Trip Reports & Reviews

Wideroe E190-E2 Review: CRAMPED, UNCOMFORTABLE, DISAPPOINTING!

Noel

Noel Philips

I flew onboard a Wideroe E190-E2 for a flight from Tromsø to Bergen, Norway. Whilst the aircraft itself is a lovely quiet, smooth ride, the configuration Widerøe have opted for is incredibly cramped and tight.

Tromso Airport is located in the far north of Norway, deep inside the Arctic cirle. It opened in 1964 and soon became one of Wideroe’s biggest hubs.

Today it’s home to flights across Europe, and is served by a number of airlines including Norwegian, SAS, Wizz Air and many more.

The terminal opened in 1997 and is really bright and spacious.

Once airside, there are numerous shops and restaurants – all within short walking distance of the gates.

Our aircraft today was delivered brand new to Wideroe in April 2018, and was the second E190-E2 ever delivered. Wideroe were the launch customer for the E2, and today are one of only two airlines operating the type – alongside Air Astana in Kazakhstan. Don’t forget to check out my review of Air Astana if you haven’t already.

It was soon time to board this morning’s flight down to Bergen. We commenced boarding via a jetbridge, which turned into steps at the end as we boarded the aircraft across the ramp.

First impressions of the E190-E2 weren’t bad. It still had that new aircraft smell, and features 114 seats in a 2+2 configuration.

On sitting down I got a great view of the beautiful raked wingtip on the E190-E2. If the Airbus A220 is a baby Airbus A330, the E190-E2 is a baby Boeing 787.

The seats on this aircraft are really tight indeed. I struggled to get comfortable with the tight seats that have just a 29 inch pitch, which is less than Ryanair – and I was physically in pain by the end of the flight. This is in stark contrast with other flights I’ve taken on the older E190, which have been incredibly comfortable, even with low cost airlines such as Flybe who have a lot more legroom.

British Airways for example have only 98 seats on their E190s, which is exactly the same size as the E190-E2.

We started our engines and commenced our taxi to the runway. The E190-E2 makes some incredibly strange sounds while taxying.

Pretty soon we lined up for departure out of Tromso.

Our route today took us south to Bergen, flying along the Norwegian coast. Flying time today was 1 hour 46 minutes, at a cruising altitude of 40,000ft.

Once airborne I was really surprised how quiet this aircraft was. You can barely hear the engines and it’s such a quiet cabin to sit in.

Between the seats are power sockets, one for each seat, which is a nice touch. USB ports would’ve been a nice addition.

Wideroe offer a buy on board service for drinks and snacks, as well as a free tea and coffee service. The prices are fairly reasonable considering this is Norway, one of the most expensive countries in the world.

The service soon started and I just took a coffee, which came with a nice Wideroe chocolate.

The E190-E2 has a range of over 2,600 miles, allowing Wideroe to be able to fly anywhere in Europe, North Africa or even as far as the Middle East. These flights could be up to 5 hours long which for me would be unbearable with this seat pitch.

Wideroe claim that a flight from Tromso to Bergen on the E190-E2 results in 60% fewer carbon emissions than driving in a car, which is pretty incredible.

We soon commenced our descent down into Bergen. Like much of Norway, Bergen is a beautiful airport to land into, as you descend over the islands into Flesland airport. We touched down right on schedule.

I had mixed feelings about the E190-E2. On the one hand this aircraft is lovely and quiet, and environmentally is one of the greenest aircraft around. This is let down a lot though by the tight seats.

The seats were really uncomfortable and Wideroe really do cram them in on the E190-E2. It’s such a shame as Wideroe have a well deserved reputation of beingan excellent regional airline with their Dash 8 seats, and with them going for the highest density configuration it’s clear that their sights are aimed at filling as many seats as possible for cheap flights rather than comfortable regional flights. The E190-E2’s marketing name is ‘Profit Hunter’ rather than ‘Comfort Hunter’, which is something that Wideroe appear to have taken to heart.

I’d love to try some different airlines’ E190-E2s as more get delivered, and try to get a more comfortable ride onboard. In the meantime with Wideroe, I’ll be choosing their Q400 over the E190-E2 for now.

What do you think to the E190-E2? Would you fly on this aircraft for the longer flights across Europe? Let me know down in the comments.