Flight 3 of 14 – Sichuan to Prague

  • Sichuan Airlines
  • Zurich to Prague
  • Airbus A330-300 B-5960

Well after a slightly late arrival into Zurich following the late departure from Heathrow it left me wondering whether my next leg may be affected, as I still had to check in for my flight to Prague.

My next move as seen from my BA A320 on arrival!

Thankfully we were parked by 1000, arrival around 20 minutes late at the gate, but I was able to make good time and passed through the border quickly thanks to the automatic passport gates. After a dash upstairs I arrived at check in at about 1015, though the screens showed they didn’t close until 45 minutes before departure so I had plenty of time in reality.

The lovely lady on check in informed me she could find me a window seat, 35K, and I set off back through security again to go back airside. This was a swift, if not overly friendly, operation – typically Swiss you could say. It wasn’t long before I could have a wander around Zurich’s impressive terminal

Inside the terminal at Zurich Airport

My next flight to Prague was departing at 1125 so that gave me around an hour before departure to relax in the terminal and get a photo of our A330 that would be taking me to Prague this morning.

Sichuan Airlines Airbus A330-300 at the gate in Zurich

It is always interesting to try new airlines and I am usually pleasantly surprised as my expectations are not as high on these flights. Sichuan are no different – my first time flying with an airline from China and they’re very friendly. The boarding process is all handled in perfect English – a point that always surprises me but it’s always embarrassing to think they can probably speak 3 or 4 languages and us English won’t do more than one in the majority of cases!

The cabin is set out in a 2-4-2 formation with a very nice red moquette and the cabin crew are warm and welcoming. After boarding so early we finally push back around 1140 following the safety video which is certainly different to any others I’ve watched previously! I did like the fact they have a lady doing sign language on all aspects of the safety video, a fact that many other airlines could catch up on… no others that I’ve seen has this!

It is a very short flight of around an hour across to Prague today, cruising at 29000 feet. They did hand out a few snacks which I’m sure would be ‘unusual’ to the majority European travellers on this leg, which certainly surprised me! Sichuan are soon to be exiting this section of route, though I understand the main section between Chengdu and Prague will still run. I understand they are starting a ‘fifth freedom’ run between Helsinki and Copenhagen that you will be able to try though!

Chinese snacks… no I have no idea what is what either!

All in all for what it cost me – around £52 – I couldn’t fault Sichuan Airlines and I would happily fly with them again! The A330 was fairly new internally and in good condition although I didn’t try the entertainment system out and just used it for the moving map to keep track of our progress.

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