Month: September 2013

Glistening Ocean to Lanzarote

The weather was pleasant today so I was looking forward to some easy flying – a stark contrast to the six sector day (six flights) that I experienced a week ago. The weather was terrible at that time with gusty crosswinds and windshear on approach. It was enjoyable though – I must admit I like a challenge. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t ideal for the airshow in Dublin that day!

We briefed the necessary details in the crew room and we saw that we had an aircraft change in Lanzarote! We weren’t in a good position to begin with due to a slot imposed on us by ATC which meant we would have to accept some delay, and an aircraft change could compound the delay. Delays are a lot more problematic on long sectors such as flights from UK to the Canary Islands due to the already long duty time and consequently running the risk of going out of it by coming up to the maximum amount of time we may work in the day. Thankfully there was no degradation in the delay and we were pushing back around 30 minutes behind schedule – some of which we managed to reduce by shorter routings given to us by air traffic control.

We flew over Wales and then towards Lands End and over the sea. The first bit if land we reached after that was Santiago, Spain. I thought this would be a good point to speak to the passengers. It was a long flight and I like to give passengers an update at least half way through and then again just before descent, if time and workload allows. I remember taking a look outside and just admiring the view of Portugal below. The coast looked pristine and the water was glistening in the sun. Very inviting. Once we left the Portuguese coast, there was nothing to see but the ocean in all directions. Water as far as the eye could see.

The Atlantic Ocean.
Approach to Lanzarote.


Once in Lanzarote, we had to wait for the aircraft we were changing onto which gave us enough time to grab a coffee in the terminal and check the latest weather. I was quite refreshed after the break so didn’t mind the delay so much and the passengers seemed fine as well. We took off at night and I wish I had a camera that could really capture the night view! We flew along the coast and over the ocean, giving us fantastic views of Faro, Lisbon, Porto and other cities and towns in between.