washingtonflyer
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AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:04 pm

IIRC, some time in the past, AS flew to certain Asiatic Russian destinations. KHV or VVO.

Anyone remember this service? What was it like?
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:24 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/30/tr...ines-opens-russia-s-wild-east.html

The article provides an overview. The service was challenging if an a/c went tech over there but they made money flying to the Russian Far East for a while.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:29 pm

Been discussed before.

Alaska Airlines Russia Flights (by vw Apr 2 2010 in Civil Aviation)

At one time, AS served five cities in Russia. They had two specially modified MD-80s.
 
aviatorcraig
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:02 pm

Back in the 90s Michael Palin (of Monty Python Fame) did a Round the World travel series called Full Circle. There is a small piece where Palin and the BBC film crew check-in at Anchorage for the AA MD-80 flight to Petropavlovsk, described as "the last flight of the season".

See on the following clip from about 6:40

www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5o-BekOlb0
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texan
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:33 pm

And discussed even further back  AS Service To Russia (by Texan Jan 13 2004 in Civil Aviation)

Texan
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hiflyeras
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:26 pm

While some of the crews enjoyed working these trips, they were definitely a challenge. The layover accommodations were spartan, the food marginal and the airport facilities lacking in the things we take for granted like de-icing fluid. The passengers were an interesting mix....mafiosa types, working gals (if you know what I mean) and western businesspeople in the oil, mining and fishing industries. They could be a rough crowd. And it was a long day in a MD-80 equipped with extra tanks. A mechanic flew along on every trip with parts in the belly that might go inop but without any airlines in KHV or VVO flying MD's you always hoped you wouldn't have a major mechanical.
 
chrisp390
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:29 pm

Any chance we could see routes like that return when the situation in Russia gets better?
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: AS Russia Service

Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:47 pm

Quoting chrisp390 (Reply 6):
Any chance we could see routes like that return when the situation in Russia gets better?

A resumption of service would be tied to several factors:

1. US-Russia relations - It's terrible now and unlikely to improve soon;
2. Price of oil - very low now and unlikely to recover soon;
3. Price of other commodities - Siberia is a treasure house of minerals but #1 above means looking elsewhere for those minerals is preferred right now.

To be honest, I don't see a resumption of service on this route for the foreseeable future.
 
hiflyeras
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:00 am

Quoting chrisp390 (Reply 6):
Any chance we could see routes like that return when the situation in Russia gets better?

AS could have resumed service a few years ago when relations between the US and Russia were good, the price of oil was high and they had aircraft better suited for the flying....but they've chosen not to do so.
 
N1120A
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:10 am

The biggest reason these flights made money was actually not so much the business connections, but the big upswing in adventure travel around that time. Adventure seekers would pay good money for those tickets.

Quoting washingtonflyer (Thread starter):

IIRC, some time in the past, AS flew to certain Asiatic Russian destinations. KHV or VVO.

They also flew to GDX and PKC.

Quoting washingtonflyer (Thread starter):
Anyone remember this service? What was it like?

They used tanked up MD80s, then later I believe they used 734s.

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
The article provides an overview. The service was challenging if an a/c went tech over there but they made money flying to the Russian Far East for a while.

Yeah, especially during the adventure travel boom.

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 2):
At one time, AS served five cities in Russia. They had two specially modified MD-80s.

Didn't the switch to 734s at one point, particularly when the MD-80s were having some engine issues?

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 2):
Been discussed before.
Quoting texan (Reply 4):
And discussed even further back

It was about time for another post. One every 5 years isn't so bad  
Quoting hiflyeras (Reply 5):
the airport facilities lacking in the things we take for granted like de-icing fluid.

Which is fairly hilarious, given where the flights were located. They deiced with a bunch of vodka at one point.

Quoting chrisp390 (Reply 6):

Any chance we could see routes like that return when the situation in Russia gets better?

Nah, it was a niche market and would require significant economic changes to happen.
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TWA772LR
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:12 am

Could the 737NG make ANC-KHV/VVO nonstop without extra fuel tanks? Having one stop IAH-ANC-Russian Far East on AS could be a way to stimulate oil traffic.

It helps SQ on IAH-DME-SIN.
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N1120A
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:19 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 10):

Could the 737NG make ANC-KHV/VVO nonstop without extra fuel tanks?

VVO was never non-stop. I think all of the flights stopped first at GDX, then split off to wherever they were going.

Anyway, the 73W could pretty handily handle ANC-KHV. VVO would still be a problem. The 73H or 739ER would have issues with KHV, but GDX would be a breeze.
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questions
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:34 am

What were the approximate flight times? What was onboard service like and how were the flights catered?
 
hiflyeras
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:41 am

Nope, no 737's flew the longer route...maybe you're thinking of PKC as there were some charter flights on the -37 to Petropolovsk.
 
KaiTak747
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:11 am

Are there any flights left between US and Russia (westbound)?

If there are someone needs to do a trip report!
 
Severnaya
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:17 pm

Quoting chrisp390 (Reply 6):
Any chance we could see routes like that return when the situation in Russia gets better?

Highly unlikely as for the recent 10 years when relation between Russia and US were good there were also no flights.

Quoting KaiTak747 (Reply 14):
Are there any flights left between US and Russia (westbound)?

SU: SVO-LAX, SVO-MIA, SVO-JFK, SVO-IAD
UN: VKO-LAX, VKO-JFK, VKO-MIA
DL: SVO-JFK
SQ: DME-IAH
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martinair50
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:39 pm

Quoting Severnaya (Reply 15):
Quoting KaiTak747 (Reply 14):
Are there any flights left between US and Russia (westbound)?

SU: SVO-LAX, SVO-MIA, SVO-JFK, SVO-IAD
UN: VKO-LAX, VKO-JFK, VKO-MIA
DL: SVO-JFK
SQ: DME-IAH

I think westbound from the US is meant here. You would fly eastbound from Russia.
 
SKAirbus
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:47 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 3):
Round the World travel series called Full Circle.

For clarity his round the world series called "Around The World In 80 Days" was filmed in 1988 and involved no air travel as he was following in the fictional footsteps of Phileas Fog.

The series entitled Full Circle from around 1997 was a journey around the Pacific Rim, starting and ending in the Diomede Islands (one of which is Russian and the other American).

Quoting hiflyeras (Reply 5):
A mechanic flew along on every trip with parts in the belly that might go inop

Isn't it true they also do this on UA's island hopper ex. HNL?

I remember that Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's "Long Way Round" series involved a flight on a TU154 from Magadan to Anchorage... on Magadan Airlines I believe. Are there any Russian airlines operating from the Russian Far East and Alaska?
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deltacto
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:21 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 17):
Are there any Russian airlines operating from the Russian Far East and Alaska?

The most recent service I can find is Yakutia Airlines between Anchorage and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in 2012

http://www.examiner.com/article/yaku...amchatka-russia-s-adventure-region

Anchorage is currently listed as a destination on Yakutia's website, but I can't find any flights - even looking at this summer

http://www.yakutia.aero/en/

No Russian airlines are currently showing on the Anchorage Airport website

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/travelerInfo/airlineInfo.shtml
 
Mainliner
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:37 pm

I'm assuming AS used contractors from other airlines for above/below wing services at these airports. Did they have any of their own station managers or other such employees who actually moved over there to oversee the operation? Maybe on a TDY-type of arrangement?
Every flight counts.
 
greggariouspdx
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:38 pm

I flew Alaska's service to Vladivostok in, I believe, 1996. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. When I booked the reservation, I wanted to use miles for an upgrade and I remember it took several hours and more than a few phone calls to AS Res. to get this done. I began my trip in JNU and when I went to check in, the Agent was unable to get my connecting boarding pass out of ANC and would only check my bags to ANC and showed I had a middle seat in Coach from ANC-VVO. Neither she nor her Supervisor could make sense of anything. I arrived in ANC and was able to check my bag and get my boarding pass but my upgrade seemed to have vanished. Several frantic calls to Reservations later, the situation was corrected. I also recall the departure time from ANC as being very odd - around 1:00am I think from the decrepit North Terminal. The inflight service was not memorable but the landing in Magadan was - the plane slammed and bounced down the pot-hole stricken runway. Most the the pax got off in Magadan and the Border Control people came on the plane to check passports and soldiers with dogs walked around the plane. It was all very "East Berlin circa 1980." The inflight service to KHV and then to VVO consisted of cold sandwich's that boarded in ANC. Vladivostok was interesting and the people friendly. The return trip was much the same - no problems at check-in this time but I remember the FA's griping about "primitive Russia." Again the inflight service was nothing memorable. Both flights full on the ANC-Magadan legs, less so to the other stops. This is all I can remember about the flights.
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:03 pm

Quoting deltacto (Reply 18):
No Russian airlines are currently showing on the Anchorage Airport website

That's because you were looking on the domestic airline page.

Yakutia is there on the international page.

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/travelerInfo/INTLairlineInfo.shtml

Thenoflyzone
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32andBelow
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:30 pm

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 21):
That's because you were looking on the domestic airline page.

Yakutia is there on the international page.

http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/travelerInfo/INTLairlineInfo.shtml

Thenoflyzone

I don't think Yakutia flew last summer, and the summer before they got a plane repo'd at the gate.
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Thenoflyzone
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:34 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 22):
I don't think Yakutia flew last summer, and the summer before they got a plane repo'd at the gate.

Wouldn't surpirse me one bit. I was just mentioning that Yakutia is still on ANC's webpage. The info most likely needs to be updated.

However, i believe Bering Air has charters from Nome to Anadyr and Provideniya.

http://www.beringair.com/content.php?action=russia

[Edited 2015-01-27 13:36:05]
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hiflyeras
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:44 pm

Quoting greggariouspdx (Reply 20):
I remember the FA's griping about "primitive Russia."

They were probably hungry. The layover hotel served potato soup from 5pm-6pm with stale bread. Seriously...from what I heard the food was supposedly awful.
 
aviatorcraig
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:44 pm

So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?   
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32andBelow
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:45 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):

So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?   

The PDEW for this route has to be less than 1
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:03 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):
So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?

I'll take that as a challenge.  

Looking at June 2015, it seems like the most direct routings offered by search engines for ANC-GDX would require three stops and skirt the northern Pacific. I can't see anything with a total transit time less than 31.5 hours. Several routing options are available, but these are representative:
ANC-YVR-PEK-KHV-GDX (8711 miles)
ANC-SEA-ICN-KHV-GDX (8548 miles)

If you get creative, you could try something like this, which seems to be the simplest 2-stop option:
ANC-FRA-DME-GDX (9628 miles)

All of the above options require 3+ airlines. From my brief search I only see one way to do it with just 2 airlines and 2 stops, but it includes an airport transfer. Here is a sample itinerary:
ANC-FRA, DE 2067, leave 16:35 June 23, arrive 12:20 June 24, 767
FRA-VKO, UN 308, leave 14:25 June 24, arrive 18:40, 737
26 hour layover in MOW
DME-GDX, UN 159, leave 20:55 June 25, arrive 11:30 June 26, 767

I suppose that you could do some other 2-airline routes, but it would require more stops. Imagine taking AS from ANC to LAX, and transferring to SU. Or take DL from ANC to PEK, then transferring to S7.
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:08 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):
So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?

Instead of doing ANC-PKC, you could do ANC-YVR-ICN with AC, then ICN-KHV with OZ, and then SU, S7 or R3 from KHV to PKC.

Still a 328% increase of flight distance compared to a non stop ANC-PKC, but at least you're not going the longest way around !

Thenoflyzone
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MAH4546
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RE: AS Russia Service

Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:22 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 26):
Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):

So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?   

The PDEW for this route has to be less than 1

It's not. There's a market from Anchorage to the Russian Far East, and Yakutia flies non-stop to ANC from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
a.
 
32andBelow
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RE: AS Russia Service

Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:41 am

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 29):
Yakutia flies non-stop to ANC from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

A handful of days a year! It is scheduled for 1 day a week for 7 weeks this year. Just like any charter op to ANC. see JAL and Korea.
 
MAH4546
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RE: AS Russia Service

Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:54 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 30):

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 29):
Yakutia flies non-stop to ANC from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

A handful of days a year! It is scheduled for 1 day a week for 7 weeks this year. Just like any charter op to ANC. see JAL and Korea.

Doesn't change the facts that there is a medium-sized, very high-yield market between Anchorage and Far East Russia, though it just goes to charter/private traffic. It's not "less than 1 PDEW" as you claim.
a.
 
Viscount724
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RE: AS Russia Service

Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:55 am

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 29):
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 26):
Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):

So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?

The PDEW for this route has to be less than 1

It's not. There's a market from Anchorage to the Russian Far East, and Yakutia flies non-stop to ANC from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

That's so infrequent (and did it even operate last year?) it's more like a semi-charter operation.
 
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RWA380
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:45 am

Quoting hiflyeras (Reply 8):
AS could have resumed service a few years ago when relations between the US and Russia were good, the price of oil was high and they had aircraft better suited for the flying....but they've chosen not to do so

I know you know this stuff, but as we know there are far too many obsticles to AS flying the Russian Far East than fuel costs. Many have been discussed here already, including poor layover facilities, remote part access. In general those routes would cost far mpore to operate than any revenue could be generated.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
VVO was never non-stop. I think all of the flights stopped first at GDX, then split off to wherever they were going



Indeed VVO was stop 3 here on thois route map from 1994: http://www.departedflights.com/AS060694.html

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 25):

So these days if you needed to fly from Anchorage to Magadan or Petropavlovsk, you would have to go the long way round?

Yup, unless you are going during the months where there are direct flights from Alaska to Asia.

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 31):
Doesn't change the facts that there is a medium-sized, very high-yield market between Anchorage and Far East Russia, though it just goes to charter/private traffic. It's not "less than 1 PDEW" as you claim.

A 1x weekly flight that operates 7 weeks a year, is no medium sized market. It's likely drawing people from all over North American who are going to this one destination. If there was a real Russian Far East market, some carrier would have been able to maintain service all these years.
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EA CO AS
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:04 am

Quoting greggariouspdx (Reply 20):
I flew Alaska's service to Vladivostok in, I believe, 1996. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. When I booked the reservation, I wanted to use miles for an upgrade and I remember it took several hours and more than a few phone calls to AS Res. to get this done.

There were only a small handful of res agents (less than 30) trained to book tickets to/from the Russian Far East. Calls had to be transferred to these specific agents only and the complex procedures involved made bookings...interesting.
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greggariouspdx
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:00 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 34):
There were only a small handful of res agents (less than 30) trained to book tickets to/from the Russian Far East. Calls had to be transferred to these specific agents only and the complex procedures involved made bookings...interesting.

Yes I remember there were quite a few times that I called and had to wait for a specially trained Agent. I do remember them being pleasant and helpful and I received many apologies after my experience in JNU when the Res was messed up. As a sidenote I recall one Agent who had made the trip before told me to make sure I brought my own supply of toilet paper. It was good advice  
 
32andBelow
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:24 pm

Quoting Mah4546 (Reply 31):
Doesn't change the facts that there is a medium-sized, very high-yield market between Anchorage and Far East Russia, though it just goes to charter/private traffic. It's not "less than 1 PDEW" as you claim.

As others have said it only makes sense with feed from the lower 48. I think we are far more likely to see AS launch something similar towards Japan at some point, than to restart Russia service. Bering Air does offer charter service, but the native folks on both sides of the canal are basically relatives. If there was a real market where is SU? They don't even offer summer service.
 
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aerdingus
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:26 pm

This flight has always interested me. A flight from the USA to Russia in a Maddog. Fascinating. Thanks for all the links I'll enjoy reading them.
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32andBelow
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:27 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 33):

Indeed VVO was stop 3 here on thois route map from 1994: http://www.departedflights.com/AS060694.html

Side note. Did AS really have mainline service to St. Marys?
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:55 pm

That map includes Horizon. It was Horizon, not AS that flew to St. Marys and most of the other small towns up in Alaska.
 
32andBelow
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:58 pm

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 39):
That map includes Horizon. It was Horizon, not AS that flew to St. Marys and most of the other small towns up in Alaska.

The horizon routes are noted in RED on the map.
 
hiflyeras
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:46 pm

QX has never flown to St Marys....nor has AS mainline to my memory. That has always been a code-share on a regional Alaska partner (currently Ravn...previously called Era Aviation).
 
topbanana
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:59 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 38):
Side note. Did AS really have mainline service to St. Marys?
Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 39):
It was Horizon, not AS that flew to St. Marys and most of the other small towns up in Alaska.
Quoting hiflyeras (Reply 41):
QX has never flown to St Marys....nor has AS mainline to my memory. That has always been a code-share on a regional Alaska partner (currently Ravn...previously called Era Aviation).

Actually, that route map from departedflights.com is dated June 1994.... so I pulled out the closest OAG I had to that date which was October 1, 1994 and, surprisingly:

To Saint Mary's, Alaska

From Anchorage
AS 47 12:50pm-2:30pm 737-200 Combi 1-stop SatOnly (Via Aniak)
AS 44 6:20pm-8:50pm 737-200 Combi 2-stop TueThuOnly (Via Bethel)

From Aniak
AS 47 2:00pm-2:30pm 737-200 Combi Nonstop SatOnly

From Bethel
AS 44 8:10pm-8:50pm 737-200 Combi Nonstop TueThuOnly

So it DOES look like mainline Alaska Airlines service at the time.
Top Banana in the West. Yes.
 
hiflyeras
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RE: AS Russia Service

Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:18 pm

Quoting topbanana (Reply 42):
Actually, that route map from departedflights.com is dated June 1994.... so I pulled out the closest OAG I had to that date which was October 1, 1994 and, surprisingly:

To Saint Mary's, Alaska

From Anchorage
AS 47 12:50pm-2:30pm 737-200 Combi 1-stop SatOnly (Via Aniak)
AS 44 6:20pm-8:50pm 737-200 Combi 2-stop TueThuOnly (Via Bethel)

From Aniak
AS 47 2:00pm-2:30pm 737-200 Combi Nonstop SatOnly

From Bethel
AS 44 8:10pm-8:50pm 737-200 Combi Nonstop TueThuOnly

So it DOES look like mainline Alaska Airlines service at the time.

Wow you are taking me back! I do remember that there was a flight to Aniak but didn't remember St Marys. And I don't miss those -200C's....I think there is one still in operation at 4N (Air North) that was purchased from AS.
 
Viscount724
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RE: AS Russia Service

Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:44 am

Quoting hiflyeras (Reply 43):
And I don't miss those -200C's....I think there is one still in operation at 4N (Air North) that was purchased from AS.

Fleet lists and the Transport Canada aircraft register don't show any Air North 737s that were previously operated by AS.

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