Old Apr 5, 09, 5:06 am
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PlaneHunter
 
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Delayed by the Military & "Meal-on-Ground": SHA-SZX on Shanghai Airlines 757 (+pics)

Delayed by the Military & "Meal-on-Ground": SHA-SZX on Shanghai Airlines Boeing 757


Intro
The focus is on Shanghai Airlines and its 757-200 in part 3 of the report series about my recent trip to China. I have also added some pictures from Shenzhen, Hong Kong and a TurboJet ferry ride.

Background
After picking China Eastern's A330-300 on the PEK-SHA route prior to the trip, we had been searching for another wide-body service, this time to Shenzhen Baoan (China's fifth busiest airport). In the end we chose a Shanghai Airlines 767-300 flight. All those who have missed parts 1 and 2 or want to read more about the background of the trip simply need to click here:
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night




Hazy Morning
Clear skies are rare in Shanghai, so we weren't really surprised about the dense smog in the morning. View from our hotel room:



Beautiful flowers in the hotel lobby:



Check-out in The Bund Riverside Hotel was quick and easy. The hotel staff called a taxi and minutes later we were on the way to Hongqiao Airport. This time the driver had reacted promptly to our request. After some 20 minutes we entered the airport main hall.



Tuesday, 04 November 2008
Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) - Shenzhen (SZX)
Shanghai Airlines, FM9377
16:05-18:30 (18:03-20:22)
Flying time: 01:56 (hrs)

Boeing 757-26D
B-2857 (s/n 1044), delivered in 05/2004
Economy Class, Seat 31A



Smooth Check-in
Our flight was scheduled to depart at 16:05, still some eight hours away. We were confident Star Alliance member Shanghai Airlines would check us in that early - unlike China Eastern - because Satchmo had already gained experience with the carrier before. And indeed, a friendly (English-speaking) lady welcomed us and immediately entered our Miles&More data. She also willingly accepted our request for a seat in the back. Some minutes later we got our boarding passes and could pass security.


Shanghai Hongqiao: (Airside) Spotting & Pricing
Satchmo had visited the airport before, so we walked straight to a place in the terminal once offering good views of one of the main taxiways. However, we soon had to stop in front of a wall - end of line. The area had apparently been reconstructed. It was still possible to see the runway and one of the main taxiway from several gates, but only through two glass windows. Taking good pictures was mostly impossible - and due to the haze it was even hard to see certain planes' registrations.

Another bad surprise followed soon: the exorbitant prices! A cup of coffee was sold for about 5 Euro and a piece of pizza for about 8 Euro - no matter what, it was similar in all bars and restaurants. I had never seen such high prices at an airport before. Hongqiao doesn't even have lots of international traffic - so it's mostly the Chinese passengers who get ripped off. And not all of them are rich businessmen, one shouldn't forget.
Anyway, it was time to concentrate on the movements. Examples:

Shandong Airlines Boeing 737-85N B-5348:


Picture by Satchmo

Close-up of an Air China Boeing 777-2J6:


Picture by Satchmo

Spring Airlines Airbus A320-214 B-6320:


Picture by Satchmo

Juneyao Airlines Airbus A320-214 B-6340, parked next to an Air China Boeing 747-4J6:


Picture by Satchmo

The variety of airlines and types (including wide-body variants) at Hongqiao is excellent. In addition to the large carriers, you can also see the smaller Chinese airlines which are rare at the international gateways. I got a total of 85 new registrations at Hongqiao in only seven hours.


"Delayed due to Weather"
Almost all flights had been delayed during the day, apparently due to low visibility. "Delayed due to weather" was what we heard in the permanent announcements. So it was no surprise that nothing happened for a while after we entered our (bus) gate at 15:30. Even though our flight was shown on the monitor, boarding for another (delayed) flight was started first. Due to unclear announcements people bound for both flights went in line. We weren't sure either, but a helpful Chinese passenger told us what's up. Some 15 minutes after 16:00 it was finally our turn and a crowded bus brought us to the aircraft. Btw - it was interesting to note that the flight was codeshared with Lufthansa - even though LH doesn't fly to Hongqiao and Shenzhen.

Aircraft Change
We were still hoping to get Shanghai Airlines' 767-300 in Star Alliance colors - but our bus stopped next to a plane in regular colors. Once the crowd had left the bus, we were able to see the plane clearly and realized it wasn't even a 767, but a 757. That was particularly annoying for Satchmo who had flown on a company's 757 before. I wasn't so much disappointed because I had flown on a 767-300 (non-ER) before and my last 757 flight had taken place years ago. The plane was B-2857, s/n 1044, one of the last few 757s built in 2004.



Boarding passes were checked on the stairs, supervised by an officer. Again, taking pictures wasn't a problem at all.


Picture by Satchmo

The distinctive 757's body:


Picture by Satchmo
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