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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.

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