Hi everyone! First time publishing a report on the English side although I have a released my 100th report on the French side recently. I know, nobody's perfect so bear with me, to start with, I've chosen a quite unknown airline to most of you. This will also be a somewhat vintage report as I took this flight in 2012. Nevertheless, I hope you'll enjoy this "back in the days" story. So, let's go from Malaga, Spain to Milan Malpensa, Italy. Welcome on board this oldies goldies flight, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Here's a vintage report about an airline unknown to many and only reported twice by Dor on his return trip from TLV to MXP. Now, let me introduce you to Neos, a leisure Italian carrier operating regular and charter flights out of Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino and Verona to sunny destinations. They also operate some ad-hoc charter flights and today, they will fly us, a bunch of events/audiovisual technicians plus a group of private banking employees coming back from an incentive trip on the southern coast of Spain. This was my first ever charter flight and I was really curious to see what kind of service we could receive once on board the aircraft. As the company operated both 767-300ER and the Boeing 737-800 at the time, any aircraft model would do for me. Since then, the airline has added the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to its fleet.
BACKGROUND: MILAN TO MALAGA
I work in the events industry and back in 2012, I had to go to Marbella, Spain with my colleagues for a conference. Had no choice on the carrier this time, the company booked our flights and we'll fly outbound on one of Europe's leading low-cost airline, easyJet. Alitalia stopped most of their operations out of Milan Malpensa including their daily flight to Malaga at the time so the orange British airline will do the job. A truly uneventful flight although I shall remember for a long time how uncomfortable a blind seat on the last row of easyJet's A319 can be. Had to stretch out to take a few pictures.
With very few photography options available and the passengers seating in front of me not really enjoying my intrusion, I was just so happy to leave this boring aircraft. I started wondering what the return flight would be like. A couple of days later, one of my colleagues proudly announced we were booked on a charter flight!
Time to move to Marbella for work. Here are a few shots of the Convention center and our boring event.
THE NEOS EXPERIENCE
Last night in a hotel in Malaga. The next morning was spent on the rooftop swimming pool. Finally able to catch some sun and rest after three days of rain but unfortunately, no hot enough for a swim.
Arrival at the airport, with this magnificent old-school terminal in full display.
No doubt the Germans are amongst the most frequent users of this airport as one may notice on the signage.
Destinations are obviously tourism-related with outbound flights mainly to northern Europe.
Obviously, this being a chartered flight, online check-in was not available. We all had to queue and being part of the technical crew wouldn't help much today. We had to let the "guests" check-in first. I was lucky though, as I managed to grab the last window seat available. What a relief! I thanked the IB agent contracted for the ground handling operations profusely and moved towards security controls with the head held high.
With some time to kill, while my colleagues went shopping or eating I chose to go spotting! I must admit I was quite lucky that morning. Although there's less traffic than in other major Spanish airports like MAD or BCN, I managed to grab a few nice species. Well, AGP was Spain's 4th largest airport at the time, attracting mostly leisure flights from the UK and Germany.
Now defunct Monarch Airlines from GB, a big player at the time with one of their A321s.
And… the Nordics!
My preferred livery remains Cimber-Sterling's which I seldom have a chance to spot.
That vintage paint scheme looks so smart on a Boeing 737!
I saw my aircraft land so I quickly moved towards the gate. I had secretly hoped for a bigger bird (one of the company's 767-300) but a 737 would do the job as fine. Guess I can't have it all…
Our aircraft for the flight was I-NEOT = a Boeing 737-800 which flew first on 13 May 2002. This aircraft was on lease from GECAS and nicknamed Città di Torino.
Moon Flower 2431 (the airline's callsign), ready for boarding. Vamos!
A very warm welcome from the smiling crew at the door. I usually board the aircraft amongst the last passengers and I rapidly settled into my seat. The level of comfort is definitely higher than that on my outbound flight :-)
No delay, push back and departure on time. We soon began our taxi towards RWY 13.
Private jets of the happy few on holidays on the Costa Brava
The general aviation terminal.
We took off facing the sea.
and the climb out phase was quite scenic!
We then followed the coastline for the first part of the flight until we reached the French border.
AGP from above.
After reaching FL100, crew members were released for their duties. Menus handed out (sorry, I did not think about taking a picture of it) and soon enough, the trolleys were brought down the aisle. As I did not really know what to expect, I was quite surprised when I did read the menu: lunch was going to be served. The onboard magazine had a nice article about the airline catering. True to their words, I wouldn't be disappointed.
Neos has chosen not to serve any US well-known soft drinks and the rest of the food is announced as healthy. Drinks usually include Italian fruit juices brands and wine was also available along with waters and hot drinks, all free of charge of course, even on their regular flights! Who am I to refuse free booze? The light meal as served by the cabin crew: a fresh salad, some turkey ham slices and a goat cheese mousse which I cannot eat due to an allergy to goat milk. There's even a small cake as dessert. Everything was fresh and really tasty. Red wine from the Langhe region in Piemonte, north-west Italy was also served. The only mishap was the water poured into the wrong glass. I quickly drank the water and transferred the wine in the real glass straight away! Love the nice metal cutlery too.
Meanwhile, clouds had become our new travel companions and would remain with us until we reached our destination.
Top of descent announced.
We continued our approach through turbulence. While most passengers seemed to really dislike this moment, including my neighbors, I was in heaven :-)
Soft landing, reverse thrust and breaking in action
We promptly exited RWY 35L and taxied to our parking position at Malpensa Terminal 1
Spotting of some local birds.
A company Boeing 767-300ER
What remained of AirOne, the then "other" Italian airline from the pre-merger with Alitalia
757 Blue Panorama (another leisure/charter Italian airline)
Alba Star, a Spanish charter airline
A330 Eurofly/hybrid livery
DHL A300 Freighter
Last turn. Deplaning was by bus. I bid farewell to the crew and took the last pictures of our plane as I stepped onto the bus.
Luggage delivery took a long time as it used to be at the time at Malpensa. Since then, things have very much improved. I returned to the city by train. A quick view of the temporary art installation in the transition area between the airport and the train station that is still in place today.
That's all Folks! Until next time, of course ;-) Thanks for reading, please like if you like, leave a comment if you feel like, it will be much appreciated. See you soon, up in the sky! ✈
Malaga - AGP
Milan - MXP
A pretty good flight indeed. I had no choice on the carrier that day but I must admit it was a very enjoyable surprise. First and probably last trip on board a charter plane. Another lucky flight for me to add to my log.
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