[Trip report] Travelling Brussels – Hannover – Brussels on Brussels Airlines subcontractors: bmi regional & CityJet

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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 SN2633 announced on the large billboard of the entrance hall
At gate A36, tarmac level. This means a bus transfer to the aircraft.
Boarding under the rain
The tail of the ERJ145 with the registration
Not an SN livery, but the original bmi regional one
The long blond hair of our lady captain
Comfortable leather seats in 1-2 configuration and good legroom
After disembarkation in Hannover (without a jet bridge)
Itinerary SN2633 Brussels – Hannover

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.

Gate 3a is at the tarmac level: a bus ride again
Arrival of incoming flight: CityJet SSJ100 EI-FWD in full SN livery
Boarding
Full SN livery with clear indication “Operated by CityJet”
Nose gear with registration
Engine
After arrival at BRU gate A61
Itinerary SN2638 Hannover – Brussels

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

3 COMMENTS

  1. Low level cruising altitude doesn’t have anything to do with the a/c type on this particular flight. SSJ can go up to FL400. It’s due to a relative short distance and airspace restrictions.

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