1. CMB- MAA ( Sri Lankan Airlines- UL121) 2. MAA-IXM (SpiceJet SG291) 3.IXM-CMB (SpiceJet SG3314) You are here!
Since this was pretty much a 3 hour Layover at Madurai upon arrival from Chennai, this trip report would be one of my shortest.
With my flight SG291 Landing from Chennai, I noticed that Madurai Airport (IXM/VOMD) was a really small airport in comparison to the bigger airports i'd been to in India, Namely Chennai (MAA) and Bangalore (BLR)
IXM is a "Customs Airport" serving Madurai and its surrounding districts in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Established in 1957, Madurai had its first International Frequency in 2012 with Spicejet commencing its maiden service to Colombo on 20 September 2012, utilizing its Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft
The Airport houses just one runway measuring 7,497 ft. As I recall, Madurai Airport and just a couple of shops situated on its premises which acted as a "Duty Free" and we were left with absolutely nothing to do
For some reason, our baggage wasn't Interlined to Colombo which meant that we had to get our bags out ourselves and drop them off at the assigned check-in counter at IXM. This was completed in a matter of minutes and it was on to Immigration and security,making our way to the Gates with plenty of time in hand.
What Impressed me the most was SpiceJet's turboprop fleet, which was the main reason that I chose to fly an additional sector to get home to Colombo
SpiceJet's Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 (SG3314) operates daily frequencies from Madurai to Colombo, with the utilized aircraft starting its day with an early morning flight from Hyderabad (HYD) to Madurai (IXM) thereafter making a return journey to Colombo (CMB) and back again to Hyderabad (HYD) via. Madurai (IXM)
We were bused to our waiting aircraft VT-SUM (MSN4402), A 2 Year old Canadian built Bombardier Dash-8 Q400. A marvelous piece of engineering
Boarding was fast and efficient with the flight being a sell-out Many passengers complained about the "Small Aircraft", but for me it was just what I wanted!
Got myself seated at 8A, which had a good view of the Pratt & Whitney PW150 Turboprops. A seat maybe a few rows ahead would've been a better deal, however this was good enough for me My recommendation for Flight Reporters and Aviation Bloggers on selecting the perfect seat on SpiceJet's Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 would ideally be somewhere between Rows 2 to 6 Row 8 is alright, even though it did have a somewhat restricted view
The safety demo was conducted manually and Take-off was as scheduled and we hit our assigned cruising altitude of 20,000 ft.
The seat Pitch was out of this world! Far better than most Airbus and Boeing aircraft that i had been on!
If i had an option to fly the Q400 on even longer sectors I wouldn't hesitate with it coming in as one of my top 5 Aircraft.
The Crew were above par and very attentive towards all the passengers. No complaints. Shortly after take-off, passengers who had pre-ordered meals were attended followed by the buy-on-board service that commenced shortly afterward with water, an assortment of Sandwiches and snacks being available for purchase.
The Meal or rather the snack that we pre-ordered was definitely one of the better sandwiches that I've had in the air A Vegetarian sandwich, made with White Bread, Bell Peppers, Corn and Mayo honestly made my day! The blend of flavors and the entire combination was on point It was pretty awkward to eat on board though, since many passengers hadn't ordered anything and were constantly eyeballing my sandwiches
SpiceJet served each passenger with a complimentary cup of water which was a pleasant gesture since many LCC's nowadays look for additional ancillary income which would obviously require passengers to pay for water bottles
Seat back personal screen's weren't available on this flight, due to SpiceJet following a LCC model and the only IFE available was a selection of magazines which took up the seat pocket contents
Descent began shortly afterward and I was glad that I did pick out SpiceJet, since flying at an Altitude of 20,000 ft was just perfect!
Landing was a totally different experience here, since the Q400 comes into land with in a nose down position which was pretty cool.
The SpiceJet Q400 experience was certainly one of the best! Wonderful aircraft, seat pitch and in-flight catering, better than most full-service carriers for sure! Highly recommended!
SriLankan Airlines Airbus A320-200 (4R-ABO)
SriLankan Airlines Airbus A320-200 (4R-ABK) now operated by the Indian LCC IndiGo as (VT-IHC)
Throwback! British Airways Boeing 777-200ER and (now defunct) Mihin Lanka's Airbus A320-200 (4R-MRE) currently in operation for SriLankan Airlines
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Madurai - IXM
Colombo - CMB
A Recommended LCC for Short Haul and for Domestic travel within India
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