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Who flies cheap in Russia?
November 24, 2010 18:34

Russia is one of the countries difficult-to use: it is not easy to get into. Applying for Russian visa is a sophisticated and uneasy process, moving inland is also not easy, especially for foreigners, who needs registration in every city they visit and stay longer than some specified time. The Russians simply need report their passort details for buying train tickets to neighboring region. But the most complicated, time-taking and expensive thing was flying by plane until online checking in and first discount air carriers appeared in Russia. The situation seems like getting better, and if you want to travel within Russia saving your time on a budget, here is some information about Russian low-cost air carriers.

Things, working good in Europe, can fail in Russia for no apparent cause. Low-cost air carriers is exactly such thing. However there are a few discount air carriers making regular and charter flights, domestic and international as well, mainly in holiday destinations. Some of European discounters fly to the East-European cities next to the Russian border and can be used as well.

1. SkyExpress


SkyExpress is the first low-cost air carrier, appeared in Russia. Moreover, it is in the top-5 Russian largest air carriers. SkyExpress has Moscow airport of Vnukovo (VKO) as a base airport. It was founded in 2006 and the first flight of SkyExpress was Moscow - Sochi, it is one of the most popular Russian domestic air services. SkyExpress carries out regular and charter flights as well. Aircrafts used by air carrier are mainly Boeings-737-300 and 737-500 with economy class cabins.

Domestic services of the company are the following:
Yekaterinburg, Moscow , Murmansk, St. Petersburg , Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Tyumen, Kaliningrad, Perm, Chelyabinsk, Krasnodar.
International charter flights are made in in holiday destinations like: Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Czech Republic, Egypt, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey.

Not long ago SkyExpress has announced an idea to sell business class tickets, which seems to contradict with idea of low cost air carrier. But maybe it can make a good sense: it could be like EasyJet and Avianova - like Ryanair.

2. Avianova


Avianova is the only one air carrier competing with railway services. It began with an action "Moscow - Sochi for 250 rubles" in 2009. Of course, it did not correspond with a real price, which was higher, because every little extra service was not free. Air carrier makes its flights from Moscow airport of Sheremetyevo (SVO), Terminal B. Now the company announces that it is ready for 0 rubles tariffs. That is not original, because something like this has been once announced by Ryanair.


The company deals with domestic flights only, but the routes are the hottest: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Sochi, Krasnodar, Samara, Astrakhan and others. Most of the Avianova's flights are the regular ones. Aircraft park of Avianova consists of Airbuses A320.

The company is known for its shocking (for the Russians) ticket prices, which let Avianova's service Moscow - St. Petersburg can cheaper than train services, especially that Sapsan.

In my honest opinion, low-cost air carriers should be the most wide-spread and developing kind of transportation in Russia, taking into account its latitudes. Nowadays it is impossible to imagine a business trip Moscow - Vladivostok or even Moscow - Krasnoyarsk by train along Trans-Siberian Railway, only a tourist attraction. The businessmen do not have much luggage with them. Moreover, not all the students, going home for holidays, can let themselves services of Russian first-rate air carriers. Maybe, it will take time, maybe even longer as we would like, but it happens anyway. Why do the people still go by train in Russia? It is cheaper, although very long and will be very long. But time is running faster and faster. Low-cost air carriers should help us with our ways home and on business, while rail-tracks for high-speed trains from St. Petersburg and Moscow to Urals, Siberia and Far East are being constructed.

Tags: Air transport     

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