Hi Everybody! One month ago, I discovered this page and started reading and commenting different FRs published here, and altough I had published other flight reports in other websites, I didn't wanted to publish the same reports in different pages. But because of my recent trip to Rio, now I have the chance to write my first report on this page.
Background I'd already treavelled by Gol (G3) several times to different destinations such as EZE, CWB, and GRU because of their lower prices than legacy carriers (that was ten years ago when G3 had recently entered the international market and was a real low cost, now, their prices have risen to the same level than LATAM (JJ and PZ), which is their main and only competition in the ASU-GRU route). But because ASU (which is my home airport) doesn't have a direct link with Rio, I was forced to make a stop in GRU, but making a connection there gave me the chance to land in SDU (which I find more pleasant because of the thrilling approach to runway 02R and because of its location in the centre of the city) instead of GIG, and because G3 operates flights between GRU and SDU, I made my choice. I bought my tickets through their website, where you can also choose your seat without charges, so, I reserved the seat 26A, because all forward window seats were already reserved. So, the itinerary is the next:
- ASU-GRU, G37480, Boeing 737-800 - You are here - GRU-SDU, G31086, Boeing 737-800 - Not covered - SDU-GRU, G31081, Boeing 737-700 - click here - GRU-ASU, G37481, Boeing 737-800 - Not covered
At the airport In the morning of 17th January 2017, I arrived at Asunción Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) at approximately 11:00 AM, sort of 2 hours before the scheduled departure. After a quick queue and check-in, I went to clear customs.
G3 check-in counter:
Departures and arrivals at the time I finished check-in
ASU current terminal building was inaugurated in 1980 during the times of Stroessner's dictatorship, and although the authorities had made several improvements on the last five years, the structure is outdated, and a new terminal building is needed.
Airport's main hall:
I cleared customs and security quite quickly, and went to have a meal before heading to gate 5.
The airport has two departure halls, the south and the north ones, the south hall is the oldest and has four gates (1,2,3 and 4), meanwhile the north hall back in the 80's and 90's served as a departure hall for domestic flights, and it was abandoned and served as a sightseeing spot of the tarmac until in 2014 it was reinaugurated with the gates 5 and 6 and a bridge connecting it to the south hall.
ASU has only two lounges, both located on the south hall. Sadly, I hadn't access to any of them.
VIP Gold Lounge:
Bridge connecting south and north departure halls. This is the newest part on the airport, and as you can see, it have a totally different style than the rest of the aiport. Its crystal wall allows a full view of the tarmac.
Tarmac view from the connecting bridge. At early afternoon, traffic is almost unexistent in ASU (Rush hours are in early morning and late afternoon)
There were some reparations at the runway going on, so only half of it was available.
After having a meal at the only restaurant on the departure hall, I headed to gate 5, in the north hall, where boarding was scheduled.
My documents and boarding pass:
Gate 5, my flight information was already on the screen.
Airline: Gol (G3) Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 Registration: PR-GUT Age: 4 years Scheduled time of departure: 1:20 PM (ATD 1:42) Scheduled time of arrival: 4:20 PM (ATA 4:30) Takeoff from runway: 20 Landing in runway: 09R
The plane arrived punctually from GRU, it was PR-GUT, a 737-800 received brand new by G3 in 2012.
Arriving to gate:
A short time after the plane arrived, boarding started. It was very deorganized, taking approximately 20 minutes. I was welcomed into the plane by smiling FAs. One curious fact about this flight was that the entire crew was male.
When I entered the plane, I saw it was fitted with Sky Interior:
I arrived to my seat, 26A.
View from my window:
This airplane was fitted with Gol Online, Gol's Wi-Fi network which have access to GoGo Entertainment, Gol's entertainment portal which includes Movies and TV series, and it doesn't have a flight map yet. I didn't used it. For a 2 hours flight, looking through the window was enough for me. This panmphlet explained it.
Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200. Amaszonas Paraguay is the paraguayan subsidiary of Amaszonas, a bolivian regional airline. It operates domestic flights to Ciudad del Este (AGT) and also international flights to Montevideo (MVD), Iquique (IQQ), and seasonal flights to Florianópolis (FLN), and Punta del Este (PDP).
We started pushback:
Flight After pushback, we taxied to the runway. We had to perform a backtrack because only half of the runway was available. I consider this the bumpiest takeoff I ever had, because of the thrust applied to rotate with only half of runway. We took off 22 minutes behind scheduled, at 1:42 PM.
Video of takeoff:
After a really bumpy takeoff, we were airborne, in the background you can see the Ypacaraí Lake:
We flied over different Asuncion's suburbs:
Climbing to cruise altitude:
View of the winglet:
We were about to cross the Parana River, which is the eastern border between Paraguay and Brazil.
We passed over Guaraní International Airport (AGT), Ciudad del Este, which is second most important paraguayan airport, and with ASU, they are the only paraguayan airports in receiving regular commercial flights.
Ciudad del Este:
What you can see here as we crossed the Parana River is the Itaipu hydroelectical dam, which is one of the biggest and the most powerful in the world:
Before meal service started, the captain told us through the speaker that we were expecting storms in Sao Paulo, and about that time, stormclouds began to be seen:
After that, meal service started. It consisted in the classic Gol's sandwich (you could choose between ham and cheese, or only cheese), with a non-alcoholic beverage at your choice. (They had soda, juice, coffee and water). Apparently, Gol signed an alliance with Coca-Cola, and now they're only serving their products. Because of that, they no longer serve Guarana Antarctica (the classic guarana soda of Brazil), which I find shameful. In my case, I had a ham and cheese sandwich (which was very tasty as always) and a Coca-Cola.
By that time, we were flying over a sea of clouds:
View of the plane interior from my seat:
Route map of G3's allied airlines featured on the magazine:
Without any words of the captain, we started descent.
Surfing the clouds:
When I looked down through the window, I realized we were flying over the huge city of Sao Paulo:
Spoilers were used during the approach:
Flying over GRU:
Arrival After flying a holding pattern over the city, we came for a landing, which was also very bumpy because of the wind. Luckily, it wasn't raining in Sao Paulo. Because of the slight delay back in ASU, we landed 10 minutes behind scheduled, at 4:30 PM.
Video of the landing:
After landing we taxied to a remote position, where two buses were already waiting for us:
After the bus leaved us on the terminal, I headed to baggage claim. I was pretty in a rush because I had to clear customs and leave my lugagge in Gol's domestic counter again for my conncetion to SDU. And I only had one hour and half for it (my flight had to depart at 6:25)
Affortunately, I cleared customs very quickly, and I headed to domestic check-in area.
GRU main hall:
Asunción - ASU
Sao Paulo - GRU
Another great flight with G3, with all the flights I had with them, I was never dissapointed. For a "low-cost" airline, the product offered by Gol is excellent (Free meals, in-flight entertainemnt, with which Gol has taken a great leap forward). I definitively would fly with G3 again. As I said, ASU terminal building is clean and well maintained, but the structure is really outdated. Excepting the newer terminal 4, GRU is still being the same grey and monotonous airport I remember.
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