Greetings to all!
The end of the vacation was inexorably approaching the end, and after a month and a half it was time to return home. Before making the final push, I decided to stop in Istanbul and spend a full day there, once again immersing myself in the alluring atmosphere of this glorious city. B787-8 from the main airport and on the A340-500 on the Moscow flight, and on the E190 of the subsidiary Buta Airways from another airport in Istanbul - Sabiha Gokcen and further on B767-300 AZAL to Vnukovo.
Links to previous reviews of the series:
1. Moscow - Baku on Azerbaijan Airlines A340-500
2. Baku - Istanbul on B787-8 Azerbaijan Airlines
3. Istanbul - Antalya Business Class A321neo Turkish Airlines
4. Antalya - Istanbul Business Class B737 MAX 9 Turkish Airlines
5. Istanbul - Vienna in an A330-200 business class with retro Turkish Airlines livery
6. Vienna - Istanbul on Turkish Airlines A350-900
1. Tourist part
2. Azerbaijan Airlines/Buta Airways services before departure
3. Istanbul Airport - Sabiha Gokcen
4. Flight Istanbul - Baku
5. Baku Airport named after Heydar Aliyev, Terminal 1
1. Tourist part
To begin with, I will please with a small bonus and share photos of Istanbul, where I spent a full day, slowly walking around somewhat familiar places, already without a goal to see as much as possible.
I lived in a very authentic and cozy Han 1772 Hotel, located in this old building:
I also visited several new places for myself - such as, until recently, the largest mosque in the city, Suleymaniye. However, it was not possible to get inside, since it was Friday, and therefore Juma prayer was held in all the mosques, and the city was filled with the singing of muezzins.
After that, I went to the Phanar region, where he visited, in particular, the Bulgarian church of St. Stephen. Inside, this is such an interesting synthesis of our and Greek churches - it seems to be very similar to our decoration, but the benches refer to the Greek tradition.
After dinner, I walked around the authentic Ortakoy district, which has absorbed the features of many cultures:
2. Azerbaijan Airlines/Buta Airways services before departure
Since Buta Airways is a budget subsidiary of Azerbaijan Airlines (similar to AnadoluJet and Turkish Airlines, which also operate under the same air operator certificate), certain services are paid , in particular the choice of seat (5$). In addition, in addition to the sandwich included in the ticket price, you can take a hot meal for a fee ($8 for the economy class menu and $20 for the business class menu).
I paid a total of $38 - 25 for the second piece of luggage , 8 for seafood lunch and 5 for seat selection:
Seats booked 19A on the first segment and 30L on the second. It is noteworthy that the 19th row in the E190 was actually the fifth from the beginning, and the places on the starboard side are indicated not by the letters DF, but by HL - as I understand it, this was all done for the sake of unification with the wide-body fleet - primarily with the B787.
The day before departure, I first checked in for a Buta Airways flight. At the beginning, the system offers to select an airline, but in fact, apart from the logo at the top of the page, nothing is different in the interface:
And in the evening, on the AZAL flight to Moscow, where everything went according to the same familiar procedure. Of course, it is not very pleasant that if you have a connecting flight, you need to check in separately.
However, on August 31, a few days after the flight, Azerbaijan Airlines changed the interface of their website. God forbid, if I fly with them again, I will test it in action:
3. Istanbul - Sabiha Gokcen Airport
Sabiha Gokcen Airport (named after the adopted daughter of Ataturk and the first female military pilot) is located in the Asian part of Istanbul and consists of only one terminal and one runway (at one time therefore was one of the busiest airports with a single runway). It is noteworthy that the operator of the airport is the Malaysian holding Malaysia Airports. Sabiha Gokcen is the only airport of this operator outside of Malaysia.
The current terminal was opened in 2009 and replaced the old terminal, located slightly to the left and now closed. At the moment, the construction of the second runway is underway, and between the existing and under construction strip there is a Turkish Technic maintenance and repair base, and with it the TSI Seats plant, which produces seats for new Turkish Airlines aircraft:
The terminal is divided in half between international (gates 201-205, 301-307 and 501-508) and domestic flights (gates 206-212, 308-315 and 401-410). He also has a hotel and a metro station, which was solemnly opened with the participation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just the other day - October 2 (photo from raillynews.com):
In the future, a new terminal (T3) is planned to be built in the southern part of the airport:
Returning to departure, I want to note that on the way to the airport I managed to pass through the Eurasia tunnel, which passes under the Bosphorus and connects the European and Asian parts:
There are often unscrupulous taxi drivers in Istanbul - unfortunately, I got exactly this one, who turned off the shortest path, thereby adding an extra 15 minutes to the road, and at the end of the trip he gave change at some of his own rate (albeit slightly different, but still not very pleasant to lose extra funds). Because of this, I arrive at the airport only 1:45 before departure.
I go to the terminal and for I started to go through security at the entrance, where there were not so many people:
I recognize my registration area by the scoreboard. The scope of the route network from here is also considerable, only there are almost no full-service airlines:
end of the island with the letter B, which turned out to be in close proximity to the entrance:
I had a lot of things, so I had to get some of them out of my suitcase and put them in hand luggage (so that the suitcase weighed the maximum allowable for transportation of 32 kg), but since the second piece of luggage was paid for (there was an excess of 2 kg of luggage), then they leave my passport at the counters and send me to pay for the excess of the main piece of luggage. Boarding passes, however, were issued for both flights:
I was in for an unpleasant surprise - I almost ran out of cash, so I had to cash out a card with a commission (fortunately, I had a foreign one at my disposal). The total surcharge was about 60 euros.
When I returned to the counter, the registration had already ended, so only the paid suitcase was sent manually and after that they returned my passport. Now I'm heading towards the pre-flight formalities. The check-in hall, unlike the main airport, is also small here, although similar in layout:
Walkthrough passport control and screening took just under 10 minutes - as always in Turkey, with moderate severity. At passport control, they asked me to look into the camera for identification.
I find myself in a rather large Duty Free zone, where, as a tradition, I finally buy Turkish delight for gifts.
Due to the number of people in such a small area, it seems that you are in the good old now closed Ataturk, only even more compact:
My flight will depart from Gate 203B, which is directly opposite the exit from the Duty Free zone . At the main Istanbul airport, such short distances are unimaginable.
Of course, there were quite a few catering establishments in the clean zone:
I decided to go a little further from my gate in order to photograph the board from a better angle. In the meantime, his service was in full swing - both refueling and luggage loading:
Now I return to my gate , where the landing is about to be announced:
And indeed, it started literally 2 minutes after my arrival . Among the first I pass through the teleport:
4. Flight Istanbul - Baku
Type : Embraer ERJ-190AR
Sail number and name: 4K-AZ64 "Gabala"
First flight: 06.2013
Delivery date: 01.11.2017
Test registration - PT-TKP
Formerly flown with Azerbaijan Airlines.
The flight took place along the Black Sea coast of Turkey (the cities of Zonguldak, Sinop), over Georgia (Batumi, Tbilisi) and Azerbaijan (the city of Gabala, in whose honor and the board is named). Unfortunately, only this aircraft in the Buta Airways fleet has a weak receiver, and therefore part of the flight was not recorded. Actual distance was 1790 km, travel time was 2:10.
Getting on board. First, they meet luxury seats marked with red antimacassars:
I have seen the same chairs earlier in Embraer LOT. For me, this is the most successful model of seats for Embraers, since, for example, in Lufthansa and Austrian they are still quite rigid and do not have an adjustable headrest.
I take my seat 19A (which is actually 5A). The distance between the seats is very decent, as is the width (hello Turkish Airlines A350 with narrower seats and bad ergonomics):
Each seat was equipped with a coat hook:
Because this is the oldest E190 in the fleet, the interior was already tired in places - for example, a little cracked leather on headrest:
Armrest and belt buckle somewhat worn:
But when looking through the window, I was disappointed by the amount of accumulated dirt, which, apparently, had not been washed for a long time - that is why the outboard views will be dirty today. In the neighborhood stood one of the many A320neo Pegasus - perhaps the largest carrier here:
A few minutes before the scheduled departure time, the air bridge is driven away. This is a good sign - there is great hope that the departure will take place on time.]
This is truly the kingdom of Pegasus! Among the abundance of their sides, one can hardly notice other sides:
But you can! Here, for example, is one of the new products of the AnadoluJet fleet - B737 MAX 8, among which most of them are failed S7 aircraft (A320neo/A321neo also began to come from their order). This particular board (TC-LAE) is a failed TUI:
A control tower is visible on the other side of the runway:
In passing, I notice near the old terminal B737-800 Pegasus in an unusual livery:
And then, unexpectedly, the A321 Turkish Airlines comes to our tail, although they completely stopped their flights from Sabiha Gokcen, giving them to the care of AnadoluJet. Here, however, as an exception, this board was sent for reinforcement. Lucky were the passengers who bought seats in the first 4 rows and eventually flew in a full-fledged business class at the price of an economy...
We pass by hangars that had a large accumulation of boards of our charter carriers, as well as a Turkish Airlines A330-300 undergoing scheduled maintenance:
We taxied very quickly, so before I had time to look around, the runway appeared: moves on, and here we are at the executive start point:
A321 Turkish Airlines also kept up with us:
And now our engines start to pick up speed, and we are rapidly accelerating along the private aviation terminal and the old terminal...
And above the main terminal we break away, simultaneously looking at the local boards, cat Some of them were our neighbors in parking lots a few minutes ago:
We climb over the local busy roads, along which we had to break through with a fight in order to make it to the airport in time:
Local urban neighborhoods, followed by cottage villages, are hidden in the clouds:
The Intercity Istanbul Park circuit is a very important place for car racing fans, as it was here that the Formula 1 race took place in 2005:
Istanbul on this day did not indulge in clear weather, and therefore the cloudiness jumped with all its diversity, almost completely hiding our board from prying eyes there, on the ground:
Darlik Baraci Reservoir, very similar to Sazlairport - it is not surprising, since the nature of these regions is very similar:
Soon we left Turkish land and continued along its Black Sea coast, which, however, remained along the other side, and we had only the open sea overboard:
After climbing, let's look into the pocket - there was, as always, only a safety instruction - but, of course, branded by Buta Airways, and not AZAL:
Food service began shortly after takeoff, and I brought my pre-ordered seafood lunch, which included:
1) Appetizers - cucumber and tomato salad and lightly salted salmon and shrimp with lemon and parsley;
2) Hot - baked salmon with mashed potatoes and vegetables;
3) Dessert - fruit slices.
By default, sandwiches were distributed - the choice was with cheese or sausage. I took it with cheese and left it for a snack at the airport while waiting for the next flight. I must say that the pieces were decent - they did not regret it.
There was no variety of drinks here, like my mother had on board, and therefore I limited myself to water:
After a very hearty dinner, I decide to break the law of Archimedes, since a review duty obliges me, and therefore I decide to inspect the salon and take pictures of the general views. After so many flights on wide-body aircraft on this trip, the cabin seems too unusually small, although the dimensions of the seats are in no way inferior, and in some ways even superior to their big brothers.
Standard Embraer luggage racks and top panels:
The expanse of the Black Sea overboard was not so long - soon the Georgian coast appeared. True, his pearl called Batumi remained again on the other side:
The Colchis lowland is quickly replaced by the ridges of the Greater Caucasus - and the landscapes from the film "Mimino" are recalled to the song "Chito-Gvrito":
On this flight, Georgia pleased us air travelers with its hospitality, delighting us with excellent views. Somewhere on the border of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli regions:
In the area of . During the flight from Istanbul to Baku it was hidden in a haze, and now its entire panorama has been revealed:
Here in the lower right corner you can see the Tbilisi airport, which can be reached both by AZAL itself and by Buta Airways:
The city of Rustavi, located on both banks of the Kura River and not far from Tbilisi:
Then we flew over the territory of Azerbaijan along the edge of the border with Georgia, namely Kakheti - a region with a sharp transition from the desert Iora plateau to the Alazani valley and further to the foothills of the Greater Caucasus:
This is where the Georgian spaces end and the Greater Caucasus begins along which the Azerbaijani-Russian border passes. It is here that Mount Bazarduzu is located - the southernmost point of Russia, it is also the highest peak of Azerbaijan and Dagestan:
deep into Azerbaijan, the Caucasus ridge sharply decreases in height, and the Caspian begins to glimmer on the horizon:
At the same time, there is more vegetation on the ground:
Near the town of Shurabad we enter the waters of the Caspian...
And we turn onto the glide path, and in the distance one can see numerous oil tankers - where in Azerbaijan without them?
А here is a familiar view, as for the very first time - the Absheron Peninsula begins from here, and we cross the settlements of Bilgah and Mashtaga:
[B R]The concentration of development here, of course, is amazing:
However, closer to the airport, settlements are replaced by dotted lands fields:
There are only a few seconds left until the touch, and our footage is inexorably reduced, the chassis are being produced...
And now, half an hour ahead of schedule, we smoothly land at the airport named after Heydar Aliyev:
Terminals 1 and 2 (the latter serves domestic flights, and it also has the A340-500 and B767, which were not used on flights those days):
We immediately exit the runway and head towards the terminal:
Past the decommissioned B757-200s put up in the field (in Currently, the last aircraft of this type remains, and it can often be caught on Moscow flights - now this is my cherished goal for the next trips with AZAL) moving on:
Airport weather station:
But this is rare catch! A340-600 of the government of Azerbaijan in person:
Cargo parking lot with numerous cargo IL-76 Silk Way Airlines and B747 both hosts and guests:
B737-800 of UTair and A320 of Bahraini Gulf Air were waiting at the terminal for their departures. We stand at gate 8, located between the two gates that I had last time:
very quickly, literally in the first minute:
And in a few minutes the landing begins:
5. Baku Airport named after Heydar Aliyev, Terminal 1
After saying goodbye to the crew and thanking them for a pleasant flight, I go out via the air bridge:
En route I take off the bow of our side and the gate post. Unfortunately, the cleanliness of the air bridge windows turned out to be even sadder than the cleanliness of the windows on board:
in all its glory:
Leaving the bright gallery of our gate:
And I find myself again at the crossroads for arriving and transit passengers:
As a representative of the second category, I had to go right to the transfer corridor, where my boarding pass for the next flight was checked and sent for inspection:
As always, the screening took place in a very friendly atmosphere with an individual approach. When the Austrian Manner waffles lying in hand luggage appeared in the introscope, the security officer - the sweetest soul of the grandfather, began to sing: "Chicolatki, chikolatki!"
Now it's time to go through the already familiar corridor to the clean zone:
At the same time, having filmed our board in the end :
And what happened next is the topic for the final review of the summer series, but for now it's time to sum up this flight:
- Istanbul Airport - Sabiha Gokcen - 5. I was lucky to experience it during the hours when it was not as congested as it often happens from the stories of other travelers, so it left me quite pleasant the impression is primarily due to its compactness - just a few minutes from security to the gate, even with a visit to Duty Free - in the main Istanbul airport, such short distances are not even a dream.
- Buta Airways - 5 -. The airline pleased us with a comfortable cabin in its E190s and a pleasant crew, but the cleanliness of the windows and some fatigue of the cabin let us down - a minus for this.
- Heydar Aliyev Airport Baku, Terminal 1 - 5. Everything passed very calm, smooth and cozy - as always, a very pleasant transfer experience here.
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I do not accept criticism. Thank you all for your attention!
Next review: Baku - Moscow (Vnukovo) on B767-300ER Azerbaijan Airlines
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