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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service  
User currently offlineAsqx01 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 14502 times:

can anyone recall the reason why Alaska Airlines pulled out of Russia? Any imput will be appriciated.

[Edited 2007-06-11 08:48:40]

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14452 times:

I'm going to go out on a limb, but I'm just going to assume that the connecting traffic between Magadan and ANC wasn't really all that high.


-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlineUSPIT10L From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 3295 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14428 times:

Quoting Asqx01 (Thread starter):
can anyone recall the reason why Alaska Airlines pulled out of Russia? Any imput will be appriciated.

A lot of carriers pulled out of Eastern European countries in 1997, simply because there wasn't as much demand as people thought there would be. I recall LH serving SVX, OVB, GOJ, PEE, and KZN all at one time, now only SVX, PEE and KZN remain, IIRC. AS just decided to put the MD87s somewhere else. By the way, they flew to PKC, GDX, and KHV, IIRC.



It's a Great Day for Hockey!
User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14417 times:

Quoting Whappeh (Reply 1):
I'm going to go out on a limb, but I'm just going to assume that the connecting traffic between Magadan and ANC wasn't really all that high.

 Yeah sure

That had little to nothing to do with it. It had to do with the Russian economy collapsing in the late 90's, which, combined with the operating difficulty, made it unprofitable.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14410 times:

That was more of a joke then anything, but if you read between the lines of what I was saying I basically said the same thing you did, which was nobody was flying on the routes.


-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlineASQX01 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 14347 times:

I've talked to several Alaska Airline pilots, and almost all of them agreed that cargo and pax louds were awesome at that time, to me it just makes no sence.

User currently offlineChugach From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1041 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14248 times:

Quoting Whappeh (Reply 4):
nobody was flying on the routes.

If nobody was flying them, they wouldn't have last 8 or 9 years or however long it lasted. According to those in the know, passenger and cargo loads were always strong, especially cargo, as many Russians used the service to go shopping in Anchorage. Russia service for AS was logistically difficult to begin with, between staffing the Russia stations and the lack of reliable navigation aids in Russian airspace. Not to mention, some of the runways over there were notorious for damaging planes. Throw in the fact that the MD-80 had range limitations in case of a diversion, and it (unfortunately) made sense to pull out when the Ruble crashed.

It should also be noted that Aeroflot, followed by Magadan Air, flew GDX-ANC and PKC-ANC for several years, and Vladivostok Air is trying to get the authority for ANC-VVO as we speak. And don't forget the failed Russia Jet Direct, which tried IAH-ANC-UUS a couple years ago.

If AS ever goes back (a BIG if, from what I hear), my bet would be ANC-PKC and ANC-UUS. But not ever likely, unless oil production at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk really takes off. It would be nice to see the Eskimo parked at gate N2 at ANC from time to time, though.



GO ROCKETS
User currently offlineASQX01 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14216 times:

ANC-UUS.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk? is it big oil producer?
If Alaska Airliles would fly there what would be the drow for them?


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26601 posts, RR: 75
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 14205 times:

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 2):
AS just decided to put the MD87s somewhere else.

MD83s

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 2):
By the way, they flew to PKC, GDX, and KHV, IIRC.

Not to mention VVO.

Other than Russians, Alaska heavily marketed the service to the rather high yield adventure tourist. With the surge in popularity of adventure tourism and racing, like the Eco Challenge and the Raid Gauloises, in the 1990s, the young, newly rich dot.com million and billionaires were going on treks as opposed to sitting on beaches and they were paying big money to do it. When the tech bubble began to pop, there was less money being thrown around on trips to the Russian Far East and newer trends took over. This really hurt Alaska on one side of the operation and the aforementioned Rubble crash got them on the other end.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAdriaticflight From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14186 times:

So how do you get from Alaska to Russia these days? Does it require flying to Seattle or LA and then Japan or Korea and then onto Vladivostok...Very long routing. God forbid that one would have to fly via Moscow and go around the world to reach a destination 2,000kilometers away. Seems to me that once or twice a week AS service would be a gold mine.

User currently offline777law From Monaco, joined Jul 2006, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14166 times:

Quoting ASQX01 (Reply 7):
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk? is it big oil producer?

Huge. The sea floor off Sakhalin Island has one of the worlds largest oil & gas fields and the drilling and pipeline projects are just getting started. Shell has / had a major contract to develop Sakhalin fields as does a Japanese conglomerate (I think it's Mitsubishi, but I may be wrong). That means a lot of potential business for American offshore oil & gas sub-contractors.

Quoting ASQX01 (Reply 7):
If Alaska Airliles would fly there what would be the drow for them?

Oil & gas money. I don't remeber if AS flies into IAH, but they may want to consider it -- the majority of the US drilling & pipeline industry is in Houston. If US contractors get a couple large sub-contracts for the Sakhalin fields it may make sense for AS (among others) to run an occasional IAH-ANC-UUS flight.



UA- Premier Platinum, AF / KL - Flying Blue Petroleum, BA Executive Club Silver
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26601 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14148 times:

Quoting Adriaticflight (Reply 9):
Does it require flying to Seattle or LA and then Japan or Korea and then onto Vladivostok...

Likely, unless you want to do something similar and connect through Moscow.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineASQX01 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 14140 times:

Oil & gas money. I don't remeber if AS flies into IAH, but they may want to consider it -- the majority of the US drilling & pipeline industry is in Houston. If US contractors get a couple large sub-contracts for the Sakhalin fields it may make sense for AS (among others) to run an occasional IAH-ANC-UUS flight.


if so, so why they take opportnity to fly there,? woulld that make sence?


User currently offlineAgnusBymaster From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 13748 times:

The cost of maintaining staff at each of those stations with only a couple flights a week had to be pretty expensive. The MD-83 is not an ideal aircraft range-wise, although the aircraft had enlarged fuel tanks. N965AS was one of them, I'm not sure what the other tail numbers were. I really wish AS had re-started service, but I guess at this point they have no desire to do so.

User currently offlineDrerx7 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5192 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 13719 times:

Alaska doesn't serve Houston. I remember the Russia Jet Direct flights--they were operated with Ryan Air 757s.


Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 13707 times:

Horribly unprofitable, especially after the Russian economic meltdown of 1998. Also they were running intra-Russia tags that were like 1000 miles long

User currently offlineHikesWithEyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 816 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13415 times:

Quoting AgnusBymaster (Reply 13):
The MD-83 is not an ideal aircraft range-wise, although the aircraft had enlarged fuel tanks. N965AS was one of them

Several of the MDs have auxiliary fuel tanks. While this helped the range, it also limited the baggage/cargo
capacity because they are located in the cargo pits.



First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
User currently offlineWhappeh From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1563 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13388 times:

With a 737-7/8 could the routes become more profitable?


-Travel now, journey infinitely.
User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13334 times:

Quoting 777law (Reply 10):
Shell has / had a major contract to develop Sakhalin fields

I think had would be the correct word, Gazprom/Putin essentially was pushing them out and they finally decided that it wasn't worth it at all.


User currently offlineUpperDeck79 From Finland, joined Feb 2005, 1139 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13290 times:

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 2):
A lot of carriers pulled out of Eastern European countries in 1997



Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 2):
By the way, they flew to PKC, GDX, and KHV, IIRC.

None of those destinations are even near Eastern Europe, they are in Asia.  Wink



AY and ANA rock!
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3108 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13275 times:

On a related note (Russian aviation and SEA/ANC), is SU planning to ever reinstate service to SEA? With all the SkyTeam expansion lately (e.g. KE, AF, AM) it might make some sense.

Also, I saw a post a few weeks ago regarding a potential Russian carrier re-launching service to ANC/SEA. Does anyone have any more information about that?


User currently offlineJimyvr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 13094 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 20):
SU planning to ever reinstate service to SEA?

This could be a possibility since AEROFLOT is to take over Dalavia (Khabarovsk) and SAT and rebrand as AEROFLOT-East.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25652 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 11758 times:

Quoting Jimyvr (Reply 21):
Quoting RwSEA (Reply 20):
SU planning to ever reinstate service to SEA?

This could be a possibility since AEROFLOT is to take over Dalavia (Khabarovsk) and SAT and rebrand as AEROFLOT-East.

You may have missed this recent thread re Vladivostok Air's application to start VVO-ANC-SEA service in 2008.
RE: Vladivostok Air Applies ANC/SEA From 2008 (by EA CO AS May 25 2007 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlineWalter747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1440 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 11674 times:

Quoting Asqx01 (Thread starter):

Did you read that Airways magazines on them?



Hussel, Hussel, Husel, Grind, Grind, Grind
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 11592 times:

Quoting Chugach (Reply 3):
It had to do with the Russian economy collapsing in the late 90's

 checkmark  That is the #1 reason why AS decided to stop Russia service altogether when I was working there. We didn't want to take the risk of continuing service to Russia. Even former CEO John F. Kelly said that himself, at the time. I think it was a wise move to pull out in an event that it got worse over there, in my opinion, but the intentions of flying to Eastern Russia were good though... before the meltdown.

Quoting ASQX01 (Reply 12):
I don't remeber if AS flies into IAH

They don't, I do not believe they ever did.

Quoting Whappeh (Reply 17):
With a 737-7/8 could the routes become more profitable?

Its possible, but I wouldn't count on AS returning to Russia anytime soon.

Quoting Jimyvr (Reply 21):
AEROFLOT

I thought SU was going to take over the routes. I remember them doing some service to SEA, but that was from Moscow directly (whatever the airport code is for them...).



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
25 LH455 : Didn't AS fly to Russia even before the 1980s and 1990s? I remember an ad for "Golden Samovar Service" to Russia from the 70s? Maybe I was hallucinati
26 Levg79 : This statements does not make any sense. Did you mean that landing an aircraft on a Russian runway at a descent rate of 2,000 ft/min will damage an a
27 Alaska737 : yes thats correct, i think it may have started during the 60's actually. i know they used 707's and possibly other A/C types as well, 727's maybe.
28 AirframeAS : I dont know how I missed this quote, but I have never heard of this. Just what exactly in the heck are you talking about??? This doesn't make any sen
29 RedChili : Well, you do not remember correctly. Lufthansa's destinations in Russia today include SVO, LED, PEE, SVX, GOJ, KZN, UFA, KUF, ROV. The only destinati
30 Chugach : Tough crowd. Just re-hashing what I've heard from some AS folks. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
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