Sunday, 27 November 2011

Flying on EVA Air's Airbus A330-200 (Non-Hello Kitty)

Welcome to my trip report on EVA Air's Airbus A330-200 ride!



*Airliners.net photos are credited to the respective photographers


For the HKG-TPE sector, the airline flew almost everything on the road except (MD-90) at that time. If you check the flights now (July 2014), there's a good mix of A321, A332, MD-90, B77W and B74M. The MD-90 and B74M will be phrased out by end of 2014. Flying on the A330-200 with this aircraft was no-brainer. At that time, the Hello Kitty planes were not in action yet so I didn't have much choices other than the MD-90 and B747-400 Pax which were not flying on this route.


Flight details
Carrier: EVA Air
Flight number: 868
Date: 24th Nov 2011
Routing: HKG-TPE
Seat number: 21A
Aircraft type: Airbus A330-203
My 6th ride on this aircraft type and 4th airline to be flying the Airbus A330-200
1st time on B-16301
Engines: General Electric CF6-80E1A3
Seating configuration: C24Y228
Plane delivered: 26-06-2003
Line number: 530
Registration: B-16301
Flight duration: 1 hr 11 mins
Schedule departure time: 1345
Actual departure time: 1405
Schedule arrival time: 1540
Actual arrival time: 1520
FL:310 Speed: 900km/h
Load factor for Y class: 98%
Departure gate: 60 (Terminal 2)
Arrival gate: C4 (Terminal 1)
Departure runway: 07R
Arrival runway: 05R

Introduction

When I did my booking, I wanted to do one way 74E and 332 and it was a good thing especially BR surprisingly announced that they intended to retire the 332s probably before the 747s. I really wonder why, but I was so glad to have gotten this ride. In off peak seasons, the A332s will fly to Singapore, so even if I missed this chance to fly it, I would probably fly with them again to TPE during the off peak period. Another significant thing is that this A330 would be my very first GE-operated, which means I had flown on all 3 engine types on the A330-200s and I was left with flying the A330-300 powered by GE and  Roll Royce Trent engines.


Took the Train to the Airport; fast and efficient.






Photos of my plane: B-16301 (This aircraft has since been retired from EVA Air's fleet) 






After the lease with EVA Air, the lessor leased this aircraft to Eurowings. Now operating with this carrier.


About Hong Kong Airport

Its a modern airport consists of 2 terminals. Its easy to navigate and even though the non-restricted area is small, but inside the passengers area, its quite big and taking the skytrain is needed to get to some other gates, mainly international flights. This is definitely one of my favourite airports to go, spotting is possible depending on the sunlight direction and you are able to take beautiful photos from the windows. It somehow reminds me of Barcelona's terminal, as the structure is similar. Unfortunately that day, i didn't see any special planes from Cathay Pacific, only the 747-8F which arrived while my plane was taxing to the runway 07R.

Before boarding

Getting to the gate was as easy as ABC. Just before boarding, I had some noodles as I was very hungry. Tasted not too bad and not before long after, I went to do some plane spotting before heading to my plane. Here are some photos.







Arriving at my gate which took about 15 minutes from the main building. 





The exciting part and that is entering the aero-bridge.





Quite a small screen, the older type of IFE system which is obsolete these days. 



Ample legroom space. 









Toilet was well decorated. 







Cabin of the Airbus A330 Y class









What's inside the seat pocket?











A nice crew came and took a photo of me! 



Service on board

Flight service was much better than the previous even though some were reserved. A couple of them were outstanding, they were very courteous to each passenger and had a good chat with me about the company and its future. This had to be the best flight with EVA so far. Drinks and requests were met promptly despite the full flight. Rating: 8/10

Meal on board



This meal tasted quite nice, pork rice if you call it. I suppose like what they say, the food out of TPE and HKG are usually good and this is definitely one of them. I managed to finish everything despite feeling full after having a meal at the airport. I would give this 8/10 as my rating.

Seat comfort

I was surprise with the ample legroom space, no problem stretching out my legs, the PTV box at the leg area was not a problem for me, unlike the 77W's. As this was my first time on the economy class seats, it was very comfortable and I think I would be able to sleep for many hours if I am flying long haul on the A332. Another positive ratings for this: 8/10


Photos of Wing shots





























Conclusion

Among my flights with EVA Air so far, this has to be one of the best. I was pleasantly surprised how enthusiastic the crew were, at least for most of them serving us with pride and smiles on their faces. I hope to fly with this airline with more such crew on board. 

I was glad to have flown on another aircraft type in the airline's fleet. My goal is to fly on every aircraft type, however the toughest would be the Boeing 747-400 as this aircraft flies often on long haul (July 2014) and besides the aircraft is due to retire by end of 2014, so hopefully it would be relegated to short haul and that would make my task easier! Do I recommend this airline? Definitely. The cabin products may not be the best out there, but the airline is always looking to improve.

My rating:

On ground check-in: 7/10
Hong Kong Airport experience: 7/10
In-flight service: 8/10
In-flight meal: 8/10
Seat comfort: 8/10
IFE: 6/10
Cleanliness: 10/10
Legroom space: 8/10
Aircraft condition: 10/10
Overall rating: 72/90



Videos of take off and landing






Thank you for reading my report.

Cheers,
Charles

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