Hello everyone and welcome to this new Flight review. This one follows my return flight from Thailand.
I'm taking you with me today on a rather special flight. It is now time to go back to Paris. But instead of taking an n-th Lufthansa flight to Paris-Charles de Gaulle, I'm changing my habits to offer you a Flight review of the second Parisian airport, Paris-Orly. This route, started in March 2020, has been strongly affected by the pandemic. It has been stopped several times. Currently, the route has resumed; it is operated twice a day by Lufthansa CityLine - the regional subsidiary of Lufthansa - either in CRJ900 or Embraer aircraft. That morning, an Embraer 195 will fly the route. But since there are no Embraer aircraft based in Munich, Lufthansa CityLine is entrusting the operation of the route to another Lufthansa regional subsidiary, Air Dolomiti, an Italian airline.
So, to summarize, a flight with a Lufthansa flight number operated by Lufthansa CityLine, itself operated by Air Dolomiti!
By the way, this flight will be in Business Class. But according to Lufthansa's website, the plane only has 3 seats in Business Class, in a 1-1 configuration. An experience that seems very interesting! But no more suspense, now it's time for the review!
I meet you in the departure hall of Terminal 2 of Munich Airport, a terminal partly owned by Lufthansa and thus reserved almost exclusively for the latter.
Direction to the Business Class check-in. Almost nobody currently (6 am).
The luggage is registered. We head to the security check.
Strangely, no priority line. We will put that on the account of the early hour. But as this sign indicates, the wait will not be long. 2/3 minutes. Anyway, nothing is ever very long in Munich!
A glance at the panels: gate G69, we will get a Bus boarding.
A quick tour of the duty-free stores and restaurants at the airport.
Not to mention that we are in Germany ;)
A little tour of the concourse before going down. I'm really a fan of the architecture: super modern, clean, and bright.
Then comes the time to get off.
At the gate, the flight is well indicated.
We notice that it is written Lufthansa until the end. Some passengers were surprised when they boarded the plane that it was actually wearing the Air Dolomiti livery... They wondered if they had not taken the wrong plane!
A view in the distance of D-AIVD, one of the four former A350 taken over from Philippine Airlines and equipped with an upgraded Business Class cabin. This one is distinguished from the other three by its special "CleanTechFlyer" livery, which is indeed very… special.
Then the boarding starts at 07:05. The pax bus is waiting for us. No priority boarding considering the number of pax in Business (3) and the boarding by bus. Running a bus for 3 pax would be an aberration from a climatic point of view, especially after the long list of ecological practices put in place by Lufthansa. But notice, they do it well in the Middle East ^^ Moreover, the plane is half empty. The boarding is therefore quite smooth.
During the trip, we passed two beautiful A350 in Lufthansa livery. The first one, D-AIXO, previously wore the "Lufthansa & You" livery. The second, D-AIXN, wears the current Lufthansa livery.
Then a view of our aircraft of the day. This is I-ADJS, a nine-and-a-half-year-old Embraer ERJ-195. The A350 have to be careful!
Our bus arrives at its destination. Some pictures of the boarding:
Cabin and seat
We are welcomed on board by the flight attendant in charge of the Business Class. And we arrive in the cabin.
Indeed, a 2-2 configuration is reduced to 1-1 in Business (the seat next to it being free). Only three seats in Business Class, 2 rows on one side, and one row on the other. No separation curtain with the Economy. Only a small sign "Business Class" is a separation. Too bad…
In practice, there will be no one in rows 3 and 4 which ensures a good separation from the eco.
I'm in seat 01D, front row, right side.
The legroom is decent but not exceptional compared to the front row of the A320 for example. But let's not forget that we are in an Embraer...
Thanks to the unmarked seat next to it, it offers quite a lot of space.
In front of me, the Business Class galley, and the wall with Air Dolomiti colors. It's not the wallpaper I'd put up at home but it's always nice to see custom cabins. It's a nice change from the usual white/gray.
The belt buckle is nice, with the Air Dolomiti logo.
Still on the details, the leather seat is very nice, with the headrest bearing the airline's colors.
A refreshing towel is served to each passenger, as well as a fresh bottle of water and a small cake.
On the side, in the armrest of the seat, we find the tray table.
It unfolds half or fully. It's not huge but enough for a small lunch tray for a regional flight. Likewise, it's enough to hold my 14-inch laptop.
In front, there is a pocket with different things.
A safety card, a sickness bag, and a menu (Economy Class passengers have the possibility to buy food/drink on board).
The Embraer overhead panel.
In any case, the whole cabin looks pretty clean.
We leave finally at 06:45. No pushback. We taxi directly.
We pass in front of a series of Air Dolomiti Embraer, including one with the Star Alliance livery.
We cross one of the last A350 Lufthansa in old livery…
...as well as D-AIXJ, the A350 of my previous flight!
A look at the main concourse of Terminal 2 filled with Lufthansa cranes. By the way, the A320 in the foreground, D-AIZG, is the plane that used to wear the special "Say yes to Europe" livery.
Then view on the remote gates of Terminal 1.
I see D-AIXM, the A350 that took me to Mumbai three years ago.
A series of Eurowings A330 in questionable condition.
Then we come to line up on runway 08R, from holding point B2.
We take off from Munich at 07:55, with not less than 25 minutes of delay. Auf wiedersehen München!
Overflight of the Erding Air Base.
Then, a beautiful view of the airport of Munich.
We climb quietly until our flight level, the FL360.
The service starts quickly.
The three passengers in Business Class are brought a meal tray; while the cabin crew goes to Economy Class to offer to buy drinks/snacks, the same kind of offer that Lufthansa now makes in Economy on short-haul flights.
On the tray, we find muesli, crackers, butter, and jam. We have the choice between different pieces of bread. I leave on a Brötchen and a Croissant.
For the drink, I limit myself to an Earl Grey Tea.
The flight attendant, in charge of only the three of us, comes by many times to give us a drink, offer us cookies, bread…
Being only three in Business Class, the service is just perfect. The hostess is very kind and responsive. Added to the 1-1 configuration, it almost gives the feeling to be in a private jet! A great experience!
The meal is correct. For a flight of this duration, added to all the attention of the crew, the service is amply sufficient.
Now a look at the entertainment on board this plane. As you can imagine, there are no screens. No plugs, or USB ports either. Also, no Wi-Fi on board.
Nevertheless, a bit like what Vistara offered on board my Delhi-Bangkok flight, Air Dolomiti offers the possibility to connect to a portal offering entertaining and informative content. There are magazines, games, music, and other information about the airline.
But also, a nice interactive map with some information. It is quite similar to the one proposed by Lufthansa on its short-haul flights.
Descent and arrival
Then it's time for me to work on my future reports before the finish line.
The descent begins. We arrive from the South-East.
We can see Orly airport in the distance, overhung by the Parisian pollution.
The last turn, we come to align us on the 06 of Orly.
Overview of the A10 highway.
The approach to Orly is a nice change from the boring approach of Roissy with its endless fields...
Fly over the A6 highway on short final.
At 09:05, after 01h10 of flight and with 10 minutes of delay, we land on runway 06 of the airport of Paris-Orly.
We clear via W43.
TAP, the only other Star Alliance member airline at Orly.
The beautiful mythical tower of Orly.
And we come to a standstill at Vueling-Land, at gate A21 (or Stand P09), at terminal 1 (ex-Orly-Ouest).
I go out quickly...
...passing through this fence worthy of a... prison. So French, so chic!!
Then heading the luggage by crossing this clean and rather clean terminal. My first time at Orly 1 by the way.
The pleasure was however short-lived. "Paris loves you" the return: 3 baggage belts in the hall but no, we had to put 4 flights on the same belt... The baggage distribution starts after 20 minutes of waiting, for a plane at less than 150 meters from there.
And of course, it doesn't stop there: a great pleasure to see all Economy Class passengers receiving their luggage before the priority pax. The "Priority" labels are obviously only used to look pretty at Orly.
At least, the luggage is there, well arrived at destination. We can finally leave the terminal, in the direction of Paris, which ends my Flight review.
So, to conclude, it was a good flight on board Air Dolomiti. The meal and the services are more than enough for a flight of this duration. The entertainment offer is interesting: a nice selection of games and audio content as well as a nice interactive map and a lot of information, despite the lack of Wi-Fi on board.
European Business Class is often criticized, and rightly so, as being unprofitable, with its rough service and its cabin similar to Economy Class (with only the middle seat unmarked). Indeed, the service itself is certainly not worth the price. In a larger Business cabin (about 12 pax, like what Lufthansa does on short-haul flights), the experience would clearly not have been the same. In my case, what greatly enhanced my experience was the Embraer in 1-1 configuration with only three seats in Business Class. The service was good: a friendly and helpful flight attendant was assigned to only three passengers, which made it feel like a private jet.
Otherwise, apart from this interesting side that I wanted to test by pure curiosity, the answer is no: taking a Business on a 1h flight in Europe for three times the price of Economy Class is not profitable. The meal, although correct, is not worth the price difference. The lack of a curtain/wall to separate Business Class from Economy Class is quite regrettable.
Concerning Munich Airport, it is still very nice, modern, clean and provided with restaurants, stores... A very good fluidity. The reliability of this airport is not to be demonstrated.
Concerning Orly finally, it's convenient because it's closer to the city. Otherwise, it's clean. The fluidity is not bad, just the fact of sending the priority luggage at the very end is a bit limited, not to mention the long wait at the baggage claim for a plane 150 meters from the carpet. Better handling of priorities could allow Orly to become - in parallel to what is already done - the "London City" of Paris, a business airport closer to the city. As far as services are concerned, from the little I have seen, there seem to be a few cafés, restaurants, and stores, but I do not have enough information to properly evaluate this service.
This is the end of my journey in Asia. From the Embraer 195 to the Boeing 747-8, including the recent A320neo and Airbus A350, I enjoyed testing these four very different experiences and sharing them with you in the most detailed and objective way possible. I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading these reviews and discovering new experiences, and maybe even new airlines. Do not hesitate to give me feedback or share your experiences on these airlines. I would be delighted to know if you share my opinions.
I hope to be able to fly again very soon and share with you some new flight experiences.
Thanks for reading and see you soon ;)