Sunday, March 16, 2008

Arusha, Tanzania: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (JRO) to Nairobi, Kenya (NBO)

ET800 16MAR08 Kilimanjaro International, Kilimanjaro Tanzania (JRO) to Jomo Kenyata International, Nairobi Kenya (NBO) 4:45p 5:25p 763 ET-AMF

Flight Time: 0:30
Capacity: 24/211

We walked across the tarmac to the other side for the waiting aircraft. It was majestic!

I took some photos of the airport terminal and its name as well as the control tower; I noticed another passenger doing the same.

I mounted the airplane via the moveable steps that led to the middle of the airplane. At the base of the steps, everyone was asked to identify their bags before they mounted the steps. As I had none, I started my ascent. At that point, I noticed a lady, a nun, was having trouble with her two bags. I offered to assist her, but she declined. At the top of the stairs, I took some more pictures from that vantage point. It is a pity that it is a cloudy day as if it were not, Mount Kilimanjaro would be visible from the background.

I was greeted by a flight attendant dressed like the cutout that was at the check-in counter.

She directed me to my seat which was to the left and the aisle seat on the first row; 13D. As the flight was so open, I moved to a window seat on the right side of the airplane. This aircraft holds 211 in Economy class configured as 2-3-2 and 2-2-2 Business class for a total of 24. There were overhead monitors placed throughout the cabin.

At 4:14p, the door was closed and a minute later, headsets were passed out. The seat belt signs came on at 4:21p and a minute later, the lead flight attendant made an announcement in Arabic and then English. She welcomed us on board and advised that the flying time was 30 minutes at 28,000’. She also advised that the safety video would start in a bit and that we should pay attention. We should also switch off our mobile phones and if there is anything that we would like, just ring our flight attendant call buttons and they would be more than happy to oblige.

The animated safety video started in English and Arabic at the same time. The right engine started and then I noticed two of the ground crew onboard counting passengers; odd. A few minutes later, the left engine started and at 4:33p, we moved forward under our own power. There is no need for a pushback tug at this station.

I had moved to the right side of the airplane so that I could see the airport on takeoff due to the direction of the wind. Well, the direction changed, so we taxied down the runway, made a left turn and started our takeoff roll at 4:38p., we were airborne in no time.

It was a beautiful sight to see as climbed out. It is interesting how green the Arusha area is and the Kilimanjaro are is quite dry.

We basically navigated our way around the mountain range and flew between Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, due to the cloud coverage, the mountain was not at all visible.

Mount Kilimanjaro lay below the clouds.

There was no service on this flight; as a matter of fact, the seat belt signs were lit the entire flight. One never saw the flight attendants at all.

With 10 minutes to go, the Captain came on the PA and said that it was 30C in Nairobi, Kenya and it was partly cloudy; it was a bit difficult to hear him though. As soon as he was done, we started our descent through quite a bit of turbulence.

The lead flight attendant did make an announcement saying to fasten our seatbelts as we descended.

When we cleared the clouds; Nairobi lay below. It is actually as dry as the Kilimanjaro area and very flat.

We made a straight in approach with just minor turns into the airport landing heavily at 5:12p.

No comments: