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SAUDI ARABIAN:RIYADH TO LAHORE

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  • SAUDI ARABIAN:RIYADH TO LAHORE

    Carrier:Saudi Arabian
    Origin: Riyadh-King Khalid bin AbdulAziz International Airport(RUH/OERK)
    Via:Dammam-King Fahah bin AbdulAziz International Airport(OED/OEDF)
    Destination:Lahore-Allama Iqbal International Airport(LHE/OPLA)
    Flight No: SV 0735
    A/C Type: 747-368 HZ-AIM
    Departure: 0200 Arabian Standard Time
    Arrival: 0830 Arabian Standard Time
    Time Taken:0630 hrs total,0500 hrs flight

    Abbreviations I used:KKIA(Riyadh),KFIA(Dammam)

    Reached KKIA at 2000 something.Then proceeded to the departure lounges at around 2030.There is a family lounge(old fashioned but it works) just before immigration.It is away from all crowds,etc. so its quite peaceful.

    http://www.europa.com/~kim/airportinside.jpg
    http://www.sofab.info/images/airportoutside.jpg

    I left that lounge at 2300 and proceeded to immigration.The bored looking agents stamped my passport.I was then frisked like all others by security
    Then there was this Woman with 2 brats who didnt have her passport stamped but managed to get in to departures!!She was curtly escorted back to immigration.
    The Lahore,Dhaka,Delhi/Mumbai flights depart at the same times so the whole lounge is filled with people....the once clean toilets become filthy in a matter of minutes...
    And then ofcourse there are the people who look at the the planes in amazement saying "oh jumbo"(to a jumbo ofcourse),"tristar"(to a biman dc 10), "airbus" (to a 777) etc.,etc.
    I just looked around and saw the Biman DC-10 and a PIA 777....Man I was surprised to see it!There were also a Cathay and Phillipines Airlines flights.They were all boarding at the Intrernational Airlines terminal.
    Finally our plane pulled into gate 21.It was a -368 series 747 registered HZ-AIM(delivered 1985).
    Some passengers from europe or somewhere started deboarding.
    At 0045 the 17 crew boarded the plane.Finally boarding was announced at 0120 and 6 lines were formed infront of one gate agent!Each member of a
    single family was in a different line.Whichever line moved faster,the whole family went there causing lot of discomfort to the people.
    Another interseting phenomenon that occurs at Riyadh is,that before boarding the oversized luggage of all passengers is thrown on the escalators and carried in the cargo bay.
    Pretty soon I was in the plane.I looked around to see the whole cabin in chaos.Some kids were running about.Other were fighting over their seats,some over magazines and some over their mothers.I was like thinking of giving those kids some sedatives or something.

    The first class section was half full,the guest(economy) class was 90% full.Saudia now has a 6-abreast,economy configuration in the upper decks of 747-300's.The last section of the plane was nearly empty with only the first 6 rows being occupied.One good thing about SV is that all flights are now non smoking.SO as soon as doors were closed,I went to the rear end and peacfully sat on the last seat of the Jumbo.

    The captain for the flight was Captain Nishat.The crew of some Saudis and Fillipinos was very very good and courteous.Next door the Dhaka flight (747-100) was ready for takeoff.It taxied out first follwed by us.Anyone want the welcome announcement?
    Lights were dimmed and at 0155 we were on the runway.Takeoff was smooth but very dark outside and I couldnt see a thing outside.Pretty soon we reached our cruise altitude of 21,000 feet.
    After 30 minutes descent started into KFIA.We did a very very rough landing at Dammam and taxied to the gate.There were several private jets as well as Air India A310.Dammam airport though very large and beautiful is very quiet since there are very few airlines there.Even today only 20 passengers boarded.However all meals were loaded from here.The trays were piping hot and little brown bags of dry ice were placed above the handles so that they could be easily lifted.
    After a few minutes doors were closed and we just sat back.30 mins to go.I saw a spectacular sun rise behind another oversized boeing (uh a 747).
    We finally took off at 0430 and headed towards Lahore.After a few more minutes the meal was served.The menu was as under:

    MAIN COURSE
    Chicken Keema(Ground Chicken) with Yellow Rice
    or
    Egg(Omelette) with Mushrooms
    DESSERT
    Cream Cake
    BEVERAGE
    Water or Fresh Fruit Juice plus Tea or Coffee

    I chose the Chicken and Rice which were very delicious.I had to dig around in the dish to find the ground chicken.It was all under the rice!
    After the meal was served I went to sleep.I woke up around 0730 and took couple of shots.

    http://myaviation.net/search/photo_s...hp?id=00166127

    Then I went to the galley and chatted with the F/A's and then the Purser too.
    I didnt ask for a cockpit visit,I was sure he would deny the request.
    I went back to my seat and kept staring out of the window thinking about the trip,airliners.net,credit cards,etc.,etc. till descent started.I was overwhelmed with joy that I would be in my City in a few minutes.
    We flew over fields,fields,fields,then a few houses,then more houses,then through the densely populated 'defence' area...I was surprised at why they had chosen such a location for the new airport.Poor People!(By the way I was one of those 'poor people' too later when I went there for spotting)

    http://myaviation.net/search/photo_s...hp?id=00161233
    http://myaviation.net/search/photo_s...hp?id=00166005

    We passed a couple of more fields real low and burned a little bit of rubber on the runway and made a quick exit.On the ramp there was an antonov parked to one side,a PIA 777 and a PIA 310.I got a couple of pics there.

    http://myaviation.net/search/photo_s...hp?id=00161230
    http://myaviation.net/search/photo_s...hp?id=00189987

    Before the Aircraft came to a stop everyone was up and dragging tons ofhandbags while the F/A's were yelling at everyone(well at least the Saudis were).They stopped a couple of secs later when the plane stopped.We Deplaned after 5 mins of standing in line,pushing and being pushed.

    http://myaviation.net/search/photo_s...hp?id=00181552

    Thankfully Immigration wasnt too busy and we were out in 15 minutes.Then went to the luggage Claim.Since our luggage is dumped in the plane first,it always comes out the last.We waited there for half an hour thankfully the electricity didnt fail and there were air conditioners too(Yeah Surprise for Lahore)...Good Work by the Govt!
    Anyway I watched as the crew came out through immigration and I hurried up to the captain and thanked him for a great flight.
    By the time I got the luggage the crowds had already cleared out so we passed customs without a hassle.
    Thats it guys.Thanks for reading.
    And thanks to Saudi Arabian!
    Administrator Virtual PIA
    www.vpia.com
    Administrator Saudia Virtual
    www.saudia-va.com

  • #2
    Great Report, your lucky you got to fly on a "classic" 747.
    - The baby will be back -

    Comment


    • #3
      Re:

      Nice review! Don't get to read too much about mid-east flights.

      Happy Flying!

      Comment


      • #4
        Good report...great reading up about the service on lesser known carriers here in the West.

        -Pete
        Pete Ganabathi
        Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

        Fly Frontier Airlines - A Whole Different Animal

        Comment


        • #5
          Informative, very informative on two rarely featured airports, thanks again for this post.
          Alain
          Thanks for visiting
          *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *
          *JetPhotos*
          Airliners*Pbase.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks very much guys.Really Appreciate it.
            I will post my reports of flights on A300,M90 and 747-100.
            Pete youre from India are you?
            Administrator Virtual PIA
            www.vpia.com
            Administrator Saudia Virtual
            www.saudia-va.com

            Comment


            • #7
              great report, i flew saudi from JFK-JED for umrah in 2003, then i flew MED-JED, on A300B4, then it was JED-RUH-LHE on 743 upper deck!!! and then LHE-DAM-JED on 741 and then JED-JFK 744! Im still debating wether to go on them again in 2005 when i do the same trip over again! Or should i try emirates which i havent tried before. I loved Saudi!!!!
              Only the dead have seen the end of the war-Plato

              Comment

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