SIN-CMBSri Lankan Airlines| Singapore to Colombo| Airbus A330-200 (UL303| 4R-ALJ) - 15th January 2018
Back again at Singapore-Changi International Airport (SIN), my usual transfer point from the east en-route home to Colombo, SriLanka (CMB)
With quite a few carriers operating on the SIN-CMB route, dominated by Sri Lankan Airlines, connecting both cities with 3 daily frequencies, followed by Singapore Airlines operating its Airbus A330-300 and its subsidiary Silk Air operating their narrow bodied Boeing 737-800's on this route, along with Emirates being the only other airline operating a daily 5th Freedom red-eye flight thereby making this an incredibly lucrative sector
With Emirates being my first choice, due to its price being comparatively lower than the other carriers on the SIN-CMB route. My connection from KUL to SIN had to be changed last moment to Jetstar Asia from Scoot due to a significant difference in fare.
However, this allowed me to book a Multi City Itinerary (CMB-KUL /SIN-CMB) on SriLankan Airlines for quite an impressive price
1. CMB- KUL ( Sri Lankan Airlines- UL314) 2. KUL-PEN (AirAsia- AK6112) 3.PEN-KUL (AirAsia- AK6131) 4. KUL-SIN (Jetstar Asia- 3K684) 5. SIN-CMB (Sri Lankan Airlines- UL303) You are here!
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With plenty of time before my outbound connection, my plans were to visit "Mustafa Center" and also the Mount Palmer area to visit the Habib Nuh Mausoleum. A chat with the immigration officer made it clear that with peak traffic it may take a longer time to make it back to the airport on time for my connection so I was advised not to make the trip. Uber was unfortunately on "Surge" which further discouraged me from getting out of Changi Airport.
A quick stop at Starbucks and lunch at Burger King (played it safe this time, without having "Laksa" which was absolutely horrible the last time) and a little window shopping saw time by
My loyal travel companion FlightRadar24 notified me that I'd be getting 4R-ALJ yet again. I was really looking forward to flying on Sri Lankan Airlines state-of-the-art Airbus A330-300 series back home on this sector, however I was destined to fly on ALJ for the second time. (The first being my onward flight to KUL from CMB just a couple of days before this flight). CMB-KUL (UL314/4R-ALJ) 11th January 2018
Why Singapore Changi is on my Top 3 Airports is because of its wide selection of places to eat, relax or grab a cup of coffee. Friendly airport staff and remarkable spots for Spotting.
Eva Air Boeing 777-300ER
VietJet Airbus A320-200
And here's Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus A330-200 (4R-ALJ)
Airline: Sri Lankan Airlines (ALK/UL) Aircraft: Airbus A330-200 Registration: 4R-ALJ Flight: UL303 Seat Number: 58A From: Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN/WSSS) To: Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI) Departure Gate: B3 Departure Time: 15:20 Date: 15th January 2018
Boarding started pretty quickly from Gate B3 which had a more restricted view of the air-side
Was welcomed into a decent, yet worn out Cabin, something that was quite expected with the seats being uncomfortable too,but acceptable for a medium-haul flight "realizing the fact that ALJ was Configured exactly as ALH (the A330-200 in OneWorld Livery) with a standard 2-4-2 Y Class Layout.The pair even shared a common Safety Card, which was marked as Airbus A330-200 (J/H)"
IFE available on this flight was above par for a 3.5 hr flight with a good selection of content available The seat pocket contents were the same as my inbound flight to KUL
The window pane was terribly scratched, which drastically affected the quality of my pictures and videos Even though I did have an option of switching seats and settling in the forward cabin that did have a couple of vacant seats,the view from them was pretty unsatisfactory thereby I decided to stay at my pre-booked seat 58A
Take off was right on time and we hit cruising altitude
The Load factor on Y Class for today's rotation to CMB was around 70% full and I noticed many passengers connecting from Jetstar Asia's flights from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Jakarta (CGK) and a few flying in from Melbourne (MEL) as well
The Meal options for lunch service on today's flight was as choice between one Vegetarian and two Non-Vegetarian Options, which in my case was narrowed down to just a single option,mainly because Vegetarian wasn't my thing and for the fact that I didn't fancy Fish much. So Chicken was my "Protein of the day"
Chicken Kalu Pol Curry served with, Potato Curry and Steamed white rice was a on point and an impressive combination!
The portion served was fair enough and it tasted great! Definitely something that I missed even though it was just for a week! SriLankan had certainly revamped their in-flight catering which was a good sign. Accompanied with Salad (horrible), a Coke and Watalapam (A Coconut custard pudding infused with coconut milk (base) and jaggery,Cashew nuts with a load of spices) An assortment of Fresh Juices and liquor were available for passengers along with Lion Lager, the Local Favorite.
Turbulence! at FL. 35,000! By far the worst I've ever faced, taking a direct hit on the Airbus A330-200's ageing air frame! The Cabin crew having to work extra hard to clear up the meal trays and to ensure that all the passengers were in their seats with seat belts fastened
Even though the Crew on this flight wasn't the best , and overall service was nothing compared to what I received on UL303 a few months earlier link it was still above average. A couple of drink runs and a duty free run was carried out, but that was it. Seems like the crew on this flight were pretty exhausted too
Managed just to watch a single movie before taking a much needed nap and woke up to even more turbulence
With Sri Lanka in sight, ALJ landed smoothly back to its base at CMB, to much of the relief of most passengers who voiced out their "terrifying" experience on the turbulent ride to CMB.
Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 and SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-200 (4R-ALH) at CMB
4R-ALH: SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-300 in OneWorld Livery (Flew on this to CGK)
Immigration was absolute Chaos as always,with Airport services once again proving to be incredibly disappointing! Colombo Airport (CMB) lacks pretty much everything, and first impressions for any traveler would be guaranteed to be negative, starting off with,no WiFi being available, a handful of Airport Service staff running around (mostly incompetent) and a bunch of idiots trying to sell Washing Machines and Refrigerators at the duty free shops just after immigration! (Id rather not go on about it any further). My suggestion would be to move this eyesore elsewhere, because its common scene that tourists do not visit Sri Lankan to purchase Washing Machines for Gods sake!
That'd be all for now.
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Singapore - SIN
Colombo - CMB
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