SO COOL: Fly Nonstop From Alaska To Russia This Summer

Filed Under: Other Airlines

There are some really interesting flights out there.

For example, even just taking a North American centric approach, most people probably don’t realize that Uzbekistan Airways flies between New York and Tashkent. Or that Condor seasonally flies between Frankfurt and Whitehorse. Or that Air Saint-Pierre operates a seasonal charter service between Paris and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Well, there’s another pretty awesome flight making a seasonal return this summer, for some very limited dates.

I recently wrote about Russian airline Yakutia, which has a cool-looking new business class on their 737-800s.

For several years now the airline has been offering a seasonal flight to the US, and it’s making a return this summer, so I wanted to talk about that in this post.

Yakutia will be operating three flights this summer between Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Anchorage. The flight will operate with the following schedule on August 18, August 25, and September 1, 2019:

R3509 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Anchorage departing 8:25PM arriving 4:50AM
R3510 Anchorage to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky departing 7:00AM arriving 7:45AM (+1 day)

Fares for these flights are really expensive. A roundtrip ticket costs just under $2,000, while a one-way ticket prices out at about half that much.

Yakutia will use a Boeing 737-700 for this flight, which doesn’t feature business class, but rather is in an all economy layout.

The flight covers a distance of just under 2,000 miles, and given that it crosses the international dateline, it has quite a schedule — on the eastbound flight it lands over 15 hours before it takes off, while on the return it lands over 24 hours after it takes off.

The Kamchatka Peninsula isn’t connected to the rest of Russia by roads, so this is truly very isolated. The area has a population of under 180,000, and that population has decreased significantly over the past several decades.

This flight to Anchorage has been operating for over five years, and it’s my understanding that a majority of the passengers are tourists coming from Alaska, given the natural beauty found in this part of Russia.

While the area is pretty isolated, there are quite a few flight connection opportunities out of here — you can fly a Rossiya 777 all the way to Moscow, and there are also connections to Novosibirsk and Vladivostok (including on oneworld member S7 Airlines).

So, so, so cool…

Anyone as tempted to take this flight as I am?

(Featured image courtesy of Björn Strey, tip of the hat to ANC RED-EYE)

Comments
  1. :)) Trying to imagine the level of knowledge airport staff in these regions have about all the card/status perks Lucky is entitled to…

  2. Last year they had 8 flights between the two cities. Regardless that is pretty cool. Will take a pass since my Russian visa expired a few months ago.

  3. When I saw the headline, I thought Alaska Airlines was flying to Russia. Does anyone remember when they actually did fly there in the 1990s?

  4. @duane 1991-98

    The above seems bizarre. Just 3 flights Am not sure what market they are looking at

  5. I hate to be a pessimist but I’m not seeing what is “so, so cool” about this? Seems mildly interesting. Certainly if you don’t live in Alaska it will be cheaper to fly to Moscow first…

  6. This would make for a great review. What is the target market for this flight? Villagers from Russia who want to see Denali?

  7. Kamchatka is spectacular, home to several of the worlds most stunning Volcanoes including my vote for Number 1: Kronotsky!

  8. @ lucky did you read about the Fattal Private Terminal at Tel Aviv Airport ? It looks far more luxurious than the one at LAX , better designed and even includes bedrooms

  9. @Nick Summy

    Easy. It fly between Alaska and Russia. Pretty sure it was very, very “cool” at both places, even in summer.

  10. Nick Summy – It’s not remotely cool. Lucky is easily excitable and loves exaggerating (makes the blog look more interesting? I guess it works though so can’t complain – I probably wouldn’t have clicked if it didn’t say SO COOL!).

  11. Sucks so many people are forced to read a blog from someone that likes this stuff. Sure sucks to be them.

  12. That would be a really cool way to start a Russian review trip. You could go “around the world”. Unless you’ve already done that a few times… Transcon to LAX, SFO, SEA. Then Alaska up to ANC. Then to (insert code for petroplansk-kamchatsky) then a bunch of Russia stuff followed by review re-do of aeroflot. Or maybe SAS.
    Just my ideas

  13. I took this flight last August with my son to see his in-laws who live in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. We also took a Russian helicopter to Kronotskiy Reserve with an Italian tour group. From the West coast it’s the easiest way to get to Eastern Russia. The flight is fine although the food is nothing to write home about. Plane was filled mostly with hunters and fisherman from the US. The terminal in Kamchatka sucks. Customs takes forever inbound and outbound possibly due to bureaucracy and security required for hunters rifles. No food service in terminal.

  14. If I’ve learned anything from Risk over the years, it’s that you can just get between Kamchatka and Alaska by crossing over the dotted lines in the water.

  15. Really interesting to see the negative people come out of the woodwork big time when someone gets excited. It’s pretty clear that Lucky has loved flying since he was a kid. I mean, he used to fly all weekend all around the US just to get points for future flights. I think it’s great to have a passion like that. But there are those negative people that like to try take others down when they are up. The comment from jeroen van vuuren is a classic. I mean, he alters it to being “forced” to read the blog. Must actually suck to be someone who is so negative and live with yourself all the time.

  16. Seeing you take this flight would be super cool! I really hope you go. Back when I was a kid, Alaska Airlines operated flights briefly between Alaska and Siberia. Never knew that since then, there was any other opportunity to do so.

  17. As others have said, this flight is almost overwhelming operated for hunters and fishers. August/September are when salmon are running and when deer season is open. Different species/different opportunities in that part of Russia and Alaska, and both places have pretty avid outdoor cultures.

  18. Ha! If you take the flight, let some of us ANC based flyers know.

    There have been a couple of airlines connecting Eastern Russia and Anchorage over the past decade. I believe Vladivostok Air was most recent prior to Yakutia. Obviously for the very few of us Alaskans, especially those that enjoy traveling, these “unusual” non-stop routes are interesting to at least contemplate. In many cases they’re actually very functional considering the time savings to fly non-stop to, say, Frankfurt rather than connecting elsewhere in the US. Currently we can fly non-stop to Reykjavík on Iceland Air, Frankfurt on Condor, and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy on Yakutia. It wasn’t too long ago that China Airlines had service to Taipei (bummer that’s gone).

    As for @Duane’s comment – I wasn’t personally here to witness Alaska Airlines’ service to Eastern Russia, but it’s definitely an interesting part of their past: https://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/30/travel/alaska-airlines-opens-russia-s-wild-east.html

    Thanks @Lucky for featuring a little oddity of ANC travel options!

  19. I live in Anchorage and was born here and do remember the AS flights to Siberia. ANC has a nice International terminal that is barely used. We used to have several Asian passenger airlines flying here but they stopped due to increased terminal fees, landing fees and also due to aircraft no longer needing to refuel. There is talk about adding new passenger service to China, but we will have to see if that really happens. Our airport is one of the busiest cargo airports in the USA. Asians, Korean, Air China, Cathay, Polar, Cargolux and others make frequent stop overs. A lot of 747 traffic. We are also a hub for FedEx and UPS. Alaska, Delta, United, American, Allegiant, Sun Country and Jet Blue are our domestic passenger carriers.

  20. Very tempting … Kamchatka is one of the most geographically incredible as well as untouristed places in the world

  21. I’ll join in to say that I’ve been to Kamchatka (though I was flying in the other direction – stopped by Moscow first for a few days, then flew East to Kamchatka). It is certainly beautiful, but absolutely impossible to navigate unless you speak Russian or has a guide. There’s absolutely *no* tourist infrastructure. But I guess that’s part of what makes it so beautiful and fascinating.

    I do wonder who the target market for the flight is, like many of the above posters.

  22. The target market here is definitely fishermen/hunters. Kamchatka has some of the finest river fishing in the entire world, with Alaska a close second. Many people who go to Alaska to fly fish are also interested in going to Kamchatka since the style is similar–but the fish are even bigger! My brother is a fishing guide in both Kamchatka and Alaska and goes between the two depending on the season/demand, so there’s definitely a (niche) market here.

  23. I took the flight. It’s awesome. Stayed with the only American on the Peninsula. She has a b-n-b near the airport. Many of the travelers are fishermen. Lots of wilderness rivers. Also great hiking in the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Valley of the Geysers” accessible by heli.

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