Just Planes – World Air Routes – Fly Kingfisher
|Aircraft(s): Airbus A320|
|Destinations: Chennai (MAA), Goa (GOI), Kochi (COK), Mangalore (IXE), Mumbai (BOM) and Port Blair (IXZ)|
|Format: DVD (and eventually Download)|
|Director: Udo Schaefer
Year of Release: 2009
Kingfisher Airlines at a Glance
Kingfisher airlines was established in 2003 by its parent company – the liquor giant – United Breweries (the folks that bring us Kingfisher beer). They began their operations on 9 May 2005 from its base in Mumbai with a flight between Mumbai to Delhi. KF was then one of seven airlines in the world to have the 5-star rating by Skytrax. On 19 December 2007, KF took over Air Deccan (another low-cost airline in India) and rebranded them as Kingfisher Red. On 3 September 2008, the airline commenced international operations with a flight between Bengaluru (BLR) – London (LHR). The airline also had plans to open a word class cabin-crew training facility in the near future. Despite all their accomplishments, the airline sadly reported losses since they commenced services. In October 2012, after not being able to pay the banks, the airline suspended their flights and finally in February 2013, their license to operate was revoked. This marked the end to 5-star travel within India.
A Detailed Look at the Programme
Intro: Starts with an advertisement of Kingfisher.
BOM- GOI- BOM with Capt. Jhaveri/Capt. Roy
The first office (Capt. Jhaveri) introduces herself and briefly runs through the pre-flight checks. She hands over the torch to her captain (Capt. Roy) who introduces himself and from time to time explains what’s happening in the cockpit as they are happening. During taxi we get to see the busy ramps of Mumbai and the private jet of Vijay Mallya (owner of the KF group). During take-off, the camera is pointed towards the captain flying (Capt. Jhaveri) so we can see how it happens. During the climb, Capt Roy gives us a lot of bits of information like what can be seen outside the window (basically a quick topographical lesson of Mumbai) and the route we were flying to Goa (GOI). We then jump to approach briefing. During the descent, we are treated to amazing views of the Indian coastline and the clear waters of Goa. After landing, it’s interesting so see that we don’t park facing the terminal, instead we face away to taxi out easily.
On the return leg, Capt. Roy returns to his left seat. He gives the departure briefing to his first officer as he goes through the routing on the FMC. We then taxi out during which we get to see a bit of ‘ground aircraft action’. After take-off, we head to the cabin and take a look at the meal service in First Class (called Kingfisher First). We then head back to the cockpit for landing. The captain gives a detailed explanation about the holding pattern in Mumbai and how sometimes they are on hold for up to 50mins.
Interlude – Tour of the dispatch center in Mumbai. by Capt. Roy.
BOM- MAA with Capt. Jain
For this flight we are in the cabin. After the welcome and safety videos, the audience is treated to footage of the ever-busy ramp in BOM, followed by take-off and the sunset. We then jump to landing in MAA at night.
MAA – IXZ – MAA with Capt. Roy
This is the most interesting segment of the program. The segment starts with Capt. Roy preparing the flight deck at MAA, he then introduces the viewers to Kingfisher Airlines and we watch as the crew taxies and takes-off. After take-off, Capt. Roy gives viewers a detailed description of their flight plan and some interesting landmarks we would be flying over on our way. He then gives us a tour of the cockpit during which he talks about the fleet and also talks about how Airbus’s standard cockpit design is a boon to an airline (Boeing fans watch out, the captain is a ‘pure Airbus man’ (in his own words) and he might make you reconsider your choice). He also talks about Kingfisher in general and describes his job (a business developer and lead instructor on the A320) in the company. Next, the captain briefs his first officer and prepares the flight deck for our approach into Port Blair (IXZ). IXZ doesn’t have any Jeppesen charts as it’s a military field. The approach plates are provided by Kingfisher. The approach into IXZ is very scenic and the airport is easily mistakable with Mauritius or Seychelles or some Caribbean Islands. After landing, we backtrack and taxi to the gate.
The return leg starts with the crew taxing to the runway. After take-off, we again have fantastic views of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. We then skip to the approach and landing into MAA. The ATC banter and the communication between the crew in this segment is absolutely entertaining to listen to.
Interlude – Tour of the Kingfisher house (the corporate headquarters) in Mumbai. We meet Mr. Patel who talks about the conception and growth of Kingfisher airlines. Capt. Roy then gives us a ‘walk-around’ of the Kingfisher training center where the cabin crew and cockpit crew are trained.
BOM – COK with Capt. Roy
This is a brief segment. It starts with the aircraft lining up on the runway. After take-off, the captain talks about the departure and the route we will be flying to Kochi (COK). He then talks about Kochi and gives his first officer the approach briefing. We get to see the lengthy but breathtaking ILS approach into COK. Just as we touchdown, we see a bird (I’m guessing a sea-gull) that just flies-by the aircraft.
IXE- BOM with Capt. Roy
Another brief segment and the last flight in the program. This segment starts with the aircraft on the ramp at Mangalore (IXE) and we get to see some action. We watch the crew start the engines, and just like in GOI, there’s no pushback needed – the crew just taxies out and proceeds to the runway for take-off. Soon after take-off, we jump to the Captain giving the approach briefing to his first officer and commencing decent. The crew is made to hold and soon enough on approach into BOM. After landing, it’s a long taxi to the gate during which we see a lot of airplanes parked (and some in action too!).
The Bottom Line…
I was happy to see another airline from India to be featured in the World Air Routes series. Interestingly, the pilots act as hosts. I say that because all the flights featured are with Capt. Roy and Capt. Jhaveri. Our pilots give a lot of information on the procedures, the aircraft, and the destination itself. Flight simmers will enjoy this title as there’s a brief cockpit tour with explanations of the key instruments, and you get to see approaches into GOI and IXZ, both of which don’t have Jeppesen approach plates. This program honestly feels like Part 2 of the SpiceJet program – with great crew, great choice of destinations, excellent explanations of the procedures, clear ATC communications and excellent camera work by Udo. Thank you Kingfisher Airlines for opening your doors and allowing Just Planes to film this fantastic program. I recommend this program to anyone interesting in learning more about aviation in India, if you are a fan of the A320 or if you just want to watch a fun program on a lazy afternoon or on a snowy day. This program captures India’s only 5-star airline at its peak. I was fortunate enough to travel with them in 2011, just before they shut down Kingfisher Red completely (Link: 2011 Trip Part 2 – opens in a new tab). If you don’t have the SpiceJet program, I highly recommend getting both the SpiceJet and the Kingfisher programs as a set.
In case you missed it, here’s my review of the SpiceJet program (opens in a new tab).
For more information, please visit: http://www.worldairroutes.com/Kingfisher.html
Well, there you have it folks, that’s my review of the Kingfisher Airlines program by Just Planes Videos. I hope you enjoyed it and until my next post… Happy Landings!Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for updates on what I’m writing about next: @av8radi (opens in a new tab)