at the action around as the plane was on the ground, as
well as when we pushed back. There was a third Dream)liner on
view, ANL - the `cancellation' (annul) plane, which pushed back
before us, as the fuel bowser for our aircraft went back.

Here is a close-up of the `powerful' plane, ABB: VT-ABB.



Some time later, there was some maintenance work on its port
engine, during which we pushed back. As we went towards the new
runway at the 11 end, I noticed a fourth Air India Dream)liner on
view. I checked with my Delhi plane spotter friends, and very
soon, their texts came on to my mobile in a burst, telling me that the
Dream)liners were to Calcutta, Chennai, Bengaluru and Heathrow.

The reader familiar with my trip reports on Air India Regional,
or the erstwhile Alliance Air, as it was known as, would recount
my usual rants about the not-so-pristine condition in which the
interiors of the Air India Regional (`ex'-Alliance Air) planes
are maintained, when I have seen some spotlessly clean interiors
on the oldest Air India A320s in the new colours, and the elderly
A332 leased birds.

Much to my complete surprise, the plane was relatively clean.
There was a newspaper on every seat, as well.
The Hindu, and The Times of India, alternately.

63.3 A Celebrity on Board. No Pictures of him, or...

A look around the plane spoke of excellent loads. I noticed that
all except the first two seats on the starboard (right) side of
th plane had not been occupied, 02D and 02F. Some time just
before push-back, in came an elderly gentleman, and a face which
most of India would recognise forthwith. It was a well-known
cricketer from Delhi, Gautam Gambhir.
He sat down before I could take my camera out.
He is even more handsome than the pictures we see of him on TV,
or newspapers, or the Internet. There was a buzz about the cabin.
`Gautam Gambhir,' people whispered excitedly, among themselves.
The very senior Captain Stephen (a person of Caucasian origin)
was in command, and Ms. Shakuntala, the cabin in-charge.
I was hoping to get a picture of the Taj Mahal as we would
overfly Agra, but that was not to be, as the cloud cover was
quite considerable. That clouded my mood somewhat, but things got
better as soon as the seat belt sign went off.

63.4 Food

The Sanskrit term for hunger is `jaTharAgni',
literally, fire in the belly. It could not have been more apt.
A snack was announced, which put me off a bit, since it would not
be a meal, and justifiably so.
The snack was both tasty, and filling.
It was perfectly sufficient for a 01:10 minute flight.
This is a surprising statement, that too coming from the resident
glutton of the forum, for whom no quantity is quite `sufficient'.
The small tray had a Panini sandwich with a generous amount of
Mozzarella cheese, and coriander leaves. This was not warm, but
at least, tasted quite fresh. My sweet tooth was patronised by a
nice fresh and moist Chocolate Walnut brownie.
The snack was rounded off with the usual choice of beverages.
As usual, I went in for the coffee, and as usual, I was
disappointed by the usual horrid instant coffee.
The cabin crew were very prompt and cheerful in their dealing
with the passengers. It was interesting to see them not go
overboard with the presence of a celebrity on board, though they
definitely knew who he was, referring to him by name. He was
also nice to them, but did not speak that much.

63.5 At Jabalpur

Captain Stephen made a text-book landing at Jabalpur - we hardly
felt anything at all. The runway used was 24, where we used most
of it towards the 06 end, turned back, and went to the parking area.
Jabalpur has an interesting parking area, which is at some
distance from the terminal building. It is somewhere between the
runway and the terminal building. My hopes of trying to click a
picture of the celebrity on board was dashed by the fact that
other passengers in front of me were also getting up at the same
time, and Gambhir and his senior companion were the first to
disembark, and went back to the terminal in a separate vehicle, a
Suzuki EECO/Versa. We waited for the general de-boarding. I was
one of the last to get off the plane, and seeing Captain Stephen
nearby, expressed my admiration for an amazing landing. He smiled
back, and acknowledged my appreciation. We waited for the bus to
come over, in the lovely 24 degrees Celcius Jabalpur temperature.

Here is our plane parked at the stand, as viewed from the
terminal building arrivals section.



The reader may note an interesting sight: the bus approaching the
plane is a SpiceJet one, which was used for all passenger
transfers. Buses are possibly shared between airlines at Jabalpur.
Soon after, the characteristic drone announced the arrival of the
SpiceJet flight, leading to an interesting sight.


Eek...oh...the Q4 is a Versa-tile aircraft!
A scale model of the Q4 appears to have its image tiled with that
of an EECO, a van which Suzuki striped down (and reduced its
price, too), from its earlier version, the `Versa'.

The Air India mini-bus had made two trips to fetch the passengers
from the aircraft, but the luggage took ages to come out. The
tractor trolley first went to deposit the luggage of the
passengers doing the return from Jabalpur to Delhi, and then took
in our luggage and went back to the terminal. The bags finally
came in after about 10 minutes of waiting, and I was ready to
head off to the place where I would be accommodated in the city,
briefly freshen up, and head off to work. No, there was no time
for any food of any sort.

The day was a tight one, and needless to say, I hogged at the
official lunch, must to the surprise of my hosts. The hot
chappAtIs had an extremely appetising aroma about them, and I
gulped down bowlfuls of the arhar/toor dAl, a type of pulses
(pigeon peas) which is very popular in the states of Madhya Pradesh, and all
states south of Madhya Pradesh. The other dish was an extremely
spicy paneer- (cottage cheese-) based dish, which I mercilessly
devoured. The pulAo (rice made with shredded vegetables)
was also nice, and I did partake of that too,
which made me fell extremely sleepy for the rest of the day. I
caught up with a bit of sleep in the late afternoon, and the
prospect of dinner rejuvenated me to no end. It had the same
dAl and a dry mixed vegetable preparation, I worked a till a bit
late, and hit the bed, with the alarm set to go off at 04:30 am.

63.6 The Return Trip

I finally did the honours of waking up at 05:00 am, finished my
chores, and gorged on a breakfast of pohA, a tasty snack
popular in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, based on flattened rice,
I was ready to set out for the Doomna airport. The itinerary for
my return flight was as follows:

Set out 14 Jul (Sun) for New Delhi from Jabalpur
AI 9618: Air India (CRJ7) [Seat: 05A; PNR: HTTQ0]
Doomna Airport, Jabalpur - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Jabalpur (JLR) - New Delhi (DEL)
[09:20 am - 10:45 am]

The plane came in at 08:48 am, well on time.
I was busy texting my friends.
Forum member and prominent trip report writer Ameya told me that
in the Kingfisher era, IT 4739(?) was operated on the DEL-IDR
sector with a block time of 02:15 hours inbound, and was one of the
longest domestic flights on ATRs.
And to think that I had thought 02:00 to be too long,
and that too, on a snack flight!
The snack was the same as on the in-bound flight.
Much to my delight, seated right next to me was a senior AME.
Mr. R. P. Singh was earlier with the Air Force, and the
HS/HAL-748 was one of his favourite aircraft he had worked on.
As I asked him more about his work, he opened up more.
I had asked him about the two AT4s at Delhi: the second plane
had been ferried to keep the DEL service going on.
I had asked him about the `Swedish Band' plane, ABA.
Yes, ABA was still AOG on 19 Jul, the day I came back from CJB on
my previous trip. Papa's upcoming Allahabad trip had been advanced
a bit in time - the KNU flight had been extended to cover IXD as well.
The other AT4 did the other routes, I guessed.
Mr. Singh told me that frequent engine issues with the CR7 fleet
usually kept two planes active, from the total fleet of four.
He told me that ABA needed help from the the Air India
Regional/Alliance Air base at Calcutta, on some issue
with the cockpit instrumentation.
Captain Stephen made a lovely landing at Delhi on the new runway
29. I made my way towards home in a pre-paid taxi.
---
Links to my 63 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3591
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great TR Sir. Thanks for posting. It is an interesting read.

You have an impressive record on flying the AI birds – current & past.
CR7 and Q400 – both described in your report are high on my list of aircraft to fly but I hardly get a chance to go to these sectors.

Quote:
The Wife's parents used to stay some time back, so I have fond
memories of the city.

TW would be glad to read this Very Happy

Sir – I think KF had stopped operations by Jul’13. In the last days however, IT connected JLR to BOM on a triangular all economy A320 doing a BOM-JLR-IDR-BOM in the evening, apart from the Delhi flight.

Quote:
I have been surprised that of
all places, Pune did not allow a web check-in on Air India
(though the reverse works fine - check-ins for Pune to Delhi
flights)


The system says that you cannot check-in since it’s a defense airfield. However one can select seats 24 hours prior to check-in, when you hit the 24 hour window, you cannot even select seats! Wonder if its true for other IAF airfields like IXC/JGA – where AI operates

Glad you enjoyed the Poha – its even more popular in Indore with the Jalebis. Once during a Bhopal – Indore bus ride early morning, I was stunned to see that the only breakfast available at 6:45AM was jalebi with poha and I say this and not poha with jalebi, because people were taking 6-8 jalebis and just a spoonful of poha !
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4485
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
You have an impressive record on flying the AI birds – current & past.
Thanks for the kind words, Sir. Yes, Sir: I think I have flown on all the operational AI narrow-bodies from the late 2000s onwards.

ameya wrote:
CR7 and Q400 – both described in your report are high on my list of aircraft to fly but I hardly get a chance to go to these sectors.
Yes, Sir: I look forward to seeing a TR from you, experiencing these!

ameya wrote:
Sir – I think KF had stopped operations by Jul’13. In the last days however, IT connected JLR to BOM on a triangular all economy A320 doing a BOM-JLR-IDR-BOM in the evening, apart from the Delhi flight.
Yes Sir, IT had stopped ops by then. This is interesting: the fact that IT actually operated an A320 at JLR! The only aircraft larger than a regional aircraft I have seen at JLR was...an IAF Comm Sqdn B737-700 BBJ. Will an A320/B738 class plane struggle a bit without load restrictions at JLR, and does JLR have enough traffic for this class of aircraft? I do not think so.

ameya wrote:
The system says that you cannot check-in since it’s a defense airfield. However one can select seats 24 hours prior to check-in, when you hit the 24 hour window, you cannot even select seats! Wonder if its true for other IAF airfields like IXC/JGA – where AI operates
Sir, this is an interesting piece of information. I can confirm that I could do a seat selection and a web check-in on the then Kingfisher-operated flights on the IXC-DEL leg. I have an upcoming IXC trip: I will try AI this time, since I have not flown AI on the IXC-DEL leg, ever. I've done the reverse.

ameya wrote:
Glad you enjoyed the Poha – its even more popular in Indore with the Jalebis
Ask me, Sir. I have had Indore as a destination with great regularity: the Holkar Maharashtrian legacy has left a unique characteristic to the Indore-based products. Indore is famous for the sweet versions of some common savouries: the historical evolution of this class of savouries has always been traced to Indore. All my Indore trips have not been complete without a visit to the famed Chappan Market.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting the report and an interesting read. You are lucky that your job entitles you to visit various cities and towns across India.

The snack for the one hour flight is not bad and it makes the service efficient as well. It was funny to see a spice jet turbo pop on a maruti van, but a clever marketing gimmick nevertheless.


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ameya
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do let us know if you are able to do check in for IXC-DEL on AI. There are no restrictions at Pune for other airlines.

As for Indore - I find the chappan market over rated
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Srinivas! Yes, I guess I am lucky to be able to travel around the place with a good degree of regularity. However, you always go to exotic places with more regularity than I do!
sri_bom wrote:
The snack for the one hour flight is not bad and it makes the service efficient as well.
Yes, but all that is gone now. It is o0nly BoB on AI-R/CD/9I, whatever one calls it. All the BoB is cold food (even on the Masked Bandits, which have ovens), it cannot be booked on the no-frills but efficient AI booking engine (to ensure better chances of getting one's choices), and the menu looks completely unappetising. What more could one want to put one off? Smile
sri_bom wrote:
It was funny to see a spice jet turbo pop on a maruti van, but a clever marketing gimmick nevertheless.
That was just the camera angle, Sir: I clicked the picture just to get this effect Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
Do let us know if you are able to do check in for IXC-DEL on AI. There are no restrictions at Pune for other airlines.
Yes Sir, I will check this out.
ameya wrote:
As for Indore - I find the chappan market over rated
As such, possibly yes. There are three prominent shops for the savouries: two close to the main road, and one a bit inside. The other ones have bits and pieces, but no wholesale sale of savouries to the extent of these three shops. There are some good snack joints there. Chappan Market is also patronised by those looking for interesting clothes, though the old city has much more of that, especially the one close to the kAnch mandir, the Jain temple of mirrors. Food-wise, there are some nice joints on the main AB Road, and some close-by, but the king of street food would have to be the sarAfA area, which I have unfortunately been too lazy to try out, given the fact that activity starts there only at night.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good report, as always.

I caught RJD parked inside a hangar near T1D yesterday. Hope I get to fly on it someday. Smile
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spiderguy252 wrote:
I caught RJD parked inside a hangar near T1D yesterday. Hope I get to fly on it someday.
Thanks a lot, Varun. And are we not looking forward to the Taj of all TRs? Smile It is not unusual to see only two of the CR7s operating, and with luck, three. I have been extremely lucky on one occassion to see all four in action. It is usually `inaction', owing primarily to engine issues. The tiny sub-fleet does not do any favours to the spares repository, which has to be proportionately limited. I wonder when the leases are going to expire, and if so, would the Masked Bandits be returned, or would they continue, side-by-side with the AT7s and very few AT4s, operating on the long and thin routes which do justice to the CR7?
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Nimish
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another excellent report from Sumantra - thanks for sharing. This wake up at 4 am routine must be really taxing!
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Nimish!
Nimish wrote:
This wake up at 4 am routine must be really taxing!
It is taxi'ing as well Razz Yes, seriously...it takes time to recover from the sleep deprivation, which manifests itself in embarrassing situations for me, unfortunately!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can confirm proudly, more than a year later: VT-AND which you saw was heading to MAA as AI439. The very bird which later flew me into DEL as AI430 just a few hours later! And I remember seeing VT-RJD being parked close by during my transit, I wondered if it was indeed your plane!

Yes, unfortunate that we just about missed out on meeting each other! I'm sure we'll catch up some time...sooner than later! Very Happy

Great TR as usual, sir! Complete with the details! Interesting you didn't flew on the B732's! That used to be Dad's backbone aircraft...right from the 70's (?) up until 2007 when Dad was based in CCU, and all his flights in the region would be on CD - the AT4s and the B732s!

Wow, celebrity on board! How cool is that! However, good that AI treated him normally, some times the crew might change their attitudes, which they might find annoying, neglecting the general pax. But thats just me!

Looking forward to more!

Regards
Jish
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Jishnu! I think I may have flown the B732s once in the 1970s: I guess I was too ill to remember the trip. I've flown the HS/HAL-748s, but missed out on the Caravelles and...the Boeing 707s. Good one about the rotations: AI 430 and AI 439. Yes, the planes were on their respective next trips: I hope to meet you soon, Sir! The entire aviation-loving family, that is.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Spiderguy252 wrote:
I caught RJD parked inside a hangar near T1D yesterday. Hope I get to fly on it someday.
Thanks a lot, Varun. And are we not looking forward to the Taj of all TRs? Smile


Unfortunately I wasn't on TR mode on either leg, but I do have a whole bunch of photos that I'll nevertheless share soon!
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thanks for the kind words, Srinivas! Yes, I guess I am lucky to be able to travel around the place with a good degree of regularity. However, you always go to exotic places with more regularity than I do!
sri_bom wrote:
The snack for the one hour flight is not bad and it makes the service efficient as well.
Yes, but all that is gone now. It is o0nly BoB on AI-R/CD/9I, whatever one calls it. All the BoB is cold food (even on the Masked Bandits, which have ovens), it cannot be booked on the no-frills but efficient AI booking engine (to ensure better chances of getting one's choices), and the menu looks completely unappetising. What more could one want to put one off? Smile
sri_bom wrote:
It was funny to see a spice jet turbo pop on a maruti van, but a clever marketing gimmick nevertheless.
That was just the camera angle, Sir: I clicked the picture just to get this effect Smile
Cheers, Sumantra.


Photography tricks you caught me there. Neverthless clever piece of photography.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
Photography tricks you caught me there. Neverthless clever piece of photography.
Call that more providence than by design, Sir Smile
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shivendrashukla
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting TR there Sir. Many people for IAF do go on to work with airlines in different capacities. After retirement most of the pilots join Jet and lately Indigo. AME too find greener pastures there after their stint with IAF.

Cheers
Shivendra
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shivendrashukla wrote:
Many people for IAF do go on to work with airlines in different capacities
Thank you, Shukla-ji! I find the above statement quite interesting, since traditionally the path used to go from the IAF to Air India/Indian Airlines even in the 1990s, when Jet Airways came in. Times have changed now I guess, and Indigo is possibly India's best-managed airline.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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