Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Morocco, Spotting Trip Reports, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 21-10-2012
Despite the distance from home, flying Ryanair from Luton to Marrakech was the most affordable option, so we drove down and found a cheap deal in the Long Stay car park – and as a spotter, this is one of the best. The Harrods hangar and biz jet parking area is right alongside you, and you have a view across to park of the passenger terminal’s stands, and some of the distant biz jet parking areas.
Getting the bus to the terminal also passes (briefly) some of the other biz jet parking areas. Remember that Luton is London’s biz jet airport of choice, so there’s always something of interest to see. On this visit I saw Chinese and Hong Kong Gulfstreams, and a Kuwaiti A319CJ amongst many others.
Once checked in, we headed upstairs for some food. In the food court you have views over one of the smaller airliner aprons, and in the distance the airport’s single runway. As we ate our lunch, the afternoon departure of the El Al Boeing 767-200 taxied past.
To reach the gates Ryanair use, it’s quite a distant walk. You’ll pass all of the easyJet gates, and then reach the original part of the terminal to join the mad rush for Ryanair flights.
Today we were flying on EI-EFW, one of the more recent Boeing 737-800s the airline uses. Boarding is done by walking to the aircraft, so we headed for the rear stairs to give more chance of a window seat – and more chance to see the aircraft parked around us. From this area you can often see into the maintenance hangars at Luton.
The flight from Luton to Marrakech is around 3hrs 20 mins long. Ryanair’s seating is fairly cramped, and anything you want to eat or drink must be bought. But there wasn’t anything to complain about – the views were good all the way, with a stunning sunset as we reached the African coast and descended for arrival.
It was dark when we landed at Marrakech Airport. Landing on the easterly runway required a number of tight turns just before arrival which felt a bit like the old Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong!
Just after arrival, another Ryanair aircraft departed, and an easyJet A319 arrived from Manchester, parking next to us.
Soon I’ll post a spotting report from Marrakech Airport to guide you around what the airport has to offer, and how to get the best views there.