Review of Etihad Regional flight Paris Leipzig in Economy

Airline Etihad Regional
Flight F7253
Class Economy
Seat 11A
Aircraft Saab 2000
Flight time 01:45
Take-off 16 Feb 14, 15:20
Arrival at 16 Feb 14, 17:05
47 18 reviews
Carlos
By 5225
Published on 2nd March 2014
You all know how I like to live dangerously (Well maybe you don't…)

Well, I had to go to Leipzig Germany and the only company that has a direct flight between Paris CDG and LEJ Airport is Etihad Regional.
Darwin Airlines was taken over by Ethihad in January 2014.
For those who didn't read the 3 flight-reports reporting Darwin flights, it's a Swiss company based in Lugano operating a fleet of 10 Saab2000.

The inaugural Etihad Regional operated by Darwin Airlines flight took place on January 23 and their first accident took place in CDG Airport on January 28 on the flight F7250 between LEJ and CDG.
As The Aviation Herald reported, the aircraft touched down hard, bounced and touched down a second time causing the the nose gear axle to fracture both nose wheels separated from the nose gear strut causing the strut to collapse and the nose of the aircraft to contact the runway.

http://avherald.com/h'article=46f32909&opt=0

That wasn't the most reassuring news I read before taking a flight, but as I told you, I like to live dangerously!
(Actually I told myself that all the planes would be checked and rechecked twice, to avoid a similar accident to happend, so I wasn't so stressed at all…)

However, the thing that stressed me a little bit, 5 days before the flight, when I booked my ticket online, was that all the seats were free on the seat map when they asked me to choose my seat. I was the only passenger on the plane…
Even if it would have been pretty awsome to be the only PAX onboard, I decided to call the hotline the next day to be sure that they wouldn't cancel the flight because I was the only PAX registered.
They told me that I wasn't the only PAX booked on this flight and that it would take place normally. Phew…! :D

I arrived in the Terminal 2D pretty early because I came from another domestic flight which landed at 8:10am at the terminal 2G.
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I already knew that I would have a lot of time to kill between 9:00 and 15:20, but when I looked at the departures screens I saw that my flight was delayed… That wasn't a good start for Etihad Regional.
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I asked at the Welcome desk if they had any informations about my flight and they answered that it would be delayed for 2 hours. As I had some big luggage and no BP, I decided to stay and wait in the terminal 2D.
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I tried to understand why my flight was delayed by searching the plane on Internet, and find another Ethiad Regional plane that was delayed. It was probably the Saab2000 I was supposed to take, but I guessed that they prefered to book another plane for us to reduce the delay.
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After taking a little breakfast at the Brioche Dorée I sat in a landside waiting room called La Terrasse and located in front of my check-in gate. This room is colorful, with tables and a lot of different and pretty comfortable seats, where you can rest.
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There are a lot of USB plugs and power plugs, which are really useful if you are planing to watch the Olympic games on your phone during the next 8 hours…
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Unfortunately the 3G and LTE Networks were a bit difficult to catch from this room, so I had to leave my quiet spot and sit closer to the gates to find a passable speed.


After 5 hours spent in that room, the gate opened and I had the confirmation that I wouldn't be alone on the plane!
They printed our BPs on which they hand wrote 16:15 for the boarding time and 17:00 for the departure time instead of the 15:20 initially planned.
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I went through the security checkpoint pretty quickly and without any problems.
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As I was airside I tried to spot some planes…
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Then I went underground, to wait in front of the boarding gate D40, where the guy that printed my BP (propably working for swissport) came and told me that they found another plane and that we would take off sooner as expected.
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At 15:30 we all went to a PAX-bus that took all the PAX and some additional crew members, that were not working, to this denim Air Fokker 50.
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And here's my bird!
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Just before boarding, I tried again to spot something in the sky, I don't know exactly what that plane was, but I like that picture!
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The plane wasn't filled, but I wasn't alone either (as I thought when I booked the flight).
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The seats were pretty comfortable…
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…with a good pitch
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Please note that you won't be able to put one of your feet on the floor because of the seats design.
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That's why I changed for the empty aisle seat next to me.
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The only view I had was the undercarriage, so you won't have any winglet picture in this FR!
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Here are the safety instructions
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Let's have a look outside
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Then I fell asleep and when I woke up,I noticed that I had missed the first catering service…
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…but the cabin crew came back and gave me a Coke (they only had Coke Zero) and a Pick-up cookie because they had no Chips left.
The napkin, the refreshing towel and the coffe cups were the only clues telling us that we were on an Etihad Regional flight.
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Time to have another look through the window…
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…and the crew came back for a second round, which is (even if there was almost nothing left) very positive on a 1:45 flight. Notice the LH box on the trolley… Etihad, Darwin, Denim, LH + a second crew as PAX onboard… That was a bit confusing!
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Second Coke Zero and second Pick-up cookie:
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Beautiful colors for this sunset:
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And here is a view of Leipzig. On the left side you can see the Red-Bull arena, the white triangle shaped building in the middle is the Zoo and on the right side you can see the huge railway station.
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The plane flew over the BMW and Porsche plants before landing, but I could only spot the first one, with its 4 windmills, because it started to be too dark for my camera.
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Landing was all right, then a PAX bus took us to the terminal and we waited a little bit for our luggage to be delivered.

In the end the delay was 1 hour, and to forget about it I bought a box of Kinder Überraschung chocolate eggs with awsome gifts inside ! A330-300 TK and Airbus :D

photo image

Thanks for reading ;)


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Verdict

Etihad Regional

6.4/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Meal/catering7.5

Paris - CDG

8.2/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Leipzig - LEJ

8.5/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I was a bit disappointed to fly in a fokker 50 instead of the Saab2000 initially planned, but the fokker isn't too bad with those seats.

Considering the delay, I think that Etihad Regional could have done way more to explain it, or to apologize for it.

The crew was good, two catering services, unfortunately the catering selection was pretty poor.

Both airports were all right.

Related

7 Comments

  • Comment 101499 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5318 Comments

    Great report! Thanks for sharing this first FR on Etihad Regional. Too bad you didn't get the Saab2000, and I find Fokker 50s to be particularly ugly, but I'm pleasantly surprised by how new and comfortable the cabin and seats look. Good thing the seats were good because this seems like it would be a long flight in a prop plane. I've never seen a Kinder Egg with a plane model inside...that's awesome!

    • Comment 289410 by
      marathon GOLD 9601 Comments


      Kevin : for the sake of coherence, since this flight was operated by Denim Air, I think it should be listed as Denim Air (with the original flight number). That is how I got to report a Shandong Airlines flight which should have been Air China. Denim Air is not in FR's data base, so it is up to you as administrator.

  • Comment 101510 by
    AirCanada881 1622 Comments

    Thqnks for shqring this FR, lovely pics of the sunset, interesting plane, these Saabs seem bigger than I thought!

  • Comment 101514 by
    marathon GOLD 9601 Comments

    OK, they presumably checked the aircrafts, but did they check the pilots flying them ? It looks like THEY were most at blame in the accident you mention.
    I was wondering if they had surreptitiously merged your flight with the next one because it was nearly empty, but they apparently tried their best to alleviate their plane problem. Granted, communication to the PAX could have been better.
    That window seat support looks very uncomfortable. I agree that the Fokker 50 is quite ugly.
    Thanks for sharing !

  • Comment 101642 by
    pititom GOLD 10747 Comments

    Thanks for this FR...well, is it a FR ? 8 hours in CDG T2D....I'd rather call it an horror movie ;)

    I can't believe you still give 4 out of 10 for pontuality ;) And I can't believe there's the name Etihad on that...Air Canada Regional would have matched better :D

    Thanks for sharing...and have a safe trip back tomorrow ;)

  • Comment 101732 by
    KL651 TEAM 4497 Comments

    Thanks for this FR
    Well Etihad Regional sure looks to be less organized than Etihad and between the accidents and the delays it caused, it's really not a good start for this airline.
    The onboard catering is the only plus of this flight.

  • Comment 101869 by
    Sealink 67 Comments

    Hello Etihad Regional! And thank you for a great trip report on what seems to be a charming little airline!

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