A month ago I hear that Blue1 would stop to fly. For economic reasons, SAS will do the same as CIMBER, the will place other aircrafts on the Blue1 subcompany (normally the Boeing 737-600). Blue1 is an airline from Finland. The flights were operated by SAS. It is exactly the same that was previously CIMBER with some CRJ200 and a sole ATR72. Now the route from Geneva to Stockholm Arlanda will be operated by SAS with Boeing 737.
This flight will be operated on a Boeing 717, This aircraft is not so common in Europe. The other B717 operator is Volotea, which is a Spanish carrer, which will soon update its fleet with Airbus'. The other operators are Delta Airlines and Hawaian Airlines.
I arrived in advance for this flight. My first flight, with EasyJet arrived earlier the same day. That's not my first time at Geneva airport. In May I took the last sheduled flight onboard a soviet plane, which was a Tupolev 154M operated by Belavia. And another flight which was also special, it was a flight with Kuwait Airways onboard a Boeing 747-400 which is used sometimes for Haj flights or Emir's flights. And this time will be to fly on the last B717 Blue1 (SAS) flight between Geneva and Stockholm. This flight will be a bit special, because I had a great present few minutes after boarding, I didn't expect this before to take my seat. Let's fly and see what surprise it was …
After a little waiting time at Geneva airport, I went to print my boarding pass. The day before my flight I was able to choose online my seat. For Blue1 seat map selection webpage is from a different hosting (not SAS website). To find where I could be able to find it was not so easy but I finaly find it… Maybe too late because I didn't be able to choose the seat that was looking for. What a big surprise when I saw on the seat selection map at the airport that the 21A was free !!! Because it wasn't 24 hours ago.
After I took my boarding pass (BP) I went to the security controls. Everything was fine for me. I was so glad to got the seat I was looking for. I will have a good view about the engine and the wind. It will be the first time for me to fly on the Boeing 717. Later on, I went to check my flight on the departures screens. It was planned "on-time".
I took a seat next to the gate allocated for my flight which will be the gate A4. I wait only 5 to 10 minutes before our boarding was called, I was one of the first passenger to enter into this Blue1 plane. The Geneva airport windows are not so spotters friendly, due of many dots which are on the airport's windows. It is to avoid to be blind with the sun during summer. Today aircraft will the OH-BLO, it was the plane I was looking for to fly on today !!! What a great news.
I was welcome onboard by two flight attendants (F/A). When enter into this plane which was looking nice, clean and tidy. Another member of crew was in the middle helping some passengers having some difficulties to put their hand luggages into the overhead bins. I arrived to my seat, I took time to discover the area where I will stay for this flight.
The overhead panel was great, the buttons, where like "touch-clever". I didn't had to press it hardly to swich on the light. I just had to touch it softly. The seat was comfortable with a great pitch. Inside the seat pocket, I was able to find the airline safety card (s/c) and the inflight magazine and the sickness bag which were from SAS. When I looked though out the porthole, I saw the view I was looking for. It was like the MD80's porthole view. Early in Septembre 2015 I had the change to fly on the MD87 from DAT, which is the last MD87 to fly in Europe. Great souvenirs. Here the porthole was a bit dirty, but it was not too annoying. Few minutes later, the purser of this flight came to my seat and ask me "Mr Garnier, please follow me to the front of the cabin please". I followed him, and here the big surprise of this special flight …
The flight purser ask me to wait, and quickly came back. He told me to enter, and at this time the two pilots told me to take a seat, and to enjoy the last SAS operated by Blue1 revenue flight between Geneva and Stockholm Arlanda. I sat on the cockpit jumpseat, which was very high. I was surprise, yes I'm small, but I'm not so tall as well… There were to foot Steps allowing me to be more comfortable.
The pilots were preparing the take off. After the start and take off briefing, we start to push back. I had headphones to be able to follow the ATC and also to be able to speak with pilots. When we were on position, co-pilot started up the engine number 1 which was followed by the number 2. On our right there was a Boeing 737-500 Lufthansa. A nice 737 classic !!! One of the last flying in Europe. At this time, Lufthansa is withdrawing them.
After engines safety started. Now we are ready to taxi to the take off runway. During our taxi we were able to see some airlines; Ukraine International, Lufthansa, Air France, EasyJet, Aeroflot and Ethiad Regional. And later on I saw a rare aircraft, a Tupolev 214 from the russian government which was coming in Geneva (thanks to Marco : click here) . So now let's take off !
Now we are on the runway 23. We were cleared to take off, and in a big roar, the plane run up and after few seconds we start to fly. The sound into the cockpit was amazing, and the flying sensation were absolutly wonderful ! It was like such light plane taking off with no difficulties. During the climb, we made a long right turn allowing us to fly to the north until Stockholm.
When we arrived to our cruise altitude, I start to chat with pilots. The pilot shown me the traffic arround us that we were not able to see. Today's weather was great. No many clounds, and a nice big sun ! During that time as well I made a little discovering tour about this cockpit where I was for the first time. So here the pilot's yokes, the overhead panel, the radio panel, and the thottles.
During the flight I had the opportunity to eat, and drink. I took a salad with a coke. Later on the flight purser came back to us to check if everything was fine. The pilot explained me the diffents panels, and I told him a bit about my hobby, my passion, my work. It was a great sharing time. Pilots were as well sad to know that the B717 will stop to fly. It was a great plane.
They explained to me that Blue1 will stop to fly with their B717 before the end of the month. And the November flights will be operated by DAT with some A320 and the MD87. They are also some special planes. I flown already on both. They shown me some little pictures about the "new" B737-600 Blue1 planes which were wearing the Blue1 paint scheme. They told me that normally 737 planes would keeps their actual SAS painting before to be transfered to Blue1.
Also we spoke about all avantages that this plane has. But also disavantages… There were no many of them. Blue1 used to fly with some MD80, Saab2000 and RJ100 in the past. And for few years now has a single fleet of B717, which help them to reduce the cost of training, and maintenance. Pilots were surprised that Blue1 would withdraw its B717.
After some chat, pilots were preparing the approach to Stochkholm. We decrease our speed and were going lower. So pilots starts to realized some checklists before the landing and made the landing briefing. At that time weather was a bit different. A bit more cloudy than it was in Geneva.
After all checks made, we realised a first turn to the right and then another one later to the left allowing us to be more align to the landing runway. At that time we enter into the clounds,
Now we are aligned to the landing runway last checks made, landing gear down, 3 green approved to land, it our time to arrive at Stockholm Arlanda. We flown over a lot of forest trees, Runway on view ! The approach was made on the automatic mode, and then few minutes before to land the auto-pilot (AP) was disconned and land in manual. That was a great flying moment !
Touch down, reverse … 80 knots ! Welcome into Sweden. We realised a great landing not hard, and it was impressive from the flight deck. What a landing !
After our landing to Stockholm Arlanda, we had a long taxi before to arrive to the airport terminal area. We taxi next to the Braathens Regional parkings, and few minutes after we arriver to our parking area.
Today's gate will be the number 8. There was a little panel on the terminal wall helping to guide pilots to the right way on the paking gate. After the braked were on, pilot swich off the engines, the seat belt sign. All passengers left the plane I stayed into the flight deck few extra minutes to say thank to the pilots and the crew for this wounderful flight.
Here is for you a last picture of the cabin of this B717 Blue1 OH-BLO, which is looking new. The grey color is giving a better space feeling I think. This is like the Porter's seats.
A big thank you for your reading, I hope you enjoyed to read my flight report. A big thank you for this wounderful crew. See you next flight ! Just time for me to meet my friend at Arlanda.
Geneva - GVA
Stockholm - ARN
#CABIN A cabin which was looking great clean et new. Very enjoyable !
#CREW A crew which was very professional and attentive. Wonderful !
#ENTERTAINEMENT The flight was today's entertainment.
#CATERING Nothing much to eat, but enough for the flight.
#GENEVA AIRPORT An airport comfortable, that I enjoy.
#ARLANDA AIRPORT Scandinave style airport, very convenient, with a warm atmosphere, I like it !
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