x1234
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How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:40 pm

Someone mentioned here that Alaska Airlines flew to the Russia Far East in the 1990s. What cities did they serve? What was the equipment? I assume they ended it because it was unprofitable. I believe this was in the era of Russia opening up to the world after the fall of communism.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:45 pm

MD-80s. I remember some multi-stop flights. Arkangelsk comes to mind, but I could be wrong. Vladivostok for sure. And perhaps Sahalin too.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:08 pm

Mad Dogs out of ANC to various Far East Russian airports. Khabarovsk, Vlad and Petropavlovsk certainly, I think it varied on demand. I believe it was flown with an augmented crew back to ANC.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:09 pm

Yakutia Airlines still flies to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky from ANC with once a week seasonal service and a few one offs.
Not really a ton of people or demand. Plus those cities are pretty much like Russias Alaska, not really too much of a reason to travel so far to see similar weather.

VVO Vladivostok would be the only city with demand but its 3,291 miles away. Not really that close, other than that not too much demand between Alaska and those small Russian cities. There is a little demand but people seem to work into the scheduled flights and know when they will happen. For others going thru SEA and ICN is probably fine as the numbers are just so low. Oil doesn't really need many seats as each country has it own seperate industry with different companies etc.
 
ATLgaUSA
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:11 pm

Here's an article that discusses Alaska's Russia Far East service and lists the cities that were served.

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/30/trav ... -east.html
 
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deltacto
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:15 pm

Route maps from June 1994 and January 1995 show Magadan, Khabaravosk, and Vladivostock

Image

http://www.departedflights.com/AS010995.html
 
hiflyeras
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:24 pm

Magadan, Khabarvosk and Vladivostok were the final citiies served and it was really pushing the capabilites of the MD80. Alternate airports were few and good luck finding de-icing fluid. Flight loads were fairly good...but local services were iffy for both operations and for crew layovers. Crew were fed boiled potatoes at the hotel for dinner but they loved the experience.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:45 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
Magadan, Khabarvosk and Vladivostok were the final citiies served and it was really pushing the capabilites of the MD80. Alternate airports were few and good luck finding de-icing fluid. Flight loads were fairly good...but local services were iffy for both operations and for crew layovers. Crew were fed boiled potatoes at the hotel for dinner but they loved the experience.


I think they also flew to PKC and UUS. At the peak, they flew to five destinations in Russia.
 
UA857
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:34 pm

Could AS relaunch the Far East Russia Services with the new A321XLR?
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:36 pm

UA857 wrote:
Could AS relaunch the Far East Russia Services with the new A321XLR?


The 737-700 would probably be a better airplane for that market. They could do it if they choose.
 
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dabpit
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:55 pm

From Airways Magazine:
At the beginning of the 1970s, AS began charter services to Siberia in the Soviet Union. This was the result of three years of secret negotiations between the airline and the Soviet authorities. The US Department of State reluctantly chose not to block the plan for fear of a negative response from the Soviets. The airline gained permission to fly more than two dozen flights between 1970 and 1972.

https://airwaysmag.com/best-of-airways/ ... s-success/

I could swear they had a more in-depth article but I can't find it.
Carpe Diem
 
Aliqiout
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:42 pm

They canceled these when the rubal collapsed. I think the routes were marginal with the MD-80 becasue of lack of alternative airports and lack of reliable weather reports from Siberia. These would probably be more successful with a modern 737 and their more robust feed, but I dont have any idea what has happened to demand since then. ANC would be logical transfer for much of the country, even with a double connect required.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:09 pm

A Siberian network hubbed through a sterile terminal in ANC... calling Moxy and A220s.
 
richierich
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:29 pm

Does anybody have any photos - or some form of early trip report - from one of those flights? Seems like a very oddball set of routes to me. Got to love these old, unusual routes that are ancient history today.
None shall pass!!!!
 
Ionosphere
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:03 pm

dabpit wrote:
From Airways Magazine:
At the beginning of the 1970s, AS began charter services to Siberia in the Soviet Union. This was the result of three years of secret negotiations between the airline and the Soviet authorities. The US Department of State reluctantly chose not to block the plan for fear of a negative response from the Soviets. The airline gained permission to fly more than two dozen flights between 1970 and 1972.

https://airwaysmag.com/best-of-airways/ ... s-success/

I could swear they had a more in-depth article but I can't find it.


Airways did a special edition all about Alaska about 10-12 years ago. That edition went into detail about the Russian Ops. Reeve Aleutian also flew the Electra to Russia too.
 
wedgetail737
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:48 pm

I remember AS beginning Russia Far East service with 727-200's.

At the same time, both Aeroflot and Mavial Magadan flew to the Russian Far East as far as SEA, through ANC.
 
32andBelow
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:53 am

Bering air currently does charters between Alaska (OTZ I believe) and the Russian far Far East. People living on other sides of the Bering are related.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:57 am

Having flown in to PKC a few times, it is (was) a pain. JFK to SVO, get a cab to the domestic terminal, then a second night on a IL-96 to Petropavlovsk. One of the passengers on one flight was going bear hunting and had flown in from SEA. Long way to go to get there.

GF
 
airlinewatcher1
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:27 am

I can't see there being enough demand for AS to re-start these routes to a remote part of Russia. Plus, US-Russia relations are not good right now. I'd be at least somewhat leery of travelling to Russia.
 
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jsnww81
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:25 am

hiflyeras wrote:
Magadan, Khabarvosk and Vladivostok were the final citiies served and it was really pushing the capabilites of the MD80. Alternate airports were few and good luck finding de-icing fluid. Flight loads were fairly good...but local services were iffy for both operations and for crew layovers. Crew were fed boiled potatoes at the hotel for dinner but they loved the experience.


I always found these routes fascinating as a kid... they were always depicted in a little inset on the route map in each AS timetable. The idea of one of "our" airlines flying to such a forbidden place that had been our enemy for most of my childhood was intriguing. Sure, Pan Am flew to Moscow, but that was the capital. These were serious Soviet cities at what seemed like the end of the earth!

I have to think Magadan was really only served due to range issues with the MD80... by all accounts it's a pretty gritty place, and its population has fallen by a third since 1989. Vlad, Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk have all grown since the end of the USSR.
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:50 am

Service at its height was KHV, GDX, VVO, PKC, and UUS. The Costco in ANC did lots of business with people flying in from the Russian Far East to stock up on, well, everything and bringing it home on AS. Those 3 MD80s with the aux tanks were workhorses.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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EA CO AS
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:52 am

hiflyeras wrote:
good luck finding de-icing fluid.


There was a rather unique story about an AS captain purchasing vodka to use in conjunction with the little glycol that the local ground handler had to get their flight out.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
eirflot
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:03 am

Don't have a trip report but was in Vlad and Yuzhno many times in the mid nineties! At the start was surprised to see the Alaska Airlines MD80 parked up, when arriving from Miscow it was certainly an oddity
 
c3000flyboy
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Re: How were Alaska Airlines services to Russia in the 1990s!?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:23 pm

Emergency! Keep your head down, stay down!!

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