This will be just my third report in English so feel free to correct my sentences if necessary.
This trip is a special trip. Why? Because the main objective isn't to go to Basel (Switzerland). But definitely to fly on board the last of Russian built commercial jet the Sukhoi Superjet 100. Like many avgeek, I will try to catch these birds during their leasing contract with the Belgian airlines Brussels airlines. The flight is operated by the Irish company Cityjet who order 15 Sukhoi's in october 2015. On the 6 delivered 5 of them currently fly for SN with 3 on the full colors of the Belgian airline. From my hometown airport Toulouse the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to fly on this russian beauty is to do that routing.
Thursday 02/15/18 SN3668 Brussels Airlines TLS-BRU A319 it's here. Thursday 02/15/18 SN2705 Brussels Airlines (Cityjet) BRU-BSL SSJ100 is there soon. Friday 02/16/18 DS1718 Easyjet (Switzerland) BSL-TLS A320 not translated.
I try to do that kind of trip during my day off (I work during the week-ends) so the price is not too high and I can spend a complete day in Basel to visit this beautiful Swiss city. The full trip cost is around 110€ without the hotel. It's also a good way to extend the duration of my Brussels Airlines miles called Loop.
For the first part of this trip, not very glamour, we will fly on the SN A319 to Brussels there are up to 4 flights per day between the 2 cities 3 of them operated by SN destination BRU and one Ryanair flight to the low-cost airport CRL. The database is really empty for Brussels Airlines (just 17 flights!) so that report will be a new addition on the database.
Thu 02/15/18 TLS-BRU Brussels Airlines Airbus A319 (OO-SSJ) classe Y.
I went to the airport using the public transport approximately 45 minutes before boarding. Luckily the rain stops during the morning end when the sun starts to shine the temperature raise quickly.
A modern but slow streetcar that brought me here.
The big FIDS is just in front of the departure entrance. My flight is schedule, and you can see some departures for foreign destination like Fort de France in the French Caribbean islands.
Not to many time to spend I go directly to the safety checks without any wait with most of the lines opened.
Airside you can find some duty-free stores and few bars.
For the international flight I proceed to the hall D, during the short walk I can see some of the day visitors.
But there is also a nice view on the Airbus apron with this LH A350 not yet delivered he’s already has the old color scheme. In the middle of Airbus factory you can find the A300-600ST Beluga parking.
Despite of the flight is under Schengen regulation we need to pass an identity check and with all the international flight especially to the Maghreb cities (Algiers, Oran, Tunis) I expect a long queue. Finally and luckily there no passengers at the border control so I get into the hall D really quickly. There are many passengers at this time inside this area most of them currently start to board on the 2 Air Algerie flights. For the Fort de France the boarding is over sadly a passenger will miss his flight.
The unfortunate passenger will saw his A330 taking off in front of him heading to the sun of Martinique without him. The budget long haul airline XL Airways France has started is flight to French overseas few months ago.
One of the place master, AF performing some shuttle flight to Paris (ORY and CDG) with Airbus A319 and A321.
On the over side of the runaways you can find the new A350 some of them unpainted.
BA A319 takes off to Heathrow.
Few minutes after our A319 tip the tip of his radome from Brussels.
Let me introduce OO-SSJ, Sierra Juliet is an 16 years old Airbus A319, His carrier start in the US with Frontier, he join SN 2 years ago funnily another A319 already get this registration before with the defunct Sabena this “first” Sierra Juliet has been retired in 2014 with Meridiana.
The boarding time is now overpassed and some passenger waits on a queue in front of the boarding desk an announcement is done by the ground staff to inform passengers that due to the late arrival of our aircraft will delay our departure by 15 minutes.
Jetbridge with windows.
Fuselage shoot just before climbing into the aircraft. A warm and smiling welcome (in French) is performed by our crew.
Classic European cabin for Brussels Airlines, not very modern with these blue/grey colors and not comfortable at all with the extra-slim seat. Conversely pitch is good with the high position of the paper rack. You can also enjoy a small recline, and you can put your jacket on the hook located on the side of the seat.
Boarding completed is announced; the last passengers put their goods in the overhead lockers. Luckily Mr 21E and me, we are only 2 for 3 seats.
Outside, Tunisair Boeing 737-600 has been pushed back heading to Tunis.
With few minutes delay it’s our time to get pushed, like this Air Algerie Boeing 737-600 to Oran.
The taxi is not usual today; the runaway 32 right is closed today, so we roll to the 32 left. We need to wait the take-off of the 2 Boeing 737 previously mentioned.
Last look on the airport facilities before crossing the runaway 32R.
We stop at the holding point watching the Air Algerie 737 during his rotation.
It’s our time to go through the air.
We flew over the Airbus facilities of Jean-Luc Lagardère factory; you can see the retired prototype of A340-600 and a lot of new A350 being finished and an Emirates A380. You can also see the prototype of the new A330neo -800.
During our climb we can saw the golf of Seilh.
We follow the Garonne meanders near Saint Jory.
Unfortunately the clouds start to pop around.
A little gap into the clouds unveils the Montauban suburban.
But few minutes after it’s just overcast.
Wing tip shoots.
It’s time to look on the paper rack; you can find the mandatory ones with the air sickness bag and the safety card. You can also find the boutique catalog and an interesting inflight magazine. Inside, you can find some articles and advertises about the destinations served by the airline. There are also few corporate pages dedicated to the network maps and also (our favorite) the wonderful fleet page with the details of each Belgian icons livery.
The cabine is quite with approximately 90% of occupied seats.
Outside it’s still cloudy.
With all this clouds I can’t tell you where we flew but flightradar24 will say it.
Back inside off the cabin, the crew starts the service for eligible passengers and the buy on board for the others.
Captain will do the only announcement of the flight to tell us that we start our descent to Brussels and we will land on time at the Belgian capital.
Cabin is ready for landing.
The cloud covers change from overcast to broken so we can see the old power plant of Vilvorde.
Last turn over the cloud in order to intercept the glide of the runway 25 right of Zaventem.
We flew over the little city of Berg.
Last second of the flight we can see the hangars of the Belgian air forces near Melsbroek in front of them 2 C130 are parked.
Smooth landing on the Belgian ground.
Another Belgian military aircraft an Airbus A321.
We leave the runaway on the other side the LH technics facilities where an A340 of Air X charter is parked.
We start to backtrack the runway by using the parallel taxiway we saw two Ryanair birds, one of them will perform a flight to Barcelona.
Our taxi path make the round of the A terminal so we can have a look on SN aircraft parked at the gates, one of them is a Sukhoi Superjet 100 perhaps for my next flight?
A little bit further we can see “Amare” coming from Heathrow.
At the opposite side we can see the shape of a C17.
No doubt here is Brussels.
On the other side of A terminal a Brussels Airlines A330 resting after a flight from Mumbai.
We also saw a VLM A320 coming from Alicante.
Then we reach our gate followed by this A319 who's parked at the stand next to us.
The aircraft offloading is performed quickly and easily, with a nice farewell from our cabine crew.
To get into the terminal we use this glass jetbridge.
The A pier of the Zaventem airport is really well design with a lot of space and seats. The airport is also very quiet at this time of low traffic but all the anoncement are calm and quiet.
Last but not least there are some large windows with a great view on the tarmac. A good option to say goodbye at our daily bird.
This is the end of the first part of the translated report I hope you enjoyed it. I planned to report the SSJ flight but I need to perform some report for the french part of the website before.
Toulouse - TLS
Brussels - BRU
A correct flight performed by Brussel Airlines, the Belgian airlines provides a good value service principally because of the low price practiced on this line. But the lack of free catering is definitely disappointing.
Brussels Airlines: Cabin: Very slim seat not very comfortable but few goods aspects like a (little) recline a good pitch and mainly three seats for two redeem the cabin mark. Cabin crew: Just few worlds in English to announce the start of our descent to Brussels from the pilots and that’s all. Cabin crews efficient with smile on their lips Entertainment: A window seat and an interesting inflight magazine it’s enough for one hour flight. Meal/Catering: Buy on board expensive more than Transavia, Easyjet or Volotea for the same type of product.
Toulouse: Efficiency: Not too bad for the security checks. Perfect timing for the identity controls. Access: Cheap with the streetcar, but not very fast with a mandatory connection to go through the city center. Services: A lot of services for user’s groundside and airside. Cleanliness: Quite good but I didn’t past by the toilets.
Brussels: Efficiency: No safety checks, very well designed especially for Schengen flights. A nice place for spotting. Access: Jetbridge at the arrival. When I stopped at the airport last year it was very comfortable. Services: All that we can expect from a big HUB like this one. Cleanliness: Some trash on the ground.
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