from Australia - February 19, 2013
I travel regularly through Malaysia and on this occasion I was travelling in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The flight was MH3807 from Bintulu to Kuching.
MASwings is the propeller fleet of Malaysian Airlines and services the smaller regional cities of Malaysia. Being part of Malaysian Airlines the booking and web checkin facilities are the same which is convenient. I don’t fly propeller planes often but actually enjoy them for several reasons. First of all you get to walk across the tarmac. I enjoy doing this as it reminds me of the old days when airports didn’t have air-bridges. It’s kind of nice to get out onto the tarmac and walk to the plane. Almost like a scene out of Casablanca. As I’m walking I’m sizing it up, checking out how old or dodgy it looks and whether I’ve made the right decision. I’m happy to visualise a scene out of Casablanca but if the weather is looking ominous or the plane old and rickety then it can sometimes remind me of the final flight of Buddy Holly and Richie Valens.
Luckily on this occasion the weather was fine and the plane looked new. This MASwings plane was an ATR 72-500. A nice looking plane with two large propellers. It has an aisle down the middle and holds 68 passengers. I had a very pleasant flight. I like this sort of travel where the distances are short and you feel like you are really flying with the buzzing of the propellers and being lower to the ground you can actually see a lot better out the windows. The planes are comfortable for short flights but certainly don’t have the comforts of the bigger planes. Basic seats, no entertainment and no meals other than some peanuts and a drink. Still it’s nice arriving at the other end and walking down the stairs , crossing the tarmac and straight into the baggage area.
Thanks MASwings. You got me there safely and on time and Buddy Holly and Richie Valens were not waiting for me on the other side.