Bolts of light spill into the night sky. We sit idly at the holding point of Runway 33 in Kuala Lumpur, patiently awaiting line up clearance. Our sister company’s Airbus 320 announces her presence. Her landing lights must be new, captain observes. The brightness is glaring. Rare, if I may conclude.

“Lumpur tower, request to roll to Y2.”

Y2 is located towards the end of our 3960m runway. An Airbus 320 at its maximum landing weight has no trouble vacating Y4 or Y5. Our buddies clearly seek convenience.

Nah, Lumpur Tower will never agree, I tell myself. Not with us sitting here, like a ticking time bomb on their watch.

“Approved.” I raise my eyebrows and bite back my surprise.

“I object,” captain spits. I second his sentiments. We shrug.

“Xanadu 206, cleared to line up, Runway 33 via Y9.” It’s high time, I groan.

Working on pure muscle memory, I depress both pack pushbuttons for more thrust and better fuel savings. The white light illuminates. Most people click their chrono at this time, to adhere with the 20 seconds between packs off and take off rule. But I let it slide. Over time, I observed that a line up on an Airbus 330 takes way more than 20 seconds. A delayed packs off action might warrant the timer, but not today.

Captain advances the thrust levers as our engines roar to life.

“Thrust set,” I declare.

The runway centreline lights shines like “diamonds in the sky”, our beacon into the night sky.