Thanks, everyone - I appreciate the responses (and education thereby)!
- I looked at all the images I could pull up via the Photo Search engine, last night, and for whatever reason it simply never gave me those. I have no guesses why ... but thanks for posting those up!
Dogfighter - the very image you posted (of the -154 with airstairs at Glasgow) is the one that provoked my curiosity enough to ask.
YukonTrader - aha. That would explain considerable. I realize the first point, that a lot of the -154's normal stops within the CIS may indeed be at fields with few if any airbridges; it just occurs to me that many of the images we get of him is at some western airport like Schiphol or whatever ... and until this morning I had never caught an image of one mated up. The charter aspect makes all sorts of sense; I suppose most -154s nowadays are operated not on regular schedule but charter?
'Tis a shame it's not any kind of regular visitor here in the West and especially in the States. I would dearly love to see this beautiful aircraft for myself in person. Perhaps if we can ever make up with Cuba, one day, FLL
might get some of the Russian-made visitors. (Not that I expect that
anytime soon ... but it'd be nice.)
A related question: For what reason/s have airliners like the Tupolevs and Illyushins never made it into any mainstream Western airlines' fleets? They certainly seem like decent-enough aircraft both performance-wise and aesthetically, and I should imagine the purchase cost could be quite attractive. Are the economics of these aircraft then so very bad they just can't compete? I would think the current situation of only AvB simply screams for someone else to challenge and provide a product - and here's not one but two
aircraft manufacturers who might
... but just can't seen to get a foot in the door. I'd love to see a discussion on this.