Welcome to leg 2 of 4 of this little summer trip around Patagonia.
I visited Coyhaique back in 2016 for the first time. I strongly suggest you check out the tourism bonuses in my reports to that trip if you are interested in the attractions of this area. The reports are available here and here.
There was a lot of building work going on around BBA in 2016. Let's see how much it has changed since then.
I'm lucky to have a very nice Airbnb host this time. He offers me a free ride to BBA, where he has to drop a rented car.
Of course I say yes! I'll be saving 9000 CLP (10 USD) on this 60km ride.
We leave the rocky area around Coyhaique behind…
…and head east towards the border with Argentina.
Cute little BBA is located barely 2km from the border. From the moment I arrive at BBA I notice nice changes compared to previous visit. The terminal building looks longer. The old control tower used to be over there, at the far end.
Now it's here, across from the parking lot.
It's a nice looking tower!
The protection against the beastly, windy, rainy, snowy, stormy weather of Patagonia has also been improved…
…and the whole length of the facade is covered.
Let's go inside.
Before you enter the main hall, there's this entrance to the toilets on the right.
Apart from a changer in the men's toilet - which is a good sign…
…there's nothing remarkable about them.
You might notice the airport's IATA code - BBA - in the institutional logo.
Magically, when we go into the main hall…
…the code - on the floor - becomes BAA. Someone must have been fired for this. Hee hee hee.
The main hall is quite crowded at the moment, as passengers for two Sky Airline flights are queuing up to check in.
Passengers for my flight are asked…
…to wait in the seating area.
Around the seating area there's a little candy shop…
…and a small cafeteria.
You can also go upstairs to a larger cafeteria…
…from where you have a privileged view of the action downstairs.
Behind that divider over there is the boarding room, where the control tower used to be.
On the other end is Arrivals and Baggage claim, behind this other divider.
As I walk towards security check, I think the problem with the wrong IATA code can be blamed on the local sheep farming industry. BAA.
I'm airside in a minute.
Spacious boarding room. However, it looks to me…
…like there's still room for some additional seats, don't you think?
Unlike PMC's boarding room, this room at BBA is of the "boring kind." That is, no cafeteria, no shops, nothing to kill the time, except the toilets and some fire extinguisher that you can tamper with, which is - nonetheless - a very questionable practice.
BBA is not particularly spotter friendly. The jetways hinder the view.
14:24. CC-AZJ is already making a U-turn over Argentina.
And there he is. (Yes, yes. I know it's "she." Do I look like I care?)
CC-AZJ is four years old.
CC-AZJ has to stay put for a minute over there on the right until his coworker on the left leaves.
A group of excited children surrounds me at the window as our plane taxis by. Future avgeeks and flight reporters, I suppose!! I suddenly see a bee flying straight to me, but I don't shoo it away and it bumps into my nose. I didn't realize that the window was open!! lol
Not much excitement over the arrival of our plane. Well, who could be excited to be going to Santiago, after all?
It looks like the old boarding-by-row trick has become the standard again. I remember that LATAM was experimenting with different formulas - like boarding by seat letter - in pre-pandemic times.
Of course, Sky also has some priority boarding groups.
We'll be boarding through gate 3. I can see the nose of a DAP aircraft that has just parked outside. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll fly them this year. DAP is the fourth largest Chilean airline. They mainly serve destinations in Patagonia, Antarctica (yes, they have travel packages to Patagonia) and the mining industry. Too bad I can't get a good shot of their very creative livery that resembles a penguin!
These Balenciaga bag designs are getting out of hand!
These jetbridges look so… homey to me.
With those green walls and those windows they look much like a room in a local house.
Of course, the goal is to keep you well protected…
…from the terrible local weather…
…during the whole walk to the plane door.
Hey! Who thought this would be funny?
Time to update your awards, Sky! In fact, during 2022 they were chosen as the best low cost airline in South America by Skytrax, and the most punctual low cost airline in Latin America by Cirium. Go figure.
The seats are softer than they look.
Legroom is OK for me, being 170cm tall. Though - I must admit - I felt a little cramped at the end of this four-hour flight.
The charging port in front of you is a plus (although it looks like a minus!) Badum tss.
While the baggage is being loaded…
…I can check the menu, available as QR code and printed.
Unfortunately, Sky simplified the BOB menu that made a great difference with that of JetSmart. So much so…
…that everything fits in one simple flyer now. And the worst part… WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MY MECHADA SANDWICH????
For those of you who appreciate alcoholic beverages onboard, though, there's beer and sparkling wine available.
The cabins in all of Sky's planes are slick and modern…
…and the ads are limited to some tourist destinations.
Today's flight, as seen by flightradar24.com.
Pushback at 13:17
DAP in the penguin colors.
The best part is the cabin, unfortunately.
Aerial views were spoiled by the sun shining on my window in my inbound flight.
I'm happy to see that this time…
…I have a great view of the renovated BBA as we take off.
The whole town of Balmaceda fits in one frame.
Taking off northwards, we don't fly over the Argentinean steppes…
…but fly directly over the hilly terrain…
…I wasn't expecting…
…to see Coyhaique from the air today!!
Are you into kayaking and trekking? Villa Mañihuales is the place for you! See HERE.
Both lakes Plata and Fontana are in Argentina.
2022 was the first year in history…
…in which a rain shortage was registered in Patagonia. Hurry up to see this corner of the world, or you might not have the time.
Lake Rosselot. Are you into fishing and relaxing with your family in a natural paradise? Come to Fundo Rosselot.
Sky Airline does not offer IFE…
…and on this short 50-minute flight…
…there wasn't a BOB service either. But you don't need movies when flying over Patagonia. The action is down there. That volcano, for example, called Chaitén (not to be mistaken by "El Chaltén", which is a mount in Argentina)…
…erupted in 2008, forcing the evacuation…
…of the town at its foot, before it was flooded by a lahar (volcanic mud and debris) See the path that the flow followed. Straight into the town!!
This is what you saw if you lived in the town of Chaitén in 2008. (Source: Wikipedia)
…and little Nao island - which can be reached on foot when the tide is low - let us know…
…that we are just minutes away from Puerto Montt.
Precisely. volcanoes Osorno, Puntiagudo and Calbuco watch…
…as we bank to the left with a view of river Chamiza…
…reach the south-west edge of lake Llanquihue..
…fly by Punta Larga…
…just above Llanquihue…
…cross the Panamerican Highway…
…and softly glade…
Ta - daaa.
But this is not the end of our flight.
I'll stay in my seat…
…with a view on colorful N524AG…
…and will wait about 35 minutes until the new passengers to Santiago have boarded…
…and fuel has been loaded.
I'm looking forward to the BOB service. I'm starving!!
Thanks for reading!
Sky Airline has become my airline of choice for domestic flights in Chile. It's halfway between LATAM's comfortable cabins, and JetSmart's LCC model. Best of all, Sky's fleet is brand new. Most of their aircraft are barely one year old.
Not BBAd at all! Fabulous landscapes in that area!
Adorable! It looks like it's make or legos or colourful shipping containers.
Yes! When Thomas was younger, I used to get so mad when there weren't changing tables in men's rooms--so sexist! Like men aren't allowed to change dirty diapers.
Yikes, yeah that caldera does still look fresh! Lahar and pyroclastic flows are some of the scariest things produced by a volcano. Wow that ash tower is impressive!
> …and little Nao island
A little now...and a little later (walk to get back to the mainland at low time 😋)
A beautiful and familiar site! I'd recognise them anywhere now.
What a gorgeous perfect cloudless day for flying! Definitely no need for IFE on a day like that when you have a window seat!
Thanks for sharing!
Bellos paisajes aunque me deja mal lo de la falta de lluvia en la región.
Por cierto que interesante esa estructura para proteger a los pasajeros en el lado tierra. No me imagino lo salvajes que deben ser las condiciones en invierno!
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