After landing in Chile having taken this 777-243ER on a 14.5 hour workout from Italy, it was time to make the return journey back to Rome on Alitalia flight AZ689. Passengers all belted up and ready for the long haul, last minute checks were under in the cockpit to make sure the big bird was prepared and ready for another marathon journey home safely.
We departed Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (Santiago International Airport), Santiago, Chile (SCL: SCEL) on the expert server bound for Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy (FCO: LIRF) after a good old refuelling session at the gate. Heading out of Chile and over South America, passengers and pilots alike feasted on the HD scenery as we were hauled over the mountains by those 2 General Electric GE90-94B engines and strong head to westerly wind of 115 knots.
After clearing Argentina and Uruguay, the vast expanse of the open ocean awaited us for hour after hour after hour, and the winds had started to build up again and we were pushing through headwinds of 90 knots for at least 2 hours non stop. Not a problem for this workhorse. The plane is 16 years old and still going strong and supped the fuel well, given the windy conditions. Passengers were non the wiser as the plane retained its smooth composure.
After clearing the South Atlantic, the winds had finally calmed and most of the passengers were either asleep or deep into a movie having been fed and watered. The plane had found its sweet spot at 35,000 feet by this time and we cruised over Africa through Guinea, Mali, Algeria and Tunisia. A little final stint over the Tyrrhenian Sea and we finally made our descent down into Italy.
It has been a pleasure flying again as always and from myself and on behalf of all the crew onboard today, we wish you a pleasant stay here in Italy or safe onward journey.