Hello everyone, I want to share with you this FR which meant a lot of firsts for me: 1. First time on EasyFly, a LCC which operates a non-jet fleet consisting of Jetstream41s and ATR42s. Mainly between mid-size cities, and non-trunk routes. It has managed to build up a healthy network by serving these cities and routes, instead of attempting to compete with AV and LA on the main trunk routes.
2. First time on a Jetstream41, I don't fly often on non-jet planes…most of my flying makes this somewhat unusual. This is actually my 4th non-jet type I fly.
3.First time using Medellín's second airport: Enrique Olaya Herrera airport is located in the middle of the valley in which Medellín is. It used to be the main airport, until José María Cordova airport was built in Rionegro, since EOH could not host safely big jet planes. Currently is one of the few remaining airports which involve landing in the middle of the city.
4. First time flying in between two cities that are not Bogotá! —————————
I arrived by cab to the airport around midday. Check in was rather empty, maybe because it was a Saturday. EOH currently serves regional flights around Medellín, mostly in Antioquia Department. There is an oddball EOH-BOG flight operated by SATENA, and a restriction on 50seats+ planes operating out of it.
The terminal building was in very good state, it was renovated around 2009, the check in area retains the original ceiling and tinted-glass from the 1950s, which is an architectural national heritage site because of its innovative design.
Check in was rather slow as only two counters were open, in one, a guy was arguing with the EasyFly people, as far as I could hear he missed his flight. Finally it was my turn, and I was given a really old-style boarding pass. My bag tag was also in the old style just stating PEI. Each destination was colour-coded.
EOH is also infamous for being the airport where Gardel's plane crashed and killed him. A small memorial is in place.
The most modern side of the terminal is also very nice, even nicer than more 'important' airports, such as Barranquilla's
On the second floor you can find viewing terraces, with nice gardens in the middle.
The ATC tower
I loved these gardens, so unique in Colombia.
Satena is the only airline authorised to serve with 50+ seats planes, on the BOG-EOH run. As far as I know it is the airline's main source of income.
AV once brought the jumbo to EOH, only for publicity reasons, and was flying without passengers.
The terrace also provided with nice views of El Poblado zone of Medellín, one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Colombia
I had lunch with a friend at a burger parlor on the second floor, sadly there aren't many options at EOH. And many places are actually empty. Guess the airport doesn't have many passengers. With lunch taken care of, it was time to head to the gate, which was filled with other flights' passengers.
I waited for something around 30 minutes, it was tough to make out the announcements, and the heat was horrible. When boarding was called I crossed the garden, it was so well kept.
The local trafic at the time:
Two Aerolíneas de Antioquia J32, one of those was headed to PEI…I'll see it there.
Lucky us this wasn't our plane!
For me, there's nothing like boarding in this way, with the wind, noise, fumes, etc. is and AvGeek paradise!
EasyFly's largest plane…scheduled to somewhere in the Pacific Coast if I'm not wrong.
We waited until a fellow passenger on a wheelchair could be placed at his seat, then we were greeted by a cheerful FA. My first impression was how small the cabin was. Seats were minimal, and the windows were tinted, permanently. But I guess this is fine for our 30m hop to Pereira.
I couldn't even fit my backpack under the seat, LOL.
The plane showed its age, but it was in good shape.
Takeoff was via RWY02, which is northward. Then the plane began to turn 180 degrees to a south direction, this allowed for awesome views of Medellín!
Then it was a calm cruise over Paisaland.
These hilltop towns seem to be everywhere in Colombia
Out of the blue the FA asked me wether I wanted juice….I wasn't expecting any service at all, i appreciated it. Its somewhat curious this LCC offers in a regional route the same service AV does on trunk routes…go figure!
Eventually Manizales became visible, which meant Pereira was just around…the hill.
And there it was
This was a radar station
I thought we were going to turn down into PEI, but we kept true, which meant we were going to descend over Cartago on a P shaped approach
An AV A318, most probably from BOG on finals to PEI
Cartago, in the Valle del Cauca Department. It is so near to Pereira it is actually part of its metropolitan area, there were plans to move Pereira's airport there, but the local politicians were opposed to the project. So Pereira will be stuck with the current Matecaña airport which is really lacking.
The Cauca River, the second most important river in the Andean Region of Colombia after the Magdalena River
Risaralda Department's countryside
The city is slowly sprawling towards the countryside, 10 years ago these were coffee fields
Landing in PEI is weird, the runway is actually at a higher level than the rest of the zone, so you're basically flying over the city until the last second.
General view of the Terminal building with the current ATC Tower
The new ATC tower
We walked to the terminal, even though they've tried to keep it pretty, the place is awful.
The ADA plane already heading back to EOH
The A318 we had seen before
Our plane at destination
The BOG flight people. Have I told you how awful PEI is? Luckily they're tearing that building down.
I had never noticed this plaque, ACES was a great airline, the one I rode the most in my childhood…it is well rooted in Colombian AvGeek's hearts.
Medellín - EOH
Pereira - PEI
It was a very exciting flight for me, I hope you enjoyed as much reading the report. EasyFly made a good impression on me. It's nothing fancy, but when you come to think about it, it practically offers the same service as AV.
Getting to know EOH airport was something I wanted to do since long ago, and the take off over Medellín was awesome. The views the flight provided was sufficient IFE for me, even though EF does have an in flight magazine, nothing awesome though.
Thanks for reading,
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