Review of Chalair Aviation flight Quimper Paris in Economy

Airline Chalair Aviation
Flight CE295
Class Economy
Seat 4C
Aircraft Beechcraft 1900D
Flight time 01:30
Take-off 12 Mar 21, 18:15
Arrival at 12 Mar 21, 19:45
CE 34 reviews
KL651
By 770
Published on 23rd May 2021

Hello, and welcome on this AvGeek report on a plane which has always fascinated me, the little Beech1900D.

It all started when I was a child and saw a Flandre Air (a now defunct airline) one in Paris taxing and looking so tiny, even compared to an A320.

This plane got rarer and rarer in France, mostly operating business routes between smaller cities, at business trips prices.

However, after the city of Quimper got connected to Paris via a much higher high speed train cutting the travel time from 5,5 hours to 3,5 hours, Air France downgraded the route from 3 daily Fokker100/CRJ700 to an ATR, then to one or two daily Beech 1900, operated by a small French Airline called Chalair, opeating B1900D and 1 or 2 ATR42.

I found out about these flights on Flightradar, and checking the prices 10 days before the flight, a one way to Paris was 135€, pretty cheap, as all flights I had looked up before on this plane were more around 250€.

I had some vouchers to use anyway.

To get to Quimper, flying was not an option as there was only a very early flight at 350€ one way.

So I simply took the train, and got the newest TGV version with an upper and lower deck.


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Here's what the 2nd class seats look like, pretty comfortable and classy I think.


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I arrived in Quimper by 1PM, and due to the sanitary rules with no restaurants open, I had nothing to do but stroll around the city in spite of the weather, found a nice park where I sat and read for about 2 hours before getting on the bus that goes to the airport.

Traffic is so small that you have to call and book the bus in advance to make sure it will come.

Here are some views of Quimper with some typical architecture from Brittany



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A more classical art deco Theatre


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After a 20 minute ride where I was the only passenger, I was dropped off at the tiny Quimper Pluguffan airport.


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Here's the whole terminal, with the boarding gates behind


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I went to the counter to get my boarding pass as OLCI was not possible on this flight (due to weight and balance issues).

I also asked the friendly agent if it was possible to preboard as I was there especially for this special aircraft, she said she'd check.


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The 2 boarding gates, the right one can be used for BA flights to London, with the grey booth for passport control.


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First view of my plane, I love the square fuselage, poitny nose and all the winglets on the wings and the tail.

Note the sandbags attached to the wheels to prevent the aircraft from moving in case of strong winds.
Shows you how light it is, I never saw that on an ATR.


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My boarding pass, I asked for 1A, to get a good view on the propellers, but this was a mistake as this row doesn't have a window.


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The pilots arrived 30 minutes before take off and opened the aircraft door themselves, really felt different.


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The check in agent came to me to have me boarded first, a nice gesture. She told me to take as many pictures I wanted.

The plane has some stickers promoting the Nantes-Pau route, Nantes is a nig French city, but not Pau.
I wonder what industry justifies this route honestly.


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The integrated stairs to get onboard are a bit shaky but the cabin was roomier than expected.


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I asked for a cockpit picture which was granted.


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I had a brief chat with the copilot who said he loved flying this rare aircraft, that it was real flying not automated.

On the first row, water bottles and earplugs were availble, the pilot would hand them out later as the only service on this flight.



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After boarding was completed, with a correct load of 12 pax (some flights don't even have 5 pax), I asked to change seats to get a window and ended up in 4C.

The windows have a yellow tint to them, and were pretty scratched too, not the best for pictures.


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I wasn"t the only one interested in that tiny plane without cockpit doors.

Many people were watching through the cockpit windows and commenting on how weird it was to be on such a small flying machine.


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Lining up for take off.

The pilot played with the engine throttles a couple times, power up then power down. I thought there was issue but it seemed normal.


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And off we go


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I gotta say that vibrations were not as bas expected, but the noise was bothering, and I wore the earplugs the entire flight.
This plane is clearly way louder than an ATR or Q400.

Passing above the clouds with The fuselage reflecting on the engine



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Seats were labelled A1 A2, C3, C4 instead of the classical 1A, 2A…



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The flight was pretty unventful, clouds and the wings were blocking the view anyway.


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Some ice started to form on the window anyway


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After an hour or so, the noise started to give me a headache, that and the woman seated in 2A who chatted the ENTIRE flight, and by chatting I mean "yelled" in order to cover the noise.


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The pilot announced we would be landing in 10 minutes.
It was raining in Paris and the plane shook a lot, which was fun.


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Another passenger was filming the landing


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We Touchdowned at a deserted Orly airport although it was 7:30PM on a Friday night.

Only 1 terminal out of 4 was open, Europe was in the middle of the 3rd wave at that time.

The airport was dark, not a lot of lights and no plane moving.

We parket next to this Amelia ATR42, which operates smaller routes for Air France now that Hop! doesn't have ATRs anymore.

I really appreciated when the engines were shut….


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After a friendly goodbye from the pilot, I was the last one to exit the plane.


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Another Chalair B1900D, but painted in a different livery.


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See more

Verdict

Chalair Aviation

6.8/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering6.0

Quimper - UIP

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Paris - ORY

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

A nice AvGeek flight, I'm glad I took it.
But clearly made unpleasant by this noisy plane, it's as bad a seating in the last row of an MD80.

The friendly agent and pilots really made it special.

I think they should offer a prepackaged snack to go with the water and earplugs.

No magazine or any kind of entertainment on that flight.

Information on the route Quimper (UIP) Paris (ORY)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 6 avis concernant 1 compagnies sur la ligne Quimper (UIP) → Paris (ORY).


Useful

La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Chalair Aviation avec 6.8/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 1 heures et 25 minutes.

  More information

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 574096 by
    emyrrs 108 Comments
    Thanks for sharing it with us here!
    Always love small airplane as its getting rare day by day in some area,

    The pilot announced we would be landing in 10 minutes. It was raining in Paris and the plane shook a lot, which was fun.

    Hahaha! I guess it was fun for us, but for some pax that will be a nightmare!
  • Comment 574129 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6802 Comments
    Yaaass Beech! What a fun ride! And your original seat assignment 1A it’s practically First class ?

    I don’t think I’ve seen a beech 1900D since Hex’Air used to fly then to Rodez yeeeears ago!

    Chalair seems like a cool little airline. Sounds like the crew enjoyed their work.

    Thanks for sharing this very AvGeek experience!

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