Sunday, March 20, 2016

🇯🇵 Spending A White Lunar New Year Winter Festival Trip In Hokkaido, Japan, In February 2016 ~ Section 4 🇯🇵

Welcome.

Part 1 ~ The Final Moments At New Chitose Airport

Early the next morning, which was Monday (8 February).

Part 2 ~ The Flight To Seoul (Incheon)

Airline: Korean Air
Flight No.: KE 796
From: Sapporo, New Chitose Airport (CTS / RJCC), Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan
To: Seoul, Incheon International Airport (ICN / RKSI), Seoul, South Korea
Aircraft: Boeing 737-9B5/ER(WL)
Registration No.: HL8249
Class: Prestige Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 8E
Date: Monday, 8 February 2016

For today, Korean Air flight KE 796 bound for Seoul (Incheon) would be operated by a Boeing 737-900/ER aircraft, registered HL8249 and powered by two CFM International CFM56-7BE engines. HL8249 was delivered to Korean Air on 25 June 2012 as the fourth Boeing 737-900/ER and the 38th Boeing 737 for the entire airline company. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 3.6 years old today. I was a bit nervous as it had been a long time since I had last flown on a narrow-body aircraft.

After the clock struck precisely 8.40 a.m. sharp, all the aircraft doors were closed, and the aircraft finally pushed back from Gate No. 65 at the International Terminal, which was just as scheduled. With the safety briefing information video being shown on the automated overhead video screen, the aircraft began to commence its taxiway to our assigned runway in preparation for departure, taxiing past some local aircraft parked at the domestic terminal on the way.

It was not long until we reached our assigned runway in preparation for departure to Seoul (Incheon). Soon enough, the two CFM International CFM56-7BE engines spooled into action, and the aircraft finally lifted off from New Chitose Airport at 8.55 a.m. for its regional early morning flight of 2 hours 50 minutes over the Sea of Japan to the modern metropolitan capital of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). We then climbed into the bright winter morning sky for a regional flight of 2 hours 50 minutes over the Sea of Japan to the modern capital city of the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

In accordance with the South Korean Local Timing, the seatbelt signs were illuminated at 11.25 a.m., which was approximately 20 minutes in preparation for the descent into Incheon International Airport. Given that we had less than half an hour left before our descent into Seoul (Incheon), we stowed away our belongings and buckled up our seat belts for the aircraft to begin its final approach into Incheon International Airport. The entire flight crew also went around conducting pre-arrival checks at the same time.

The afternoon Lunar New Year weather was relatively clear as the aircraft commenced its final approach into Incheon International Airport. After a regional early morning flight timing of 2 hours 50 minutes over the Sea of Japan from the prefectural capital of Hokkaido, Japan, we finally touched down in Incheon International Airport at 11.45 a.m., which approximately 15 minutes ahead schedule. We then taxied across the main airport tarmac to our assigned arrival gate located at the Main Terminal.

Part 4 ~ The Flight Back Home To Singapore

Airline: Korean Air
Flight No.: KE 643
From: Seoul, Incheon International Airport (ICN / RKSI), Seoul, South Korea
To: Singapore Changi Airport (SIN / WSSS), Changi, Singapore
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3B5
Registration No.: HL7532
Class: Prestige Class (Business Class)
Seat No.: 11J
Date: Monday, 8 February 2016

After spending approximately 55 minutes of relaxing and having some light bites in the Korean Air (KAL) Prestige Class Lounge, the clock was ultimately showing 1.15 p.m.. Given that boarding for Korean Air flight KE 643 bound for Singapore would be commencing in 20 minutes' time, we quickly packed up our belongings and departed the Korean Air (KAL) Prestige Class Lounge for Gate No. 27. The entire walk from the Korean Air (KAL) Prestige Class Lounge to Gate No. 27 took approximately 20 minutes.

Soon enough, we ultimately arrived at the main entrance to Gate No. 27 at 1.35 p.m., which was in time for boarding for Korean Air flight KE 643 bound for Singapore to commence in 15 minutes' time. Looking at the number of waiting passengers by the passenger waiting area located at Gate No. 27 and given that it was already the first day of the Lunar New Year, I could observe that Korean Air flight KE 643 bound for Singapore was to have a somewhat full load for today.

Today, Korean Air flight KE 643 bound for Singapore would be operated by a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, registered HL7532 and powered with two Pratt & Whitney PW4098 engines. HL7532 was delivered as a new airframe to Korean Air on 12 August 1999 as the first Boeing 777-300 and the fourth Boeing 777 for the airline. The overall delivery would make the aircraft approximately 16.5 years old today. This aircraft was quite familiar to me, given that I had flown on it several times before.

After the clock struck precisely 2.20 p.m. sharp, all the aircraft doors were closed, and we finally pushed back from Gate No. 27 at the Main Terminal, just as scheduled. With the safety briefing information video being shown on our front seat video screens, the aircraft began to commence its taxiway to our assigned runway in preparation for the afternoon Lunar New Year return trip back home to Singapore, taxiing past some local and foreign aircraft at both the Main Terminal and Terminal A on the way, taking 20 minutes in total.

It was not long before we reached our assigned runway for the afternoon departure back to Singapore. Soon enough, the aircraft's two Pratt & Whitney PW4098 engines spooled into action, and we finally lifted off from Incheon International Airport at 2.40 p.m. for its long afternoon Lunar New Year flight duration of six hours over the Sea of Japan to the the Republic of Singapore surrounded across the waters of the Malaysian Straits. We then climbed into the afternoon sky for a long afternoon Lunar New Year flight of six hours back home to the Republic of Singapore.

In accordance with the Singapore Standard Timing, the seatbelt signs were illuminated again at 7.25 p.m., which was approximately 15 minutes in preparation for the descent into Singapore Changi Airport. Knowing that we had less than half an hour left before our descent before our early evening arrival back into Singapore, we stowed away our belongings back into their respective storage spaces, and buckled our seatbelts for the aircraft to commence its final approach into Singapore Changi Airport. The flight crew also went about the cabin conducting their pre-arrival safety checks at the same time.

Night was falling across the sky quite rapidly as the aircraft cruised over the Malaysian Straits to commence its last approach into Singapore Changi Airport. After a relatively long afternoon Lunar New Year flight duration of six hours across the South China Sea from the metropolitan capital city of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), we finally touched down in Singapore Changi Airport at 7.40 p.m., which was approximately 15 minutes ahead of schedule. We then taxied through the main airport tarmac briefly to our assigned arrival gate at Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Gate No. E4.

Part 5 ~ The Closing Sequences

Shortly after disembarking from Korean Air flight KE 643 from Seoul (Incheon) at Gate No. E4.

In conclusion, this white Lunar New Year winter festival trip to Hokkaido, Japan, was quite decent, since this would mark our first time seeing a winter festival through our many years of countless travels. However, I still stick by my stand that I shall only travel to Hokkaido again after the official opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen line between Aomori and Hakodate from 26 March 2016. Furthermore, I think it will only be better if we stick to normal travel periods of travelling to Japan in June and December, rather than doing something out of the ordinary for newer things.

Nevertheless, thank you for taking the time to read through this 2016 Lunar New Year trip report, and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed reading it. If time permits, there will be much more interesting trip reports to come. For bloggers celebrating the Lunar New Year season, may I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year 2016 and a fruitful Year of the Monkey! Lastly, but certainly not the least, do have a happy, fruitful, safe and pleasant blogging experience!

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