Ben From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 52 Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3631 times:
I have flown on 2 of them, RA-96005 and -96010.
Nice plane, sorry I dont have time to write a full trip report. I found it to be a superb aircraft that exceeded my expectations in every way.
However, I think that in the posts below we will see some very negative reviews. I do admit that the interior isn't very bright, the seats dont seem too modern and the toilets are poorly designed.
All of those things can easily and inexpensively be fixed by a willing airline. It seems to be in Aeroflot's interests (an unwilling airline) to make the Il-96-300 as unappealing as possible, because it suits their political ends. It should be reviewed with this in mind. I can expand on that later if anyone doesn't know what I am talking about.
I would choose the IL-96-300 over any other airliner when I have the choice on a particular route (only happened once so far but will be doing it a few more times by the end of this year).
There are a lot of things that are 'different', when compared to other modern western airliners. I will see what everyone else has to say.
Airmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 368 posts, RR: 2 Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3501 times:
Yes Ben, please give us more info.
Also some people here have said that it carries fewer LD3 containers compared with western aircraft, but if you notice the rear section has a similar tilt in the cabin like on the A310/330/340 which allows more cargo space.
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 11948 posts, RR: 37 Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3436 times:
I had a look at Skytrax reviews and frankly, a number of pax gave the IL96 a distinct thumbs down, so perhaps that confirms what was said above. However, Aeroflot generally got a poor write-up, even on other types.
Ben From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 52 Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3272 times:
OK... you guys asked for it...
I will start by saying: Aeroflot do not want to operate Russian aircraft. That should be clear for anyone to see.
Aeroflot don't care about their Il-96-300s. One simple example I will use is the blankets. On both of the flights I took with SU Il-96's, the blankets were covered in long blonde hair. How many flights has this been used on since it was last washed? Would you want to cover yourself with that on a 10-hour flight? I didn't. On the same route flown by an A-310, the blankets were fresh, new, and in sealed bags. Just one small example.
Now, think about someone who doesn't know (or care) where the metal tube they are flying in was produced. Small superficial things start to reflect badly on the type of aircraft, especially when they connect in SVO and continue to western Europe on an A-310 (also with Aeroflot) which has a bright interior and new blankets. "Russian planes are crap" .. because they got a filthy blanket.
The specification for the six Il-96-300s that Aeroflot currently have 'on order' with VASO has been constantly changed. The airline does not want to take delivery of them. At the very least, they want them to have full western-style interiors - not 'as-is'.
With an airframe costing tens of millions of dollars, superficial upgrades are not going to make a huge increase in the final cost. I'm talking about carpets, wall panels, ceilings, seats and toilets. Maybe even a bit of an exterior scrub (a la Air France) every few years. I'm not talking about PTV's. Yes, sophisticated IFE would be nice, but just basic (read: relatively inexpensive) improvements would go 95% of the way to making it more appealing to the elusive 'rich foreigners' that Aeroflot seeks.
Aeroflot IS capable of installing nice interiors in their aircraft. The Tu-154M I took to Murmansk was magnificent inside. A thousand times better than their 737 interiors. Bright, clean, comfortable.. perfect.
When you hear about all these orders for however many Airbuses and new Boeings, keep in mind that they are being brought into the fleet to replace existing foreign types. It is simply a fleet restructuring/rationalisation move (so we are told).
Fair enough, Aeroflot want to fly nice western planes.
I love Russian (and Ukrainian) aircraft, but let's be brutally honest. No airline in existence today would want to have an aircraft in it's fleet that is called a Tupolev or an Ilyushin if there is another one called Boeing or Airbus available instead.
Now, having said that. Aeroflot still want to operate more foreign aircraft. They can't, because there are huge import duties on these products (see the last post in the same thread I have linked to a bit higher up in this post for more information). It is also a very political issue, just like it is in the USA and France. Everyone wants to see their products being successful, and it's a slap in the face when your national carrier orders a foreign competitor's product.
The only way Aeroflot can get additional Boeings and Airbuses is to have these barriers removed. The 'justification' for the high tariffs is that Russia has an 'equivalent' product, therefore protecting it from foreign competition.
However... If Aeroflot is seen to be having problems with it, and makes the Il-96-300 look sufficiently bad, it no longer is an 'equivalent'.
So they go begging.. we are such a poor airline.. we need to compete internationally.. the local products are sooooo bad.. throw me a Boeing here.. ok? (oh yeah, and don't charge me tax for it).
So, the point I'm trying to make with this long and boring post, is that it is in Aeroflot's interest to berate and degrade Russian products, because they want Boeings, but are forced to take Ilyushins while the barriers are in place.
Aeroflot want to be a successful airline. Fair enough. They don't care about the domestic industry... why should they?
umm.. except for the fact that Aeroflot is 51% owned by the Russian Government.
Who will pay for the social and economic consequences of tens of thousands of highly skilled workers being unemployed in the Volga industrial cities? leaving Russia completely? I dont know... who will that hurt? maybe the owners of Aeroflot?
RIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1785 posts, RR: 1 Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3047 times:
"the width of the cabin" - must be the same as Il86, that is 3-3-3, wider than Airbus widebodies.
BTW, Ben, I don't know what might be so magnificent about the Tu154M you took to Murmansk but their 737-400s were just great (at least, in May, 2000). They had wide seats in Business (2-2!), the same as Tu154M in First, and their interior looked way better... unless, again, "your" Tu154M was really different from what I saw in my total six flights on Tu154M with two airlines in all three classes. Actually, their interior was very similar to United 727s - nice and classic, and quite obsolete...