Browsing Tag: Jump seat

I have been running AirlineReporter for over 15 years now and over that time I have been very lucky to experience some pretty rad things and I genuinely treasure all my adventures. Every now and again, someone will ask me which trip was my favorite and often my answers will differ. That said, there are three that consistently stand out. Since I was recently reminiscing about those good times, I figured why not share…

#1 – RWANDAIR’S FIRST 737 DELIVERY FLIGHT (September 2011)

RwandAir's first Boeing 737-800 sits in a hangar at Boeing Field.

RwandAir’s first Boeing 737-800 sits in a hangar at Boeing Field

During the delivery of RwandAir’s first 737, I remember being out on the flight line in Renton (where all 737s are built) and there were about five for Southwest Airlines. Getting a new 737 for an airline like that is just your typical Tuesday and there is no big fanfare. However, Rwandair’s 737-800 delivery was very different.

Although they already had two 737-500s and some smaller regional aircraft in their fleet, they weren’t purchased new. This 737 wasn’t just something exciting for the airline, but for the entire nation of Rwanda. 

There ceremonial keys to the plane (they don't actually work)

There ceremonial keys to the plane (they don’t actually work)

Due to fuel and crew rest requirements, we ended up with a fun flight path. We left Seattle and landed in Iceland to refuel. Then after spending some time on the very cold ramp, we were back in the air to Istanbul where we spent the night. We were hoping to get a feel of the local area, but we were there during Ramadan, so most businesses were closed.

One mean looking aircraft. The first E190-E2 sits at FLL.

One mean looking aircraft: the first E190-E2 sits at FLL

I have to admit that it is not always easy keeping up with all aspects of the airline business. I knew Embraer was in process of upgrading their E-Jet family (called E2, as it’s the second generation), but I wasn’t sure what that really meant (I am sure LED lighting might have been involved). So, when I received an invite to fly on down to Florida to meet some executives, learn about the program, and take a flight on their E190-E2, how could I refuse? (spoiler: I didn’t!)

It was a quick trip (what I like to call a ’œturn and burn’). I would hop on a plane (737) on Tuesday morning, head from one corner of the U.S. to the other (I like to call that a ’œdiagcon’), get some sleep (I got about four hours), get up the next day to fly on the E-Jet, and then get on another diagcon to be home by 11pm on Wednesday. Hey, I have done worse, and this trip was more than worth it!