Cush From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 197 posts, RR: 0 Posted (2 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2230 times:
I was curious as to what the pricing for flights was like for Aeroflot during the Soviet days. The things I am curious about are local flights like LED-SVO, along with longer distance flights. Were they cheap (compared to todays standards) or what was an average ticket like? Was there a reservations center, or were you expected to purchase a ticket at the airport?
I am amazed at how expensive Russian air travel is nowadays. I am meeting a friend of mine, and it is cheaper for me to fly from the US to lets say Dubrovnik and include a nice 4 star hotel for 3 days, than for my friend to just book a cheap coach ticket there. Why is Russian air travel so expensive now?
In a nutshell: The Russian Federation is a huge, sparsely-populated country.
Many routes exist out of pure necessity rather than because they are hugely profitable. There are serious costs in maintaining operations in far-flung corners of the biggest country in the world, in some of the most inhospitable weather conditions on the planet, with a chronically lacking infrastructure. Basically - it costs a lot to fly because it costs a lot to operate the flights.
Between the bigger centres of population you will see greater fare options and more competition, but even so - less than between western capitals for example. It's still a pretty closed market with limited alternatives. Where train options exist, journies can take several days and tickets can sell out quickly. Roads? You'd have to be insane.
As for the soviet pricing, not sure - but would guess most travel was highly subsidised and the fares not too expensive at all. Will try and find some sources.
OA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 24875 posts, RR: 60 Reply 2, posted (2 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2148 times:
It was subsidised greatly and one could travel within the USSR for next to nothing. Locals paid in local currency rather than USD but you could fly 4-5 hours for around Equiv. $40-50 .
Fares for foreigners were also cheap compared to other airlines. For instance you could fly SU J Class for the price of the likes of BA/LH/KL's cheapest Y fares. The SU Y fares were so low also . SU were always the cheapest from LHR to Far East and Middle East. They had a major consolidator in the UK that did huge amounts of business.
OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ "Η ΕΛΛΑΔΑ ΨΗΛΑ" "GREECE FLYING HIGH"
RussianJet From Kazakhstan, joined Jul 2007, 6270 posts, RR: 23 Reply 3, posted (2 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2137 times:
Another thing to bear in mind - it depends when you're talking about. In the latter stages of the USSR things were not so cosy, and there seems to be a suggestion that it wasn't all that cheap. However, take the relatively-prosperous 60s and 70s and you'll see a different picture.
mdavies06 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2009, 327 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (2 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1008 times:
Quoting Cush (Thread starter): I am amazed at how expensive Russian air travel is nowadays. I am meeting a friend of mine, and it is cheaper for me to fly from the US to lets say Dubrovnik and include a nice 4 star hotel for 3 days, than for my friend to just book a cheap coach ticket there. Why is Russian air travel so expensive now?
What do you mean by this? You don't mean a coach ticket from Moscow to St.Petersburg or Moscow to Dubrovnik cost more than say $1,500 do you?
AirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 244 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (2 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 705 times:
I once purchased a ticket from IAD-SVO (technical stop in SNN) and from SVO to SEL (Seoul Kimpo) and this option was cheaper than flying KE, JL, NH, UA, NW, DL. I didn't get much sleep due to the noisy cabin, but the food was really great and the flight attendants were really nice. This was my only experience with Aeroflot Soviet Airlines.
I wonder why SU doesn't fly to FNJ anymore? They used to!
SW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6072 posts, RR: 10 Reply 8, posted (2 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 490 times:
Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 6): I wonder why SU doesn't fly to FNJ anymore? They used to!
Did they fly from Moscow? If so, I imagine the high costs of operating that long of a flight to FNJ just isn't worth it. But I wonder if maybe they flew from VVO or somewhere similar in the East instead?
SW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6072 posts, RR: 10 Reply 10, posted (2 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 437 times:
Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 9): I honestly cannot remember. That was so long ago and when inquiring with reservations, I was shocked they had a flight there! Seoul was a little more expensive than Pyongyang, I remember.
Honestly, VVO-FNJ would seem like a no-brainer for Aeroflot back in the day, and even today to some extent. Moscow just seems a little far fetched.