Okay, it wasn’t THE last flight of an Avro Regional Jet for Lufthansa Cityline, but it was close! It was the aircraft that performed the last flight (which took place on 29th August 2012 from Cologne to Munich) and it was the week prior to the last flight.
As the date of the last domestic “Jumbline” service got closer, I thought that I should use my chances and take a last flight on it! With only three aircraft remaining at that time, I did not have many options – but being the lucky chap that I am, I noticed that they were doing all flights on the Dresden to Munich route on that day! So I just had to go to the airport and take the next available flight, which was LH 2121. After checking in, I rushed to the viewing terrace (which by the way is not too bad) and arrived at the moment when my aircraft was landing. It was D-AVRR that later did the final Avro flight…
It turned out that the aircraft was only half full and boarding began just 15 minutes prior departure. Usually you would have to rush if you had a seat in the center rows of the aircraft, as the bins are only very small due to the wings. With a 3-3 seat layout, it could get crowded at times – the reason why I rather tried to stay in the cockpit for the flight than having to use the a middle seat! But everybody was quite relaxed today and I bet most people didn’t even care that they would probably board an Avro Regional Jet for the last time in their lives. There are not that many remaining and Lufthansa Cityline was one of the big operators of the type, with up to 18 aircraft at one time. Well, the LH controlled airlines Swiss European and Brussels Airlines are using Avros still, so it might not have been my last ride in it!
To my great pleasure, I was invited to join my colleagues in the cockpit – two great pilots that we will be changing to the Canadair and Embraer fleets soon. Without any delay they started the four Honeywell LF507-engines and off we went into the skies. With the aircraft being light and the weather good, we climbed easily to our cruising level. The flight took us over the Ore Mountains into the Czech Republic, where we passed Plzeň (home of the Pilsen beer). A few minutes later we were in Germany again and starting our descend, as we reached the Bavarian Forest. The controllers in Munich had no intention of delaying the flight and gave as a direct vector for the approach, which resulted in a steep descent and a quick approach preparation of the cabin by the flight attendants.
The weather was once again excellent with cloudless skies and a warm summer breeze. Once established on final for runway 26R in Munich, the captain deselected the autothrottle and autopilot. The PAPI indicated two white and two red lights the whole time – we were right on the glide path and a perfect landing followed a perfect approach! We took the first exit and entered the ramp via N3. Our parking stand was 234 and we had to drive past all those heavy aircraft at the terminal, but only few had as many engines as we did! The ground crew was already waiting for us, connected the ground power and stairs and the passengers quickly disembarked the aircraft into a bus. As we were around five minutes early, I used the time for some last snapshots of the cabin and exterior (see here). I waved good-bye to the friendly pilots and once inside the terminal I rushed to the windows to take one last photo of the Lufthansa Cityline Avro RJ85, reg. D-AVRR.