Pobeda (Moscow-Vnukovo), the low-cost carrier subsidiary of Aeroflot Group, yesterday (June 3) carried its millionth passenger.
Anna Bryk, a student at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia in Moscow, bought a ticket for the Moscow-Sochi flight departing at 1:00 pm.
A ceremony to celebrate the landmark was held at Pobeda’s home airport of Vnukovo in Moscow. Participants included Russia’s Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vnukovo airport Vitaly Vantsev, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pobeda and CEO of Aeroflot Vitaly Saveliev, and CEO of Pobeda Andrei Kalmykov.
Pobeda made its first flight on December 1, 2014 and currently operates flights to 34 destinations in Russia with a fleet of 11 brand-new Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. In the first three months of 2015, it became one of Russia’s 10 largest airlines.
In January to May 2015, passenger numbers rose by 27.9% to 5.668 million.
Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Pobeda Boeing 737-8LJ WL VQ-BTC (msn 41203) arrives at the Vnukovo Airport base.
During winter season 2014/2015 Aeroflot plans to fly to 52 countries including 8 CIS countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Ukraine).
Aeroflot will operate its own flights to 121 destinations — 69 of which are abroad — including 46 destinations in Europe, 13 in Asia, 5 in the USA, 5 in the Middle East and Africa. The winter CIS network covers 11 destinations: Baku, Bishkek, Yerevan, Minsk, Tashkent, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Odessa, Karaganda, Chisinau.
Starting from February 1, 2015 Aeroflot will add two new destinations, twice daily to the Russian cities of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.
During the winter season Aeroflot will fly daily to Tbilisi and Chisinau.
Aeroflot will continue operating on the routes which were opened last summer season: Moscow — Karaganda, Moscow — Rostov-on-Don, Moscow — Novy Urengoy.
Aeroflot will also introduce additional frequencies on already existing routes from Moscow to the following destinations (flights per week): Saint Petersburg (from 98 to 108), Krasnodar (from 39 to 48), Mineralnye Vody (from 7 to 21), Orenburg (from 7 to 14), Simferopol (from 14 to 35), Ekaterinburg (from 35 to 42), Volgograd (from 21 to 28), Irkutsk (from 10 to 21), Novosibirsk (from 21 to 28), Tyumen (from 14 to 21), Rostov-on-Don (from 7 to 21), Yakutsk (from 5 to 6), Minsk (from 21 to 28), Vilnius (from 7 to 14), Dusseldorf (from 21 to 28), Bucharest (from 4 to 7), Amsterdam (from 14 to 21), Helsinki (from 7 to 14), Bangkok (from 10 to 14), Los-Angeles (from 6 to 7), Miami (from 3 to 4).
Instead of the flights to Gelendzik, Heraklion, Dubrovnik and Split operated only during the summer season, Aeroflot will fly to Phuket. Two traditional summer destinations — Thessaloniki and Tivat — will become year-round for the first time.
In total Aeroflot Group and its code sharing partners will fly to 333 unique destinations in 68 countries including Russia.
In other news, Aeroflot is transferring the assets of grounded Dobrolet (2nd) (Moscow) to its new subsidiary called Byudzhetny Perevozchik, (translated as Budgetary Carrier).
The new subsidiary will operate low fare Boeing 737-800 flights from Moscow (Sheremetyevo) to Belgorod, Kazan, Surgut, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Ufa, Samara, Volgograd and Tyumen according to Russian News.
The Ukrainian government (Kiev) is taking countermeasures after Russia banned Ukrainian airlines from flying over Russian airspace, severely impacting Ukrainian International Airlines (Kiev) as previously reported.
According to the Moscow Times, “Ukraine demanded that Russian airlines Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) and Transaero Airlines (Moscow) obtain permission for every flight they make over its territory, because these airlines fly over Crimean airspace which Ukraine considers to be closed.”
The new airspace rule became effective on August 14.
European airlines could face additional airspace restrictions by Russia on trans-Siberian routes following sanctions by the European Union of Russian due to its on-going interference in the Ukraine. If this “airspace war” continues to escalate, airlines like Finnair (Helsinki) could be severely impacted as previously reported.
Ironically Russia and the Ukraine were former members of the old Soviet Union.
Aeroflot Russian Airlines (Moscow) is on the verge this month of taking delivery of its first new Boeing 737-800. This will be the return of the Boeing 737 type to the Aeroflot fleet. The Russian carrier operated the 737-400 in 1998. Aeroflot will join a growing list of airlines operating both the Airbus A320 Family of aircraft and the Boeing 737 Next Generation Family of aircraft.
Aeroflot intends to eventually operate 65 Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft through Russian Technologies including 25 Boeing 737-800s with Winglets as well as the 737-700 and 737-900 ER.
Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker/AirlinersGallery.com. The pictured Boeing 737-8LJ VP-BRF (msn 41195) at Boeing Field in Seattle will be the first and is named S. Obraztsov.