For as far as I know, Brussels Airlines uses three subcontractors for some of its flights:
- ASL Airlines France B737-300 or B737-700 on feeder flights for Africa flights to/from Paris CDG
- bmi regional ERJ145 for thin regional flights within Europe
- CityJet SSJ100-95 for less thin regional flights within Europe
The ASL flights to Paris are almost impossible to book without a connection to/from Africa, but Hannover is an interesting destination flown by a mix of ERJ145s and SSJ100s. I thus took this opportunity to make a day trip to Hannover, outbound on a bmi ER4 and inbound on a Cityjet SU9. This is also an opportunity to compare the service of both subcontractors.
Flight: Brussels Airlines SN2633 (no codeshare, even with LH Group airlines)
Date: 07 Mar 2018
Aircraft: bmi regional Embraer ERJ145 G-CKAG
From-To: Brussels – Hannover (BRU-HAJ)
Seat: 15F (seats are 1-2 A-DF)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 09:40/09:49 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 10:55/10:48 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 1 hr 15 min/0 hr 59 min
There were no less than 4 bmi regional ERJ145s at a remote parking position near the former satellite. Of course, it meant a long bus ride throughout the airport before boarding under the rain.
The plane is in bmi livery. Service on board is bmi (English only, “Welcome to bmi, etc. … operating for Brussels Airlines“). Two stewardesses for 49 seats: one more than required. Good point! And a lady captain on the day before the International Women’s Day.
Load factor was 100%. The leather seats were very comfortable with ample legroom.
On-time departure and take-off from runway 25R. Cruising altitude FL230.
No SN buy-on-board, but a free drink (coffee, tea, juices, sodas, etc.).
On arrival, the purser said twice that we were landing at “Brussels International Airport” before correcting to “Hannover International Airport”.
Landing on runway 27R. No boarding bridge, but the rain had gone!
All considered, a very good flight! Here are the pictures:
Flight: Brussels Airlines SN2638 (no codeshare, even with LH Group airlines)
Date: 07 Mar 2018
Aircraft: CityJet SSJ100-95 EI-FWD
From-To: Hannover-Brussels (HAJ-BRU)
Seat: 10A (seats are 2-3 AC-DEF)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 18:55/18:57 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 20:15/19:55 (GMT+1)
Scheduled/Effective Duration of the flight: 1 hr 20 min/0 hr 58 min
On-time arrival of the incoming flight. Gate 3a at the ground floor meant that we would be bussed to the aircraft.
The aircraft is in Brussels Airlines livery, but the cabin crew (one stewardess and one steward) have their own uniform. Trilingual announcements in SN style, unlike bmi. The 97 seats (in 2-3 configuration) are comfortable with enough legroom.
On-time departure and take-off on runway 27R. Cruising altitude FL240. Those regionals don’t fly very high!
Regular Brussels Airlines onboard service: buy-on-board for the low-fare economy class (for those who are curious: I bought a Stella Artois and Pringles).
Early landing on runway 25L and deplaning through a boarding bridge at gate A/T61. During the taxiing, the stewardess announced the gates for the connecting flights.
Again an excellent flight, this time in full SN mode.
A comparison of both SN subcontractors shows clear differences: when bmi regional keeps clearly its British identity, CityJet managed to give an SN feeling throughout the flight.
Please leave your comment in this forum topic: Travelling BRU-HAJ-BRU on Brussels Airlines subcontractors: bmi regional & CityJet
Pictures and text © André Orban – itineraries © Flightradar24