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Aeroflot: The Forgotten Airline  
User currently offlineMason From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 748 posts, RR: 1
Posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1866 times:

Hey-
I was thinking, and despite the vast route network of Aeroflot, and the substantial fleet, they do not seem to be considered among the major world airlines. Why is this? Anyone here from Russia? Anyone flown on Aeroflot? I have heard horror stores from controllers here in SEA about the difficulty in communicating with Aeroflot pilots. One likened it to talking to a baby. We get their 767s now in SEA, switched from Il-96s and Il-62s. What do you all think?

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25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMr.BA From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 3423 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1803 times:

In Changi Airport, the controllers complained that they can't communicate well with their pilots. It's true. I have seen Aeroflot "go around" many times and this is due to the communication problem between them... well, I still think Aeroflot isn't that bad...

Alvin



Boeing747 万岁!
User currently offlineFaisZ From Singapore, joined Sep 2000, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

Wow, i never noticed that Aeroflot flies to Singapore!

User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1771 times:

10 years ago Aeroflot still was not only among the world majors but the biggest airline in the world. Now it is much smaller as there are plenty of new airlines in Russia (not to say about airlines of other post-Soviet states). Many of these new airlines are very poor in terms of everything, but Aeroflot is one of a few exceptions. I flew on it recently, in first class inside the CIS and in business class internationally (actually, inside the CIS is internationally too), and the service was excellent. Don't know what their domestic service currently is, but in Soviet era it was about the same as, say, current domestic AA service. But it won't be one of the majors until Russian economy recovers - I don't know a major airline from a country with weak economy (I'm afraid in Russia it is much worse than just weak).

By the way, it doesn't seem to me Aeroflot is "forgotten" - just one of many others...


User currently offlineAIRMALE From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 377 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1759 times:

Aeroflot is still a major carrier, but they need a total new image to be noticed and considered, i suggest they get in touch with the firm that designed Delta's new livery 


.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1746 times:

I think Aeroflot remains unforgotten, really, as the name soldiers on. However, most people associate that name with the old Soviet Aeroflot, which IS best forgotten! After all, what can be said about an airline with a reputation for rudeness, loss of baggage, planes not showing up to operate flights, and drunken flight crews?

The new Aeroflot, in its latest incarnation as Aeroflot Russian Airlines, is a streamlined, focused carrier intended to serve the international destinations included in the old Soviet network, as well as mainline domestic ones. The airline has been and will continue to be hampered by the economic woes suffered by the country for which it is the flag carrier. This is limiting Aeroflot's ability to provide world-class passenger service centers at the dillapidated, primitive airports all across Russia, as well as the power and funds to acquire new, modern and efficient aircraft for its fleet.

Aeroflot is struggling hard to remain afloat and provide service and flights that are up to world standards. They have improved hugely. The first flight I took with Aeroflot in 1992 on an IL86 (see Trip Report section) was somewhat below average for an international flight. Domestic service in 1992 was about what I'd been told - rude cabin attendants and dirty planes. Since then, they've improved progressively, and all of the cabin staff has undergone re-training to actually cater to passengers, rather than put up with them. My most recent flights - ORD-SVO-LED-SVO-ORD - were really good, and the ticket price was very inexpensive compared to other carriers flying into LED.

All I can say is, I hope to see Aeroflot continue to improve and expand. They have some pretty lofty goals set - renewal/replacement of dozens of aircraft within the next 10 years, either with new Russian types or Western ones - as well as reconstruction of Sheremet'yevo and the addition of a new terminal. And of course, there are the partnership possibilities, which would aid Aeroflot greatly. It will take a good deal of investment and hard work for the airline to fully succeed.


User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1720 times:


Hi!

Aeroflot for is not good or bad as most of the other airlines in the world. We have pilots and we have airliners, for me Aeroflot pilots are at the same level as the pilots of the rest of the world, regarding their fleet I have to consider that in the past most of the airliners they flew where not at the same level as the occidental ones, but that was overpassed by the extreme professionalism the crews used. Aeroflot used to fly to lots of airports that probably no other airline could fly, specially in Africa and Asia, so for me Aeroflot deserve my best respect!
Regards!


User currently offlineAmir From Syria, joined Dec 1999, 1254 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1705 times:

Well one has to consider the following:

In Europe Aeroflot has a much stronger position (well still weak but improving) than in the rest of the world. The biggest routes and bulk of revenue is still generated on domestic and european routes. The intercontinental routes are not efficient and lack density of frequency and commercial agreements with other airlines.
The problem is that Aeroflot is not having a real hub in Moscow besides they serve several airports and in most cases if you need to connect on a domestic flight you will have to change airports and you need a damn visa for this. So i think they have to work on two issues:
- upgrading passenger service
- build up a real hub for conex.
- optimizing schedule to have at least twice daily operation, the kind buisness traveller wants to see (early morning and late afternoon departure)

The headache for them are the small but more comfortable airlines like Transaero and Pulkovo and others that have better schedule and conex.

One last note. In many European countries especially in Germany/France and UK Aeroflot is a competitor taken into consideration by the big players!

Rgds
Amir


User currently offlineSashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 861 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1697 times:

Some good points there from IL-96M and Amir.

Aeroflot's planes are known as "birds of peace" - flying first into territories after war or some other conflict. Aeroflot was first to land at Belgrade airport and now looking for Baghdad.

As for pilot's language skills, it has to be said that Russian is a complex language. While it's possible for an immigrant from other country to grasp on, say, English and talk with almost no accent - it's impossible in Russian. A foreigner will never talk as freely in Russian as a native. When learning English, if your first language is Russian then you have to do a lot of processing in your head to try to narrow down sentences. It's a tough routine...

Also, I believe the level of English taught in Russian schools is not adequate. I studied for 5 years and got nowhere far as alphabet, heh... Those words that I used to write this post were learnt within first 2 years in UK.



An2/24/28,Yak42,Tu154/134,IL18/62/96,B737/757/767,A310/320/319,F100,BAe146,EMB-145,CRJ,A340-600,B747-400,A-330-300,A-340
User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1693 times:

Hey, SashA, I can't vouch for many people, but I lived in St. Petersburg for 4.5 years, and am pretty Russian fluent. My Russian friends tell me I speak almost without accent. I'd post this in Russian, but Admin has requested we keep things here in English.  

I totally agree that it's a complex language, so much so that one cannot truly learn it unless one is immersed in it, as I was. I've gotten nuances of Russian in my years living there that could NEVER be learned by studying books! Including russky mat', cheyrny yumor, i t.d., as well as different connotations for different words and phrases. English, by comparison, is far easier to learn and master as our grammar is pretty basic.

Have you heard that the reason foreigners speak with such a big accent in Russian is because Russian uses different muscles in the face for pronunciation? That is also why Russians tend to have such thick accents in English.

I have heard Aeroflot pilots referred to as being stupid because they don't know or can't speak proper English. It's true Russian schools were abyssmal as far as foreign language teaching was concerned - little or no speaking practise, just reading and translation. Also, there were no opportunities to study abroad during the time of the Soviet Union. So it's no wonder Russians don't know much in the way of foreign languages.

ANYWAY...off on a tangent here, but definitely an interesting one for me.   Schastlivo!

IL96M


User currently offlinePhilB From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

In my regular listening on the North Atlantic HF nets, I'd put the Aeroflot (and Volga Dnepr and Antonov Design Bureau) crews as amongst the best non-native English speakers when it comes to radio procedures and annunciation.

As to service on Aeroflot, I can't speak from personal experience but last weekend I saw my nephew who returned last week from Bangkok over Moscow to London. He said the aircraft (B777) was superb and the service only marginally below what he has experienced on other international carriers.

As to colour scheme, I thought Delta had stolen Aeroflot's latest  


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39854 posts, RR: 74
Reply 11, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1678 times:

We have an Aeroflot office here in San Francisco about 3 blocks from my job. I went to pick up a brochure and they had a huge 6' model IL-62 and IL-96 on display.  
There brochure has flight scheduals and aircraft type. Only the IL-62 and 96 operate internationaly. They still have TU-134 and 154 for flights within Russia.
I am planning a trip to Russia and I plan to fly throuh out the country.

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Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 50
Reply 12, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1667 times:

Let's not forget....

That Aeroflot steals tens of thousands of Europe-Asia passengers per week because of their excellent timetable on flights such as Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong etc. to places like London and Paris. Not to mention their amazing price difference with carriers such as LH, BA and AF.

Very often, the schedules at LHR for instance quote an SU flight number from just "Tokyo". Nothing about it actually being from Moscow.


..and someone else was saying about numbers of passengers... my Aeroflot book (R.Davies, Airlife Publishing) says that at the peak of Aeroflot's operations, they flew two hundred and fifty billion passenger kilometers in one year. That to me is a more valuable statistic because it should filter out the 'utility' flights but include the 'airline helicopter' routes etc..

It also says there were approx 11,000 aircraft of all types in the fleet (for the whole USSR) in 1989. of course that was dramatically reduced when all of the countries became independent but it still gives Russia a very large number of planes now.


User currently offlineSlawko From Canada, joined May 1999, 3799 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1663 times:

Regarding the language issuse and the communications problems, that is total BS!! All Aerflot pilots were required to learn at least three other languages and one had to be english. I don't know maybe it is just the biast controlers that are telling you these lies, but I have heard them on the scanner many times at YYZ (Also a 767 city) and they speak english better then a lot of the FROG Air Canada pilots.


"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
User currently offlineKolobokman From Russia, joined Oct 2000, 1180 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1647 times:

I flew aeroflot first, when I was 6 months old.
According to my mom, I didn't shut up for a second during the 6 hours flight from Riga, Latvia to somwhere in western Siberia.

PS: Hey Illyushin it's Russkogo not Russkovo-one of the strange terminations You talked about.



I can neither confirm, nor deny above post
User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1619 times:

About dirty planes and rude cabin crew: before 1990 I flew on more than 90 Aeroflot domestic flights, most of them (no less than 80) were on aircraft based in Riga, Latvia, and the aircraft were NEVER any dirty or broken inside as well as I can't remember rude cabin crew. (SashA and others: don't think I am a pribaltijskij snob ) My US domestic experience is still tiny, only four AA flights, and on two of them the aircraft were so dirty that I NEVER saw on Aeroflot. The crews were not much friendly either...



User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

How could I forget: it's not russky mat' but russky MAT (without "miagkij znak")  !

User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1602 times:

"Ya tebya potseluyu...potom...esli zakhochesh'."  Name that film!

User currently offlineSashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 861 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1593 times:

Heck if I know that film. I prefer Honk-Kong made films for action and Holywood products for the rest (comedies, drama, sci-fi, horror)  .

I've always wondered why Delta is the only US carrier to fly to Russia. Other airlines don't bother to get a license? Or are there not enough pax to carry? I think nowadays especially Russia-US directions should be full packed.



An2/24/28,Yak42,Tu154/134,IL18/62/96,B737/757/767,A310/320/319,F100,BAe146,EMB-145,CRJ,A340-600,B747-400,A-330-300,A-340
User currently offlineKolobokman From Russia, joined Oct 2000, 1180 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1595 times:

I'm confused!
RIX and Ilyshin96M are you two different people?



I can neither confirm, nor deny above post
User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1583 times:

Be sure we are: there are enough people here to talk to instead of talking to oneself!  

Still, I have no idea what the movie is... but sounds familiar!


User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 1594 times:

The reason DL is the only carrier to Russia...well, they took over PanAm's routes and hubs when they bought them out way back when. Since then, they've been the only US carrier to serve Russian destinations.

When I was living in St. Petersburg, DL made a big deal about their first non-stop flight on JFK-LED, but it didn't end up working out. The first flight, with an L1011-500, made a stopover in Helsinki and couldn't get clearance from the Russian air traffic controllers to fly to LED because the Russians didn't have the proper permits and paperwork for the flight, though it had been approved. Eventually, DL quit operating direct flights to LED, instead using its hub at FRA, flying FRA-WAW-LED with a 727-200ADV. Now, they don't fly there at all; I am pretty sure SVO is DL's only Russian destination.

DL had one heck of a time getting approval to fly to LED, which indicates the airline would probably have similar difficulties getting approval for other Russian destinations. I would imagine other US carriers would have difficulty breaking into the Russian market altogether because they would not be purchasing existing routes, but rather attempting to establish their own. Personally, I'm not entirely certain the Russian government doesn't prefer that Aeroflot operate the majority of direct flights between Russia and the US, which would explain why it is so difficult to obtain permits and gate space at SVO.


User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

"Ya teteshka Charlie, iz Brazilii, gde ochen' mnogo dikikh obizyan...oni TAK PRIGNUT!!"  

Oh, btw...Artyem...no, RIX and I, we are totally different people.  


User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1569 times:

"tetUshka Charlie"? - surely, I saw it more than once but don't remember the words... And, really, ONI TAK PRYGAYUT!  By the way, only last time I saw that all the story was his dream...

User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1565 times:

OK, all grammaticheskiye ispravleniye aside...I've often wondered why Aeroflot doesn't offer films like "Zdravstvuitye, ya - vasha tetya!", "12 stulyev" and "Brilliantovaya ruka" as their in-flight films. They'd beat the crud out of most of the re-hashed dramas and adventure films that are shown for the most part! Of course, if you don't understand Russian, the humour would be totally lost...  

User currently offlineKolobokman From Russia, joined Oct 2000, 1180 posts, RR: 6
Reply 25, posted (13 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1558 times:

I don't know what in-flight movies they ROLL, but
"adventures of kolobok" is the movie I want to see.



I can neither confirm, nor deny above post
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