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December 20, 2023

Oslo seen from above

Today it was just an ordinary turnaround flight to Oslo.

Oslo seen from A321 CS-TJK

In the photos below, Karl Johans Gate, the Royal Palace, the Vigeland Park and Aker Brygge can be seen:

And finally at Gardermoen Airport.

SAS A320neo

First time I visited Oslo was in 2013 during a couple of days off. I loved this city and definitely want to come back for another visit.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

December 17, 2023

Regensdorf - Katzensee Lake

This was a very easy night stop in Zürich, last September: LIS-ZRH / ZRH-LIS. I was the only crew member staying in the hotel so I left the aircraft alone and went to the airport the next day all by myself.

View of the Alps


The weather was nice and sunny. I had already explored Regensdorf in the past although there's nothing much to do and see there. It's a nice layover if you just want/need to rest and don't want to spend a lot of money in transport going to Zurich. In the past, when there was a free shuttle from the hotel to the airport, I would spend my afternoons just watching airplanes from the observation deck B.

The only way out I know in Regensdorf is it's train station, but I wasn't in the mood to go to the city center.

Regensdorf train station

Some weeks earlier, while checking on a new hire's instagram who was in Regensdorf, my attention was drawn to a lake which seemed to be very close to where we stay.
It was really helpful that these days we have a well developed Google Maps app and cheap roaming data. Because without those things I would have probably gotten lost on my way to the lake! But I ventured into the bush with confidence and I was glad to finally find the Katzensee Lake.

Zürich Airport

My flight back to Lisboa was flown on a A321LR, with registration CS-TXM. The aircraft named "Fernão Lopes" was doing its very first revenue service after being delivered brand new from Airbus a few weeks earlier. And in fact it smelled like a fresh new aircraft! It made me remember when I flew on CS-TNT when it was the most recent addition to our fleet, 14 years ago!

ZRH tarmac scene

December 13, 2023

Paris. First Class. International

When my current company launched their new image in 2005, they used the motto Red and Green - Out of the Blue to introduce their new colors. And since I joined the company I've been using that sentence to mark the milestones in my career in this blog:

This post could have been another "Red and Green - Out of the Blue" since I moved back to the European fleet in September this year for the sake of my own peace of mind. I did not become a senior crew member yet - usually people go back to the A320 family when they attain the purser position - but I decided to return on my own will.

Since I left the ACMI scene, I believed I was totally a long haul type. I had a long 6 years wait until that happened again and 4 more years to fly exclusively on the A330/A340 fleet. And I was truly happy when I started doing long haul flights in 2014. But... working conditions have changed. I changed. I'm not anymore the happy kid in his twenties discovering the world while working. I'm still a happy guy but priorities are not the same anymore. Today I value a lot my time spent in my home base and I'm closer to anything that looks like more to a 9 to 5 job than the other way around.

So... last September I started to rediscover the joys of medium haul and Europe!

And while I certainly took advantage of my layovers in Europe to visit sites of interest during my first tenure in the medium haul, it now seems so foolish that I never visited Rungis in Paris, our most frequent night stop/layover in the medium haul and my first one on this comeback. But it's never too late to feel young again!

Ville de Rungis


Next day I would return as an extra crew to Porto and since the incoming flight was a little bit delayed I enjoyed the airport traffic in Orly airport, in a dedicated rest area with a view to the tarmac.

Air Caraïbes A350

Can you spot the Eiffel Tower?

Back in Porto, before leaving to Geneva

And what a beautiful sight seeing the Alps again, while returning in the early morning from Geneva!

December 04, 2023

It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's been 3 months since I moved back to the European fleet in my airline. And I must say it was a wise decision to take. The first time I gave it a thought was in 2019 when I started to feel really tired and my personal routine and energy strongly impacted with all those long red eye flights. After the full recovery of air travel in 2022, I decided in October that year to ask for a fleet change which was now granted.

This was supposed to be an uneventful turnaround flight to Munich. We were flying on our company's retrojet with tail number CS-TJR. As a curiosity I was a working crew member on the first revenue flight of our first retrojet - the Airbus A330 CS-TOV which is now flying for Air Canada. I was also a passenger on the first revenue flight of this Airbus A321neo retrojet. And this was my first time as a working crew member on CS-TJR. I think the retro livery suits the A321neo even better.

It was snowing in Munich when we arrived and we had to fly a holding pattern before landing. Quite for sure we would need a de-icing procedure before our departure back to Lisbon. After the passengers bound to Lisbon were boarded we started getting delays by the air traffic control.

Munich Airport

While we waited for our departure slot, the snowfall started to increase and one could see many snow plow trucks working without stopping on the runway and taxiways. Things didn't seem pretty for us, although the outside scenario was absolutely astonishing and unusual for me.

After a very long wait with all passengers boarded, and short after we were given a three more hours wait, the airport suddenly suspended all operations and flights were cancelled.

This poor Lufthansa A320 wasn't going anywhere too...

And so we also had to leave to the hotel... None of us was prepared for this unforeseen circumstance.


Next day, Munich Airport remained shut down and we allowed ourselves to explore a true winter wonderland in Freising. Despite the flights disruption and all the chaos... wow, what a beautiful sight!

Freising Marienplatz

Only later that day we got the information that the airport would reopen at 6am.

Return Flight

It took a lot of procedures and time to reactivate our frozen aircraft and remove all the accumulated snow.

And we finally made it home safe :)

This episode made me remember an older one when I experienced a huge snowfall in Milan (Malpensa) 14 years ago. That time I was lucky enough to escape the bad weather and go back home on the same day. You can read about it here.