On Wednesday, Russian carrier Yakutia announced that flights between Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Anchorage will be started up again in Summer 2017.
Yakutia operates mostly domestic Russia flights within the Commonwealth of Independent States, and operates a hub operation out of Khabarovsk, Vnukovo, and Tolmachevo Airport’s in the Russian Federation. The airline is headquartered at Yakutsk Airport in the Sakha Republic region of the country.
Yakutia operates a relatively small fleet of just 17 aircraft, consisting of (5) Boeing 737-800’s, (1) Boeing 757-200PCF, (3) Bombardier Dash 8 Q300’s, (3) Bombardier Dash 8 Q400’s, and (5) Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 aircraft.
New flights to Anchorage will start again after a year absence during the summer months between July 17th and September 4th, once weekly on Sunday’s. The flight will be operated by the Boeing 737-800 aircraft and take around 4 hours and 20 minutes. The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Anchorage route covers about 1,900 miles.
R3509 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 9:25 p.m. departure -> Anchorage 5:50 a.m. arrival B738
R3510 Anchorage 7:30 a.m. departure -> Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky 8:15 a.m. arrival B738
The Boeing 737-800 operates in a 170-seat, two-class configuration with 156 economy seats and 14 business class seats. Yakutia is known for it’s unique attention towards creating a truly Siberian environment on the aircraft, with Russian-style food and drinks and fur headrests on the seats. Needless to say, you will be getting the true Russian experience.
Flights between Russia and Alaska have always been a staple in airlines’ route networks, as Alaska Airlines began flying between Fairbanks and Anchorage to Petropavlovsk in 1951. This route was the flagship route of the airline during the time, but was cut a decade later due to low profitability.
In recent years, flights between Alaska and Russia have struggled to generate profit, as the market slowly loses momentum and travelers resort to more mainstream travel from larger airports on the mainland United States. Despite some high political tensions between the two countries, Yakutia has been notorious for it’s summer flight linking the two remote cities to one another “the other way around the world.”
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is the cultural, scientific, and industrial capital of the eastern Russia peninsula, and serves as a navy submarine base. With a relatively small population of just above 230,000, it seems hard to believe this small community could sustain flights to the United States. Well, the two cities are famous for their tourism in the exact same area: nature. The ecotourism industries’ in Alaska and Petropavlovsk are booming, with harsh winters and beautiful summers surrounded by rugged, snowy terrain that any explorer would love to navigate.
The addition of these new flights is a huge milestone in both Russian and American aviation, as in the past years flights between Russia and Alaska have struggled, but the addition of new flights by Yakutia is a good sign to show that the market it still there, and what better way to go on a vacation than to explore the rural Russian countryside?