PSJC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the world. It was founded in 1923 and was the Soviet national airline (at one point the largest in the world). It is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and has largely traded in its Soviet-era image of being a backward, unsafe airline into a very modernized, comfortable and progressive airline.
Aeroflot’s primary base is in Moscow, at Sheremetyevo International airport (SVO). Aeroflot does not operate at the other two Moscow airports, Domodedovo (DME) nor Vnukovo (VNO) as OneWorld’s S7 Airlines dominates DME and Aeroflot’s subsidiary carriers, Rossiya and Pobeda are based in VNO. Rossiya is positioned as a regional carrier (although its primary base is at St. Petersburg) and Pobeda is a low-cost, point-to-point carrier.
It is helpful to view Aeroflot’s Multi-Brand strategy to look at its portfolio of carriers, aside from the mainline Aeroflot brand. The following chart portrays Aeroflot’s additional carriers, compiled courtesy of CAPA – Centre for Aviation.
Aeroflot operates scheduled intercontinental services to Europe, Asia, Far East Russia and North America. In the U.S., Aeroflot flies to Los Angeles, New York JFK, Miami, Washington Dulles, and Havana. It once flew to Montreal, Toronto, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Cancun, Mexico City, Punta Cana, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Anchorage, Chicago O’Hare, San Francisco and Seattle.
In the far east, Aeroflot flies to Tokyo, Ulan Bator, Seoul, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Wuhan, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Rangoon, Bangkok, Delhi, Male and various cities in the CIS and Middle East.
Finally, Aeroflot operates an extensive domestic network within Russia, many of which are operated by widebody aircraft such as the 777-300ER or the Airbus A330-300 which feature its latest in-flight products and services.
Aeroflot has modernized its fleet within the past ten years. During the latter half of the 20th century, Aeroflot was one of the largest operators of Soviet-designed aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-124, the Yakolev Yak-42, the Ilyushin II-86 and Antonov An-24. The first Western-constructed aircraft to enter the fleet was the Airbus A310 in 1992, and the first Boeing aircraft, the 767-300ER, joined in 1994. Since then, Aeroflot has gradually converted the vast majority of its fleet into Boeing and Airbus aircraft, although Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has recently started to encourage the carrier to purchase Russian-made aircraft. It has since received the Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ) since 2013, but has continued to grow its roster of 777-300ERs, Airbus A330s and has placed an order for Airbus A350-900s. The 787 order, however, has been canceled.
The 777-300ERs feature Aeroflot’s Premium Economy cabin, otherwise known as Comfort Class, which I flew in May 2017 from New York JFK to Moscow. It was a fantastic flight with excellent service, incredible food and great value, especially for Delta SkyMiles earning opportunities.
The transit experience at Moscow Sheremetyevo Int’l airport is incredibly simple and straightforward, sans for the fact that there is a decent amount of walking involved as well as a bus transfer. When I flew them in May, I was transiting to Vilnius, Lithuania, and we were bussed from our arrival station in Terminal D to the transit area in Terminal E. The airport sub-divides the connecting zones into E.U. countries, international to international and international to domestic. I was very impressed by how efficient the whole process was.
The other benefit is that there are several priority pass lounges available at SVO to use between the various walking points. And, if you’re in the mood to splurge, you can buy some fresh caviar from the self-service machines in the lounges.