QANTAS Business Class - Melbourne to Alice Springs via Sydney
After talking about going to the Australian red centre for so long, I finally decided it was time to do it in January. I decided to fly into Alice Springs and check out that town and driving a rental car the 400 km to Ayers Rock/Uluru. There is only two airlines flying to Alice Springs: Qantas and Tiger Airways. Today I would be using the services of Qantas and flying via Sydney. There is a direct flight, but for an aviation/flight geek with time to spare like myself - travelling via Sydney would be far more fun!
First flight of the day is on VH-OGI, A Boeing 767-300ER delivered new to Qantas way back in 1991. That makes the aircraft just short of 20 years old. It has operated for the Qantas group for it's entire life, with a brief stint flying for Australian Airlines (Qantas subsidiary) in 2002 before returning to the Qantas mainline fleet.
|My aircraft VH-OGI is the 2nd one in, as seen from the Qantas Domestic Business Lounge at Melbourne Airport
After a latte and snack in the lounge, boarding was called for QF414 to Sydney, the 8am service. I was in 2H, an aisle seat, and completely surrounded by business folk as you would expect on a weekday service on this route at this time. Business class was full and soon after takeoff a choice of breakfast was offered. i took the hot option which was sausage and eggs with beans. I had a sparkling Australian wine to go with it. There was also a bowl of yoghurt on the tray and a bread basket was offered shortly afterwards.
Flight time was just 65 minutes so by the time breakfast was complete we were on descent into Sydney. We flew to the north of the airport before making a few right hand turns and approach onto Runway 16R. The service on this sector was professional and pleasant and just as I would expect from Qantas.
|About to touchdown on Runway 16R
|Departures board - most flights are Cityflyer branded
|View from Qantas business lounge at Sydney domestic
|VH-VXO - 'Sharing The Spirit' Boeing 737-800
After boarding was completed we made our way to the runway and took off to the south, heading off the coast bedore making a right hand turn and heading west. Alice Springs - here we come!
Service commenced with drinks and a packet of roasted almonds and cashews. I drank the sauvignon blanc. Shortly after the snack service lunch commenced. There was a choice of 2 mains, I took the Thai curry which was served with rice and vegetables and a small bowl of salad. The bread basket was brought around a couple of times during the meal. I was disappointed that there was no dessert on offer. The meal overall was fairly small and uninteresting. I would expect more on a 3 hour flight in business class. The main course tasted fine though.
|Thai Curry lunch
By the time lunch was over the ground outside had started turning orange, we were already over the dessert and the views were really nice.
|On Approach to Alice Springs
|Turning onto our base leg the airport can be seen in the distance
|Company 737-800 on the apron, arrived from Adelaide
|Disembarking - our aircraft on the left