BY148A/BY148B LBA-ZTH-LBA

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BY148A Leeds Bradford - Zakynthos G-BYAY Boeing 757-200 Flight time - 3 hours 20 minutes Departure - 07:20 Arrival - 12:50 Seat 38A 22/08/2005 Ok, so it here it was again.... time for my annual holiday abroad, and where better to spend it than the wonderful resort of Kalamaki in Zakynthos. Luckily, Thomsonfly had started flying to Zakynthos in the summer of 2005, from Leeds Bradford (Though they are replacing ZTH with Varna, Paphos, Bodrum and an extra Palma next year!), so this made the journey to the airport just 15 minutes on roads with very light traffic. We entered LBA, and for the 1st time we were to be checking in through the newer check in hall B, which just Thomsonfly and Jet2 use, as you can imagine with the amount of flights Jet2 have out of LBA, it was very busy in the check in area, though not so much in the Thomsonfly area. We were allocated seats 38A/B and C, (As usual near the back - we dont opt for meals), and we proceeded through security, (Where my dad got his bag searched, he had left his scissors in it......). Security leads directly into duty free at LBA, so I made my way through this as quickly as possible, and proceeded into gate 5 (Where Irish flights depart), which gives the best views of the apron. I was fully expecting to see G-CDUO in front of me, as this had been operating out of LBA for the week before my flight, I was delighted to see G-BYAY instead, another I hadn't flown on. It was connected to an airbridge at gate 8 (My previous BY departure has been from exactly the same gate in 2003, on G-CDUP), and on the only other airbrige was G-DBCC, one of bmis fine looking A319s, at gate 7. (Nice to see the two aircraft I would be flying next, next to each other, the 757 on that day, and the A319 in October). I looked down the remote parking slots, still amazes me to see 20 overnighting aircraft at LBA, including the now gone Swefly 762, which overnighted on a Sunday. (In total, our Thomsonfly 757, Astraeus 733 G-STRB, the bmi 319, 4 bmi ERJs, 2 Eastern Jetstreams, 9 Jet2 733s, the Swefly 767 and the KLM F100). We were called for boarding at around 06:30, through the expected gate 8, an upstairs gate at LBA. We then proceeded to wait in the smaller seating area for about 10 minutes area, before making our way on board. We were welcomed by 'Carl', who directed us to our seats, of course very near the back. I was very impressed by the new Thomsonfly interior immediately, I love the new flat screen TVs, the curved ceilings, big bins (Although everyone seemed to have a real problem opening them!). The recaro leather seats were extremely comfortable, and I really do hope more airlines follow what Thomsonfly have done with the seatback pockets, putting them at the top of the seat means more knee room, and easier to get to things in the pocket. On the TV, there were a mixture of Thomsonfly adverts (With that annoying Thomsonfly tune that sticks in your head), and music videos (KT Tunstall - Other side of the world, Coldplay - Speed Of sound and The Coral - In The Morning). I always like music on boarding, so was chuffed to see this. Also coming on every few minutes was the recorded welcome on board message. The captain then introduced himself, and gave us a few details, before the doors were closed and we began to taxi. The safety video was also shown at this point. We then began to taxi, and I was amazed to see we were 5th in the queue (2 bmi ERJs, 2 Jet2 733s), never been in a queue at LBA before! We then made our way onto runway 32 and held for a minute or two before getting the power down. The typical powerful 757 take off followed and just before going above the clouds , I could see the dreaded Elland Road (home of Leeds United :dev2: ). Once the seatbelt signs were switched off, the cabin crew were released for their usual duties, they were a friendly bunch, and I bought a Hot Chocolate from the drinks trolley, and a 738 model from the duty free (No other type of aircraft, despite only having two 738s in the fleet!). The movie was Miss Congenality 2, and after this finished, the usual rubbish was shown, individual TV programmes.) I sat looking out the window listening to the music channel for the duration of the flight, also doing something I havent done for years on an a/c, go to the toilet (lol), no more special than I remembered. We did keep having the odd bit of turbulence, but nothing bad. About 20 minutes before touchdown, our descent commenced over Kefalonia, before flying over the island of Zakynthos, past the airport and out to see, we then flew out to sea, but unlike last year, we didnt approach over the sea, we instead flew back over land, before performing a right turn before lining up for the runway at Zakynthos. The landing wasnt particuarly good, a bit hard, but you know what they say, any you walk away from is a good one. We then proceeded to our parking space, alongside the MAN bound G-BYAU. The steps and buses came quickly, and I was amazed to be taken to the new arrivals area, which has been in the making for about 10 years! This was large and cool, with a grand total of two baggage belts, (A big improvement on the old one!). After about 20-30 minutes, we had all our bags, and proceeded outside for our transfer to the superb Hotel Roseland in Kalamaki. Kalamaki is on the flightpath for ZTH airport, which meant I was spotting almost all the time, ZTH isnt the busiest airport, but it is a nice distraction every now and again when you are laid on the beach, or in your hotel room. Heres the log I got over the two weeks, to give you an idea of what you can see in Zakynthos. G-BYAY, G-BYAU, G-BRIF, S5-AAA (Adria A320), SE-RDP (Novair 321), G-JMCG, G-JMAA, G-FCLI, G-MOND, OK-TVF (TRAVEL SERVICE 737), G-SMTJ, G-DHJZ, G-VCED, I-DAWS (ALITALIA MD80), G-ERAA, G-FJEB, G-BYAS, G-OOAE, G-GTDK, G-BYAJ, G-BYAD, N672FH (FUTURA 733), G-FLTD (AIRSAL B146), LN-ROS (SNOWFLAKE MD80), OK-TVC (TRAVEL SERVICE 737), OE-LSC (STYRIAN CRJ), TF-ARE (XLA 757), SE-RDH (SCANDIC/VIKING MD82), TF-ELJ (XLA 734), G-OOOG, G-FCLH, G-BXKD, G-OOAV, G-OOBD, G-BXKB, TF-ELV (XLA 734), G-JMAB, G-XLAE, G-SMTJ, G-CPEU, YU-AOO (i think, ALL WHITE 737), S5-AAC (ADRIA A320), SE-RDN, SE-RDP (BOTH NOVAIR 321S), G-OOOZ, G-CPEV, EI-DIU (NIKI 320), OE-LNO (LAUDA 737), OO-TCK (TCX BELGUIM 320), HB-IHZ (EDELWEISS 320), G-PIDS, G-ERAA, , G-MONE, G-MONX, G-OOAE, G-GTDK, G-FCLI, G-SMTJ, HA-LOH (MALEV 737), G-MONC, G-FHAJ, G-JMCG, G-JMAB, G-BYAN, G-BYAJ, G-BYAF, OK-TVR (TRAVEL SERVICE 737), OE-LNO (LAUDA 737), SE-DIR (SAS MD80), G-CPEP, SE-RDH (SCY MD80), TF-ELY (XLA 734), 9H-AEF (AIR MALTA A320), G-OOBE, G-BXKC, OK-TVD (TRAVEL SERVICE 737), G-TCKE, G-FCLC, G-BYAR, G-BYAY, G-BRIG. Phew! Finally the end of my report, hope it didnt bore you to much, and if your not a reggie sort of person, I apoligise for the last bit. I will post the second part within the next couple of days :).
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Great report Tom. Sounds like a great resort for plane watching too!
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Fab report mate!
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Nice report !!

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Nice little report there, cheers Tom for it! :D Flex 35
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Excellent report with lots of detail! :) I know a good website that would love to add that report to its collection ;)
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Thanks for the comments guys! Michael, the report has been submitted to your website, let me know if you dont get it, ill also send the return report when I type it up on here :).
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Great report Tom, I can imagine the queue differences between Jet2 and Thomsonfly!! Glad to see more than one person (me) thinks Thomsonfly are a pretty good airline.
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Excellent report Tom, well worth it!
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Thanks for the comments again guys, will do my best to get the return one up today sometime :).

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Ive not enjoyed a BY 757 for 8 years now :( But i recently enjoyed a Monarch 757 which are some of the oldest about, mine was G-MONJ built in 1988 :D How old are the BY 757s :confused:
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I think the Thomson 757s vary in age, the one that I flew on in both directions (G-BYAY) was only manufactured in 1999, but for example G-BYAD was built in 1992. I think the higher the letter (D-Y), the newer the 757 will be. I dont think 1988 is really that old, G-PIDS is 1982, and G-OOOG that I flew last year was pretty close as well, 1989.
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I think the Thomson 757s vary in age, the one that I flew on in both directions (G-BYAY) was only manufactured in 1999, but for example G-BYAD was built in 1992. I think the higher the letter (D-Y), the newer the 757 will be. I dont think 1988 is really that old, G-PIDS is 1982, and G-OOOG that I flew last year was pretty close as well, 1989.
Here are the BY B757-200 fleet ages. 1990. G-CDUO,P 1992. G-BYAD,E,F,G,H (Of corse G-BYAG has been Destroyed in Gerona) 1993. G-BYAI,J,K,,L 1994. G-BYAN,O,P,R,S,T,U, 1995. G-BYAW 1999. G-BYAX,Y
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Thats the sort of pattern I imagine it would take, the later the letter the newer the aircraft. Any idea why there was a 4 year gap between AW and AX/AY?
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Excellent report, Tom!
I think the Thomson 757s vary in age, the one that I flew on in both directions (G-BYAY) was only manufactured in 1999, but for example G-BYAD was built in 1992. I think the higher the letter (D-Y), the newer the 757 will be. I dont think 1988 is really that old, G-PIDS is 1982, and G-OOOG that I flew last year was pretty close as well, 1989.
I flew G-PIDS to ZTH! Looked nearly new on the exterior, but the overhead panels inparticular once you got inside gave the game away. ;) I think G-LCRC, which I flew back, which is now G-FJEA (flown it in that guise too!) is also a pretty old B752!
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A very enjoyable read there Tom :D
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Brilliant report. So finally they've opened the new arrivals area - is it still in the existing terminal builidng or is it in another building, because i saw last year there that they were building another building so I wonder if it is that. Still, 2 baggage belts isn't that many considering it can get busy at times. Glad you enoyed your holiday again in Kalamaki - really is a nice place.
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G-CDUO seems to be back at Gatwick now and it has been there for pretty much the entire summer - looks to have got back at Gatwick a couple of days before you left as it operated the BY031A/B to/from Ibiza from gatwick on 20/August. Does anyone know why planes keep moving airfields?
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Hi Tom, The new arrivals is in the new building, work seems to be going pretty well on the new departures on the other side of the building. Thanks everyone else for their comments!