AIRLINE FLIGHT REVIEW -
ED is the newest private airline in Pakistan, they started in June 2004, operating a fleet of
A320's and offering true international standard service on domestic routes, so I was most keen to
try them out as everything was relatively new. My trip began by arriving a bit late at the airport
for the 17.30 flight ED240, almost everyone travelling by the airline had checked in, so there were
just three other people at the counter, two others besides me at Y class and one at C class, the
female staff were young but looked too casual and unprofessional, not right for the type of image
the airline want to portray - they have printed uniforms of grey/navy blue stripes with plain navy
blue scarf and traditional trousers, compared with plain blue uniform of the cabin crew, cockpit
crew wear dark grey shirts with black trousers.
Proceeded to the departure lounge after check-in, going through one more security and hand
baggage/tag check, an escalator leads to the place which is located on the top level of the ground
plus one story structure that forms Islamabad International Airport. The lounge was clean, simple
and functional at best, TV sets showing local programmes and flight timings were fitted at some
points. ISB is usually quite busy at this time of the day with domestic summer traffic.
The flight was announced and passengers asked to proceed to the aircraft via the gate, I doubt if it
had a number, as there is only one for domestic flights and you have to walk down to it on the
ground level via a flat walkway - the type that is meant for trolley's and wheel chairs. I noticed
some of the passengers boarding cards were being checked via pocket PC's, perhaps they had e-
Ground handling is done by Dubai's DNATA Pakistani
subsidiary Gerry's/DNATA - who also handle Emirates and other major airlines, so the busses were good
but the air conditioning was not working - which made it very stuffy and to make things worse the bus
moved literally at snail's pace to get to the aircraft.
We got to our aircraft and parked near the rear exit - a long queue
ahead of me, baggage tags were being re-checked and the pace was slow. Finally got onto the plane,
an A320, I found it a bit cramped and dark. One of the stewardesses
was standing at the entrance just stood there, no welcome, no smile no guiding passengers to
I got a window seat situated right next to the first emergency exit -
plenty of legroom, and luckily no one seated next to me - layout on the
aircraft was 3x3 in Y class and 2-2 in C class - seats seemed quite spacious too.
Safety video started playing on drop down LCD screens
throughout the aircraft - a generic animated film, with blonde, western characters, and
was of better standard than on some other carriers I have been on.
After departure, IFE was turned on after a good wait, and we were given
headphones - only two channels one for Audio on which the Holy Quran was being recited
with translation in Urdu, the other was for video. A few local song video's,
traditional and pop, followed by a popular local comedy show, an English
documentary on Astronomy.
Meal was served , a choice of local and Chinese, I opted for the latter, featuring "Sweet and
Sour Chicken with Vegetable Rice", accompanied by a "Cucumber and Tomato Salad with a wedge of
Lemon", a traditional Pakistani dessert made with milk and vermicelli called "Sawai" followed by tea
only. The best part of the meal was that not only was it good but it was served on china ware (the
main dish, the tea cup, desert and salad bowls were all made of china). The tray
was a flat blue square - like the type used to serve sushi in. Never experienced such a meal service on a domestic flight in Y class on
any Paskistani airline.
Approach to Karachi was a little bumpy but landing was smooth -
we arrived at dusk after flying for almost two hours. Air Blue
aircraft hook upto the jetways, so no stairs - while getting off, we had to pass through C class
section - it looked great with wide blue leather seats, loads
of arm and leg room.
A great flight on a very good airline, highly recommended especially for domestic
travel, as the airline has cheaper fares then the rest - with some flights offering a 25% discount,
and 50% off inaugural flights to new destinations for a month. At present they only serve four
cities in Pakistan but plan on starting international flights in 2005 mainly in the region.
FLIGHT CHECK INDEX