TRIP REPORT: Ellinair, Belgrade - Heraklion

TRIP REPORT


Submitted by Veljko Marinković

Flight: Belgrade-Heraklion
Aircraft: Boeing 737-3Q8 , LY-GGC
Age: 28 years
LF: 46/148

In September 2017 I flew from Belgrade to Heraklion and back to Belgrade on Ellinair. Ellinair is a part of Mouzenidis Group and flies seasonally from Belgrade to Heraklion with two weekly scheduled flights. It is possible to buy either and entire travel package or just buy a ticket through their web site. We bought tickets via their web site, and since there were only two flights left in the season from Belgrade, there were only 46 passengers, but the return flight was almost full. Equipment on both flights was a Boeing 737-300 reg LY-GGC, which is leased from Grand Cru Airlines. That name is also shown on safety card, and the crew was also mixed from all over the world. Interior of the aircraft reminded me of Jat’s dark leather blue seats, on YU-ANL and ANW, but more comfortable. What I saw for the first time is that there were only two seats in the emergency exit row. The seat by the window (exit) is missing, so those who were sitting in the row behind (14 or 15) had extraaaaa legroom.


Since there were only 46 passengers on board, boarding was fast and the flight was very pleasant. After boarding was completed crew offered Ellinair branded candies, and I can say that this gesture generated positive comments throughout the cabin. After safe altitude was reached, crew offered coffee, tea or water, and then we got a box with a sandwich and sweet. Again there was a possibility to choose between water or juices, and I think that beer was also offered. Since the vast majority of passengers were holiday travellers, I can say that service was pretty good, and crew was very friendly.


After we landed at Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in Heraklion, I think that it took less than ten minutes to disembark the airport, which could be said is a record for Greek airports, but that cannot be said for return flight. On flights from Heraklion, Ellinair provides web check-in, which is great because you can choose your seat, but the problem is that it was necessary to get a boarding card at the check-in counter. Second problem was, since we arrived at the airport maybe one hour and twenty minutes before departure, since we already checked-in through the web site, that we got stuck at the end of the baggage drop-off counter row. I don't think that any Greek airport, except for Athens, has automatic sorting of luggage. The problem was that at the same baggage drop-off counter were several flights to: Moscow Boeing 767, Tarom Boeing 737-400 and our flight. I generally travel with cabin baggage, but I had to wait for others, and I think that the row was stretching to the end of the airport terminal. Maybe some twenty minutes before departure a lady who was working on the counter started calling: “Belgrado first, Belgrado first”, so after passport control we went directly to the aircraft.


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Comments

  1. I know some people who flew with them (holiday groups) and they had no complaints. I am happy they are coming back to BEG this summer.

    They seem to offer a much better product than Aviolet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you think so? I thought Aviolet have better catering maybe and nicer planes?

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    2. Aviolet has buy on board while Ellinair gives you everything for free.

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    3. I had no clue, thanks.

      The prices are okay:
      http://www.aviolet.rs/Data/Files/aviolet_airshop_20180301.pdf

      Delete
    4. Actually, it is the tour operator who decides what food/beverage passengers will get- not Aviolet. They supplement whatever the tour operator decides to provide by offering a simple buy on board concept

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    5. Yeah but no tour operator adds anything as they don't want to increase the fares.

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    6. Aviolet gives you a free sandwich and bottle of water. Everything else you can order for a price. I don't know if it will be the same this year.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous at 9:14 AM
      Aviolet 737s are even older planes than Ellin air's.

      Delete
    8. Thanks Anon 12:25pm. I just found out:

      Aviolet:

      YU-AND Y144 32.7 Years
      YU-ANI Y144 32.4 Years (Stored)
      YU-ANJ Y144 31.4 Years (Stored)
      YU-ANK Y144 31.4 Years
      ------------------------
      Ellinair

      It says they now retired all their B737 classics and now operating 2 A319 and 2 A320
      Average age: 15.6 years

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the report about an airline we generally don't know too much about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice and short trip. Thank you for sharing.
    I have just checked their website, and this year, they are not strictly flying 2 times per week but only 1. I hoped for more demand.
    The total number of flights operated from 6th June to 29th September will be 25.

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  4. Are you Аполон from scc forum?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I am not.

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    2. Thanks. Nice report. Do many Serbians vacation in Heraklion?

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    3. Well, yes, many of them spend hollidays on Crete, while Greece is a top summer destiation for Serbians (500.000+ a year).

      Delete
  5. That Mouzenidis group is very big in Russia and other former Soviet states. The vast majority of their business is package holidays to the Mediterranean resorts. The airline is a relative new division.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love their Bomo Club Palace Hotel in Glyfada.

      Delete

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