Flew on a SmartAvia bus Moscow to Makhachkala September 2019. A Skywest like operation. FAs speak decent English...
We are grinding our way westward into a rising wind that is blowing across the islands of Japan and rushing outward over the rapidly darkening waters of the Pacific Ocean, now just barely visible in the pre-dusk murk below us. The captain has been talking for the past 600 miles, while I have split my attention between his story of purchasing a new car and my view of the sun, as it dropped towards the horizon—the light outside the cockpit windows slowly changing from a bright white glare to a subdued bluish-orange glow. We have been chasing after the sun at just over 80% of the speed of sound for almost ten hours now, but despite our best efforts, the sun is finally going to win the race.
The sun sets—a perfectly round marble slipping beyond the curve of the earth in a shimmering mirage of yellow and red—just as the defused ground lights of Tokyo come into view below a gauzy layer of clouds. Even with the sun gone, a pale gradient of orange glow still runs along the horizon line, casting dim illuminations across the softened world that unfolds around us. Off our nose, Tokyo Bay—with the mass of humanity that surrounds it now represented only by the thousands and thousands of points of light—shimmers and reflects a muted version of the orange streak at the world’s edge. Out my right-side window however, farthest from the last rays of today’s light, the world is a ghostly gray and blue swirl of sky and clouds and sea, rapidly fading into the approaching darkness.
We cross over the coastline as the rainbow of orange continues to evaporate into the deep blue of the night. Visible in the distance, although only as a darkened shadow against the landscape, Mt. Fuji’s cinder cone silhouette pushes upward through the low-lying blanket of translucent clouds that seem to crash against its lower flanks. We cast no shadow in the dim light as we fly over the northern edge of the Bay and directly over the top of Tokyo’s Narita airport, while the mountain in the distance grows in size even as it fades into the darkness that fills the spaces between the ground lights.
Fifteen minutes later we pass just north of Mt. Fuji, and I unbuckle my harness and take three shuffling steps across the cockpit to crouch down in the space behind the captain’s seat, staring out the left side windows at the vague form of the mountain drifting by us in the darkness—its 12,000 foot summit still some five miles below our wings. As it slips out of sight and disappears towards tomorrow, I twist and stretch, my back popping satisfyingly. I then sit down again, adjust my seat, and stare forward into the night as a scattering of stars wink into view in the inky black evening sky.
I was wondering why there was so many of them leaving daily when they are probably empty passenger wise. Saw it the other night on FlightAware and just assumed it wasn't reporting right with so many TPE bound flights.However, due to COVID-19, there was an endless stream of Asian passenger jets full of cargo all day\night long, with China Airlines alone having 8-10 daily LAX-TPE flights(of which some left just 5-10 minutes apart!).
Yep didn't take over directly but the same concept as both of those as well as Open Skies, L' Avion, ect who also offered all biz class Transatlantic to Paris. Caught one in early 2020 doing ORY-EWR-LAS for CES2020. What a pretty plane.Saw we were in a very blue thread. Thought I'd share one of this airline's two fleet members, seen down in Newark while I was there for a bit.
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F-HNCO is the second of LaCompagnie's 3N1s. The things took over the 757s they had, with an all-business cabin. I THINK these guys took over for MaxJet or SilverJet or whatever, back in the mid 00s when everyone was in the business class fuss.
Reminds me of the time my wife (gf at the time) made me get up at 4 am in Bar Harbor to go to the dang mountain top at sunrise. It was a solid 36 degrees out and I was amazed the the hundreds if not thousands of people that were atop the mountain at 5 am when the sun started to rise. Supposedly its the first place the see the sun in America in the morning. I didn't fact check it.