Regional flight from Asia to Europe: Yekaterinburg-Perm on Embraer-120
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 ⇒  ⇒ Regional flight from Asia to Europe: Yekaterinburg-Perm on Embraer-120


AI-Russia

Regional flight from Asia to Europe: Yekaterinburg-Perm on Embraer-120

12.03.2014 ã. AI-Russia
RusLine airline flight ¹43 from Yekaterinburg to Perm was performed on December the 9th, 2012. The e-ticket was booked at the first “online air tickets” website I’ve come across for the price of approximately 38 USD. You’d pay at least 6.25 USD more for the same ticket at the airline website.

The flight was as a kind of “test-drive” and was inspired by the low price rather comparable to the railway compartment ticket on the same route. As usual, considering time-and-money content, I’d choose the train. The difference in time spent for the trip, including the way to and from the airport, is rather insignificant but there is quite less nuisance.

This route of RusLine is served by the propjet aircrafts Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia. It’s a rare bird for our sky – in the European countries except Russia the aircraft of this type fly only in Hungary, Italy and Moldova. On the whole there were manufactured 350 aircrafts Embraer 120. Eight of them were imported in Russia by the late airlines “Moscow” (“Atlant-Soyuz”) and “Region-Avia”. The latter last year sold 3 aircraft to the structure affiliated to the group of companies “Renova” (managing the Yekaterinburg airport) for the regional air transportation from Ekaterinburg. Nowadays except Perm they commit flights to Kazan, Magnitogorsk, Orenburg, Samara and Ufa. Earlier there also were flights to Karaganda, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk and Tyumen. The organization of flights to Kurgan, Nyagan, Sovetsky and other towns is planned.

RusLine is one of the leading airlines carrying out the regional air transportation in Russia. The Yekaterinburg international airport “Koltzovo” is one of the basic airports of the company. That’s why this very carrier has got into operation the aircrafts Embraer 120 on the terms of their location and flights from this airport. The carrier also possesses several aircraft Airbus-319 and Bombardier CRJ-100/200. It deserves mentioning that RusLine is famous for its specific forms of business activities. From time to time they redraw their route scheme and schedules without informing the passengers who’d booked the tickets beforehand. The carrier is among the companies leading in the number of flights delay, the permanent suits for the debts to the airports and other organizations are being carried on. However, the flights of Embraers-120 from Koltzovo do not face these problems because the company directly manages the airport. Of course, the delays occur here from time to time, but the bad weather conditions haven’t been cancelled, and the old aircrafts often face technical problems.


Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The “Koltzovo” airport is one of the major airports in Russia except the Moscow and St. Petersburg airports. The passenger traffic is more than 3,5 million passengers a year and the estimated transmission capacity is up to 8,4 million of passengers.

In front of the airport there is the monument to the first Soviet jet propulsion plane – the fighter BI. The street and the square in front of the airport are named after the Hero of the Soviet Union Grigory Yakovlevich Bakhchivandzhi - the pilot who died during the test flights of this plane:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The four stars hotel “Angelo” adjoining the airport has the direct passage to the air terminal:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

On the other side there is an old three stars hotel “Liner” built in the Soviet period. In the left side of the picture is the terminal station of “aero express“ with the high platform, the only one in the city. Aero express was put into operation in 2008, but because of its low efficiency nowadays it’s an ordinary suburban train of 4 carriages running 4 times a day with all stops. In future it’s planned to build a bus-stop near the platform and to connect the platform and the air terminal with the underground passage:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

On the background there’s an old terminal of domestic airlines arrivals, now it’s not used. Except fixed-run taxi-express which is in the picture (the price is 100 rubles, departure up to the filling) there is also the city transport route – the bus No1 – running to the city railway station (the price is 23 rubles). Here is also the stop of several transit buses; the booking office is in the building of the airport.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The new building of the air-terminal consists of two identical terminals connected with each other. It was built in the years of 2005-2009. Nowadays the slow moving step-by-step reconstruction of the terminal is being undertaken aimed at its transformation into the full-fledged air-terminal complex. Nowadays only to entrances – one to each terminal – are used in the whole airport because the passenger traffic is much less than the estimated one.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The common lounge in terminal A of domestic airlines, the first floor:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The advertisement about the end of the reconstruction period coming soon, already covered with ever-present commercial.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

There are the airlines agencies on the second floor together with the lounges which are not overcrowded, as you can see:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The common lounge in terminal B of international airlines:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The model of the airport is represented in it:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The view of the airfield from the common lounge is available only through the small window of the second floor in the arch between the terminals. Here you get an opportunity to watch the crews of the aircrafts, their entrance into the air-terminal from the airfield can be seen in the bottom corner. On the background there is machinery busy reconstructing the main runway:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The former domestic airlines check-in area. It had been used in the period from 2010 till 2012 and has recently been closed down. It used to be rather packed in rush hours:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The new widened check-in area has been constructed instead of it (it can be seen in the background). It was formally opened at December the 14th, 2012, but at the moment described it was the only one in action:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The departures schedule panel, operational environment. There is no on-line checking in for all flights of “RusLine” airlines. The checking in for the flights onboard Embraer-120 in the airport begins in 70 minutes and stops in 40 minutes before the departure :
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

After checking in and preflight examination (thanks to the up-to-date equipment it’s not necessary to take off the shoes and the belt) we appear in the “clear” area of terminal A. Since December, the 16th the new reconstructed area has been opened, and the area in the pictures, in its turn, has been closed down for reconstruction. The integrated terminal of domestic airlines is planned to be put in operation in spring of 2013.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The landing schedule panel; the exit No14 is already mentioned but yet closed.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

As you can see, the Sunday day traffic is not heavy. There’s only A-320 of “Ural Airlines” to Moscow preparing for departure, except our flight.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

There’s preparation of my plane in the background.

At the other side of runway several charter Yak-40 of “Bylina” and “Gazpromavia” airlines are waiting for the flights:
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

It was stated in the boarding tickets to come to the boarding not later than 15 minutes before the departure, but in fact the boarding itself started after that period expiration. The invitation for boarding was as of old loudly announced by the woman on duty.

The small Embraer obviously can’t be joined to the boarding bridge, so the passengers were driven to the plane by buses (in “Koltzovo” the Cobuses and Neoplans are used).

At the regional planes stopping place there are L-410 of “Utair-Express” (flying from Ufa) and 2 Embraer-120 of “RusLine”, the left one of them will fulfill my flight.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

The final picture was made half-illegally because of the escorting security officer who appeared to be too passionate concerning his official duties. As we know, such people (and also some higher-ups and reviewing authorities) don’t concern the right for photography in public places, but take into consideration the Soviet-pattern rules of the secure territory. That’s why any person with a camera is attended as foreign diversionist gathering information about the strategic secrecy of the frontier zone. The matter isn’t yet regulated by law, so it’s better not to meet problems once more. That’s why I haven’t got the picture of the plane and borrowed it from the website airlines.net


The flight

The aircraft with hull No VQ-BBX was manufactured in 1990 (I wish it was registered not at the Bermudas but in Russia, but these are our economic and technical realities). Before “Region-Avia” and “RusLine” it was exploited by the American airlines Comair, Discover Air and Gulfstream International Airlines.

The plane is equipped by two turbo-engines and I’ve got the seat just near one of them. Through the window which is not very clear you can see the Boeings 737-400. These are the chart flight of “Yamal” and the Turkish cargo plane of “MNG Airlines” at the new Cargo terminal of the airport which was opened in July of this year.
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

There’s one more Embraer-120 nearby, today it’s in reserve and won’t fly anywhere. In the background there is the cemetery of the history of Sverdlovsk aviation – Il-86 and Tu-154. Pay attention to the snow on the wings. The processing with defroster after the long stay in not executed. Of course, the commander is to decide, but each occasion of the kind makes us anxious after the accidents with “Airflot” and “UtAir”.
Embraer 120 of RusLine

Written-off Yu-154M and the tails on the apron: “Yamal”, 2 “Urals”, “Somon Air” (to Dushanbe) and “Orenburg airlines” (to GOA):
Yekaterinburg Koltsovo airport

It’s officially prohibited to use electronic gadgets onboard during the whole flight “for secure flight”, but in fact no one of the crew protested.
Take-off, the plane needed only 500 meters runway. In fact the propellers rotate much faster than the camera can depict.



During the flight the steward offers beverages to the passengers. There is “Buratino” or juice (apple, tomato or orange) to be chosen. I took tomato juice.
Embraer 120 of RusLine

The reading matter during the flight is not the magazine of the airlines, but the magazine of the “Koltzovo” airport – “Air Terminal”. This fact once more reveals the organizers of the flights.
Embraer 120 of RusLine

There are 30 passenger seats put in 10 rows designed 1+2 in the cabin of the aircraft. The seat in the left row is signed A, and the seats on the right are signed CD. There are 4 seats in the back row and there’s seat B in it. This time it was occupied by some aviator, probably the ground-service technician. The commercial commitment of this flight is 12 passengers. On weekends out of season the flight is not very popular.
Embraer 120 of RusLine
Embraer 120 of RusLine

The security directions with some technical characteristics:



Two “RusLine” aircraft Embraer-120 (VQ-BBX è VQ-BCB) have such a cabin. And the third aircraft (VP-BCL) differs a bit in its design; the emergency exit in the tail is placed in the 9th row, but not in the 8th one.

My row, the 5th one, is the emergency access in both cases, that’s why there was enough space between the feet and the front seat. There was some discomfort because of the necessity to look through the rules of the emergency access opening:
Embraer 120 of RusLine

The top panel and special handle for the emergency row:
Embraer 120 of RusLine

Looking at the toilette, the one who doesn’t know that the plane is made in Brazil would suppose that it was manufactured in South-Western Asia. The tiny room is 180 cm height and even a person of standard size hardly enters it. There is no room for any bathroom equipment except the toilette bowl. That’s why there are towels to be used instead of the sink (there ought to be wet towels but during our flight there were only regular ones). It’s not very healthful. But this plane is one of the few except Tu-134 with the window in the toilette:
Embraer 120 of RusLine
Embraer 120 of RusLine

The standard flight level for such aircrafts is 20-26 thousand feet. For the good view not restricted by the engine it’s better to take places in the rows No1, 9 and 10. The view from my row was not very good, and the most part of time the sun was shining at me, but the first part of our trip was cloudy. But I managed to make some pictures.

The Sylva River:
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

The Perm surroundings:
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

Here comes the "cultural capital" of Europe:
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

The Kama River. The approach to strip 21 over the city is much more interesting than if it were from the opposite side to strip 03.
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

The main street of Perm - the Komsomolsky prospect in under the wing:
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

The landing:



There are the written off Perm Tu-154 in the far end of the airport:
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

Since 2009 the "Perm Airlines" commits transportations only by the air-field buses (Cobus or Scania OmniLink, but not long ago they also used ZIL-APPA-4):
Yerkaterinburg-Perm flight

Not very successful farewell view of the plane from the bus:
Embraer 120 of RusLine


The "Bolshoe Savino" Perm airport

There are not many flights from the "Bolshoe Savino" airport. There is only "Utair" Boeing 737-500 from Moscow on the runway except our plane.
Perm airport

The "Bolshoe Savino" terminal looks like a typical Soviet block-house in Brezhnev style (it was built in 1967). It has been lightly reconstructed for international transportations. It’s obvious that the building is old and it hasn’t been repaired for a long time. Different variants of its reconstruction or building of the new terminal are being discussed for several years. But nothing has been done except preliminary discussions or outlines. The main problem here is the absence of financing of such projects.

The luggage is being fetched quickly just from the cart, the only baggage track is not used. A few minutes after the arrival passed and we are welcome at the common area of the airport. The exit for the passengers of domestic airlines is in the center.
Perm airport

The general view of the first floor of the terminal. The holding room is behind the wall on the left, the domestic airlines checking in stands are in the center. At the rush hour concerning the charter flight with the wide-body aircraft it would be rather crowded here.
Perm airport

The appearance of the air-terminal:
Perm airport

The municipal buses No42 and the fix-run taxi No1 often run from the airport to the center of Perm.

The general impression of the flight is rather positive.

Thanks for your attention!
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About aircraft "Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia"


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