As usual whenever possible I track the inbound aircraft to find out about any delays and of course the registration of the aircraft. This is my second ever trip on China Eastern. The first one was between Qingdao and Shanghai in 2003 on an A320. I have heard good feedback about China Eastern recently and I am looking forward to flying on them
Information board at Sydney Airport. Check in row E
The check in area looks very empty. It takes me only a few minutes to check in. China Eastern does not offer online checking.
It is a busy time for the airport (Sunday morning) but with my express card I go throught customs and security rapidly. To get to the gate you need to go through the duty free….
We will depart from Gate 24, which is traditionally the pier used by Qantas and other one world carriers. China Eastern is part of SkyTeam but they have a close relationship with Qantas and code share agreement.
The International Terminal is under renovation. The big atrium was actually completed only a few years ago. This time the airport concentrates on improving the passenger experience. The seating area and the coffee shop have disappeared behind the temporary wall. An exhibition of photos and posters showcasing major destinations serves from Sydney covers the temporary walls.
A bit of plane spotting before going to the lounge…and it is my lucky day…the all black dream machine is in town, 787-9 ZK-NZE operating NZ103/104 from and to Auckland. A ture masterpiece…
Colorful Air Vanuatu 737 waiting for a gate - The single 737 in the island carrier's fleet. Flown on it 6 times. This aircraft has one of the 737 highest utilisation in the world. This aircraft was kept in Sydney during the recent cyclone that hit the island last Friday. A sad time for the country.
I make my way to the SkyTeam lounge situated near gate 24, which is the gate we will depart from. Just too convenient.
The lounge provides perfect view on the tarmac, the gate, and the Cargo facilities. Today aircraft is A330-243 B-5941. I always find it more difficult to memorize regio with digit over letters. The aircraft is 12 month old. Still in China Eastern old color scheme.
Two Qantas heavies docked at the gates behind us. See how the A380 looks much bigger than the 747-400
Cargo being loaded
A Qantas A380 bound ready to take off
Food with a view
The bathroom - very design and tidy
View from the lounge. Sleek design. Very bright. Pleasing to the eye. Great lounge.
Time to board. Plane spotting again. A new comer in Sydney, Cebu Pacific (Philippines) A330
Jetstar 787 parked next to us
And Garuda A330 taking off in her smart new livery
Walking down the aerobridge
One of the many smiling faces of China Eastern
The MU A330-243 is configured with a new Herringbone style business class. All aircraft operating to SYD are. This is an awesome configuration 1-2-1 giving the window seat a direct aisle access. Best of both world !
Details of the IFE remote
We are taxiing, ready to take off when I realise the dream machine is about to take off.
A very smooth take off to the South. As we climb and make a sharp right turn to fly over the airport and track north, I spot the dream machine. A great air-to-air photos!
The IFE looks pretty impressive
The Airshow is dynamic. Great 3D animation, However as the flight progresses I find it somehow difficult to have a precise overview at the whole flight path from origin. The 2D maps seem more appropriate to really gauge the progress of the aircraft. A combination of both 2D and 3D maps would be really interesting.
Very decent choice of movies…I am a fan of French movies, and Claude Lelouch is one of my favorite director. What a treat to be able to finally watch his latest movie. Sadly it was not as good as some of the older ones….
And the pyjama, with the traditional Mao collar shape… Interesting because it is a day flight. Funny enough I won't be getting a pyjama on the way back, which is a night flight…go figure…!
I choose the Chinese meal
The desert is very good. I ask for both the cheese cake and the ice cream
I delicne an offer for cheese. However due to some cabin crew poor English skiils, I get a plate…..lol
Australian outback - North Queensland
Gulf of Carpentaria
Leaving Australia and the Australian Far North coast - Tropical clouds formation One of the few islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria
As the flight progresses we reach The Philippines
Just about to fly over Manila
A second meal service is served as the night fall.
A big detour to avoid Taiwanese air space….
And finally it is a straight line to Shanghai after more than 10h flight time Sadly the IFE is switch off at the top of the descend, which I find a little premature and frustrating
We land in a storm. It is a very wet night in Shanghai. A short taxiing and we reach our gate
I decide to take the Maglev fast train. Great experience, altough the darkness of the night prevents me from really appreciate the speed. 301 km/h. The train goes much faster day time (420km/h)
The Maglev station. A little narrow to take a better picture…
View from my hotel room in Pudong, over the river, The Bund and the Puxi area
Pudong. The Jing Mao tower is now dwarfed by the new Shanghai International Tower, second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai !
Sydney - SYD
Shanghai - PVG
Great and smooth trip
Great cabin configuration - new aircraft - great crew, always smiling and helpful, despite some poor English skills. The toilets on board were clean before me by a member of the crew each time I went....
The seat was comfortable, IFE provides a good selection of movies ( 5 French movies for instance). On time performance was good. The skyteam lounge in Sydney is a real treat. The food on board was average but I am not a fan of Chinese cuisine...the desserts were delicious.
Did not hear the pilot which was quite unusual.
Shanghai Pudong was busy on arrival, but Chinese immigration is very efficient. Luggage came through very quickly. Taking the fast train was a good option but it terminates in LongYang Road metro station, thus a taxi is required to continue to down town, unless you catch the metro.
I would recommend China Eastern on that sector as a serious option.
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