After 24 years in service with Sabena’s subsidiary DAT and later with SN Brussels Airlines and finally with Brussels Airlines, the Avro RJ100 registered OO-DWD would finally be retired, but not without accomplishing a last commercial trip on 28 October 2017: Brussels-Geneva as SN2713, followed by Geneva-Palma de Mallorca-Geneva as LX2162/LX2163 on charter for SWISS, and finally Geneva-Brussels as SN2720.
Aviation24.be participated in that historic event.
1. SN2713 from Brussels to Geneva
Flight: SN2713 Date: 28 Oct 2017
Aircraft: Avro RJ100 OO-DWD
From-To: Brussels – Geneva (BRU-GVA)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 09:20/09:17 (GMT+2)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 10:35/10:35 (GMT+2)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 1 hr 15 min/1 hr 18 min
Most of the 83 passengers (for 96 seats) had selected to fly in the Fast @ Flex section. Take-off from runway 25R and left turn above the new NATO building. Seamless flight with left turn over the Rhône valley to land on runway 05 of Geneva airport.
2. Geneva Airport
OO-DWD took 15 Geneva passengers for a holiday in Palma de Mallorca on behalf of Swiss International Airlines under flight number LX2162. This flight was very smooth.
Meanwhile, the journalists were offered a tour of Geneva Airport. The airport caters for 16.5 million passengers a year. The dominant airline is easyJet Switzerland with 43% of that number, followed by SWISS with 15%. The airport extends to a part of France and has a French sector accessible by road directly from France.
The airport is very active on environmental matters, with a.o. a huge photovoltaic production of electricity, a sound testing hangar for aircraft, and the payment for noise dampening in houses and apartments in the neighbourhood of the airport. The airport does not close at night, but traffic is limited to diplomatic and emergency flights from 00:00 to 06:00. Furthermore, only quiet aircraft are tolerated between 22:00 and 24:00.
The return of OO-DWD from Palma as SWISS flight LX2163 did not proceed as expected. An Estonian business jet, a Hawker Beechcraft registered ES-PHP, probably blocked its wheels during landing on runway 05 at Geneva and emitted a huge cloud of white smoke. It stopped on the runway and was immediately surrounded by several fire trucks and airport vehicles. The runway was blocked for about three-quarters of an hour and OO-DWD had to divert to Lyon.
After the runway was vacated, initially, the captain got a take-off slot from Lyon only at 18:15, but eventually he managed to get an earlier slot and could arrive in Geneva with a full load of vacationers at 17:30. Almost in time to leave for Brussels at the scheduled 18:00 departure.
3. SN2720 from Geneva to Brussels
Flight: SN2720 Date: 28 Oct 2017
Aircraft: Avro RJ100 OO-DWD
From-To: Geneva – Brussels (GVA-BRU)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 18:00/18:18 (GMT+2)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 19:20/19:45 (GMT+2)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 1 hr 20 min/1 hr 27 min
The aircraft was parked at a remote position. Always interesting for taking pictures. The same crew as for the morning flight welcomed the passengers on this very last Avro commercial flight.
Take-off from runway 05 and seamless flight to Brussels.
To celebrate the event, everyone on board received a glass of champagne and a diploma.
After arrival in Brussels, many people who had paid their ticket for this special occasion remained in the aircraft for more than half an hour, visiting the cockpit and chatting with the crew.