ASQX01
Posts: 29
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:24 pm

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

[Edited 2007-06-11 08:48:40]
 
whappeh
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:03 pm

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.
 
USPIT10L
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:08 pm

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.
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Chugach
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:11 pm

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.
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whappeh
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:14 pm

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.
 
ASQX01
Posts: 29
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:29 pm

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.
 
Chugach
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:12 pm

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.
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ASQX01
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:25 pm

ANC-UUS.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk? is it big oil producer?
If Alaska Airliles would fly there what would be the drow for them?
 
N1120A
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:28 pm

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.
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adriaticflight
Posts: 405
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:36 pm

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.
 
777law
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:16 am

Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:47 pm

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.
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N1120A
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:54 pm

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
 
ASQX01
Posts: 29
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Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:59 pm

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?
 
AgnusBymaster
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:32 am

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.
 
drerx7
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:38 am

Alaska doesn't serve Houston. I remember the Russia Jet Direct flights--they were operated with Ryan Air 757s.
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EXAAUADL
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:41 am

Horribly unprofitable, especially after the Russian economic meltdown of 1998. Also they were running intra-Russia tags that were like 1000 miles long
 
HikesWithEyes
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:44 am

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!
 
whappeh
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:52 am

With a 737-7/8 could the routes become more profitable?
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cba
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:05 am

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.
 
UpperDeck79
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:17 am

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
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rwsea
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:21 am

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?
 
jimyvr
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:29 am

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.
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:01 am

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)
 
walter747
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:09 am

Quoting Asqx01 (Thread starter):

Did you read that Airways magazines on them?
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AirframeAS
Posts: 9811
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:16 am

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.
 
LH455
Posts: 82
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:12 am

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 hallucinating?

The gimmick of the service was being served tea out of a giant gold samovar -- maybe it was just a Russian themed thing the F/As did on U.S. flights.

[Edited 2007-06-12 04:14:54]
 
levg79
Posts: 918
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:04 pm

Quoting Chugach (Reply 6):
Not to mention, some of the runways over there were notorious for damaging planes.

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 airframe? Please support your statement with valid sources.

Leo.
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alaska737
Posts: 867
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:39 pm

Quoting LH455 (Reply 26):
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 hallucinating?

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.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:46 pm

Quoting Chugach (Reply 6):
Not to mention, some of the runways over there were notorious for damaging planes.

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 sense! If this was a small part of the reason why AS pulled out of Russia, I would have already known about it and said otherwise. Source please.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
RedChili
Posts: 1440
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RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:41 pm

Quoting USPIT10L (Reply 2):
I recall LH serving SVX, OVB, GOJ, PEE, and KZN all at one time, now only SVX, PEE and KZN remain, IIRC.

Well, you do not remember correctly. Lufthansa's destinations in Russia today include SVO, LED, PEE, SVX, GOJ, KZN, UFA, KUF, ROV. The only destination that they cancelled was OVB, which was natural since OVB was a 2 hour tag-on to SVX. Such tag-ons are expensive to operate and not so desireable from a passengers point of view.
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Chugach
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:18 am

RE: Why Did Alaska Airlines Drop Russian Service

Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:47 pm

Quoting Levg79 (Reply 26):
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 airframe? Please support your statement with valid sources.

Leo.



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 28):
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 sense! If this was a small part of the reason why AS pulled out of Russia, I would have already known about it and said otherwise. Source please.

Tough crowd.

Just re-hashing what I've heard from some AS folks. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
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