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Help With Catching A Tupolev In Russia  
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2186 posts, RR: 28
Posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3810 times:

Believe it or not, I'm having a major headache finding ways of getting on a Tupolev 154 in Russia. I have a big trip planned for next month, which included a day trip VKO-LED-VKO on a UT Air 154. Almost predictably, this has been subbed for a 737. The only other way of getting on it is getting the last flight out and the first flight back, which are scheduled to be 154's (but for how long?).

This needs to be on the 13th of November from a Moscow airport, and ideally done in a day (there and back for our flight to Syktyvkar the next day). I've looked at Dagestan Airlines (Now known as South East?) and they were by far the most promising, but apparently you need a seperate invitation and visa to go to Makhachkala, Dagestan.

Alternatively there was KMV to Mineralnye Vody, but sadly they've now ceased operations.

Anybody have any information or ideas? I've run out. Going to Russia and not getting on a 154 would be a disaster. This is the first and last chance I'm ever likely to have!

Many thanks to anyone that can help in advance, I'm desperate!

[Edited 2011-10-09 17:00:33]


Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIL62Mdakar From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3734 times:

Hi TU154,
I just had a look at a couple of options and it looks like you are right. It seems very difficult to get a TU154 out of Moscow. It’s quite sad actually. Just a year ago they still were a common sight in VKO.

- I completely missed that KMV had their license revoked last week. Indeed they stopped selling tickets on their Russian Website. I still would hope though that there is a chance of them getting their license back before November.
- Donavia to MRV seems to be all B737 now
- Continent stopped flying in the summer
- Yakutia still was using the TU154 out of VKO but all flights I found now were B737
- Alrosa should be one of the few remaining Tupolev only airlines. But I couldn’t find a single flight with them. What happened there? Did they go bust or lost their license too?
- Couldn’t find any UT Air TU 154 flights ex VKO

So it looks like South East is the only save bet. But I wouldn’t take the visa issue and safety issues light. Try to contact some of the Russia specialist in the UK and see if they can help with the visa. But you probably need to come up with a good reason why you want to visit Makhachkala for the Embassy and the local passport checks. Also I wouldn’t necessarily risk having just a quick 2 hour or so turnaround there as again that may mean questioning, which probably means that you need to return in a Donavia B737.

Sorry if my post wasn’t that upbeat but maybe it was of some help.

I really hope you find a way to fly on the majestic TU154, once the queen of Russian Skies.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4358 posts, RR: 35
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3701 times:

When I was in Moscow 6 weeks ago, I saw flying Tu-154s operating from Vnukovo: Gazpromavia, UTAir
from Dodemedovo; alrosa, southeast, Orenair (B-version!) and Ural Airlines
You might try to find out what their schedules are when you go there.
At least you'll probably get on a Tu-134 and Yak-40 while you'll get another chance for the Tu-154 which will fly for 2 or 3 years more, but probably not much from Moscow but more in Siberia or some other CIS republics.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2186 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 1):
- Alrosa should be one of the few remaining Tupolev only airlines. But I couldn’t find a single flight with them. What happened there? Did they go bust or lost their license too?

I looked at Alrosa but their only route from Moscow is Mirny, which is a hell of a long flight and not really plausable for our time frame. Not all their website is translatable so it's difficult to get prices etc. According to their website they're still operating.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 2):
Vnukovo: Gazpromavia, UTAir
from Dodemedovo; alrosa, southeast, Orenair (B-version!) and Ural Airlines

Gazpromavia are VIP and charter, UT air is the exact airline we had booked with but there are changes left right and center, South East (Dagestan) is plausible and promising, if not for the fact visas etc might be an issue, Orenair I had an extremely brief look at and Ural are difficult to find anything with Tupolevs. I'll have another look at Orenair.

Thanks both of you for your help! Glad someone else understands my predicament! The 154 is my favourite aircraft and alot of the reason I'm going on this trip, so not flying on one would ruin the trip somewhat. Especially considering their future.

If anybody else has any info, I'd be most appreciative! Thanks again



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Thread starter):
but apparently you need a seperate invitation and visa to go to Makhachkala, Dagestan.

I'd avoid Dagestan, it's not the safest part of Russia! With the "reliability" of these aircraft, you don't want to unexpectedly get stuck in Makhachkala for the night...or longer.


User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2186 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3694 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 4):

I'd avoid Dagestan, it's not the safest part of Russia! With the "reliability" of these aircraft, you don't want to unexpectedly get stuck in Makhachkala for the night...or longer.

The more I read into it the less of a good idea Dagestan appears, so thanks for advising me further!

I looked at Orenair and all I can find is 737's from Moscow.



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5807 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3683 times:

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 3):

I looked at Alrosa but their only route from Moscow is Mirny, which is a hell of a long flight and not really plausable for our time frame

It's a long shot that this is relevant, BUT did you know there are two towns called Mirny in Russia? One is in the Arkhangelesk Oblast, which is not far from Moscow (at least as Russian distances go) and one in the Sakha Republic which is north of Lake Baikal, which is a long way from Moscow, even by Russian distance standards.
Are you sure you have the right one?
As I said a long shot, but people still arrive in Sydney NS instead of Sydney NSW and vice versa.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5939 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3668 times:

Quoting gemuser (Reply 6):
As I said a long shot, but people still arrive in Sydney NS instead of Sydney NSW and vice versa.

Alas, juggling Wikipedia and Google Maps it would seem that Alrosa flies to the Merny in Siberia.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5939 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3660 times:

To be quite honest I think you are out of luck, I'm afraid. I've gone through every Russian airline operating from the three Moscow airports and other than two or three which seem to be very hard to pin down none have TU5 services anymore.

I know this will be little consolation but there still seem to be a lot of Yak-42s out there, and UTAir still have some TU3 flights.

If a TU-135 will do, the following are all options:

UT 383 Vnukovo-Ukhta 11:35-13:40, Ukhta-Vnukobo UT384 16:00-18:35

UT381 Vnukovo-Usinsk 11:15-13:55, UT382 Usinsk-Vnukobo 15:30-18:20

UT549 Vnukovo-Magas 11:20-13:40, UT550 Magas-Vnukovo 14:40-16:55

Magas is down near the Georgian border, and given that Russia and Georgia went to war in 2008 and the region is still volatile it might be best to stay clear of there. Also, Magas has the shortest turnaround and since I have no idea whether you will be able to check in for both flight in Moscow, an hour might be a bit rushed.

The other two are north of Moscow and both have plenty of time to turnaround, although I would probably still do Ukhta due to the longer connection.


I hope that this is semi-useful!



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2186 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3621 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 8):
I know this will be little consolation but there still seem to be a lot of Yak-42s out there, and UTAir still have some TU3 flights.

If a TU-135 will do, the following are all options:

UT 383 Vnukovo-Ukhta 11:35-13:40, Ukhta-Vnukobo UT384 16:00-18:35

UT381 Vnukovo-Usinsk 11:15-13:55, UT382 Usinsk-Vnukobo 15:30-18:20

UT549 Vnukovo-Magas 11:20-13:40, UT550 Magas-Vnukovo 14:40-16:55

Funnily enough, you missed out the one place we're actually going on the 134   Syktyvkar, the day after this supposed 154 flight. We have flights booked and confirmed on Tupolev 134, Antonov 148 and Yak 40, so looking forward to that lot too.

We do have one other plan to get on the 154, and that's to move some flight's we've already booked around, as the first fight of the day to LED from VKO is still a 154 with UT air. We plan on doing this twice in our trip, this was our last resort. Fingers crossed it doesn't change like everything else.

UT have 21 154's according to their website, where are they all?!



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineIL62Mdakar From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3607 times:

Quoting gemuser (Reply 6):
It's a long shot that this is relevant, BUT did you know there are two towns called Mirny in Russia?

The Mirny, Alrosa flies to is in Sibiria. It’s there fore probably cost and flight time prohibitive.

They used to have a couple of TU154 based in VKO and fly them to destinations at the black sea and in the South but I cant find any. Actually I couldn’t even find a way to book their flight to Mirny. That’s why I was asking if I missed any news on Alrosa.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 8):
be a lot of Yak-42s out there

Not that many actually. i would try to include Saravavia or Kuban, but the later already has the risk of a B737. Especially in November when they fly less international flights.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 9):
Syktyvkar,

Seems to be the most popular place for a.netters to get the Tu134 together with Arkhangelsk which sadly is already a CRJ now.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 9):
Yak 40

Severstalavia I guess. Hope that goes well and you don’t get a CRJ.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 9):
UT have 21 154's according to their website, where are they all?!

Most of them probably parked and a few more flying around in Sibiria.

God, I can’t believe how much changed in a year. Last year I needed a lot of planning but all types were still around. I knew that the IL86 was my last chance and that I was lucky to include the TU204 and AN-140 but didn’t imagine that it would be so difficult to get even on a TU154, TU134 and YAK40 just a year later.

Hope all goes well and you can enjoy the missing types in the end.


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

Hi TupolevTu154

Just happen to plan a similar trip for myself, that's why I have some information for you.

I know you asked for 17Nov, I did not yet find anything except the Makhachkala run which could be done in 1 day with luck (only 2 hours in MCX, you may miss your return flight even if its the same aircraft in case of delay if they already closed check-in early). As said before, you don't wanna get stuck in MCX due to security reasons.

However on 16Nov there is a nice DME-KRR-DME flight with Alrosa Tu-154
6R587 DME1320 KRR1500
6R588 KRR1740 DME1920
for RUB 3325 each way, bookable on ast-agent.ru (Russian only).
I would recommend to book DME-KRR separately and the return flight with any of the later flights by SU, S7 or GW, giving you more time to re-check-in.

Another option would normally be a Gazpromavia flight from Belgorod (EGO) to VKO each Thursday evening (would require to go DME-EGO in the morning on Polet and spend the day in EGO). Unfortunately, this flight in Winter is only scheduled fortnightly and of course not on 17Nov....

I'll let you know if I find any more options.
Cheers, LXM83


User currently offlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 5939 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3582 times:

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 11):
However on 16Nov there is a nice DME-KRR-DME flight with Alrosa Tu-154
6R587 DME1320 KRR1500
6R588 KRR1740 DME1920

You might have just made someone's day  



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2186 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 10):

Severstalavia I guess. Hope that goes well and you don’t get a CRJ.

The Moscow -Cherepovets flights are all CRJ, while the St Pete flights are all still saying Yak 40.

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 10):
God, I can’t believe how much changed in a year. Last year I needed a lot of planning but all types were still around. I knew that the IL86 was my last chance and that I was lucky to include the TU204 and AN-140 but didn’t imagine that it would be so difficult to get even on a TU154, TU134 and YAK40 just a year later.

This trip is all relatively last minute (Started sorting it out 2 months in advance) with talk of all these types being retired/banned from January. It's proving to be alot harder than I had anticipated with the collapse of KMV etc. Such a shame there's no chance of the IL86 or 62 anymore. This trip would never have been possible for me last year or the year before, this has been my first chance.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 11):

How frustrating, my flight home is at 1800 from DME. I've already had to change that flight once from the day before which has cost me! Might have to do it again now if it means doing this...

Many thanks for the info, and especially that last option. I'll definately be looking into that...



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3568 times:

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 13):
How frustrating, my flight home is at 1800 from DME.

Sorry, I got the date wrong. I misread and thought you were looking for something on 17Nov. But in fact, you were looking for the 13th. What exactly is your time window on the 13th? Can you depart already on the 12th in the evening/night?

I can then have a look again and let you know if I find something.


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3560 times:

Hi again

By the way, you could also book the Alrosa flights on agent.ru, which is also in English!

Maybe this option could suit you better (but minus point is the TU5 flight would be all in darkness):
13Nov 6R506 TU5 LED1800 OVB0100 RUB 6924
13Nov NN186 752 OVB0755 DME0915 RUB 5224 (there are other morning flights, too)
or for additional fun:
13Nov 6R569 TU3 OVB0805 SVX0905 RUB 5844
Which would be nice because hopefully Alrosa's TU3 still have the old interior and not the westernized one as UT has.
From SVX you could then go back to MOW, the cheapest one is again NN (RUB 4224)

To get to LED from MOW there are many interesting and usually not so expensive flights on FV A81 or SU SU9.

Unfortunately, the inbound flight OVB-LED already operates on 12Nov from OVB at 1335 lt. OVB can only be reached by night flight from MOW in time to reach that 1335 lt departure time.

I hope this helps.
Good luck with planning,
LXM83


User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2186 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3557 times:

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 14):
What exactly is your time window on the 13th? Can you depart already on the 12th in the evening/night?

To make things more awkward our flight to DME has been changed so we won't make our connection in KBP. That means my outbound flight is now open to suggestions. BA is preferable as I can get some dirt cheap staff fares to either DME or LED. DME I would arrive at 1700 or LED too late to really go anywhere else.

So, on the 12th, flying into DME we can fly out somewhere else in the evening. We must be in VKO in the morning on the 14th. So the evening of the 12th and the whole of the 13th is available.

Thanks for your help and ideas LXM83! I'm still looking into Alrosa to Krasnodar on the 16th.



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineIL62Mdakar From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3548 times:

So it looks like Alrosa has a TU154 based in DME now that does a run to Krasnodar every Tuesday.

Maybe the operate anywhere else on the other days?

I've been in Krasnodar twice last year. The domestic Terminal is quite small and the check in tends to open less than 2 hours before departure but also closed pretty much on time. As they only have a couple of desk they tend to close them quickly for the next flights.

Also in KRR planes are parked by type and TU154 are on the far remote positions which can mean you may loose quite some time during de-boarding.

But then 2.4h should be safe enough and in worst case there is a Kuban flight later that evening to fall back on.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 15):
not the westernized one as UT has.

Not all UT have westernised interior.


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3536 times:

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 16):
So, on the 12th, flying into DME we can fly out somewhere else in the evening. We must be in VKO in the morning on the 14th. So the evening of the 12th and the whole of the 13th is available.

13Nov FV142 A81 DME1420 LED1550 (a bit tight with only 2:10)
13Nov 6R506 TU5 LED1800 OVB0100
14Nov UT570 738 OVB0710 VKO0840

Arriving in VKO on the 14th at 0840 would still allow you to catch your flight to SCW at 1050 (if that is what you're doing on the 14th), but it's admittedly tight. Back in 2010 I did a UT-UT connection on two separate tickets ARH-VKO-LED with 1:35 ground time. It worked but it was tight. UT absolutely refused to check me through on two separate tickets - although it may also have been a language problem in ARH.

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 17):
Not all UT have westernised interior.

Ok, I didn't know. Unfortunately both UT TU3 that I flew had it. Anyway, still a great aircraft to fly on!


User currently offlineIL62Mdakar From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 85 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3525 times:

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 18):
13Nov FV142 A81 DME1420 LED1550 (a bit tight with only 2:10)
13Nov 6R506 TU5 LED1800 OVB0100
14Nov UT570 738 OVB0710 VKO0840


That looks like a good option to get Alrosa.

Unfortunately it looks like there are no flights to Mirny on the 12th. Otherwise that could have been an option, albeit a costly one. It could be done on the 15th/16th though to be back in time at DME for your flight to the UK.


1015.EUR

Moscow-Mirnyj (13.11.2011) or (15.11.2011)
6R -556 20:30 Vnukovo +1 07:40 Mirnyj 5:10 TUPOLEV TU154

Mirnyj-Moscow (14.11.2011) or (16.11.2011)
6R -597 11:30 Mirnyj 10:55 Domodedovo 5:25 TUPOLEV TU154


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