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CCU Calls, Come September, not Spring! Sep'13

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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:44 pm    Post subject: CCU Calls, Come September, not Spring! Sep'13 Reply with quote

CCU Calls, Come September, not Spring! Sep'13


http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic14050.html

67.1 A Weird Title, Again

CCU is the airport code for Calcutta/Kolkata, and trust Sumantra
to link it up with the sweet voice of a Cuckoo, whose call
generally heralds the arrival of spring. The spring in my step
however, was because I was waiting eagerly for an official trip to Calcutta.
That accounts for the weak pun on the title of the
famous film, `Come September'.

While I have put the title behind me in fewer words than usual, let
me acquaint the reader with a build-up to the trip. I usually
discuss my plans with aviation enthusiasts in Delhi.
On 23 Aug (Fri) 2013 morning, a friend casually
mentioned that Calcutta was seeing some grand loads on
Air India, with two large narrow-bodies: A321s, and two wide-bodies:
an A332 and a Dream)liner.

Just then, a bell rang in my mind, and I casually mentioned to him,
that I have a possible Calcutta visit, 06 Sep - 08 Sep, 2013.
Of course, I wanted a wide-body ride.
I was looking at AI 020 DEL-CCU on 06 Sep, and AI 701 CCU-DEL on
08 Sep (Sun). I was looking forward to seeing the new CCU T2 -
the new integrated terminal at the Netaji Subhas Chandra
International airport, Kolkata. I had seen a part of the new Domestic
terminal building at Chennai on my Jul'13 visit to the place.
65. Challenging Chennai Chromepet Caper, Jul'13
http://airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13996.html
The old terminals in these two cities had been remarkably alike.
How would the new ones compare?

This would also be the last trip on which I would actively use my
Analog SLR, a Minolta Maxxum 50 with a 28-100mm lens. Till this
trip, I would carry my entry level cell-phone (A Nokia 2700
Classic) as my digital imaging device. My Analog SLR would give
up on me on this trip, forcing me to get into the purely digital
world from the next trip onwards, first with a borrowed Nikon
Coolpix P&S from The Wife, and then onto my very own Sony HX300.

It was August 2013.
Delhi-based aviation enthusiasts had discussed the Australia
operations in some detail, over emails, and SMSes.
Joining in in the discussion was my friend Mr. J. R. R. Talking
from not Middle Earth, but Central India, Bhopal.
He told me that either ANN, the `brainy' plane VT-ANN,
or NO, the `negation plane' VT-ANO should be in India in the last
week of August, since otherwise, the Dream)liner utilisation
would be a bit too tight for AI's comfort, with both the
Birmingham and Australia services in action, in addition to other
international and domestic services. For instance, he surmised
that if the morning Chennai flight got a Dream)liner over the
Bengaluru one, this would lead to the afternoon Calcutta flight
being delayed owing to the smaller turn-around time. He estimated
that in case a Dream)liner did not come in, it was quite possible
that Air India would put an A332 on the job (an A332 being based in
Delhi at that time), and do the Bengaluru and Calcutta routes, doing
DEL-BLR-DEL-CCU-DEL at least. He told me that either way, it
would be nice for me, since I liked both aircraft types, immensely.

Very soon, I found in my Inbox, a detailed day-to-day description
of his estimate of the Dream)liner operations, from 26 August, to
10 September. Mr. J. R. R. Talking is simply amazing. He works out the
day's operations for each Dream)liner in AI service without fail, each day.
I wish I were that regular in my daily activities,
which include taking a bath.
As an aside, to date, I strongly
believe taking a bath to be an eminently avoidable encumbrance.
However, with The Wife often literally `smelling a rat',
I have to be rather regular in this chore.

I was still a bit skeptical as to whether I would indeed get another
Dream)liner ride this time. In fact, I remembered a PJ
(a somewhat really poor joke) which was
going around this janmAshTamI. Radha tells Krishna,
`you are in my heart, you are in my breaths, you are in my mind...
is there any place where you are not there?'
Krishna thinks for a while, and replies, `Destiny'.
I wondered whether it was in my destiny, to get a Dream)liner
ride this time, after a success rate of only one in five, in the
pre-global grounding of the Dream)liners. This time, Air India
was getting a bit tight in its schedule with the Dream)liners,
And some domestic Dream)liner route could be sacrificed to
support the Air India Australia services.

67.2 The Day of the trip!

It was ANL, the `cancellation plane' VT-ANL, which came in, after all.
A Delhi-based friend excitedly texted me that he had been
travelling along on the NH8 route to Gurgaon, when ANL had come
in to land. It had flown right over him.
``Just as your jokes go over my head,'' I texted back.
It would have been even more apt had the plane being the `brainy' plane, ANN.

The sight of the International terminal in day light was
something I had experienced just once, before:
51. `Chhattisgarh' & 36, Chappan-bhog & 56:Mumbai,Jan'13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13333.html
This would be the first time I would see the terminal around noon-time!
I was excited, since the lighting all around would be
different from what I had seen before.
The traffic all around also would be different!
The itinerary for my Delhi-Calcutta leg was as follows:

Set out 06 Sep (Fri) for Kolkata from New Delhi
AI 020: Air India (Dream)liner) [Seat: 36J; PNR: JRWVP]
IGIA T3, New Delhi - NSCBIA Domestic Terminal T2, Kolkata
New Delhi (DEL) - Kolkata (CCU)
[02:10 pm - 04:15 pm]

My first view of the international gates was nice, with a lot of
Air India wide-bodies on view, and a sleek A321, close to a point
where there are some telephones, and some minor construction (at
least, at that time). The view from here is very nice.



Here is the popular Jet Airways LHR B77W flight at a gate, with a
competitor (the Virgin Atlantic flight) parked nearby.



A Saudia B77E was boarding for a flight.
This flight seemed quite well-patronised.



Here is another view of the same.



...and another view of the Virgin Atlantic A333. This is the best
I could manage, with the given lighting at that time of the day,
and the occlusion due to the gates.



The vertical gardens at IGIA T3 are always a treat for the senses.



Soon, it was time to board the aircraft. There was a vast expanse
of passengers connecting from the AI 112 DEL-LHR flight which had
arrived a few hours before. Some passengers were also going
onward to Dhaka. At the time of my journey, AI did not have their
Dhaka flight (AI 230, CCU-DAC) on Fridays and Wednesdays, which would have
otherwise connected quite well with this flight. I boarded the plane, and made
myself comfortable on my seat. The vast expanse of the
Dream)liner's wing, as seen from my seat, with another of my
attractions visible somewhere close-by. A catering truck, of Taj-SATS lineage.



The regular reader know what I look for, on my flights. Channels
with primarily audio content, old film music. I check out both
the audio selection, as well as music videos.



The plane was in mint condition, and the IFE content was nice.
The cabin crew had a mix of very senior and very fresh people,
all of whom were very pleasant with the passengers, on this flight.
Here is the near-mandatory leg room shot. Leg room is quite
decent in Air India's Dream)liners, and the seats are also
relatively nice, in spite of the 3-3-3 arrangement. I can vouch
for that (with my huge belly, and middle portion), also having
travelled long-haul on the AI Dream)liners.



The plane was filling up rapidly. The plane would have had at most
about 5 empty seats, in the Economy class.



Mood lighting is always a delight to behold.



67.3 The Lunch on Board

The cabin crew was a mixture of very senior people, and some
rather fresh faces. However, what was common to them was that
they were all cheerful, and pleasant with the passengers.
I have misplaced some of my notes of the trip, hence I will not
be able to report on who was in command, and who was in charge of
the cabin, on this particular flight. However, the notes about
the most important part of the Air India experience (for me, at
least), were in place. And thankfully, so.

The time of the trip meant that I had not had anything to eat
since breakfast, and I was ravenously hungry.
Air India did not disappoint.
There was a bun, and a butter chiplet, the latter not exactly as
I liked it (yes, no guesses, it as not rock-hard),
and the bun, nice, but nothing really special.
The salad was extremely fresh. It had sliced
crispy cucumber pieces, with the skins on.
There was slightly less than half a slice of lime,
and a similar proportion of a tomato.
The freshness made it amazing: a simple salad with lime, salt and pepper.
The main course looked quite simple, more so, nothing special.
In the middle was some nice aromatic rice, with some peas.
At the right, was a nice gooey pulses preparation (moong dAl),
with the skins on. It was nice. To the right was a very nice
white cream chicken (malAI chicken). The gravy was sinfully
creamy, with the chicken pieces juicy and succulent.
By now, the beverage service was on, and I did not
mind the quite ordinary but hot instant coffee.
The dessert was fabulous: gulAb jAmun (cottage
cheese-based balls that had been sinfully browned in oil, and
left to absorb the sins of sugar syrup, into which they are dipped).
It was soft and cold just the way I like it.
It had grated pistachio nets on the top, and it wasn't too
sugary sweet either. Mildly sweet, just the way I like it.
I let the taste linger in my mouth.

My old Analog SLR was giving me some trouble, and refused to
power up in time to catch this impressive sight outside, zoomed
in. I apologise for the quality of this picture: it was my old
cell-phone which I had to use to capture this sight. There are
two Air India B744s parked in front of the erstwhile
International terminal (Terminal 1), which was now being used as
the Haj terminal. At the centre of the picture is the sole
aero-bridge in the old structure, and to the right, is the
old international bus gate.



67.4 The new NSCBIA T2: International Arrivals!

We got an aero-bridge.
The walk to the Immigration part is through some pleasant corridors.
I was a bit apprehensive as I entered the terminal. Was it not
somewhere around, that the glass panels had been falling, in the
initial days of the terminal's operation?



The airport has a lot of interior greenery, and has some nice
water areas, primarily on the ground floor. Here is one of them.



Our bags came out after about 10 minutes of waiting.
The new NSCBI airport terminal 2 has some nice room for future expansion.
This is a view of the connecting area between the international
arrivals, with the partition to the domestic arrivals visible in
this picture. Visible in this picture is the characteristic
Tagore handwriting on the ceiling.



This is possibly the classiest part of the new T2. Tagore's
hand-written characters manifest themselves on this level, as
cylindrical rods on a semi-false ceiling. The mesh hides the
air-conditioning ducts, with the denser parts of the piping
visible as Tagore's handwritten characters, over a sparser piping background.



The effect is spectacular, with the relief, and the effect
increasing in the distance, with perspective. This effect is all
around on this level, the ground one.



There was some construction still on outside, at the part where
the taxis stand. The ceiling in this part as well has the
literary giant's handwriting, albeit in a more
conventional form, as opposed to the piping and the false ceiling.



The international part of NSCBI T2 looks a bit dark overall,
and some corners and glass panes hadn't been cleaned well.
Had the glass panes not been cleaned, for obvious reasons?
There is some dangerously dark humour here, since the airport had
been grappling with glass panels coming shattering down on the
floor for no obvious reason, with some scary regularity, in its
initial period of operation. There were many tests and
examinations done, and by now I guess, the terminal seems to have
rid itself of this problem. As I write this, there was some news
a few days back (Oct'14) about similar glass panels coming off at
the Chennai airport.

The toilets were very clean. This was one of the pet peeves in
the terminal's initial days of operation: flooded toilets.
It was nice to see this issue having been tackled, well.
There had been issues with passengers waiting at aero-bridges,
since some parts of the terminal had been locked out at some points of time, and people
in charge were not ready to handle this situation.
The initial days of operation were replete with such incidents.
Most of this seemed to have been ironed out, however.
If I have to point something out, the signage around was still insufficient.
The airport director Mr. B. P. Sharma still had some work on his hands.
While this is a sea change over the previous dump, it paled a bit
in comparison with some new airport terminals in India, handling
similar traffic figures, or more.

I went to the pre-paid taxi counter, and armed with a receipt, went outside.
The pre-paid taxi driver asked me if I would like to pay a bit
more to go via a quicker, but longer route. I was skeptical of
the driver, more so, since I hardly know much about the city. I
knew a bit about the Eastern Metropolitan (EM) bypass. When
the gentleman at the pre-paid taxi counter had asked me about
what routing I would prefer, I had given this as my choice. I let
this be known to the taxi driver, as well.

67.5 Two busy days in a delightful setting

There were about two complete days of meetings. After dropping my
bags at the Guest house, I went to work in the late evening.
The Jadavpur University campus is a delight to walk around, when
the lotus ponds are in full bloom. These sights are almost magical.



Soon, it was time to set out back for my home town. The itinerary
for my return journey was as follows.

Set out 08 Sep (Sun) for New Delhi from Kolkata
AI 701: Air India (Dream)liner) [Seat: 36A; PNR: Z1N5Q]
NSCBIA Domestic Terminal, Kolkata - IGIA T3, New Delhi
Kolkata (CCU) - New Delhi (DEL)
[05:20 pm - 07:25 pm]

My host told me that my best bet would be to take a taxi to the
airport via not the Eastern Metropolitan (EM) Bypass, but take
the road via Rajarhat. The taxi went through the Jadavpur
connector, took a left on the EM bypass, and crossed the Desun
More and The Ruby Hospital, went past the Bartaman office, before
taking the Rajarhat route. I reached the extremely impressive
airport terminal well in time, at just over 3pm.

67.7 The NSCBIA Domestic Departures

The drop-off area itself is extremely impressive, with the
arrow-shape of the terminal building adding to the effect. The
skies were dark, and the atmosphere, quite interesting.
This is a nice design, with all the greenery outside, and a
fairly large drop-off area, as opposed to the congested mess in
the old terminal building.



The first view of the check-in counters was quite impressive.
Tagore's handwriting adores the ceilings. This area is well-lit
(albeit with a lot of artificial lighting). The floor is nice,
clean and shiny. There is a lot of area here, which makes it
amenable to handling a much larger amount of traffic, in future.



I could not take my attention off the classiest part of the
terminal's interiors. This has been done beautifully, with some
nice and clean panels, which have been aligned beautifully.



Overall, the domestic departures part is extremely impressive.
Most of the land-side part has airline check-in counters all
around it, and has the air-side part past security gates, all the
way: a neat separation between the land-side and air-side parts.
The check-in and security check did not take much time, and I
was air-side, soon.

It was raining steadily on the way, alternating between the very
heavy, and a light drizzle. The action on the ramp was
interesting to observe, in the rain.
Here is an extended aero-bridge. The airport had had a delay in
the coming in of the aero-bridges over the sea, from Indonesia,
if I remember correctly. The greenish glass characterises the
terminal building, which perhaps also lends it a darker touch, as
compared to other airport terminals, such as the new one at
Chennai, for instance.



I roamed all around the terminal building.
I was reminded of the old Nursery Rhyme,
``Wee Willy Winkie, runs around the town,
upstairs and downstairs, in his night gown''
that was exactly what I was doing, all the time.
In contrast to the international arrivals,
the domestic departures part is extremely well-lit, and has a
superb view of the tarmac.
The wet environment outside lent itself to some nice views, outside.



Here is a Jet Airways B738.



Here is a view of the downstairs arrival level, with some greenery
islands amidst some water enclosures. If the glass panels have a
greenish tinged sheeting, so have many of the panels. The water
is circulated well, else Calcutta's infamous mosquitoes would try
to take over the place as well. As the people of Calcutta joke
around, this is a city that never sleeps. The two main reasons
for the same are the mosquitoes, and the infamous power-cuts.



I went to the bus gates downstairs as well.
Here is some B738 action on the ramp.



I went upstairs again, using the stairs, this time, instead of
the escalator. Here is an Indigo bird coming in, with an Air
India narrow-body in the interim `Indian' colour scheme, parked
at a remote stand.



Gates 1-4 are on the ground floor.
This is adjacent to the international arrival belts. There
are large expanses of greenery inside the terminal, all islanded
by small water enclosures - the tiling on the floor of the water enclosures
also had Tagore's handwriting on the bottom. The expanse at the
bus gates 1-4 is quite huge, and has a escalator leading down to
it. the domestic departures part looked relatively clean and
well-maintained, an encouragement over the slightly dark and
literally `rough-at-the-edges' international arrivals.
Here is a view of the downstairs arrival area again, with the
water here a bit more stationary, or perhaps, the camera angle
ensured that there were not too many reflections of the lighting
around. Clearly visible on the floor of the water enclosures, was
Tagore's handwriting again, with the patterns done very nicely
with tiles. The entire arrangement has a rather classy feel to it.



It is really hard to believe that Calcutta had one of the worst
terminals around, prior to the new T2 coming up. The old T1
Domestic had been done up a bit when the family had visited the
city in January 2013, when not just had we missed the
Dream)liner, the city had also missed the deadline of the new T2
opening. The old T1 domestic had been touched up a bit, at that
time. I have written about this in a trip report:
52. Duronto Debut,Dreamliner Despair,Double-Decker Desire:Jan13
http://www.airlinersindia.s4.bizhat.com/airlinersindia-ftopic13354.html

Here is a nice partial reflection of a SpiceJet B738.



Most of the air-side view is that of the south end of the two
parallel runways. The place where the terminal curves towards the
erstwhile cargo ramp, has the international gates starting from
gate 16, which was assigned to our flight.

Here is a general view of the erstwhile domestic cargo ramp, and
the Air India Regional hangars. Of particular interest to the
aviation enthusiast, as the two birds in the middle: a Deccan 360
ATR-F parked outside, and a B732F parked inside a hangar.



Gate 16 was isolated from the rest of the international portion,
and then the gates opened at 4pm. There are quite a few outlets
air-side, including a few snack bars - not as bad as I had
expected. I resisted my temptation to sample the wares, since my
host had treated me to a lovely lunch. Interestingly, there were
two outlets of the Sapthagiri group, which I had thought were
associated with the Chennai airport.

How does this compare with the new terminal at Chennai? Chennai's
maintenance looks a bit better than the one in Calcutta. Both
have nice air-side views of the action on the tarmac. At the time
when I boarded my flight at Chennai, it looked quite full, and
perhaps the old domestic part would be renovated soon enough to
handle the increasing traffic. At Calcutta, I went to the
left-most end, to check out the interface with the old domestic
terminal. It had all been boarded, and there was a wall. From one
of the large glass panels (which I eyed rather suspiciously), I
saw the very portion on the top floor where I had gone with
Junior, to lift his spirits. The place where I was standing, was
exactly the place I had come to, the edge of the old domestic
terminal, which was now bereft of any activity, a far cry from
its over-crowded past. No, I did not miss it much.

At 04:23 pm, I noticed our plane coming in to the gate.
Much to my delight, it was NH, the `New Hope' plane VT-ANH, the
first Dream)liner in the Air India fleet.

Yes, I got the beacon, but this was more by chance, rather than
by design. An A319 in the interim `Indian' livery was parked nearby.



Here is the New Hope' plane parked at the domestic-international
confluence area gate, with a Jet Airways AT7 passing by.



Here is another view of the plane. By now, I was having some
really serious trouble with my Analog SLR, which had stopped
responding. I had only my cell-phone for company.



Passengers queued up at Gate 16.
The plane was filling up rapidly, again.
We boarded a clean plane.
The loads were very good on this sector as well.



The plane had come in a bit late, and we pushed back late,
too. Captain Nambiar came on the Intercom, and announced a flight
time of 01:43 hours to cover the 1363km distance between Calcutta
and Delhi. Ms. Meeta Joshi was the chief member of the cabin crew.

67.8 A Snack, smack up in the Air!

We went along the secondary runway towards the North end, going
along the Kilo taxiway, and then took off from the main runway
towards the South. Captain Nambiar had announced turbulence on
the way. As soon as the seat belt sign went off, the cabin crew
spring into action. There was some mild chop on the way, when the
announcement requested cabin crew to return to their seats. Just
as lovely smells of what I guessed to be a capsicum-based item were
wafting all around the cabin, the cabin crew did as told.
I was getting hungrier by the minute.
By the time the service started again,
my stomach was literally crying out, aloud.

I would miss the capsicum-based item.
I opted for the non-vegetarian offering, as usual.
It started with a brown bread sandwich, with cheese-spread inside.
It was good, but nothing spectacular.
Travelling from the city which has well-known bakers such as
Flury's, one perhaps expects something spectacular,
but that was not to be.
The dessert was calling out to me, but I decided to ignore it,
for the time being, at least. It was a rAjbhog, with some
pistachios crushed and sprinkled on the top. A rAjbhog is
somewhat like the cottage cheese-based ball of a rasgullA,
but usually grown around a piece of sugar/non-refined sugar
gur at the centre, and generally, larger in size. It may
also have some caramelised sugar in the ball, or in the syrup.
I went in for the main course.
It had a vegetable patty to the left, and three pieces of
skewered chicken, to the right.
Somewhat irreverently, I went in for the patty, with the plastic
cutlery which has been supplied with the meal.
A slight cracking sound told me that I had applied more
pressure than needed. It was soft, and needed a soft and regular
action with the knife, instead of the rAmpurI knife-like jab I
had managed to execute. The perennial skeptic that I am, I was
still not convinced about the dish being anything out of the ordinary.
Oh, there would be some potato, or pulses-based filling inside,
I told myself. As it revealed its interior secrets,
I could not have been more mistaken.
There was a bit of potato mash.
Now, it isn't exactly that I do not like potatoes. In fact, I shudder
to think of what would have happened had the Portuguese not come
to India, and brought potatoes and tomatoes with them.
(The Americans would have done that anyway,
in the Twenty first century, though.)
Anyone who likes the taste of peas, that too, tossed around in a
bit of spices, and a touch of oil, would find agreement with me.
Giving it company was an item that we cannot but thank the
Americans for popularising. Sweet Corn.
Indians have been having Maize for centuries before.
For instance, what is a Punjabi without makke-dI-roTI?
However, the sweet variety is something we identify with America,
which the Indians have taken to, like a fish to water.
The resultant patty with this heavenly filling was simply...wonderful.
I turned my attention to the three large skewered chicken pieces.
I had it with the tomato sauce/ketchup.
I turned my attention to the dessert next, and gave it its due.
A drab and ordinary Plebeian instant coffee rounded up the meal.

67.9 Conclusion

IGIA T3 has some rather interesting arrangements of indoor
greenery, which almost every trip sees a pleasant surprise. There
is a cute flower ball at the centre of a nice arrangement.



My eyes caught sight of a nice mural near the baggage claim area,
with a painting, which had Mother Teresa beside Goddess Kali,
among other items in the painting.


---
Links to my 67 trip reports:
https://sites.google.com/site/sumantratrip/


Last edited by sumantra on Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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ameya
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Joined: 09 May 2007
Posts: 3584
Location: Pune,Maharashtra

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sir. Nice to see your TR once again! The backlog is over a year still. . we readers hope to get TRs even quicker. . Smile

AirIndia seems to be doing better on the DEL-CCU-DEL sector. However, the major competition continues to be market leader 6E which now has 8 flights each way, while some of them do go onwards to DIB/IXA, majority of them are to cater O&D traffic, again the highest any airline ever had. 9W,SG & G8 have 2,3,1 respectively

Missed a couple of standard lines of yours Ė like reaching to the airport, with the friendly cab driver turning up on time.

After reading your description in each TR, I wonder if AI has adjusted to your likes & dislikes or itís the other way round, with you adjusting to AIís food. . the more you write, the more the ďJust as I likeĒ comments come for AIís food !

After seeing your pictures of Jadhavpur university, I am surprised how Didi has allowed lotus to bloom in WB!

Look forward to more!
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sumantra
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Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 4477
Location: New Delhi

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Ameya Sir, for your constant encouragement, and egging me on!
ameya wrote:
Air India seems to be doing better on the DEL-CCU-DEL sector. However, the major competition continues to be market leader 6E which now has 8 flights each way, while some of them do go onwards to DIB/IXA, majority of them are to cater O&D traffic, again the highest any airline ever had. 9W,SG & G8 have 2,3,1 respectively
The DEL-CCU-DEL market is high volume and low-yield, and 6E has completely captured the market not just on the DEL-CCU-DEL route, they have captured the CCU market altogether. It was a smart move on their part to move in after Kingfisher shut shop, and they have expanded aggressively, to establish a strong customer base at Calcutta. With a fair share of the corporate traffic as well, 6E perhaps represents the only Indian airline doing quite well, overall, with a tight cost structure, and good management. Good for them!
ameya wrote:
Missed a couple of standard lines of yours Ė like reaching to the airport, with the friendly cab driver turning up on time.
Ha ha! I guess more that the CCU T2, my TR is rough on the edges. I had lost a bit of my notes on this trip, and in my hurry to post it, the gaps are quite glaring, actually. This time, I patronised Meru cabs, since the friendly cab driver was not free on this day.
ameya wrote:
After reading your description in each TR, I wonder if AI has adjusted to your likes & dislikes or itís the other way round, with you adjusting to AIís food. . the more you write, the more the ďJust as I likeĒ comments come for AIís food !
Ha ha! Good one, Sir. I am actually stuborn as an ass, and do not change much: The Wife can well testify (taste-fy?) to that. AI is also equally stubborn with the coffee, I guess Smile Once is a blue moon, is a different brand of coffee loaded on the plane, and the coffee brewers have possibly been taken off. They had advertised this in 2007, in their magazine Swagat! I also remember a good coffee aboard the `leaden/heavy' plane Pb: VT-PPB, in 2007.
ameya wrote:
After seeing your pictures of Jadhavpur university, I am surprised how Didi has allowed lotus to bloom in WB!
Sir, this one takes the cake. This is a typical quote from a Maharashtrian witty Joshi brahmin (the common image of the same, in peoples' minds of a sarvadnya person). Hats off to you, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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jbalonso777
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir, another great TR from you!
Sad to know about the fallen hero, your Minolta SLR camera, and I think you were the only one whom I knew who used such a classy camera, a blast from the past! We certainly hope for some amazing pictures from you in your TRs with your new device! I'm sure you'll have no trouble adjusting to it Smile

I must admit, looking at this TR, I think I am now convicned that CCU is better than MAA in terms of airport terminals. This does go completely opposite to my belief of CMB/CCU < Anything else Sad
But I'm glad at least CCU got this right, for once!

Nice to see some cabin and legroom shots! Next time, pictures of the meals too, please? Smile

Nice you got both Dream)liner flights! Will AI still be operating these beauties on the DEL-CCU route in Summer 2015? I have some ambitious plans for then, I hope it works out!

Great one, thanks for sharing! I might have to delay my TR by a few days now I guess, but I won't delay it for too long since I know Varun has a 6E BLR-MAA TR coming up! (Oops, I spilt the beans! Razz)

Regards
Jish
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ameya
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
Thank you Ameya Sir, for your constant encouragement, and egging me on!
ameya wrote:
Air India seems to be doing better on the DEL-CCU-DEL sector. However, the major competition continues to be market leader 6E which now has 8 flights each way, while some of them do go onwards to DIB/IXA, majority of them are to cater O&D traffic, again the highest any airline ever had. 9W,SG & G8 have 2,3,1 respectively
The DEL-CCU-DEL market is high volume and low-yield, and 6E has completely captured the market not just on the DEL-CCU-DEL route, they have captured the CCU market altogether. It was a smart move on their part to move in after Kingfisher shut shop, and they have expanded aggressively, to establish a strong customer base at Calcutta. With a fair share of the corporate traffic as well, 6E perhaps represents the only Indian airline doing quite well, overall, with a tight cost structure, and good management. Good for them!
ameya wrote:
Missed a couple of standard lines of yours Ė like reaching to the airport, with the friendly cab driver turning up on time.
Ha ha! I guess more that the CCU T2, my TR is rough on the edges. I had lost a bit of my notes on this trip, and in my hurry to post it, the gaps are quite glaring, actually. This time, I patronised Meru cabs, since the friendly cab driver was not free on this day.
ameya wrote:
After reading your description in each TR, I wonder if AI has adjusted to your likes & dislikes or itís the other way round, with you adjusting to AIís food. . the more you write, the more the ďJust as I likeĒ comments come for AIís food !
Ha ha! Good one, Sir. I am actually stuborn as an ass, and do not change much: The Wife can well testify (taste-fy?) to that. AI is also equally stubborn with the coffee, I guess Smile Once is a blue moon, is a different brand of coffee loaded on the plane, and the coffee brewers have possibly been taken off. They had advertised this in 2007, in their magazine Swagat! I also remember a good coffee aboard the `leaden/heavy' plane Pb: VT-PPB, in 2007.
ameya wrote:
After seeing your pictures of Jadhavpur university, I am surprised how Didi has allowed lotus to bloom in WB!
Sir, this one takes the cake. This is a typical quote from a Maharashtrian witty Joshi brahmin (the common image of the same, in peoples' minds of a sarvadnya person). Hats off to you, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.


Haha. . Thanks !

CCU is a unique market and indigo has done well to capture it. I remember how they started competing with KFA in 2009 and slowly captured the entire market. Now they connect CCU to DEL BOM BLR MAA JAI AMD NAG PAT IXR IXA IMF GAU DIB IBX BBI PNQ VTZ HYD RPR as non stop. I think they have shied away from aiXZ else they have everything
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
I think they have shied away from aiXZ else they have everything
Sir, I'm wondering whether the above was an intentional pun on AI and IXZ. I would also want to know your in-depth analysis on why 6E have shied away from IXZ. Deccan had tried to get a foothold on this market, with a popular flight. The Govt LTC crowd will fly AI of course, and the routing for the Govt LTC crowd has been traditionally via CCU and MAA, with AI-R's much more recent experiment with routing a CR7 flight via BBI. Even SG and G8 fly to IXZ.
6E has steadily grown as the major player in the whole of the country: and its strong presence in the East has had a major casualty in 9W. AI will have its clientele, and is a strong player on DEL-CCU, and has a secondary hub at CCU (more so, for 9I/CD: Air India Regional/Alliance Air, with its North-East operations).
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful TR sir in typical Sumantra style!Thanks for sharing Smile
Cheers!
Rakesh.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rakesh959 wrote:
...in typical Sumantra style!
Thank you, Rakesh...a bit of the expected regulars (as Ameya's hawk-like gaze saw through!) points to this being a slightly un-prepared exercise Sad
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
ameya wrote:
I think they have shied away from aiXZ else they have everything
Sir, I'm wondering whether the above was an intentional pun on AI and IXZ. I would also want to know your in-depth analysis on why 6E have shied away from IXZ. Deccan had tried to get a foothold on this market, with a popular flight. The Govt LTC crowd will fly AI of course, and the routing for the Govt LTC crowd has been traditionally via CCU and MAA, with AI-R's much more recent experiment with routing a CR7 flight via BBI. Even SG and G8 fly to IXZ.
6E has steadily grown as the major player in the whole of the country: and its strong presence in the East has had a major casualty in 9W. AI will have its clientele, and is a strong player on DEL-CCU, and has a secondary hub at CCU (more so, for 9I/CD: Air India Regional/Alliance Air, with its North-East operations).
Cheers, Sumantra.

Sir, it was a typo!

6E has not invested in aircraft which would help it fly to IXZ or IXL. Maintaining a sub fleet is an expensive proposition. Additional oxygen is required for IXL and additional certification for IXZ, which again means maintaining a sub fleet.

Also IXZ is not profitable year round from CCU and just about break even from MAA. That is one reason why G8 pulls out of IXZ every Summer ( Mar - Sept)

I have my own thoughts on planning, like shifting one aircraft to DEL in Summer and the same to MAA in winter, where additional MAA - IXZ can be planned and from DEL it can do IXB/SXR/IXL in Summer - only if I have my own airline, will I get my way through this I suppose
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another case which I remember, then being at the receiving end was the below example.

IT had a wonderful rotation IT600/605 which used to operate as CCU-DEL-IXC-BOM and v.v
This was the third daily flight, operated by 20/114 A320. The other ones were DEL-CCU-DEL-GOI-DEL-CCU-DEL rotation, mostly with 20/151 A321 config

When this rotation 600/605 started becoming irregular due to aircraft issues, 6E which had launched a flight around 1900hours, started pushing it closer to IT 605 DEL-CCU dep and eventually started operating it at 20:05, within 5 mins of IT flight. . with the regularity and OTP, 605 started doing bad, until IT pulled it out.

The 6E flight still operated and the flight number now is 209 I suppose. I am not sure if it was the same back then.

As you rightly pointed out, 6E has thrown out 9W from the market. Its only missing link was IXB - which it started last year. Now I do not see any more stations opening up in NE, since except JRH the rest are not A320 compatible.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
6E has not invested in aircraft which would help it fly to IXZ or IXL. Maintaining a sub fleet is an expensive proposition.
Sir, thank you very much for opening my eyes to something I had never thought of, before. I am a complete layperson here: I guess IXZ requires different ETOPS ratings as compared to the birds that do the SIN route.

The second story has some personal memories for me, albeit a bit irrelevant in the context of this discussion. We have discussed this, but I see some of my flight logs being a bit different, which I am sure of since I remember these flights quite well, and can perhaps dig out a few pictures from my then active Analog SLR as well. I have my tickets, and quite a few boarding passes as well. You can verify them from the PNR information, if you have access to the Sabre accounts, or some logs.
ameya wrote:
IT had a wonderful rotation IT600/605 which used to operate as CCU-DEL-IXC-BOM and v.v
This was the third daily flight, operated by 20/114 A320.

Sir, my flight log shows the following:
IT 600:03 Jul 2008:DEL-IXC:A319:[09:10 am - 10:00 am]
IT 605:04 Jul 2008:IXC-DEL:A319:[05:40 pm - 06:30 pm]
IT 600:18 Jan 2009:DEL-IXC:A319:[09:35 am - 10:25 am]
IT 605:19 Jan 2009:IXC-DEL:A319:[05:40 pm - 06:30 pm]
I am not sure about this one, but did IT 605 not do DEL-CCU after this, in 2008 at least?
On the other hand, a few of our DEL-CCU and CCU-DEL flights were on an A320:
IT 601:15 Aug 2008:DEL-CCU:A320:[06:55 am - 09:05 am]
IT 602:17 Aug 2008:CCU-DEL:A320:[09:35 am - 11:40 am]
IT 603:13 Jan 2009:DEL-CCU:A320:[06:10 pm - 08:05 pm]
IT 602:17 Jan 2009:CCU-DEL:A320:[09:35 am - 11:45 am]
IT 604:09 Feb 2009:DEL-CCU:A320:[09:05 pm - 11:15 pm]
The last one had changed from [08:40 pm - 10:50 pm]
ameya wrote:
Now I do not see any more stations opening up in NE, since except JRH the rest are not A320 compatible.
Sir, you forgot DMU: Dimapur is also A320-compatible, and Air India has a very regular flight on this sector. From what I have seen, the flight has some very good loads. This is the AI 705 route: and like their interesting AI 469 DEL-NAG-RPR-DEL round-trip on the same flight number, AI 705 currently does CCU-DIB-DIM-CCU on the same flight number. However, this is a low-yield route, and I doubt if 6E will try their luck on this route. AI operates this in line with its north East essential connectivity policy, which I doubt if 6E will follow.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir, thanks for the appreciation, and pointing out my omission, on the other thread. I guess my sleepy sessions with the Internet are just becoming terrible, by the day!
jbalonso777 wrote:
Sad to know about the fallen hero, your Minolta SLR camera, and I think you were the only one whom I knew who used such a classy camera, a blast from the past!
Thanks, Sir: yes, one of the chips operating the lens movement was overheating, and I could not get a replacement either at Sunshine in Delhi, or J J Mehta, in Mumbai.
jbalonso777 wrote:
Next time, pictures of the meals too, please?
Yes, Sir: I started this in I guess, all my journeys with the Sony HX300. I guess this will start from the reports of Nov'13 and beyond. There is an interim period, where I was using a Nikon Coolpix borrowed from The Wife. You will see some output from it, in the next report, and some more, as well.
jbalonso777 wrote:
Nice you got both Dream)liner flights! Will AI still be operating these beauties on the DEL-CCU route in Summer 2015? I have some ambitious plans for then, I hope it works out!
I do hope it works out! Right now (Oct-Nov'14), the Dream)liner rotations are a bit random, without too much of a definitive pattern. AI is struggling a bit with the A321 engine issues (in addition to minor Dream)liner niggles), and lucky passengers get wide-body flights (but are unlucky with delays, as AI is bunching up some flights). The recent past has seen lots of domestic wide-body operations.
As regards Summer'15, I think the chances of CCU getting at least one wide-body rotation are quite high. The best bet is perhaps the AI 20 DEL-CCU and AI 701 CCU-DEL combination: the one I took. The AI 111 LHR-DEL flight has good onward loads to CCU and DAC, and the return is a very popular business hour return flight to DEL. In the peak season last year, out of the four flights on the DEL-CCU and CCU-DEL sectors, 3 had seen Dream)liner operations on a few days, because of some very heavy domestic loads. Last year, even the B744 VT-EVA `Agra' had operated the AI 20 - AI 701 rotation on at least one day, much to my pleasant surprise. It is rather interesting that the DEL-CCU segment sees good patronisation of AI's services, in spite of 6E almost taking over the CCU market. AI is adjusting capacity well on this route, just as it is on many other routes: going all narrow-body on the DEL-BLR and DEL-MAA routes, though the former has again seen AI 803 (the early morning flight) and AI 403 (the popular afternoon flight) on the DEL-BLR legs go the Dream)liner way.
jbalonso777 wrote:
I might have to delay my TR by a few days now I guess, but I won't delay it for too long since I know Varun has a 6E BLR-MAA TR coming up! (Oops, I spilt the beans! Razz)
I'm glad you didn't delay it, Sir. And please do not worry about spilling the beans: Varun told me about the good news of his report, over SMS. We seem to have a sort of competition in having lady Captains and FOs on our flights. Last, do not worry about `beans': the name of the city Bengaluru stems from benda-kALu-uru, or the place(uru) of boiled(benda) beans/legumes(kALu). The sight of the long and green French beans one sees in the city sends my taste buds into raptures!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
ameya wrote:
6E has not invested in aircraft which would help it fly to IXZ or IXL. Maintaining a sub fleet is an expensive proposition.
Sir, thank you very much for opening my eyes to something I had never thought of, before. I am a complete layperson here: I guess IXZ requires different ETOPS ratings as compared to the birds that do the SIN route.

The second story has some personal memories for me, albeit a bit irrelevant in the context of this discussion. We have discussed this, but I see some of my flight logs being a bit different, which I am sure of since I remember these flights quite well, and can perhaps dig out a few pictures from my then active Analog SLR as well. I have my tickets, and quite a few boarding passes as well. You can verify them from the PNR information, if you have access to the Sabre accounts, or some logs.
ameya wrote:
IT had a wonderful rotation IT600/605 which used to operate as CCU-DEL-IXC-BOM and v.v
This was the third daily flight, operated by 20/114 A320.

Sir, my flight log shows the following:
IT 600:03 Jul 2008:DEL-IXC:A319:[09:10 am - 10:00 am]
IT 605:04 Jul 2008:IXC-DEL:A319:[05:40 pm - 06:30 pm]
IT 600:18 Jan 2009:DEL-IXC:A319:[09:35 am - 10:25 am]
IT 605:19 Jan 2009:IXC-DEL:A319:[05:40 pm - 06:30 pm]
I am not sure about this one, but did IT 605 not do DEL-CCU after this, in 2008 at least?
On the other hand, a few of our DEL-CCU and CCU-DEL flights were on an A320:
IT 601:15 Aug 2008:DEL-CCU:A320:[06:55 am - 09:05 am]
IT 602:17 Aug 2008:CCU-DEL:A320:[09:35 am - 11:40 am]
IT 603:13 Jan 2009:DEL-CCU:A320:[06:10 pm - 08:05 pm]
IT 602:17 Jan 2009:CCU-DEL:A320:[09:35 am - 11:45 am]
IT 604:09 Feb 2009:DEL-CCU:A320:[09:05 pm - 11:15 pm]
The last one had changed from [08:40 pm - 10:50 pm]
ameya wrote:
Now I do not see any more stations opening up in NE, since except JRH the rest are not A320 compatible.
Sir, you forgot DMU: Dimapur is also A320-compatible, and Air India has a very regular flight on this sector. From what I have seen, the flight has some very good loads. This is the AI 705 route: and like their interesting AI 469 DEL-NAG-RPR-DEL round-trip on the same flight number, AI 705 currently does CCU-DIB-DIM-CCU on the same flight number. However, this is a low-yield route, and I doubt if 6E will try their luck on this route. AI operates this in line with its north East essential connectivity policy, which I doubt if 6E will follow.
Cheers, Sumantra.


IT had triple daily DEL CCU flights for most period of time
IT601/602 & IT603/604 doing the morning / evening runs and IT 600/605 of which IT 600 would connect to the LHR flight and a lot of other domestic bank, this aircraft was based in CCU, unlike the one for other flights whose rotation was DEL CCU DEL GOI DEL CCU DEL and many a times, the DEL GOI DEL leg being sold as all economy and lucky few getting a chance to be seated in KFF Class.

I doubt 6E will ever fly to DIM. There isnt much traffic and no big gains on the ASKM front.

DIB-CCU is not double daily, with the traditional DEL CCU DIB and v.v giving Cat 2 and now the PNQ CCU DIB CCU AMD rotation giving additional Cat 2

The DEL-DIB-GAU-DEL is for two reasons - one being Cat 2A between GAU & DIB and the fact that DIB ahs a 6000feet runway, which would make it impossible to lift off with fuel till Delhi
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
IT had triple daily DEL CCU flights for most period of time
...getting a chance to be seated in KFF Class.
Thanks for the very interesting story, Sir! About the free J upgrade: I hope it was not in the way Air India gave you and Mrs. Joshi also got a J upgrade on a Y flight on your return to PNQ last year Sad
ameya wrote:
I doubt 6E will ever fly to DIM. There isnt much traffic and no big gains on the ASKM front.
I also thought so Sir, hence my comment, above. It is I guess, a part of Air India's NE Essential services policy.
ameya wrote:
DIB-CCU is not double daily
Sir, I think you misunderstood me. The AI 705 is not even a daily flight: services are 5x week divided between AI 705 and AI 709. AI 705 is an A320 flight, whereas AI 709 is an A319 one. AI 705 is at least very popular among passengers from what I have seen at CCU. AI 705 does the CCU-DIB-DMU-CCU run (Tue, Thu, Sat), whereas AI 709 does the CCU-DIB-CCU rotation (Wed, Sun). I was also pointing to examples of AI's circular routing with the same flight number, which we have discussed before: what does AI mean by `inward' and `outward' on such legs: remember?
Thanks for the complete rotations, below:
ameya wrote:
...with the traditional DEL CCU DIB and v.v giving Cat 2 and now the PNQ CCU DIB CCU AMD rotation giving additional Cat 2

ameya wrote:
The DEL-DIB-GAU-DEL is for two reasons - one being Cat 2A between GAU & DIB and the fact that DIB ahs a 6000feet runway, which would make it impossible to lift off with fuel till Delhi
Thanks for the information, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sumantra wrote:
ameya wrote:
IT had triple daily DEL CCU flights for most period of time
...getting a chance to be seated in KFF Class.
Thanks for the very interesting story, Sir! About the free J upgrade: I hope it was not in the way Air India gave you and Mrs. Joshi also got a J upgrade on a Y flight on your return to PNQ last year Sad
ameya wrote:
I doubt 6E will ever fly to DIM. There isnt much traffic and no big gains on the ASKM front.
I also thought so Sir, hence my comment, above. It is I guess, a part of Air India's NE Essential services policy.
ameya wrote:
DIB-CCU is not double daily
Sir, I think you misunderstood me. The AI 705 is not even a daily flight: services are 5x week divided between AI 705 and AI 709. AI 705 is an A320 flight, whereas AI 709 is an A319 one. AI 705 is at least very popular among passengers from what I have seen at CCU. AI 705 does the CCU-DIB-DMU-CCU run (Tue, Thu, Sat), whereas AI 709 does the CCU-DIB-CCU rotation (Wed, Sun). I was also pointing to examples of AI's circular routing with the same flight number, which we have discussed before: what does AI mean by `inward' and `outward' on such legs: remember?
Thanks for the complete rotations, below:
ameya wrote:
...with the traditional DEL CCU DIB and v.v giving Cat 2 and now the PNQ CCU DIB CCU AMD rotation giving additional Cat 2

ameya wrote:
The DEL-DIB-GAU-DEL is for two reasons - one being Cat 2A between GAU & DIB and the fact that DIB ahs a 6000feet runway, which would make it impossible to lift off with fuel till Delhi
Thanks for the information, Sir!
Cheers, Sumantra.


1. Yes, it was like what we experienced. . fly Y, be seated in J, meals are Y

2. Could very well be due to NE policy, but when NE council stops payments, AI pulls out of smaller ATR routes and stations but not DIM, I suppose.

3. My bad. . Typo. I meant ,CCU-DIB is NOW double daily Sad
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was waiting for this colorful trip report for a LONG LONG time. Pictures both inside and apron area clearly indicates the airport of KOLKATA has undergone a sea of change since 2013. Thanks for the report. Hope this will be the beginning of a steady development of NSCBI airport! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ameya wrote:
1. Yes, it was like what we experienced. . fly Y, be seated in J, meals are Y
But I hope the passengers do not experience the confusion you and Mrs. Joshi experienced: Y seat numbers, in a J cabin!
ameya wrote:
2. Could very well be due to NE policy, but when NE council stops payments, AI pulls out of smaller ATR routes and stations but not DIM, I suppose.
You have an interesting point, Sir: yes, the NE council subsidises the shorter routes, but I wonder about the longer ones, since AI has a lot of routes in the NE, which other airlines are rather loathe to operate, since they are low yield, and AI also subsidises the ticket prices.
ameya wrote:
3. My bad. . Typo. I meant ,CCU-DIB is NOW double daily Sad
Sir, I guess AI has not updated its schedules yet...even for Nov-Dec'14, they still show the 5x week CCU-DIB operation, with the A319 alternating with the A320 service: AI 709 and AI 705.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:
I was waiting for this colorful trip report for a LONG LONG time. Pictures both inside and apron area clearly indicates the airport of KOLKATA has undergone a sea of change since 2013.
Thank you, Sir. The family did a Apr 2014 CCU trip on the same routing: AI 020 DEL-CCU, and AI 701 CCU-DEL. By now, I had my Sony HX300 with me, so I'll have better pictures from this trip. I was able to photograph the three derelict propeller planes in some detail: The F-27, Biju Patnaik's famous DC-3, and the HS-748. I took Junior all around the place, on all flloors, exploring all nooks and corners, and showing him the place where I had taken him in Jan'13, in the old terminal. The airport felt nice to travel through in Apr'14 as well, indicating some good work done by the team of Mr. B. P. Sharma, the director.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I have to do a lot of catching up here time permitting (now that we are getting into cooler days here Very Happy ) but couldn't resist myself reading another trade mark TR from Sumantra that too on CCU, love-it OR hate-it destination!

- Happy to see that you could fly on a Dreamliner. Good to know that the loads are good. My daughter did LHR-DEL-CCU last summer, she told me the same thing about DEL-CCU load.
- Thanks for the update on your Camera. We will now see more and more crispier, wider pics Very Happy
- Very detailed observation about new CCU terminal, nothing could miss your curious eyes!
- Mouth watering description of food as always! In my school days there was a saying in Sanskrit "Ghranen Ardha bhojanam" not sure whether I remember it correctly now but loose translation would be "smelling is almost halfway thru eating". In your case, one needs to replace "smelling" with "reading"! Anyone here who can translate it in Sanskrit?
-You must be hearing what is going on in JU nowadays Shocked

Always a pleasure reading your TRs, Sumantra.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAL@YWG wrote:
I know I have to do a lot of catching up here time permitting...that too on CCU, love-it OR hate-it destination!
Thank you Sir, I really appreciate it!
PAL@YWG wrote:
My daughter did LHR-DEL-CCU last summer, she told me the same thing about DEL-CCU load.
Does she also share your enthusiasm for exotic routings and places, and great hands behind the camera, or are you a strict Papa? Smile
PAL@YWG wrote:
Thanks for the update on your Camera. We will now see more and more crispier, wider pics
Sir, they will be hopefully crisper, but not necessarily larger, to account for difficulties in viewing large pictures on mobile devices across a slow network. I am lucky to have a fast network provided by my employer, so I love to see your crisp and wide pictures, in the gems of TRs which come from you!
PAL@YWG wrote:
In my school days there was a saying in Sanskrit "Ghranen Ardha bhojanam"...one needs to replace "smelling" with "reading"
Ha ha Sir, I guess I am just a bit too obsessed with food.
PAL@YWG wrote:
You must be hearing what is going on in JU nowadays
It is quite scary and disturbing, Sir...
Cheers, Sumantra.
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Spiderguy252
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting TR.

Would it - in your opinion - be fair to say that MAA is the worst major airport going around at the moment?
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Varun!
Spiderguy252 wrote:
Would it - in your opinion - be fair to say that MAA is the worst major airport going around at the moment?
Why...no, by no means, at all. I have had a 2014 trip to the place as well: this time, to the international arrivals (new for me), and the domestic departures (familiar ground). 25-26 Jun, 2014. It is just that the old-new interface is stark at the International arrivals part. I have taken numerous pictures of the terminal (more on the return part of the journey, though). I find it well-lit, and reasonably maintained, for an AAI airport. I have seen some images on this forum and at other places as well, the terminal may be a bit rough around the edges, but I personally find it not `the worst of the big 6' in India, but more like `the 6th', since it is overall, not `terrible' to be categorised with a `worst' tag: in my humble opinion, of course. CCU surprised me pleasantly, though.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent TR once again, have you become an AI elite already?

If not they should acknowledge your supreme command on AI domestic.

Good to see another flight report to Poschimbongo. looking forward to more TRs... oueee aaaar oweeth eeeyu
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ojas, thank a lot for finding time from your busy schedule to read (and post!) TRs!
avbuff wrote:
...have you become an AI elite already?
No Sir: only the Silver Edge Club, for the second time. I do not think I will be able to advance any further, since all official travel is on the lowest-priced tickets, and my international travel has been once a year till now: and I have been lucky, that too. I will never be able to scale further heights!
avbuff wrote:
Good to see another flight report to Poschimbongo. looking forward to more TRs... oueee aaaar oweeth eeeyu
Ha ha...as my Bong friends say, the `Bong transform' is replace `a' with `o', `va' with `ba', and `s' with `sh': one is good to go Razz
Cheers, Sumantra.
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avbuff
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your welcome sumantra-ji

It's just that my laptop usage at home is directly proportional to my wife's ire. So I have to steal time out to reply.

I read all TRs on my phone while traveling to and from office, just that replying requires a proper keyboard with those pictures.
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

avbuff wrote:
It's just that my laptop usage at home is directly proportional to my wife's ire. So I have to steal time out to reply. I read all TRs on my phone while traveling to and from office, just that replying requires a proper keyboard with those pictures.
Ha ha, nice one Sir, and thanks once again!
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sri_bom
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great report Sumantra and welcome to the digital world which I hope will help you post more pictures 

Great first hand report regarding Calcutta airport and having seen your pictures I happy to note that the new terminal is such a vast improvement over the dump that was. The tagore writings on the wall is very creative and gives the airport a very classy look and feel.

Sri_Bom
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sri_bom wrote:
... welcome to the digital world which I hope will help you post more pictures
Ha ha, thank you Srinivas: I guess I was also fortunate to experience two new AAI terminals at MAA and CCU within a short span of time. Yes, there will be more pictures, on an average, though their quality may be average as well Razz
Cheers, Sumantra.
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PAL@YWG
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Joined: 22 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Does she also share your enthusiasm for exotic routings and places, and great hands behind the camera, or are you a strict Papa?


Last summer she with one of her friend did a backpacking trip in Europe. Starting in London they travelled as part of Topdeck bus tour group thru France, Switzerland, Italy & Greece. Also travelled Czech republic and Austria separately. Though I helped her with air travel booking, selection of places were her choice. I sent her to India (before European trip) on AI (LHR-DEL-CCU-BOM-LHR) , that was my push Very Happy

I used to record all her flights in flightdiary.net but this time she didn't bring back any of her numerous Boarding passes! I guess time to spoon -feed her is over Very Happy
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sumantra
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PAL@YWG wrote:
Last summer she with one of her friend did a backpacking trip in Europe. Starting in London they travelled as part of Topdeck bus tour group thru France, Switzerland, Italy & Greece. Also travelled Czech republic and Austria separately. Though I helped her with air travel booking, selection of places were her choice. I sent her to India (before European trip) on AI (LHR-DEL-CCU-BOM-LHR) , that was my push
Mr. Pal, I think we can see the genes in your daughter as well: this is wonderful! Can you also push her to write trip reports? Very Happy That will be wonderful.
Cheers, Sumantra.
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