Kunal Mukhopadhyay

Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Maiden Voyage to Baltics

In Blogging, Globalization, Travel log on May 13, 2010 at 9:46 am

I’m on the plane, in Riga, on route to Stockholm. The aircraft is a Fokker100 operated by Carpatair which has a Romanian flag on it. On my way here, I flew on the same aircraft type but one operated by a Belgian or French company (Blue Air?).

The flight to and from Vilnius (from Riga) was on a Fokker50 owned and operated by airBaltic. The aircraft reeked of urine and was pretty tight. The warm temperatures outside weren’t helping either. I hope that is the last time I fly that aircraft on airBaltic. Or any other carrier for that matter.

It was an interesting experience to be in the Baltics. The experience at the airports (Riga and Vilnius) were unique. Internally they have been fairly modernized and one would think one was in any other European country. Then as the airplane taxied down airfield I saw old Migs and rusty Tupolovs scattered around. There were some classic Russian helicopters too. The ones you saw in Rambo-II! But these were silent. Parked – only a distant memory of the bygone Soviet era.

The weather in Vilnius was lovely. Warm and sunny. And so were the people I met. The roads were  probably a nasty reminder of the former communist influence here. Pot holes. Concrete blocks. Rough. But the cars on the road weren’t!

I somehow get the impression that there is still a lingering “air” from the Soviet era in the Baltics with respect to service. An attitude of – “this is what you get…take it or leave it”. But not so in the younger generation who are friendly, speak English and appear to be updated with the modern times. I wish I could somehow reward this lovely young lady at the business lounge in Riga, for her excellent service with a lovely smile. Maybe next time..

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BBC News – Ash delays more European flights

In Blogging, Thoughts on May 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

It’s obvious one cannot just “cap” a Volcano so I wonder if air transport authorities haven’t already started planning and charting alternate routes as a contingency plan.

A colossal task but perhaps the only way to go rather than pretending that turning a blind eye will cause the problem to go away?

On the other hand, maybe this will bring the best out of human creativity and engineering again – returning to seaways after having dominated the skies for so long?

BBC News – Ash delays more European flights.