Welcome to Part 3 of my Umrah Series, Flying on WY690 back to from Muscat Jeddah Operated by Oman Air's Boeing 737-800,this being my 16th Trip Report (9th on Flight-Report.com)
JED-MCT (25th January 2017) Oman Air/WY690/Boeing 737-800
Watch the entire video of this trip report:
Here's a look what my Umrah 2017 flight itinerary:
Ten days just managed to pass by so quickly! So fast that the feeling of landing in Jeddah from Muscat seemed like it was just yesterday! Anyways,I was approaching my later stages of my much awaited Umrah Pilgrimage which took me from Jeddah to Taif and then onward to the Most Blessed Place in the Muslim faith,to the Ziyaret (the resting place) of the Prophet of Islam, Seyyidina Muhammed ﷺ Being a follower of a Sufi Doctrine,The Naqshbandi 'Aliyyah Order, to all of us,visiting the courtyard Prophet to gather His Blessings is something considered as one of the most important aspects in life.
Now on to Trip Report 16
My Itinerary back home comprised of a Road Trip to Jeddah from Medina which was estimated at 5 Hours for a distance of over 400 Km with expected traffic en-route. After a very uneventful ride from Jeddah to Medina, with a stop halfway through to offer Morning Fajr Prayer, we reached Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport around 5 hours prior to departure,this time our bus made its way to the North Terminal of JED to drop us off
Since I was unsure of the restrictions pertaining to photography inside Jeddah Aiport, I decided not to click much until i headed to the gate.
Proceeding to the check-in counters proved to be very frustrating, being one of the first passengers and also a frequent flier of Oman Air's Sinbad Program in which I proceeded to the counter assigned for members, the Saudi representative at the counter seemed very unprofessional and lethargic,constantly fiddling around with his mobile phone and talking to other colleagues around him who didn't seem to be doing anything better than him. After standing in the front of the line for almost 10 minutes, I noticed from the screen of the counter on my left that their systems weren't online yet! This was pretty mediocre since they had opened the gates,passengers where standing in line and yet the chose not to inform us. Upon query he responded that they were indeed offline and with that he began to take work a bit more seriously. After another agonizing 10 minute wait at the counter,he promptly asked for my documentation and spent under 3 minutes clearing me to proceed to immigration en-route to dropping off my "over-sized baggage" in this case a 5 liter bottle of Zam-Zam (our Holy water) off at a dedicated luggage scanner.
Upon entering the immigration area i noticed that the expected crowd wasn't that severe,therefore quicly making my way to the front cleared immigration without any questions,proceeded to secondary security scanning and was in the gate area.
Duty free shops,souvenir shops,cafes and restaurants decorated the modern concourse of Jeddah Airport with notable point being Al-Baik undoubtedly serving the best fast food in the Kingdom) as well as Coffee Bean, a prayer area and washrooms and a few other eating establishments of minor interest.
With no breakfast, I was more than grateful to have Al-Baik (without the usual long waiting line) staring right in front of me and proceeded to have breakfast or rather brunch Purchased a combo meal consisting of an Al Baik Chicken Fillet Sandwich topped with their signature garlic sauce along with a lavish portion of fries and a Pepsi can for just SAR 10 which was a great deal!
With the passengers of Royal Air Maroc completing their boarding from Gate 46 for their journey to Casablanca, the LED sign over the gate changed to WY690 to MCT
My wait at the gate led to the expected outburst of Photographs with my Nikon
Here's what caught my eye: Please note that these images were uploaded on AirSriLanka Forum and are thus shared here as exclusive content for this Trip Report
Parked Saudia Boeing 777-200's (set to be retired soon)
The Majestic Saudia Boeing 747-400 in all its glory (this one being operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic mainly for Umrah and Hajj flights serving mostly South and South East Asia)
Corendon Airlines Boeing 737-800 (TC-TJI) on arrival from Turkey
"Al-Jabriya"the last surviving Boeing 747-400 of Kuwait Airways (9K-ADE) preparing for its departure to Kuwait City (KWI) This is the aircraft that I would have flown on in either of my sectors to/from JED if I had picked KU. Considered myself pretty lucky to catch a glimpse of this beauty.
Note the Royal Air Maroc Boeing 787-8 in the background awaiting departure to Casablanca, Morocco (CMN)
Was thereafter requested not to take anymore photographs whilst at the gate.
A while later we where bussed to our 737-800 parked at a remote apron at the Hajj Terminal
A leased Onur Air Airbus A330-200 (TC-OCE) in Saudia white livery at JED
A few More leased Onur Air Airbus A330-200's (TC-OCG/TC-OCK and TC-OCI) in Saudia whites at Jeddah Airport,currently operated for the Kingdoms National Carrier
Note TC-OCK was previously Registered as 4R-ALG and operated by Sri Lankan Airlines
Air Cairo Airbus A320-200 (SU-PBX) preparing for departure to Cairo (CAI) as Air Cairo SM476
The Kingdoms LCC FlyNas Airbus A320-200 at Jeddah Airport
The Aircraft assigned for this afternoon flight back to Muscat was as predicted, Oman Air's workhorse the Boeing 737-800 which had flown in from Muscat a while ago.
Airline: Oman Air (WY/OMA) Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 Registration: A40-BJ Flight: WY690 Seat Number: 26A From : Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED/OEJN) To:Muscat International Airport (MCT/OOMS) Departure Gate: 46 Departure Time: 14:10 Date: 25th January 2017
Boarding A40-BJ at JED
Seat selection had not being going my way,in this instance the window pane was badly scratched so all my experience had to be used in order of getting photos and videos fit for publication. Lucky for me that i've dealt with even worse windows on SriLankan Airlines 4R-ABL from COK to CMB so this wasn't much of a challenge
Push back taxi and Takeoff
EgyptAir and NasAir in the backdrop
Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 in Sight
Takeoff from Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport
Departure was on time and we were soaring above the Arabian Peninsular at 35,000 ft.
Seat Noticed that A40-BI was one of the Old un-refurbished Boeing 737-800's of WY which did not have IFE and much needed USB Connectivity that I was looking forward to charge my phone. However regardless of the fact, the seat pitch was outstanding and there were sufficent reading material available to help pass time along with the old overhead screens depicting the 737's position and route map.
The crew didn't make much of an appearance,however carried out their duties swiftly and in a friendly manner, comprising Arab and Thai crew on this sector
Meal Service A drinks run was carried out shorty after take off with the FA's distributing water which was much needed after taking off from the Hot,humid city of Jeddah
Meal Service commenced thereafter with Chicken,Lamb or Vegetarian being the options available, Without any hesitation I opted for the Lamb accompanied with a bread roll,water,Salad and a Crumbly sort of dessert that didn't which didn't seem to please my taste buds much. The Lamb however was King! A juicy chunk dipped in thick gravy Cooked Medium Well,served hot with a tasty vegetable curry and basmati rice which an ideal lunch!
Without IFE, I decided that it would be best to take a nap, due to the fact that I wanted to catch the sights and sounds of Muscat Airport and also due to my hour connection.
The overhead screens showed that we were approaching MCT ,with our Boeung 737-800 beginning its descent into the Sultanate
Upon landing at Oman, I noticed the vast size of MCT Airport and was amazed by the sheer scale of this airport and the possibilities of it becoming a major hub for air transportation in the Middle East in the near future. The Captain came over the intercom and thanked us for flying with WY and wished us well for our onward journey and to feel free to direct any queries to their on ground personnel. Disembarked A40-BI and bussed to the very familiar Arrival Concourse to find our way to the transfer desk with loads of time to spare
Jeddah - JED
Muscat - MCT
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