Dubai Transit #1
After a glorious day on Saturday 16th February, our honeymoon took us to Australia for a couple of weeks. The long trip south began the natural way for northerners nowadays, on Newcastle's Emirates service to Dubai and beyond, Airbus A.330-200 A6-EAC (my first of type) performing the first leg for us on the afternoon of Monday 18th. I had departed Newcastle Airport's sole runway a total of 175 times previous, but this 07 departure was my first on a 'wide body'. Arrival at Dubai was just before 0100 - the first disappointment from my transits through Dubai hitting straight away, the 'promised' parking on a remote stand with a bus ride (ramp tour !) past lines of Emirates heavy metal not coming to fruition, the Newcastle flight this day, possibly because of its hour long delay, getting a pier stand, the last one in the cul-de-sac. I had elected to continue on to our first destination in Australia, Melbourne, not on the first available departure, an early hours 777-300 via Bangkok, but rather on the much more 'difficult to get' (for haulage) Airbus A.340-500 that was scheduled out at 1010. Not wishing to submit my new wife to nine hours in what appeared to be a not too comfortable terminal just for the benefit of variety in my flying log book, I 'bit the bullet' and booked a room at the Dubai International Hotel actually situated inside the departure area of the terminal building. Probably the most expensive hotel room I have ever bought in terms of hours stayed, it at least gave us the opportunity for a good 6 or 7 hours sleep, which would prove useful before a potentially very long sector. It was also not surprisingly one of the plushest hotel rooms I have ever stayed in, but proved not suitable for spotting - I could see a single Emirates nose from the porthole-style window, but this was across various lounges and layers of glass.
I had been warned that spotting inside the departures area could be frustrating, the main problem being the inability to get to the outside glass wall, the finger being lined by lounges accessed only by passengers departing from that gate. There would appear to be only one or two vantage points where you could stay for a while and watch things passing by, one being the famous Irish Bar, but of course what I was after was a mopping up of what was on stand followed by as full use as possible of my 'big money' hotel room. I awoke half an hour before required to see if daylight made it any easier but it didn't, and so we freshened up for the coming ordeal, and wandered straight to our gate, one of the coaching gates, directly adjacent to the new terminal extension which looks close to
opening later this year. Some movements were viewable from here, but the outbound bus ride also proved disappointing when instead of heading back towards the lines of Emirates tails and whatever else, we turned right to a remote parking area at the far end of the terminal extension.
It was here after boarding where I have some fairly significant requests of arrivals spotted from my window seat .... arrivals between 1000 and 1030 which consisted of a Saudi Arabian EMB-170 and MD-90, and a Hainan Airlines Boeing 767-300.
A minor medical delay on the taxi out meant I had an extra 30 minutes at the holding point watching a few things come and go that I wouldn't have otherwise seen whilst it was sorted, but I still left feeling like I had failed to log a multitude of potentially mouth-watering machines .... but I think that's probably a standard emotion for such a transit here.
Tue 19/2/08 - OMDB/DXB - Dubai International
772 MG MH MI ML WA* WC*
773 MO MP MU MX* BG* BH* BK* BL* BQ* BT* BY* CA* CC* CD* CE*
332 AB AG AI AL AR* AS KW
345 RA* RC* RI* RJ*
9K-CAC* A.320-214 2792 Jazeera Airways
A4O-EL A.320-212 0497 Gulf Air
A6-ZYA* 737-2S2C 21926 597 Flying Dolphin Airlines
A7-AEH* A.330-302 0789 Qatar Airways
D-AXLE 737-8Q8 30724 2286 Gulf Air
EP-ASZ* F.100 11421 Iran Aseman Airlines
G-SILC 767-204ER 24736 296 SilverJet
G-VSSH* A.340-642 0615 Virgin Atlantic Airways
I-DEIF 767-33AER 27908 578 Alitalia
PH-BVA* 777-306ER 35671 KLM
S2-ADK A.310-324 0594 Bangladesh Biman Airlines
TC-JRE* A.321-231 3126 Turkish Airlines
VP-BQZ A.320-211 0157 Ural Airlines
VT-EVP A.320-231 0257 Indian Airlines
A6-DPW* ERJ.135BJ 955 Private
A9C-BXJ* Citation XLS 560-5676