As explained in the previous FR, this flight is a part of my express business trip to Cyprus that took part in December 2018. I ended the previous report while disembarking the first flight and being already anxious about a very short connection time - 40 minutes. At that moment I didn't know yet how the transfer between Schengen and no-Schengen flights in Athens looks like …
ATHENS AIRPORT AND CONNECTING FLIGHTS
When we got to the terminal after a quite long and slow bus ride, we found out that there's no actual transfer corridor to the non-Schengen gates. We've been explained that the only thing we can do is exit the arrivals area, go up to departures and proceed as if we were flying directly from Athens to Larnaca. Ok, I can do that but not having in that moment less than 25 minutes before the next departure. As we had to be in Cyprus that night to start working in the morning there was only one solution: to run as fast as we could. When we got first to the boarding pass check we've been assured by a very relaxed gentlemen that we'll manage to catch our next flight, but…. there was a passport and security control ahead that appeared to be very detailed and made us loose another valuable minutes. Having passed the passport control we discovered our gate to be located in the most possible distant part of the terminal - it all seemed as if someone created this connection to push passengers to their limits and see if they can handle. When we finally got to the gate I felt as if I've just ran a marathon (in Greece, not far by the way form the real Marathon…) but the most important thing was we made it. I've experienced something like that once already, while struggling to catch a connection flight in Zagreb old terminal. The only difference was ZAG was then at least 10 times smaller than ATH, so it was much easier.
I couldn't take any photo while running so I will start the photo part when we are already onboard the second aircraft, watching the safety video with drops of sweat on our foreheads.
A short taxi and we are airborne again with the lights of Attica disappearing as we turn right towards the sea.
This flight is an Olympic Air flight that used to be once a national carrier of Greece and now remains more like a name and sentiment than a real airline being in fact a part of Aegean. That's why the flight is operated by Aegean aircraft with Aegean crew and beside the flight number OA910 there's nothing more of Olympic in it. Only the turboprop aircraft have the original Olympic Air livery as they operate on domestic and short international routes. Only domestic and Cyprus bound flights however have the OA code, the other, even if operated by Olympic aircraft, are purely Aegean flights with A3 code… a little bit complicated, isn't it?
I was wondering how the service was going to look like on this 1 hour flight and expected rather a sandwich or snack than the hot meal that arrived. Shortly after reaching the crusing altitude we've been given a strange box and what appeared to be a hot pasta dish!
There was a chocolate bar and a small packet of salty snacks inside the box. The beverage service followed the meal and this time I opted for a white wine and water.
I must say the pasta was more than good, it was delicious! There were some small pieces of chicken and feta cheese in in, a creamy sauce, some spinach and carrots. It was perfectly warm and I really enjoyed it. My colleague once more couldn't believe we were flying economy… :)
This A320 was equipped with above head screens that dispayed our flight's path and it was nice to know where we were even if 90% of this flight is over the sea.
As the whole flight time was slightly more than an hour we shortly began our descent and reached the island of Cyprus
We could see the lights of the capital of Cyprus - Nicosia in the distance and just a few moments later, as the distances are short here, we overfly the city of Larnaca. The airport is located in Larnaca and not in Nicosia since the occupation of the northern part of the island by Turkish army in the 1974 (the airport of Nicosia is located in the occupated part).
After a deep right turn over the see, we safely land in LCA
Cabin during deboarding
After a very quick passport control we get to the arrivals area. You can see the direct LOT flight from Warsaw arriving 5 minutes before 3:00 a.m. Because we were supposed to start our meetings in the morning, being here 3 hours in advance, was a real asset.
Many thanks for reading, the next part will follow soon!
Athens - ATH
Larnaca - LCA
Avoid connection flights via Athens with less than 1 hour between the flights as the whole experience may be very stressful, especially while flying to a non-Schengen destination. Aegean/Olympic combo on a short international route of 1:15 appeared to be a great experience as far as the onboard service is concerned. The crew on this particular flight however wasn't very friendly, seemed tired and may have been affected by the rush required by such service on such a short flight.
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