Aviation Enthusiast Still Hasn’t Flown With An A320

AMSTELVEEN—After an equipment change to an A321 on today’s flight to Barcelona on Vueling, local aviation enthusiast Anthony Rekkof still hasn’t been able to log an A320, despite trying hard for almost four decades.

“Call it a curse, call it a running gag – I’m really desperate here and the time is running out,” Rekkof told reporters at gate B31 at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport today. “Growing up in the Netherlands I never really had a chance as a child and later at my first job. Short haul and European holidays were strictly 737 or Fokker way back into the 90s, with the E-Jets taking over gradually.”

Rekkof, who has so far logged 238 different aircraft types on 182 airlines, has made numerous attempts at flying with an A320, sometimes at organized group events, sometimes alone.

“I made several day trips in 2016 to 2018 to the UK since Easyjet seemed like a safe bet. Every single one of them was operated by WDL Aviation RJs, one by a BAe146-200. On other occasions, British Airways sent widebodies to Amsterdam on my flights, Aer Lingus came with an A330 later that year. On a work trip to the US on Delta and Northwest fifteen years ago, with the 4 domestic segments booked on A320, they changed at short notice to DC-9-50, MD-83, B767-400 and an old 757.”

Rekkof explained he had visited Iran with a group of fellow aviation enthusiasts last year, where “one on Iran Air went tech, one changed to A310 right before our eyes at the gate, and for the third one, [group member] Wouter paid some bakshish to change us into the earlier departure which was on MD-82. We had an argument about this later at the hotel.”

His closest call was when he sat for 35 minutes at the threshold of the Kaagbaan on board an Air France A320-100 in 1995 when an ATC strike forced the flight to taxi back to the gate. “Does that count? I was boarded and all, seat 1A, even had my pre flight champagne. It was a thrill to be taxiing around with that Bus, an experience I’ll never forget.” The flight was subsequently canceled, forcing him into an Air Inter Mercure later that afternoon, with the transatlantic segment upgraded to SST as a courtesy to make up for the delay.

In the meantime, A320s are getting harder to come by, specifically the non-wingletted CEO variant. Rekkof is currently in the early stages of planning a trip to West Africa where reportedly Daallo Airlines is about to acquire an ex South African A320 for the once-weekly Hargeysa to Djibouti flight. The Dutch aviation enthisiast has paid a nonrefundable 7,3 billion Somali Shilling to secure a ticket on the route expected to open later this decade.

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