Review of Helvetic Airways flight Mulhouse / Bâle Santorini Island in Economy

Airline Helvetic Airways
Flight 2L306
Class Economy
Seat 4A
Aircraft Embraer E-195-E2
Flight time 02:45
Take-off 28 Aug 21, 08:05
Arrival at 28 Aug 21, 11:50
2L   #51 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 49 reviews
Esteban
By GOLD 311
Published on 18th November 2021

INTRO - helvetic airways


In the last days of June 2021, Helvetic Airways announced a new base at Basel / Mulhouse EuroAirport, with two E195 E2 to operate a range of routes starting July 4th.

The timing was really strange, how can an airline start a vast range of scheduled flights within 2 weeks without any advertisement? 

The first aircraft HB-AZI arrived on June 25th and immediately after flights were announced: Jerez on Friday, Santorini on Saturday and Larnaca on Sunday. More flights were supposed to be added shortly.

In fact, they started flying to JTR and LCA as planned. Jerez was never flown. And that was it. The second Embraer never arrived, more flights were never scheduled.

The aircraft stayed mostly on storage from Monday to Friday and flew once Saturday, once Sunday. Once the aircraft flew to ARN and back, one to BUD, once to BRN and that's it.

At the end of the summer season, LCA was also almost dropped, September and October saw only 2 flights to Cyprus. Beginning of the winter timetable the aircraft was flown to BRN and is in storage there. This is what I call a big fail.

About Helvetic, they operate a fleet of 4 E190, 8 E190-E2, 4 E195-E2. 3 of the 4 E190 are stored for the time being. The last one hasn't flown since Nov 09th

About the E190-E2 : they all are wet leased to Swiss and fly

About the E195-E2 : two are stored in BRN, one in ZRH. The last one flies only for  Helvetic and his last flight was November 02nd 


why this flight


A week before the flight, I checked the price and a one way ticket costs 150€ + 10€ for a seat selection. I was looking at this flight for a long time and the price was always the same. As I really wanted to check it out, I booked a ticket, added a flight with Aegean to ATH, a night in Athens and an EasyJet flight back home.

I would have loved to stay in Santorini but hotels there are too expensive in the summer.

When booking the flight, I checked the seat map and only two seats were pre-booked. I thought I would not pay for a seat since the flight looked empty. When checking in online, the seat map was still only showing two pre booked seats and the whole cabin was empty. I selected 3A.


Routing

  • Helvetic - Embraer E195-E 2 - Bâle / Mulhouse > Santorin - Economy You are here
  • Aegean - A320 - Santorin > Athènes - Business Coming soon
  • EasyJet - A319 - Athènes > Bâle - Mulhouse - Economy Coming soon

eap


My father dropped me off at 06H15 the airport was quiet:


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See you soon!


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FIDS:


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No that much people today:


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I went to the check in since I wanted to have a paper boarding pass and to be sure about how many people would be on the flight. 21 pax were booked for 135 seats… Very low load factor :(


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Security was a breeze:


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My BP:


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Duty free:


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Gate 40 today:


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Nobody at border controls:


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The appron:


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Starbucks was closed:


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This way for me:


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My flight:


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Corendon to RHO:


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le vol


Boarding started on time via bus:


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Here is the beautiful E195-E2


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Aircraft door:


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Fuselage shoot:


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A warm welcome was given and this is the cabin that looks really nice:


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The safety card:


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Together with a COVID Card:


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USB ports are available:


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Side view:


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The pitch is more than adequate:


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Front view:


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PSU:


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The recline is good:


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We are 20 minutes early but can't go right now since we need to land at our assigned time slot at JTR, the airport being fairly small. In the meantime a cup of water is offered:


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Then we start our taxi:


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2 738 Enter Air:


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Wizz A320:


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Runway 15 today:


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And off we go:


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Nice views:


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Runway 26:


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Saint Louis:


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Basle:


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Above the clouds:


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I paid a quick visit to the loo:


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This is the Helvetic Breakfast box:


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The box is smart and looks good, but it isn't that much for a flight over 3H30…


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I took a coffee and orange juice to go with:


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Close up of the meal:


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Muffin, bread, butter and jam:


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It was really nice, though on the small side. But it was free. And this is what matters :)


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Another lav visit allows me to visit the front galley and take the aircraft doors in picture. You will notice that the doors on the E2 are slightly different than on the E1


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The galley:


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Overflying the Adriatic Coast:


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I went to the back to get different views:


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Behind the wing:


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At the back the pitch isn't that good anymore:


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Rear Galley and doors:


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This screen is only for the cabin crew and shows the ETA:


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Jump seat and intercom:


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Here you see the whole cabin, with all passengers.


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A second drink service is performed, I took another coffee:


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Only alcoolic drinks are to be paid for.
Overflying Kalamata:


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And arriving around JTR:


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Quelles falaises !


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JTR in distance:


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Last turn to align with the runway:


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Final approach:


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Must be a nice place to spot arriving aircrafts:


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ATR Sky Express:


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Landed:


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A321neo Aegean:


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Private Jet:


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Wizzair from VNO:


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Paxbus for us:


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This bird is really beautiful, sad it is not flying enough :(


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On arrival, only PLF are checked, no additional controls:


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No stop here:


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And I am outside, but not for a long time since my flight to Athens is in a couple of hours :)


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See more

Verdict

Helvetic Airways

6.2/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi2.0
Meal/catering7.0

Mulhouse / Bâle - EAP

9.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Santorini Island - JTR

9.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I was happy to be able to take this flight, I'll come back to Santorini another time :)

The cabin is nice, bright and comfortable. The crew was equally nice. Sad that for a nice bird like this that there is no Wifi.

The catering was on the light side, but is free of charge and was good.

Nothing special to mention about EAP and JTR that were perfect.

Stay tuned for the next piece with Aegean :)

Related

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 586958 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5589 Comments

    Hey Stephan, wow that's a cool route! EAP seems to be really well served for a secondary airport--I guess its international status serving 3 countries make it a much more important market. I love Santorini, how great to have a nonstop from your home airport, even if it is a bit on the expensive side.

    Was row 1 technically Business class on this flight since the seatmap only shows 1 seat on either side? If so it's weird that they don't have a curtain separating the cabins.

    The pitch is more than adequate

    Yes, luckily you were up front in a row that can be used for Business class...it gets much tighter in the back

    In the meantime a cup of water is offered:

    A nice gesture...in the US you can sit on the tarmac for 45 mins in the "penalty box" when there are ground delays and even in F/J the FA's usually don't budge.

    > The box is smart and looks good, but it isn't that much for a flight over 3H30…
    The differences in perspective between Europe and the US. To me, that box looks fantastic...here we get a tiny bag of pretzels or biscoffs on a 6h transcon haha
    Look at it this was, on a 3h Y flight, the catering is way better than your recent short flights in J with AF/KL

    And, of course the catering is much better than if this were a SWISS-branded flight where everything is now BOB. Overall a pretty impressive service from Helvetic on a very nice looking aircraft!

    Fantastic views on arrival! I need to go back to Greece. Went three years in a row and haven't been back since the pandemic. Maybe this summer when I'm back in France...Aegean have nonstops from TLS, which might be fun to try.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 586995 by
      Esteban TEAM GOLD AUTHOR 14287 Comments

      Hi Kévin, Thanks for thte detailled comment !

      Actually no there was no business class sold on that plane, I don't know why the seats have been blocked.

      You're right, in the US you can wait for hours before someone would bring you someting to drink ^^

      And right also, on a transcon on the majority of the airlines, you would never get a box like this. But for Europe, it's still on the small side :)

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