28 July 2014

2014-07 BMI Regional to Aberdeen

2014-07 BMI Regional to Aberdeen

This trip came about, because of a chance find on the Facebook page of BMI Regional. There was a competition to win 2 flights to anywhere on their network, so I entered and won one of the 7 prizes! The next step was to figure out what to do with them. We decided that I'd take our son Matthew for a weekend away during the school summer holidays, and chose Aberdeen as a destination as it is the only route that BMI Regional fly from Norwich. They have plenty of other routes around the country and Europe, but they would involve travelling to another airport first.

Simple route map, courtesy of www.gcmap.com

My wife dropped us off at the airport, and we went to check in.

Not very busy today

We didn't have any luggage to check in, so on receiving our boarding passes we paid our £10 "Airport Development Fee" and passed security

Airport Developement Fee ticket
Date: 26/07/14
Flight: BM1311
Route: NWI-ABZ
Aircraft: G-RJXL

Action on the ramp

FlyBE's Jersey flight

Inside departures

Another BM flight arrived

As I was with Matthew, we were invited to be amongst the first to board. The load as about 50%.

Happy to be on a plane again!

Ramp neighbour


Safety card

Once everyone was seated, a manual safety demonstration was given, and we taxied over to Runway 27, backtracked to the end and turned around, before taking off effortlessly.

Taking off over the Norfolk landscape


Looking back at the engine

Adequate legroom

Soon the single steward brought around snack boxes

The snack box


Looking down at Aberdeen

All too soon we were approaching Aberdeen, after flying mostly over the sea. We flew inland alongside the city, before turning for a southerly landing.

Bigger ramp neighbour

Our aircraft

On disembarking, I wanted to take a photo of the plane, but was prevented from doing so by a ramp worker. I was told, however, that I could as long as I took two steps back, and take it from inside the doorway of the terminal!

We found the bus to the city, and headed to our first attraction - the Maritime Museum. As Aberdeen serves the offshore oil and gas industry, there were a lot of related exhibits - as well as some old fishing things.

Huge model of an oil rig

Matt and the oil rig

By the information boards looking over the harbour

View of the harbour

Back to the rig model

Close up on the model helicopter pad

They also had a water tank with a remote control submersible for you to try controlling

Matt having a go!

And a computer simulation of the same thing

We then headed to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express Aberdeen Exhibition Centre, a 15 minute or so bus ride north of the city. After checking in, we had tea at the McDonalds nearby,

View from our room


Sign at the breakfast buffet - oh dear

The following morning, we headed back on the bus into the city, and first of all visited the Satrosphere Science Centre, a hands-on science museum for children. Matt loved it, doing experiments with water, foam balls and magnets. They also had an inflatable planetarium, with a show about the moon voiced by Buzz Lightyear. Then we went along to the beach, and Matt had a go on one of the smaller rides, a merry-go-round.

On the merry-go-round

On the top deck as it passes by

Other rides in the Codona Park, but most were for bigger children than Matt.

After fish and chips for lunch, we had ice creams - Matt chose a blue one in a blue cone. It was bubblegum flavour, which he liked, but didn't like the cone itself.

.Matt's blue cone

Aberdeen beachfront

All too soon it was time to head back to the airport for the flight home. We made the airport bus easily. We had to check in at a desk, but that was no problem, and security was a breeze. No delays for haggis here!


Airside views

Matt and his giant jammie dodger, from Costa

The ramp

VS Little Red, soon to be no more

A BE Jungle Jet

A BA flight from LHR pulling onto stand

Eventually our flight was called, and we headed out to board. It turns out our aircraft was the same one that brought us north the day before.

Date: 27/07/14
Flight: BM1316
Route: ABZ-NWI
Aircraft: G-RJXL

Our aircraft


Studying the safety card

Ramp neighbours


Plenty of legroom for small legs!

Pushing back

Once we'd taxied to the runway to take off, the earth was covered in cloud. We punched through to the clear skies above.

In sunshine

Thanks to Léonard (EastAfSpot) for tracking our flight!



Hey Daddy!

The flight was mostly full, over 90% I'd say. Majority of passengers seemed to be offshore workers.

More clouds

Looking down

Reaching the coast

Landfall (Thanks again Léonard!)

On approach


The Broads


River Bure

Getting lower

Horning again

Horning again from the side

Flaps down


Lower still...

Nearly there...


A helicopter hanger - and a hot air balloon

A Germania charter to the sun

Our aircraft once we deboarded

Something belonging to Hop! by Air France, probably for a new paint job

As it was a domestic flight, there was no passport control, and we didn't have any checked bags either. So straight out to the car park pick up zone, where we waited for Mummy to pick us up.

The terminal

Dedicated parking spots for KLM Elite frequent flyer members - I've not seen this before!

Overall, a good weekend trip with my son. BMI Regional were friendly, punctual, and with good service - they can only do well. I since looked up how much these tickets would have cost, and I was surprised that I would have had to have paid over £600! But the market is there, sufficient even for two airlines to compete on the route. Good luck to BMI Regional.