Thursday, October 23, 2014

Air New Zealand B787-9 Premium Economy (Sydney to Auckland)

Earlier this year Air New Zealand announced the retirement of it' Boeing 747-400 fleet. As part of the farewell celebrations they scheduled a one off Auckland-Sydney-Auckland service, and as a fan of the Jumbo Jet, I booked a ticket. Sadly about a week before the flight the airline cancelled the service with no explanation. It was quite disappointing. However, the replacement aircraft was the brand new B787-9 and that would be a new type for me so I decided to go ahead and fly anyway. I managed to snag a seat in the Premium Economy cabin for a small surcharge, but please be aware that whilst I had a premium economy seat, ANZ do not offer a premium economy service on Trans-Tasman flights. So the soft product that you will see on this review is identical to the basic 'Seat Only' economy class service.

FLIGHT
NZ104
AIRLINE
Air New Zealand
ROUTE
Sydney to Auckland
DEPARTURE
12:30 (Scheduled) / 12:28 (Actual)
ARRIVAL
17:30 (Scheduled)  / 17:24 (Actual)
FLIGHT TIME
2 hours 32 minutes airborne
AIRCRAFT
Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZE

ZK-NZE Arrives from Auckland

Monday, October 20, 2014

Regional Express Saab 340B : Melbourne to Wagga Wagga ZL3258

The Saab 340 has been on the Australian aviation scene for about 30 years, and it is still going strong. In fact we are home to the world's largest operator of the type, Regional Express, or simply 'Rex'. Rex was created after the collapse of Ansett Australia and is the amalgamation of the former regional airlines 'Hazelton' and  'Kendell'. They fly a fleet of almost 50 of these Saab's to many regional destinations throughout the country. Today I would be flying on the morning service between Melbourne and the NSW regional city of Wagga Wagga.



FLIGHT
ZL3258
AIRLINE
Regional Express ‘Rex’
ROUTE
Melbourne to Wagga Wagga
DEPARTURE
Schedule 0900 / Actual 0930
ARRIVAL
Schedule 1000 / Actual 1030
FLIGHT TIME
45 minutes airborne
AIRCRAFT
Saab 340B VH-EKH  (Age 19 years)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Etihad First Class - Abu Dhabi to Melbourne on the B777-300ER (EY460)

I was incredibly lucky a couple of months back to try out Etihad First Class on my flight home from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne. Here's my review of their premier product....

FLIGHT
EY460
AIRLINE
Etihad
ROUTE
Abu Dhabi – Melbourne
DEPARTURE
22.20
ARRIVAL
17.30
FLIGHT TIME
13 Hours 10 Minutes
AIRCRAFT
Boeing 777-300ER (A6-ETM)

My day actually started in the airport hotel, the Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport. I was there during a long layover. It's a basic but very good quality hotel and I found it very comfortable. I would recommend it to anyone with long transits. It is connected to the terminal complex and very reasonably priced. I departed the hotel at about 7.30pm, and checked the departures board as I left: