It is that time of year again – Bread and Tea’s annual awards. As always, my first category is airlines.
2019 brought an old favourite back to enjoy after an absence of many years – Aer Lingus. It was fun, but brief (for obvious reasons – Dublin is not far).
The year also introduced me to several airlines I had never used before – Georgian Airlines, Atlantic Airways, Buta Airways and Aircompany Armenia. All of them were a pleasure, although the Yerevan to Tbilisi flight with Aircompany Armenia was also short – 30 minutes.
Both my flights with Atlantic Airways were memorable for the views of Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
The Tbilisi to Baku flight with Buta Airways was a delight for the same reason – views of the Greater Caucasus on the port side and the Lesser Caucasus on the other.
When it comes to inflight service, it has almost ceased to exist these days. Ryanair, FlyBe, and easyJet all carried me from A to B without any frills. Many of what used to be full service airlines have gone down that road too – SAS, Air France, Aer Lingus and Brussels Airlines are the ones which come to mind from my 2019 travels.
I took 6 Turkish Airlines flights in 2019, and that airline is still making the trip a pleasure. TK is the airline I used most during the year. Its flight from Edinburgh is ideal for connections in Istanbul for Southeast Europe and the Caucasus.
TK even served us breakfast on a 1 hour flight from Istanbul to Athens which left at 01:15!
Loganair also does “full service”, but its routes are mostly very short and domestic so the service amounts to tea and shortbread.
It is very difficult to pick a winner for 2019 with several possibilities standing out, but I have gone for Atlantic Airways.
The flights were great in themselves, but the views were just incredible.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2019