Hello! I'm back with reports and this is a series of several flights because this is my round-trip between Jakarta and Istanbul using Singapore Airlines. In case you haven't read the first outbound sector:
Flight Number: SQ392 Origin Airport: Changi International Airport - Singapore (IATA: SIN/ICAO: WSSS), Terminal 3 Destination Airport: Atatürk International Airport - Istanbul, Turkey (IATA: IST/ICAO: LTBA), International Terminal
Departure time information are given in Singapore Standard Time (UTC+08.00) Standard Time of Departure: 0150 hrs Actual Time of Departure: 0212 hrs Departure time information are given in Further-Eastern European Time (UTC+03.00) Standard Time of Arrival: 0825 hrs Actual Time of Arrival: 0827 hrs
Aircraft Registration Number: 9V-SVB (MSN 28525) Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-212 (ER) Aircraft Age: 16 years (delivered July 2001)
So in the first sector, I flew on SQ967 which was the last outbound flight to Singapore each day. It was supposed to depart on 2020 local time but due to the horrible traffic and lack of efficiency in the CGK airport system, the flight was delayed for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Which means I only have roughly an hour or less to do things in Singapore before the boarding call for the next sector di Istanbul is commenced.
But anyway, here is something interesting. I don't really know when all of this started, but Singapore Airlines now gave out 20 SGD vouchers that can be used in Changi Airport for almost anything, if you're travelling with SQ and is involved in a connecting flight in Changi. The voucher is applicable in any kind of transaction whether it be shopping, dining, or other types of transactions. Well, this is neat and I guess it's a good strategy and marketing method to attract more and more passengers. I wonder when will my flag carrier do the same strategy to compete internationally. I guess i've been dreaming to much lately.
Well, the voucher looks roughly like this
Due to the over 1.5 hour delay of the previous I didn't take any pictures of the airport and other aspects that need. I'm very sorry about this because I needed to go to the bathroom first and when I'm finished I noticed that boarding is in 10 minutes while the gate is still a long walk to go so I rushed as fast as I can to get there on time. Very sorry about this. But anyway, I don't need to make any further comments and reviews about Changi Airport as it is undisputably the best airport in the world for me. Everything just works out so well, and anyone could have ever needed in an airport is available within your reach, seamlessly. As a citizen of a neighbour country of Singapore, going to Singapore Changi Airport feels like heaven while deep down I'm just wondering when could possibly the dull, trashy, and inefficient airports back home can be as good as this one.
So let's get to the core of the report, the flight experience itself. Today I'm boarding 9V-SVB, which is a 16-year old Boeing 777-200ER fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines. I've done extensive research prior to this flight, and damn it was difficult to find a report that reviews this sector in economy class. In the end, I actually never found one. But based on that research as well, I obtained information that SQ operates their 9V-SV* fleet on some other routes namely Perth, Sydney, Christchurch, Bangkok, and Johannesburg. So I decided to look up for reports on those flights as well. What I learned from that is the interiors of these planes are fitted in 9-abreast configuration, with an IFE which is roughly the same with the ones I got on the previous sector. But this is such a surprise and a good news.
Yes, this particular aircraft is fitted with the newer generation interior. This is similar to what you might find on SQ's A330 or the first A380s. I was very grateful. The tone of the interior was also different but I liked it anyway.
Sitting here in 51A, I find it very comfortable and I have no issues at all about the seating. Legroom is very plentiful for someone of my height (168 cm or 5ft 6.5in)
The Christmas decorations are something you don't see on other airlines. This flight departs after midnight on December 25th.
Hot towel distribution at 0100 local time
Menu is distributed. You can see that a lot of things in SQ are inscripted with 70th Anniversary commemorations later on in this review.
I photographed the whole menu with the options available as well, but it turns out that a lot of the meals served there aren't based on the menu at all or roughly, the menu is useless. Actually that's fine for me but SQ got me disappointed by saying there'll be Turkish cheese pastry for breakfast. I really liked that, was hoping for that, but suddenly they aren't serving that today. Such a pity.
The captain's generous smile is ready to show the safety features on board this aircraft! The picture quality in this IFE is much better than the standard old ones in the 773, what a relief since this will be a 11-hour flight.
Taxiing to the runway
A true aviation geek knows this means entertainment is available throughout the flight:)
And the map here is a lot, lot better than the old generation maps. Clear, sharp, and crisp images is what I need for a map.
The IFE screen from my point of view with the remote control in stowed position below. Remote is 100% functional and seems to be nothing wrong with it.
And just below the armrest you can find these! It really comes in handy for a long-haul flight!
What's even better is that my favourite jam is in the house yo…
And some other selections from the music gallery
Almost an hour after take-off, the aircraft is currently cruising just west of Malaysia, above the Strait of Malacca. During this immediate moment dinner service is about to commence as well (dinner at half past 2 in the morning, why not?)
You also get this prawn salad as the appetizer
Another curry! But this time it's beef. Very similar to the Indonesian rendang, if you know what I'm talking about.
I don't really know what's going on but SQ sure have been serving me some good desserts! This ice cream is the highlight of the meal!
With the flight map in the background
After the very satisfying dessert, I reluctantly fell asleep. I'm the type of person that when it is already time to sleep, then I'll sleep without any major issues. Even in economy class. I guess I fell asleep for around 4-5 hours. I put back my glasses on and headed to the flight info menu on the IFE. And apparently the aircraft is already cruising 38,000 feet above sea level in the northern part of Iran, straddling the Caspian Sea's coastline near the Azerbaijani border.
Cabin lighting has been re-activated in preparation for breakfast (yes, another meal)
The tray is rolling down the aisle!
As I mentioned before, I was a bit upset due to the reality that they didn't serve breakfast as what the menu displayed, but nevertheless that wasn't much of a big issue for me. I opted for egg frittatas with chicken sausage with potatoes. Nothing special, just average. Not really mouth-watering nor bad in taste. Accompanying the main breakfast was fresh bread, butter, and jam (the bread was still very warm, it's good) and some assorted fruits. I decided to have a nice cup of black coffee as well.
As my mother and my 10-year old sister was sitting right in front of me, my mother offered to document the kids meal that was being served to my sister
It's astronomical twilight already
Officially in Turkish airspace
We are somewhere above the notorious Ottoman traditional villages of Amasya and Safranbolu which has also become a major tourist attraction
The snowy landscape of the Central Anatolian Plateau. Winter is on full swing here.
The cabin crew are making their final preparations prior to landing
The last moment before the seatbelt sign is finally turned on
Making some twists and turns over the Asian side of Istanbul while descending
This should be the Bosphorus Bridge (Boğaziçi Köprüsü)
As we cross the Bosphorus Strait onwards to the European side.
The captain also addressed us prior descent that the flight will be perfectly on time, based on schedule. ETA is 0827 local time and the current ground temperature at Istanbul is 7 degrees Celsius. This is a pretty good aerial view of the Golden Horn area. A small peninsula where it used to be the centre of ancient and medieval Constantinople of the Roman Empire. That's what I'm here for. I'm a big history enthusiast and seeing old and historical monuments is an entertainment of my selection. The Golden Horn used to have city walls surrounding them even by the coastline to prevent invaders coming on ships.
An even closer look of the Golden Horn area. If you look closely enough you'll see the historical complex which contains Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), and the cathedral, turned mosque and turned museum Hagia Sophia (Church of The Holy Wisdom of Jesus) which is its architectural counterpart. On a brighter day, I think the descent path towards Istanbul offers the most stunning views out of any in the world.
The current airport was inaugurated back in the 1980s using the name Yeşilköy Airport. Named after the district that the airport is located, Yeşilköy, which some 24 kilometres southwest of the city centre. A lot of new high-end residential area are being extensively developed along the coastline of the vicinity. Currently, the government is working on the construction of a new international airport, which will be located on the European side as well, near the districts of Arnavutköy and Çatalca, nearby the Black Sea coast. The government is pursuing ambitious targets of making Istanbul a world-class hub that is served primarily by its flag carrier, Turkish Airlines. If you open any satellite-based maps that can display satellite imagery then it is easy to find the construction site and the new airport is starting to take shape already.
A short taxi to the remote parking stand. From my previous experiences flight to and out of IST, I've never boarded the aircraft via airbridges. Only remote stands. But sometimes it's really fun because IST is such a big airport with high traffic and boarding from the remote stands will bring you a sensation of directly being on the apron, and I personally think that's pretty much something to be grateful of. This picture is the headquarters of DHMI (Devlet Hava Meydanları İşletmesi) or the Turkish General Directorate of Civil Aviation.
Disembarking the aircraft, the front section of the economy class cabin are fitted in shades of blue
So long, Victor-Bravo
Istanbul's sunrise from the apron
DIsembarking from ground perspective photobombed by the Rolls-Royce Trent 892
Inside the bus that will take us to the arrival hall
This is TC-JIP, a 10-year old Airbus A330-200 fitted with Pratt&Whitney PW4000 engines with the codename Lale (Tulip). It has just landed from Prince Muhammad bin Abdul 'Aziz International Airport in Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia as TK99.
I can't see clearly what is the registration of this little guy over here, but its name is Milas for sure!
While this one is TC-JSL, codename Kulu. A 4-year old Airbus A321-200 fitted with IAE V2500 engines that also has just arrived after a 4-hour flight from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
TK rules here!
Some images I managed to take inside the terminal building in IST. Well, for me Istanbul is an "enough" kind of airport. If I could give a sentence to describe it then it's got to be simplicity at its best. It's simple, especially in terms of layout and where the amenities are located but nevertheless, it's adequate enough to cater your basic needs as a traveller. The Turkish Airline lounge is amazing, by the way. You should go there if there's any chance. Highly recommend that.
So, that's the end of this sector then!
Singapore - SIN
Istanbul - ISL
This is an example of a good and well-executed re-fitting of a cabin of an old B777-200ER. I'm very much satisfied with the flight experience, as it's very solid and the hospitality and service level performed by the SQ cabin crew really lives up to its 5-star rating. Dining is also not on the outstanding edge but it's very much alright. Good job SQ!
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