Hello and welcome on board this new report coming from my summer holidays in the North of Europe. Today we will flight on Sweden's regional airline Air Leap and there Saab fleet.
This summer I've got an imposed week of holiday on short notice. After this long covid lockdown I don't want to stay home and thanks to the vaccine the Europe slightly reopen is borders for vaccinated people. I look for opportunity to travel in North of Europe where temperature are not too warm. I always want to visit Sweden and I found a really good price with Brussels Airlines + Lufthansa for an open jaw TLS-BRU-GOT CPH-FRA-TLS. It's also a good opportunity for the av-geek that I am to add some rare Swedish birds to my flightlog flying on the last remaining Saab's aircraft on operation in Europe.
These 2 domestics flights operated by Air Leap will cost me 72€ each (booked one week before) a fair price for small regional flights without too much competition. It's also a good opportunity to use Bromma facilities for the first and perhaps last time has the airport is targeted by politics and residential development.
It will be the first report on Air Leap on the English counterpart of the website and first report from Halmstad airport.
Air Leap operates up to 3 daily flights on this route using now Saab 2000. But during summer it was limited to a single return flight using a small Saab 340.
To get to Halmstad from Goteborg I took a comfortable high speed train who links the 2 city centers in around one hour following the North sea coast. That's a bit strange for a French like me to see all the passengers without the mask inside the train.
There is a bus passing close to the railway station who reach the airport. But I've got a lot of spare times and the weather was good so I decide to get in there by feet a one hour (5km) walk.
Set next to the roundabout close to the airport this Saab J 32 Lansen is displayed.
Airport is on sight, funnily they put the word city on the airport name like if they were plenty of airports at Halmstad.
The airport is well furnished with a lot of flowers.
And the bus stop to the city center can't be closer to airport doors. The public transport offer is quite good for a small airport like this. There is a bus every half hour till late in the evening. The ticket cost is not expensive at all for Sweden (28 SEK/2,80€)
The terminal interior is well equipped as well with comfortable seats. The front of windows is ornamented with beautiful real orchids (I touched them to be sure ^^).
On the right corner of the building you can find the check in area with 4 counters not yet opened when I took this picture. On the opposite side you can find a small shop ground side.
Unfortunately the traffic is quite poor during this summer months a single flight is displayed on the FIDS and it's only the second of the day (the other one was a BRA flight to Stockholm BMA)
I was at the airport really early spending my time using the efficient free wifi available inside the airport. During my waiting time I saw all the airport/flight actors taking there afternoon shift. It's like a big family were all the employees looks to know's everybody working on the platform
I less than two minutes my luggage is ready to be transferred to the aircraft cargo hold and I've got my BP on the hand. No attributed seat it's free seating on all Air Leap flights.
I spend few minutes to talk with the friendly Air Halland commercial representative. She was there to promote Air Leap frequent flyer program and she gives me an branded face mask.
The security to go air side is now open, the control operations were quick and personnel friendly. The boarding area is a large hall with 3 doors. Toilets and fresh water distributors are available.
Door C looks to be used to board the other competitor on Stockholm line, Braathens Regional Airlines.
Our aircraft start is day with this afternoon flight to Bromma. SE-LJT is a 30 year old Saab 340. He has spend is long career around Europe starting with the Swiss Crossair till the last years operating for multiple small airlines around Scandinavia like the defunct Nextjet.
Boarding is called and I'm the first at the desk and the first to walk on the tarmac to reach the aircraft.
I take some time to take some pictures so I'm overtake by another passenger. Detailed view on the General-Electric CT7 engine.
I'm welcomed on board by the single cabin crew. She's very friendly. Inside the cabin the leather seats are a bit vintage and tired. As you can see if you are tall like the passenger in front of me the cabin is a bit narrow.
To give you an idea of how outdated the seats are, they are still equipped with ashtrays.
Even if the cabin is vintage all the elements are functional. A sign of robust design or serious maintenance.
The pitch is not so bad, and I took a left single seat.
But with only 7 passengers on board for 33 seats, neighborhood will not be a problem for all the passengers.
The view from my seat 11A, since the Fokker 27 of Miniliner incident at CDG I'm not very comfortable when I'm seated next to the propellers.
With this small amount of passengers on board the boarding operations are quickly performed and engines are started. With some difficulties for #2 that need to be stopped and restarted after few minute.
During this unexpected delay the cabin crew gives us a refreshing cup of water.
Both engines are now fully started and we start our short taxi run to the runway.
We will wait almost 10 minutes in the middle of the runway, we are clearly ready to take off down wind … unusual for an airplane but it can happen sometimes if the wind is not to strong. Finally we backtrack the complete runway to take off in front of the wind but also in front of a big thunderstorm !
This time we will perform a powerful rolling take off.
Just after the initial climb our pilots perform a sharp right turn to avoid the thunderstorm and the city of Halmstad.
During the first minutes of the flight we are flying close to Swedish southern coast and the North sea.
But has we are slowly reaching our cruise level we are now surrounded by clouds and this is the view that I will have during the major part of the flight.
The flight is really smooth and passengers are quiet. An important detail I was the only passenger with the cabin crew to were a face mask during the flight.
Head rest with the airline logo printed on it.
During few minutes we are able to see the blue sky
A complementary hot drink service is provided. I ask for a tea and a cup of water and it was bring with a smile by the friendly cabin crew who will apologies to have performed all the announcements in Swedish has she didn't notice that there is stranger's on board. In his defense I say hello to her in Swedish and I physically look like a Scandinavian .
Even if spend all the flight looking outside by the window it was impossible for me to tell what was the route…
But FR24 can do it! Cruise level was FL190.
Inside the seat pocket you can find the safety card.
And the on board magazine showing the routes operated by Airleap franchise with the timetable for Air Halland flights to BMA-HAD.
We start our descent above the countless lakes located on south east of Stockholm.
We are crossing Mälaren lake that's mean that the Swedish capital is not so far. When you saw all these lake and island you easily understand why the swim-run sport is so popular in Sweden.
We start our final approach for a landing on runway 12, we didn't have the approach above the old city center anyway it's also a nice flyover the city suburban.
Smooth landing and breaking on Bromma's tarmac.
Coming soon …
A large part of Airleap fleet is on the picture, the Saab 2000 will go to Malmö and the ATR72 come's from Visby on Götland island.
View of the terminal and the private aviation apron
We are vacating the runway by the nearest available taxiway.
We are parked next to the only ATR72 of Airleap it has a funny livery with a different smiley below each windows.
Time for me to leave the aircraft, I got the opportunity to have a look in the cockpit after the flight and few minutes of chatting with these friendly crews. A nice flight with people proud to do there jobs.
Fuselage shoot on the sunny Stockholm afternoon light.
Goodbye Juliet Tango, I'm really proud to get this opportunity to add this nice bird into my flight log.
Bromma airport is a bit disturbing and far from common terminal. It's look more like a bus station than an airport. You boarding pass are scanned inside the building and then you reach you gate by feet on this open air area and passengers from different flights can be mixed.
Here's an example of a gate, it' just a door on the fence and I can have access to this ATR72-600 of Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA)
After 50 meters on the open air area , I get into the luggage claim area. And it was a bit disappointed to wait more than 15 minutes for it has we were just 7 onboard and the distance between the aircraft on the luggage belt wasn't so long.
Another 50 meters and I'm outside the airport, the arrival area is modern and very simple with only basic services.
Taxi are parked in front of the airport buildings. The departure hall is the building at the back of the picture.
Since May 2021 the tramway 31 has for terminus Bromma airport. It's now really easy to get to the old city center with just a single change for the Metro at Alvik station. The journey is around 25 minutes and cost the price of a standard public transport ticket 38SEK = 3,80€
This is the end of this flight report my in Sweden hope you enjoyed it. I really expect to translate soon the next flight on Saab 2000.
A really pleasant moment in the air and a wonderful av-geek flight on this short Swedish domestic flight. The service has a good value on this small line and the small Airleap was really professional from point to point.
+ This small airline look's like a big one with a huge effort on branding.
+ The av-geek flight on now rare Saab 340
+ The very professional and friendly crew and ground staff
- The website is just available in Swedish and Norwegian language.
- Cabin will soon request a refresh
+ Service range impressive for an airport who's get just 2 flights during the day
+ Easy access by public transports with the bus.
+ Easy & cheap access by public transports with the tramway.
+ Walk distance between aircraft and airport entrance doors is one of the shortest I ever done.
- Small airport with limited services, sad to have to wait so long for the luggage's.