Tried & Tested

Jet Airways A330-200 Première

30 Jun 2016 by Jeremy Tredinnick

CHECK-IN

I was on an overnight layover for this flight so stayed in the excellent Niranta Airport Transit Hotel, which opened in mid-May. After checking out at 0715 for the 0955 departure of flight 9W10, it was a short elevator ride and walk to the GVK lounge on Level 4 of Terminal 2.

LOUNGE

The GVK Lounge is like a grand palace, with high, gold-accented ceilings and marble floors, plus enormous windows. Access is for first and business class passengers of all airlines, plus upper-tier cardholders. On the right hand side is a first-class only seating area, as well as the dining area. The hot and cold food offerings are not huge but of excellent quality, from spinach frittatas to steamed idlis (lentil rice cakes). The bar area is glitzy, and barista coffee is delivered to your seat. There is a range of seating, from plush sofas to single leather recliners. There’s a spa and shower area at the far end of the lounge, and a 15-minute massage is offered free of charge to all lounge users. A library area, plus two iMacs and printers round off the facilities.

BOARDING

My flight departed from gate 74, a 10-minute walk away. I was ushered straight onto the aircraft at 0920. The airline has recently deployed an A330-200 on the route, instead of the smaller B737, due to rising passenger demand. Two flight attendants introduced themselves by first name, my jacket was taken and a choice of orange juice, coconut water or plain water offered. The plane left the gate on schedule at 0955 and we were airborne 18 minutes later.

THE SEAT

There are 18 Première (business) seats in a 1-1-1 configuration. I was in seat 2K. High partitions allow good privacy, and the seat itself is comfortable and easy to adjust. Less easy is access to the USB and electric socket – under the armrest, behind the TV remote. My USB did not seem to work, but a sharp-eyed attendant quickly took my phone and charged it for me elsewhere. There’s a good dimmable reading light, but the side storage pockets are on the small side and the tray table/work desk was quite bouncy. The swing-out touchscreen TV offered a decent IFE selection – though not as extensive as some carriers.

WHICH SEAT TO CHOOSE

The central seats are all angled to the left, so all K seats on the right side of the plane have an extra level of privacy. The lavatory is at the rear of the cabin on this side so the front seats are probably best.

THE FLIGHT

My meal order was taken before we departed, and I was allowed to choose when I wanted to dine (it takes 15 minutes to heat up your meal). I worked for 90 minutes then ate, choosing a tasty hummus and cottage cheese salad, then pan-seared fish with Sichuan pepper sauce for my main (other choices included two Indian dishes and a pasta option) – the fish was perfectly flaky and the sauce not too strong. Two white and two red wines were on offer, plus a Bollinger champagne. My Italian Gavi la Battistina white wine went down particularly well. Every aspect of the meal was top class. Afterwards, I set my seat into a comfortable semi-reclined position and watched a film. Service from all staff throughout the trip struck a nice balance between friendly interest and polite professionalism – when my computer adaptor did not work, a staff member kindly lent me hers.  

ARRIVAL

We began descent 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 1710, but air traffic congestion lost us the gained time. We landed on time at 1810 and were parked at the gate by 1815. Changi’s immigration was smooth as ever.

VERDICT

A roomy configuration, solid seat product and greater privacy than many newer designs combine with excellent F&B and service that equals the best major Asian carriers – impressive.

 

FACT FILE

  • DEPARTURE TIME 0955
  • JOURNEY TIME 5 hours 45 minutes
  • AIRCRAFT TYPE A330-200
  • SEAT WIDTH 21in/53cm
  • SEAT RECLINE 180 degrees
  • PRICE Internet rates for a return Première flight from Mumbai to Singapore in mid-August start from Rs71,038 (US$1,060) including taxes and surcharges.
  • CONTACT jetairways.com
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