After spending two days in the southernmost state capital city of Brazil, it was time to go back home. I was interested in contrasting my experience from the previous flight with this one, in terms of crew and ground staff. I was also curious about the state of the departures section in POA's Terminal 2, as I had a very bad impression when I arrived only two days prior. Anyways, let's get going!
This flight was booked along with IGU-POA leg of my trip. As it was more expensive to travel directly to my home airport (ASU), we decided to fly to IGU, and then get to Asunción by bus. My dad booked the flights on eDreams, saving us a hundred dollars when compared with other faster options.
We arrived to the airport around two hours before our flight's estimated time of departure. Much to my surprise, the facade of the old Terminal 2 looked way better in person than they did on pictures.
The check-in hall was dominated by Azul, the only airline operating out of the terminal. As we approached the desk, a lovely and extremely nice lady checked us in and dispatched our bags. I can only say she had an amazing energy, and I've never seen someone loving her job so much. After dispatching our bags, we went to the souvenir store located in front of the store, as we forgot to buy them on the city.
We spent relatively short time in the check in hall, so we headed to the security check line, which was efficient and very fast. The departures hall was small, but not crowded. It had 5 gates (21-25), and they apparently were enough to handle AD's flights throughout the day. As Terminal 2 doesn't have customs facilities, the Azul's sole daily international flight to MVD operates from Terminal 1. With no much else to do, we just grabbed a coffee and waited for our boarding time, 10:55.
The gates section:
- Airline: Azul (AD)
- Aircraft: Embraer 195
- Age: 4 years
- Registration: PR-AUP (Azul & Embraer, Embraer & Azul)
- Scheduled time of departure: 11:35 (ATD 11:43)
- Scheduled time of arrival: 12:50 (ATA 12:47)
- Take-off from runway: 29
- Landing on runway: 32
Boarding commenced at around 11:10. As in my previous flight from IGU, the process was efficient and well paced. After the ground staff checked our boarding passes, we had to walk through this curious system of enclosed hallways that lead to a jetway-stair hybrid. At the door of the plane, two polite flight attendants welcomed us into the plane.
My seat, 13A, was located in front of the emergency exit. Because of this, it didn't recline. This didn't bother me because of the short flight duration (one hour). It had a very nice pitch (31 inches according to SeatGuru), and a comfortable leather upholstery.
The view from my window. An Azul ATR-72 can be seen.
Each seat had a screen (not touch), and Azul's SKY live TV system was already working. On the picture, Azul's amazing safety video was being played.
10 minutes after boarding, the plane started pushback.
We started taxiing to runway 29. On the way there, amazing views of Terminal 1 and other planes (including a Sideral 737-300) could be seen.
Sideral 737-300, a rather rare sight nowadays:
Entering runway 29:
At around 11:43, the engines roared, and within seconds we were flying.
There were amazing sights of the city immediately after taking off, including downtown and the Guaíba shore:
Reaching cruise altitude. It was an absolutely beautiful day over Rio Grande do Sul!
View of the cabin from my seat. I must say that I absolutely love the E-Jets. In my opinion, they are one of the most comfortable and quiet planes of our age (and the best of the regional jets, for sure):
Much to my surprise, the SKY system included a flight map. While not very crisp, it was a nice feature.
After some 15 minutes of flight, the meal service started. As in the previous flight from IGU, it consisted of a soft beverage choice and snacks from a basket (which I absolutely love). This time, I took all of them. There were salty snacks, peanuts, goiabinhas, and plane-shaped Haribo gums. In contrast to my previous flight, the three flight attendants were polite and proactive.
During the rest of the flight, I just looked out of the window. During some moments, slight turbulence could be felt. At 40 minutes into the flight, we started descending towards IGU.
You can notice you are flying over the Argentinian province of Misiones because of the green landscape of the tropical rainforest.
As we began our final approach and the the final turn to land on IGU's runway 32, it started to get a little bumpy because of the wind. Just before landing, the Iguaçu falls were seen.
The wheels touched the ground at runway 32 around 12:47. We backtracked and taxied towards the terminal.
As we cleared the runway, I seen what probably is one of my most satisfying views ever: three LATAM A320s in new livery, perfectly aligned. However, we stopped between two of them in our remote position.
We came to a full stop, and the engines were turned off.
As we were deplaning, the captain got out from the cockpit and greeted the passengers as they got out. I asked him if I could to take pictures of the cockpit, which he warmly allowed. He even offered himself to take a picture of me on his seat!
IGU's renovated terminal building:
Our plane, PR-AUP. Isn't that an awesome name below the cockpit?
Our remote stand position allowed me to make a little spotting session as we walked towards the baggage claim area:
Baggage claim area:
After getting our luggage, we had lunch on the food court before heading to the bus station on the nearby Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este, to take the next departing bus to my hometown, Asunción, some 300 km (186 mi) away.
Azul definitely redeemed itself with the very nice crew we had on this flight. I absolutely love their inflight service, specially the delicious and plentiful snacks they serve. They simply put their other two main competitors (LATAM and Gol) to shame in this regard, without even mentioning the live TV system. I would definitely fly AD again. The POA terminal 2's departures area is way more nice than the arrivals one, and is very well cleaned and maintained. IGU is looking very nice with the renovations taking place, although it should have more services and stores.